Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The grounding of Britain and no to Chinese human rights

Isn't this country quite insane? 2" of snow and the whole place has ground to a complete halt. Why is it that every time that we have 'extreme' weather here, nothing works? The trains stop. The buses collect together into little groups and refuse to budge. Cars are abandoned at the roadside (and are dealt the ignomy of parking tickets) and airports and ferries hunker down. It's bizarre. We must be the laughingstock of the world. In the 'States, where they have this weather every year, homeowners are bound by law to clear the paths in front of their homes and gritters work 24/7 in order that people can get to work and school, hospital appointments or to do their shopping. Here, shoppers had to spend last night in John Lewis in the bed department because they couldn't get home. Local authorities didn't have the presence of mind to grit the roads to major malls and hospitals.

It's a national disgrace. When I walked the dog on the Heath yesterday morning, slipping and sliding along the paths, I saw two men in green uniforms coming towards me. They were walking on the snowy, leafy bit (just as slippery though). Workers, with their Westminster badges highlighted on their anoraks. Ah ha, I thought. Just the men! 'Why don't you grit the paths?' I asked. 'They're lethal. I've almost fallen over three times!' The older one laughed. 'Yeah,' he answered, 'We've also been sliding all over the place.' 'Then why can't it be gritted?' I reiterated. 'Health and Safety,' was his response. Eh, what? 'We can't grit because of Health and Safety..'

I have now heard it all. I guess this just reflects the malaise at the heart of our society. The staff melted away on the Eurostar, afraid to take any decisions on their own so that off-duty police had to man the tannoys. No one was available the whole weekend to inform the public what was happening on the channel tunnel. No one took responsibility. And here the excuse, any excuse it would appear these days, is effing Health and Safety. It's an effing oxymoron (excuse the pun).

As an aside, it looks as if the English/Indian guy arrested in China for drugs smuggling will be executed, even though he has mental health problems. Human Rights in China, you see, don't exist. Where are the demonstrations? I hope and pray that Zach doesn't make it that far east. He's still insisting on travelling yet again. Yes, I know but what can I do? Unless we go to court, he's entitled to his passport and in his present state would convince a judge that he is compos mentis. Irrespective of his Health and Safety!


tara said...

I recently purchased your novel and decided to read it today. So far the only reason I put it down for a minute was to hunt you down and research about the book a little more. It truly is beautiful, and I admire you so very much. I've been skimming through your recent posts and I'm so happy to hear Zach is well. You really are a wonderful person.

Ros Morris said...

Many thanks for your very kind comments! I'm not sure that anyone I know would think that I am 'wonderful' but thank you all the same!

It's still a case of one step forward and one step back... We're still in working mode.

No doubt, to be continued.

All the best for a lovely 'Festive Season'!


Anonymous said...

Well, Ros, unfortunately we now know that they do indeed execute people with bipolar disorder in China. Given my views on what they have done in Tibet, I thought my contempt for the Chinese government couldn't reach new heights. But, today, it has.

As for Zach's passport, I can see the problem, so let him keep it. Just don't agree to help him fund a trip to anywhere further than Cornwall!

All good wishes

Roy (yes the one from York!)

Ros Morris said...

Sickening. The comments are so pitifully ignorant. Even if he did know what he was doing was wrong and he did it ... to execute? Revolting.