Peter Rhodes on Scotland's dilemma, reckless road-blockers and warnings about obesity from the front line

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Flagging up a deal?

ON winning £10,000 a month for the next 30 years on the National Lottery, 24-year-old Dean Weymes declares: "I am now worry-free for the rest of my life." Sorry, Dean, but life doesn't work like that.

EXTINCTION Rebellion brings traffic to a standstill in Birmingham. Again, the selfish zealotry of the few trumps the human rights of the many. Don't tell us you want to save humanity when you care so little for your fellow humans.

MICHAEL Buerk says obese people should be allowed to die "selflessly" for the greater good of the NHS. History suggests they may have been doing so for years. In his excellent book Ardennes 1944, Antony Beevor tells how front-line doctors in 1944 noticed that seriously wounded German soldiers recovered from surgery far better than Americans. The well-fed US troops had a layer of fat which made surgery more difficult while the sparsely-fed Germans were leaner and "more operable." Today, we are shocked when surgeons report that x-rays, anaesthetics, drugs and surgery sometimes don't work well on obese patients. But it's not all news. Some of it was known 75 years ago - but nobody told us.

IT'S all very well chucking billions more at the NHS, as Boris Johnson is doing, but how wisely is it spent? Consider the NHS form I've been given to apply for physiotherapy. On one side you fill in your details. The other side tells you where to post it, how long to wait (six days) and which number to ring to make an appointment. Spot the problem? All this useful information is on the form which you have to post to the surgery. Well-organised folk will copy the details and keep them somewhere safe. But we're not all well-organised. If the details were on a tear-off-and-keep section, this user-unfriendly form would magically become user-friendly. Sometimes in the NHS the problem is not money. It's imagination.

SLIP-UP. I referred to the slipway at Whaley Bridge dam. It is, of course, a spillway.

GOODNESS knows what plots are being hatched as Remain MPs interrupt their holidays to scheme against Boris Johnson. But there is a hint that Labour, having repeatedly sworn against a second independence referendum (Indyref2) for Scotland to break away from the UK, now seems to be offering it as a lure to the SNP. The message seems to be: Give us your votes to defeat Brexit and, once in power, we'll give you Indyref2. The astonishing thing is that so many intelligent, experienced Scottish politicians have convinced themselves that Britain leaving the EU after 40 years would be an unmitigated disaster but Scotland parting with England after 300 years would be easy-peasy, enriching and liberating. Why should Westminster make it any easier for Scotland to leave the UK than Barnier and Co made it for the UK to quit the EU?

BEHOLD the Caledonian conundrum. If we make it hard for them to leave, they'll hate us. If we make it easy for them to leave, they'll hate us even more.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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