Google. Too big to fail: or too big to regulate?

As an Internet user now for over twenty years, and a computer-literate man for ten years before that, I welcomed the true start of the Internet as we know it, with Netscape and Internet Explorer being the vehicles which commenced ‘access of the ordinary into the extraordinary’.  Dial-up connections were pathetically slow, but users got used to the slow download; but technology moved onwards, and a combination of ever faster processors and better connections and faster access made the spread of the Internet ever faster. Then came a newcomer, a company with a funny name, extracted, it was claimed, from the word or term googol, which is 10100, otherwise known as writing 10, and then zeroes until your arm gets tired. Commencing and launching their company ‘start-up’ literally in a garage, two computer geeks worked out the famous algorithms which searched for information faster than imagination could realise, and then place those searches ranked by earlier use, on the user’s screen: they called it Google, and so commenced the rise and rise of the world’s most popular search engine, and the company, behind it.

As with all growing companies, especially digitally-based ones, there was literally no horizon in view as they spread their activities. They took the basic idea of e-mail, known by PC users; and transformed it into free to use G-mail, used today by a large section of the computer-using public: they also took the idea of an online diary, hashed around a while, and came up with the idea of Blogger, an online every day web log. Google’s electronic empire went ever further, and, because it was now growing ever-more profitable through online advert sales: its industrial muscle grew ever larger. Google’s ethical stance was mirrored in their Company motto, ‘Don’t be evil’, and in the early years of growth, was seen to be effective for their ethical stance in withdrawing from the extremely-lucrative China market, because they would not bend to the authoritarian rules of that Communist Dictatorship. More of that particular stance later.

The two geniuses who started Google were the true “wunderkind”, and, when Google went public, their worth skyrocketed them into the billionaire status known only to a very select few. Google became the favourite of NASDAQ and NYSE, and, because no-one had ever seen anything like this pair, and the giant which they had spawned, no-one suspected that they were secret Left-leaning little dictators-in-waiting, with ambitions not only to dominate the world’s search-engine usage and results, according to their secret algorithms: but also to inflict their beliefs and politics upon an unsuspecting mountain of users, whether ultra-liberal, centrist, right-wing or whatever. The Google workforce, seemingly overwhelmingly liberal by viewpoint, were the perfect means by which to promote the ‘Google’ way of doing things, and no-one seemed to notice the unswerving behemoth which operated in the shadows; mainly because the outer ‘shell’ was massively used, subscribed to: and very, very profitable. Their Stock Exchange values kept rising, and even the odd blip, which occurred when the European Union fined Google $5 billion for its ‘Anti-trust’ operation of its world-beating Android on all mobile phones using that machine system. Seems the EU didn’t like the way the Android system pushed ‘Google’ search to be used in preference to any other search engine provider. Google paid the fine, and promised to be a ‘better buy’: possibly because the $5 billion was the equivalent of 16 (sixteen) days trading for that monstrous organisation.

Readers would have noted that I referred to China.

Google had set up shop in China four years before the breach, offering a version of its services that conformed to the government’s oppressive censorship policies. At the time, Google officials said they’d decided that the most ethical option was to offer some services—albeit restricted by China’s censors—to the enormous Chinese market, rather than leave millions of Internet users with limited access to information.

But the 2010 attacks prompted the company to reverse course. Instead of complying with government requests to filter its search results, Google directed all of its Chinese traffic to the uncensored Hong Kong version of its search engine, a move that left the company vulnerable to being completely shut down in China. Indeed, Google’s services became inaccessible to most Chinese users within months.

So Google pulled the plug on their China operations, stating they would not abide with the ‘Censorship’ imposed by the Communist Chinese. They kept mumbling on about ‘Freedom of Speech’, and ‘Values’; and we believed them!

But three things have occurred which puts an entirely new, and possibly sinister spin upon Google, and the operations of that corporate behemoth.

  • An ordinary Google employee wrote a damning review of Google corporate philosophies, and the approach to anyone who dissented from the Left-leaning ‘Groupthink’ encouraged by the management team. Google engineer James Damore was fired last August after he wrote a controversial memo arguing that Google had gone overboard in its efforts to promote diversity. He generated widespread outrage by suggesting that the under-representation of women at Google was a result of women’s lesser interest in software engineering—rather than discrimination within the technology sector.
  • Jack Poulson, a senior research scientist at Google, has quit the company in protest over the tech titan’s development of a censored search engine for China, claiming it represents a “forfeiture of our values.” According to the Intercept,Poulson “raised concerns with his managers at Google after the Intercept revealed that the Internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices.”  ‘After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31,’ it was reported, adding that he is possibly one of FIVE employees to leave the company in protest.
  • An insider at Google downloaded a ‘Google TGIF Groupthink’ discussion, recorded just after the Trump election. It is pretty hard to listen to all the knee-jerks and sad stories, but some of the statements are worth repeating:-

Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.

VP for Global Affairs Kent Walker argues that supporters of populist causes like the Trump campaign are motivated by “fear, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”

CEO Sundar Pichai states that the company will develop machine learning and A.I. to combat what an employee described as “misinformation” shared by “low-information voters.”

(00:13:10) CFO Ruth Porat appears to break down in tears when discussing the election result. (00:15:20) Porat promises that Google will “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.” (00:16:50) Stating “we all need a hug,” she then instructs the audience of Google employees to hug the person closest to them.

(01:01:15) A Google employee states: “speaking to white men, there’s an opportunity for you right now to understand your privilege” and urges employees to “go through the bias-busting training, read about privilege, read about the real history of oppression in our country.” He urges employees to “discuss the issues you are passionate about during Thanksgiving dinner and don’t back down and laugh it off when you hear the voice of oppression speak through metaphors.” Every executive on stage – the CEO, CFO, two VPs and the two Co-founders – applaud the employee.

‘Don’t be evil’, the old Corporate Logo, has long ago disappeared. And in its place?

Either the sub-liminal message:-

  • Don’t Get Caught

or

  • Don’t vote Republican; cos’ they’re all evil!

Nike: just don’t do it!

Twitter/Colin Kaepernick

Manufacturers of sports apparel, whether it be shirts, shorts, leisure wear, trainers, running shoes, Hoodies & Sweatshirts,  Jackets & Gilets, Trousers & Tights or Tracksuits: have to be very aware of two things when marketing their products: does the product do its job, and is the sports ‘star’ or ‘celebrity’ associated with, or fronting that marketing campaign for their product likely to promote warm feelings towards the maker, the owner of the trade mark; the one thing by which the manufacturer is associated with.

Marketing is almost a separate entity when it comes to selling your wares on the open market; the entrepeneur or sales director might know everything about how his products are made, what the cost-per-item is, and whether the product suits the buyer from a viewpoint of ‘what’s cool, bro?’, or gets feedback from ordinary people buying that particular product. Industry has to be so careful of the ‘image’, projected by the person or ‘personality’, because the image of ‘I’m wearing a ‘XXXX’ watch on my wrist’; and by projection, maybe the prospective buyer will be wooed into spending a large lump of his available ‘wonga’ on a similar timepiece in the faint but possibly illusory hope that he too, like the watch-wearing personality, will be rich, famous and excelling at golf / football / running / swimming / acting or whatever. Alternatively, if the viewer sees a sportsman wearing the brand in question, and also see that same sportsman or actor succeeding, the idea maybe to get that same viewer to get off his fat behind, and get active, all whilst wearing the brand of trainer, or tracksuit, or whatever is being advertised.

But I write today about one specific, very famous manufacturer of trainers, shoes and all the other gear in the shopping list available both online, and in stores all across the globe. The name? Nike. The image? Clean-cut, healthy, combative, striving to do better: you must get the idea. The listings of individuals, clubs and companies associated with this global giant encompass 12 pages on Wikipedia. Their hold and breadth of sporting and exercise equipment is without parallel; truly a monster in international corporate terms. Many companies would consider the sacrifice of their first-born just to steal a slice of Nike’s grip on things ‘exercise’. And who can blame them? The Nike ‘Swoosh’ is known and Nike: just don’t do it!acknowledged worldwide as one of the truly global ‘brands’, and Nike have made very few errors in terms of their association with ‘celebrities’ and instantly-recognisable names. There was a small tremor when the Penn State College sexual abuse scandal erupted, which saw Joe Paterno named as a co-conspirator along with convicted Jerry Sandusky, who got 30-60 years in jail. Paterno died before the trial, but Nike, who had named their ‘child care facility’ after Paterno; only hastily removed Paterno’s name after former FBI director Louis Freeh’s damning report emerged. Another small spike in the Nike freeway emerged when they withdrew their sponsorship from Oscar Pistorius, possibly because he was indicted for murder.

NIke must have been breathing huge sighs of relief that they hadn’t signed sponsorship deals with the footballer Ryan Giggs as Reebok had: as it emerged, through the veil of injunctions, counter-claims and injured innocence; that he, despite having a stunner wife on his arm (hence the family man image) that he had affairs with various whores as well as an eight-year relationship with his brother’s wife.

Nike also had to wend their way through the assault organised by, amongst others, FashionUnited who pushed for a larger slice of the huge cash pile to go towards the rock-bottom wages earned by the people who sew the shirts, trainers, etc. Critics asked that

“knowing that the labor cost of a t-shirt produced in Indonesia is hardly 1 percent of the price, it seems logical to me that the labor cost can be increased a bit, right?”

was returned with a backhand reply to the effect that NIke always hoped that suppliers paid the ‘living wage’ and more, wherever the item was made.

But the latest news just down the turnpike is the signing by Nike of Colin Kaepernick, he of the large hair, the even larger opinion of himself; and the tumult caused by his kneeling during the National Anthem and Flag ceremonies at various American football games across the continent. Ostracised by the owners of every club, he has not played for over a year, but that doesn’t mean he has been out of the headlines. His ‘knee’ antics generated a huge pile of outrage at his lack of patriotism, especially towards the American Flag, revered almost as a religious artefact by many. Almost as high as the original pile was the flood of supporting comments, many agreeing with his outbursts and silent objections to the Flag which represented, as he saw it, the injustice done to fellow African Americans.

But the big question is, as far as can be observed, is whether Nike, in signing up Colin Kaepernick to front their 30th Anniversary logo and marketing push, haven’t shot themselves in both feet simultaneously, as, by bringing such a divisive person and personality into front-centre stage; seeing as he has (virtually) insulted and trampled all over the one thing which Americans have revered since the founding of the Republic. The Flag, along with that amazing theme which was the product of a mixture of a British drinking song, along with the verses penned by Frances Scott Keys to celebrate the defiant victory of an American defence of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after a huge bombardment by the British, has retained the awe and reverence due the symbol of freedom which it undoubtedly has become. Has Nike made a mistake raising an anarchist onto its stage? Only time will tell.

For myself, I would have thought that Nike would have been better served if they had featured Alejandro Villanueva, who took an alternative viewpoint when saluting the Flag!

You dozey, self-centred, wilful, stupid; stupid woman!

What do you call someone who enters a place, a country; in the full knowledge that there is no real Rule of Law? What do you call someone who enters a place, a country; in the full knowledge that that same country is ruled by Muslim Mullahs, who care little for Western ideas, and even less for simpletons who claim they have DUAL- NATIONALITY? What do you call someone who, despite strong advice to the contrary, enters this country, knowing that there is no real protection afforded by a British passport, for the slightly weird notion of ‘It’ll be alright; I’ve got a British passport, my daughter has a British passport, and I’m only visiting my mother’? What do you call a mother who places her child in real peril by entering a country whereby the Foreign Office advises against all individual travel; warns against banditry, theft and danger to life and liberty if you f**k around with any aspect of their bloody religion, culture, sense of security; or even just plain, ordinary cussedness? What do you call a woman who, despite all the official warnings to the contrary, decides that ‘She knows best’; gets on an aircraft with her daughter, and flies in to this pest- and danger-ridden cess-pit?

The real name of this woman? Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Her real title? Stupid, silly, bloody woman.

The name of this demi-paradise? Iran, or, to give its exact diplomatic title the Islamic Republic of Iran. The clue to the behaviour of the people who slung this stupid woman into jail? It is in the word ‘ISLAMIC’.

Her equally stupid, idealistic and slightly moronic (because he expects Muslim clowns to observe Western creeds and ideas) husband was interviewed, and stated:-

‘There were real hopes that not only would her three-day furlough be extended, but that her permanent and unconditional release was also just around the corner.

‘We shouldn’t lose sight of what Nazanin has had to endure – nearly two-and-a-half years behind bars, eight gruelling months of solitary confinement without a lawyer, a deeply unfair trial, and also being subjected to a string of unfounded accusations from the Iranian authorities.

‘Nazanin is a prisoner of conscience who should never have been jailed in the first place.

“Prisoner of conscience’? Rubbish!  The Iranian mullahs who scrutinise all airport entry lists and visa application lists must have collectively rubbed their hands in glee (or whatever passes for humour in those twisted minds) at the sight of yet another idiot basking in the belief that a foreign passport somehow gives the holder the extra armour against the monolithic Islamic State of Iran’s collective hatred of Western ideas, ideals and very ways of life.

When this loser is finally kicked out of Iran’s prison system, probably because the guards are sick to death of her constant whining, and upon her return to British shores, the first visit of officials should be from the local Council, to determine if she really is as daft as she makes out to be; because if they are correct, the little girl should be immediately taken into care.

Royal Navy? Protecting Brits? You must be having a bloody laugh!

ukdj

We are an Island nation. Our very history stems from the fact that, from the earliest days of trade, our national need for imports and exports have demanded a competent naval force to protect our island’s interests. From the ‘King’s Navee’ to the masterful force which was the Royal Navy in the years just after WW2, we have had, made and determined policy by the presence and actions of Navy warships.

The names cascade down British history’s ledgers: Anson, Hood, Drake, Frobisher, a dip into any historical archive shows that seamanship, service and above all, loyalty and dedication to the rigours and rules of the Navy handed we Brits a stacked deck almost every time our Island Nation was tested. Apart from the defeats by the Dutch Admiral De Ruyter, Britain, or rather England, ruled the waves as never seen before or since. The British Crown and Navy took on Napoleon in his various disguises as a republican general, and then a dictator masquerading as an Emperor, and virtually dictated the course of the wars fought at sea; ending with the defeat of the French at Trafalgar by the naval genius of Lord Nelson.

The Great War saw Britain’s Fleet take on the German Grand Fleet, and after Jutland, where the navies clashed for perhaps the only time, saw the Germans holed up in their anchorages, with the British Fleet guarding the boltholes. The Germans nearly succeeded in starving Great Britain with the U-boat submarine fleet, but once deterrent measures were introduced, the subs were denied access to the North Sea, and were defeated.

The Second World War saw Britain’s naval forces, as usual, emasculated by politicians who just did not want to understand that, although Defence does not win headlines, if properly funded, it wins victories. Our Navy was badly funded and run during the peacetime years, and when the great conflict began, naval forces were stretched to breaking point by stupid decisions made by politicians with ideas of grandeur.The Royal Navy was partly modernised in the second half of the 1930’s, but the upgrade missed HMS Hood (sunk with a single shell from Bismarck), HMS Barham (torpedoed despite alleged anti-torpedo upgrade) and HMS Repulse (sunk by the Japs after sailing without any air cover whatsoever). We managed to win through, partly because the Krauts made more mistakes than we did; but mainly because the Japs attacked Pearl Harbour, and America came into the war, and saved the West for the second time in twenty years. The calibre of the Royal Navy’s officers and men were such that a naval action between the destroyer Glowworm and the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, a vessel ten times the size of the destroyer; and where the destroyer sank after attacking and ramming the Hipper, allowed the Admiralty to place the Glowworm’s captain to receive the Victoria Cross posthumously on the recommendation of the German Cruiser captain, and his captured log.

As I have previously written on the Royal Navy, and watched its long decline in both ships and men, I would point to two items; one very recent, the other many years back.

Captain E.S.F. Fegan, V.C. Royal Navy; the sailor who turned his ship, H.M.S. Jervis Bay, to steer directly towards the Admiral Scheer, a heavy German cruiser intent upon savaging the convoy which ‘Jervis Bay’ was protecting. Without any hesitation, this man sailed his ‘Armed MerchantMan’ in under the guns of this mini-battleship, and took his ship, along with all her crew, to their deaths; but the convoy was saved, as they scattered before the killer cruiser could catch them.

British fishermen legally went in to Channel fishing grounds to harvest scallops, but were set upon, harrassed and attacked by a much larger contingent of French fishing boats, outraged that the ‘RosBifs’ had the audacity to fish in grounds favoured by the French. The Brits called for protection from the Royal Navy, but to no avail. Of the FOUR R.N. vessels delegated for fishery protection duty, one is 8,000 miles away in the Falklands, HMS Forth is unable to sail because of the huge numbers of defects found after handover from BAe Systems the builders, (inclusive of electrical busbar connection bolts being GLUED back on after rupture),; one is in dock for repairs, and the fourth is in Norway at, wait for it; a Culture Festival.

Great Britain had been promised, by the Brexiteer politicians, that we can have and hold our own fishing grounds once more after ‘freedom day’. At the rate seen by this observer, all we shall be able to do to protect our own fishermen from the likes of the ‘effing French is to wave a white flag from a bloody ferry.

“Grave Scandal”: along with the rest of the utter verbal garbage

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After the mass at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, and after wittering on about the ‘Grave Scandal’ of sexual abuse by Catholic priests; Pope Francis will depart on his chartered jet, having dispensed, as far as can be known, the minimum of sorrowful platitudes and a self-serving apology, aimed at the media. Not, it must be affirmed, aimed in any way at those who so desperately needed to hear some form of true sorrow over the decades of criminal sexual abuse handed out on an industrial scale, by  a good proportion of the Irish Catholic priests and nuns who were so trusted with the spiritual and corporeal well-being of their children. Over the years, the sordid truth emerged about the Magdalene Laundries, and the slave labour regimes held against the young women, whose only ‘crime’ was that they had borne a child outside wedlock. We also learned about the Baby farms, otherwise known as the Foundling homes, from where thousands of tiny children were routinely exported towards America for adoption. America, the land of the Almighty Dollar, where the American Catholic Church wallowed in the cash generated. But the worst was when we learned of the systematic cover-up of hundreds of cases of Catholic Priests who had sexually abused young children over literally decades, and; because of the shame and mental torture inflicted upon these youngsters, they rarely spoke or complained; sometimes for decades. Because when they did speak up, they were usually ritually humiliated with disbelief, because who could believe that a ‘Man of God’ was capable of such atrocities. The Church hierarchy, from Monsignor to Bishop to Cardinal; consistently and routinely denied all knowledge of the savage abuse, and equally routinely transferred the guilty perverted scum, masquerading behind clerical dog-collars, to a new, unsuspecting parish where they could continue their evil practices.

Ireland was indeed shaken to its very core because the whole Nation was suddenly awoken to the very real fact that there had been TWO Governments; the secular Irish government, with the elections, ministers and State departments: and also the invisible hand of the real Government, otherwise known as the Roman Catholic Church. From the largest cathedrals to parish churches, the agents of the Invisible Government, under the guise of priests, monsignors, bishops and archbishops; laid the law down, and ensured that THEIR words were taken and observed ahead of anything promulgated by the Dublin Government. Ever more cash was demanded for tithes to the church, and the beady eyes of those priests ensured that those who did not give were noted and berated. Birth control, contraception were deemed a mortal sin, children and yet more children were the only results of a ‘good marriage’, and yet when the ignorant and uneducated Irish girls and women became pregnant outside of marriage, the response was to herd those ‘outcast’ pregnant girls and women into the Magdalene Lines.

On Saturday, Francis again acknowledged a “grave scandal” and “repugnant crimes”; but we have yet to hear a single statement, from the most powerful Catholic in the world, which goes even part of the way to restore faith in the whole idea, the very process; of a Church which has so grievously sinned against the very ones which it was supposed to protect.

We read a few days back, of the abuse lasting over SEVEN DECADES, within the Pennsylvania Diocese, where literally hundreds of priests committed thousands of crimes against children, and that sexual abuse was both known about and covered up, from the very top, inclusive of Bishops and Cardinals! We learn of an Cardinal being accused of serious sexual molestation from FIFTY years ago, and the protection afforded that man which allowed his continued ascent to the very top of that religious slope.

Just a week ago, a brand-new Cardinal from Mexico  has suggested that victims who accuse priests should be “ashamed” because they too have skeletons in their own closets. Those who “accuse men of the Church should [be careful] because they have long tails that are easily stepped on,” said Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera according to a report.. This from a man who has just been elevated to the College of Cardinals by the Pope.

The World Meeting of Families is expected to announce its estimate of the attendance later, a spokesperson said this afternoon. 500.000 were supposed to attend. Less than 130,000 turned up to watch Pope Francis celebrate Mass.

Seems like the Catholic Irish have finally got the Message.

The medal on the left? Thats what the Commissioner got for that Brazilian electrician’s death.

Dick by name, and dick by nature. Our fearless Metropolitan Police Commissioner has stated, categorically that London is safer than New York; that Londoners have now’t to worry about.

I would show a few headline examples, demonstrating how wrong our Commissioner Cressida actually is:-

  • Some bloke gets three bullets pumped into him outside a rail station in Walthamstow.
  • One dead, two others injured in Camberwell.
  • Shootings reported in Westminster and Brent. The reason I highlight this particular headline is not because of the Brent incident, but because of Westminster. After all, Brent’s local bus services are known as the ‘banana boats’, but Westminster? Closest to the seat of political and economic power in Great Britain?
  • Charges regarding the crimes of a multi-racial moped gang took over an hour to be read out in Court. The thugs sit giggling amongst themselves, because they know that any prison sentence, besides being without any deterrent value at all, is and will be more comfortable than where they are living right now.
  • The total number of offences involving a knife or bladed instrument that have been recorded by cops in the year to March 2018 rose to 40,147, a seven-year-high. At least 51 people have been fatally stabbed in London since the beginning of the year.

As for our highly-(self)-esteemed Met. Police Commissioner, and her self-serving remarks on her role as the lead person symbolising the protection, from crime and worse in London: all I would state is to issue this warning:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next time; and, folks, there will be a ‘next time’; a serious terror murder or murders happens in London: and there is a City-wide man-hunt for the terror scum involved, I would advise any Muslim, or even anybody who even vaguely resembles the stock image of a Muslim, male, brown- or black-skinned, not necessarily bearded; to stay at home until the manhunt wears down. Why, because Jean Charles De Menezes was just going to work. He sat down on that Tube train, he was wrongly targeted as ‘the real thing’; and Cressida ordered, “TAKE THE BLOODY SHOT”because, as everyone can see, he was just the spitting image of the muslim scum who was the real terrorist.

The medal on the left? Thats what the Commissioner got for that Brazilian electrician's death.
PA/Getty

As Jedi Master Yoda would have remarked “Reassured, I not was!”

A tale of two medical visits (acknowledgement to Dickens). Two Saturdays ago, I had to go urgently to our local University Hospital North Durham (UHND): a day ago, I had to convoy my wife in a Patient Transport Service (PTS) Ambulance for a chest X-ray at the same hospital. Two different medical visits, two very differing outcomes.

As to my urgent trip to the A&E department, I copy the email sent to the Patient Experience Department, (their title, not mine):-

I was working in my back-garden on Saturday 4th August afternoon, hacking away at some overgrown bush, when I was stung on the eyelid by a bee. My eyelid swelled up and closed my eye completely, which prevented my driving, so I had to beg for a lift to the hospital from my neighbour. I was literally in agony, but despite asking at least twice for speedy access to medical help, was forced to wait in the laughingly-named Accident and Emergency queue for well over an hour/two hours before I was ushered into the ‘Triage’ room where three uniformed staff members performed their duties. I stated that I had been stung by a bee on my eyelid, and I was in great pain, but the remorseless note-taking, questions on such vital statistics such as how much alcohol did I drink were relentlessly pursued. After what seemed like another hour, but was actually around ten minutes: I was gravely handed a green plastic card, and told that I should have gone to the ‘Urgent Care’ facility, based at the end of the main corridor.

I arrived at the ‘Urgent Care’ sector, where I found two elderly staff people seated behind a desk, where I was informed, “just take a seat in the adult waiting room, and someone will attend.” There were about six or seven other people in this quaintly-named ‘Urgent Care’ facility, and upon enquiring, found no-one had come near, or been attended to for quite a while. After a very short while, I was in danger of losing my temper, so decided to ascertain who was supposed to be doing what, as besides my own immediate pain: I was intensely concerned about my wife, whom I was forced to leave alone in our house, as she has been ill for decades, and is unable to even move without my help. I asked, somewhat forcefully, to speak with someone in authority as to the progress of attending not only to my problems, but also everyone else’s who seemed to have been forgotten.

I was spoken to by an man of asian appearance, dressed in a purple/red uniform, and was told that all would be well, and please have patience. I replied that my patience had run out some time back, and all I was concerned with was being relieved from the bee-sting pain, and being able to return as quickly as possible to my wife.

After a further five minutes, I was ushered in to a room where I was treated by a nurse-practitioner (I think,), again dressed in purple/red-scrubs uniform. Once again, instead of being relieved from the severe pain I was experiencing, I was sat down and, once again, asked lots of questions by this young woman, whilst she tapped away at her keyboard. Eventually, I was told to lie down on the day-bed, and the young woman checked that I had indeed got a bee-sting, and the sting was still embedded in my eyelid. I was then amazed to see this young uniformed woman search through various desk drawers and then through her HANDBAG  for a pair of fine tweezers. She failed to find anything, and so approached my eye and plucked the sting out with her FINGERNAILS, complete, I believe, with nail-varnish, although I cannot confirm the last observation.

A young female doctor then entered the treatment room, gazed learnedly at a) my eyelid and then b) at the sting which had been extracted from my eyelid, and gravely stated “Yes, you have been stung by a bee, my father keeps bees and he gets stung all the time”; then disappeared as speedily as she had appeared. The young nurse-practitioner ( as I believe she was), then proceeded to print off an eye reading test, and holding it up asked me to read the letters; before pronouncing herself satisfied with my eyesight and reading skills. She then gave me a small pack of antihistamine pills, and packed me off.

I was very annoyed at the cavalier manner in which I was treated, being made to wait for what seemed like an age before being ‘interviewed’ by the Triage Trio, and then casually told that I should have gone straight to the Urgent Care facility (the name itself being a genuine source of sardonic amusement to those unfortunate enough to have to use it), but decided to leave things be but: after spotting a newspaper article about the effects of a single bee-sting, decided to write and complain in the strongest possible terms.  I was trained in engineering disciplines, I understand matters mechanical, civil and electrical; but leave health-related matters to those who have been trained in such things, and therefore was unaware that death can and does occur with a SINGLE BEE STING due to the onset of anaphylactic shock.

All I knew was that I was in great pain, the source of relief was the hospital, and I managed to get to the UHND as fast as I could. The lady who tapped out and filled in my details at the A&E counter was obviously a civilian, and thus unknowing of the necessity for speedy action to prevent the possible onset of shock such as experienced by the unfortunate man who was bitten with a single sting, but the red-uniformed person, seated behind the same A&E counter whom I spoke to TWICE was such a person, trained with some medical knowledge, even though she was obviously not a doctor.  I was casually informed that there was a queue, the A&E department was busy, and I should be seated, and be patient, and await my turn at ‘Triage’.

It is my view that the UHND ought to urgently review its whole ethos around A&E, as well as the “Urgent Care” facility, and inform the people who work there that they are there to do one job, to serve the public, and not to arrange things so that they are the ones not pressurised, not to live their lives at NHS speeds, which is about two-thirds to one-half of the speed which everyone else works at!

I was contacted this morning by a member of the ‘Experience team’, and taken thought the parts of my complaint which needed to be reviewed. Which was fine, but even this person didn’t understand my frustration, and not only mine, but everyone else’s who sat in that dusty, slightly grubby A&E waiting room, that there was absolutely no idea, no sense of ‘Emergency or Urgency’, no signs of anyone hurrying to engage with the people who were queuing to be attended to by our ‘World-Leading NHS’. She stated that my complaint would be reviewed, and I would be advised of the outcome. She also casually stated that I had no need to worry about the possible onset of anaphylactic shock from this bee-sting. I asked why I should not have worried, and she replied that if such shock occurred, it would have been instantaneous, I would have been unable to breathe; and I would be dead!

As Jedi Master Yoda would have remarked “ Reassured, I not was!”

The second appointment was enabled with the help of the PTS to transport my wheelchair-bound wife to the UHND main X-ray department for a chest X-ray. We were picked up by the PTS ambulance team at 10.45, delivered to the hospital after one detour to pick up another wheelchair-using patient, moved to the main X-ray room where my wife was wheeled in after a wait of five minutes, X-rayed and moved back almost immediately. The reception staffer called the PTS team, and we had to wait literally ten minutes before our transport team arrived to take my wife back to the ambulance and then home: a total time for the trip there and back, plus the X-ray; of 1.75 hrs. To the PTS, and to the Main X-ray guys at UHND, a ‘well-done’ from my wife and I!