Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Its 1.30 in the morning and I was going to have a real moan, but I've just read the headlines in the Shropshire Star about two youngsters being killed in a motor cycle accident. What have I got to moan about. But I'll tell you what was annoying me just the same - Barclaycard and our rail service.

I'd filled up my car on Friday, and Mrs D's car on Sunday, and my card came up as 'Not Authorised' on both occasions. So happened that I had my cheque book with me and was able to pay. Anyway checked up with the number that my bank gave me this morning and it seems my card was stopped because there's a police investigation involved. Well "Thank you Barclaycard for not bothering to tell me". And what would I have done if I'd been somewhere without another means of paying? The 'voice' which informed me of this development refused to say another word, didn't apologise, and just said that another card would be sent in x days. He sounded as if he couldn't give a damn.

And then I set off for Green College, Oxford for a round table discussion about 'Social Care' (in England). Planned to catch a through train from Wolverhampton to Oxford. But the road between Welshpool and Shrewsbury was closed. An accident, on a stretch of road where there have been so many. Youngsters have been killed in motor cycle accidents on Cefn Bridge - which is why I drew back from a full blooded moan. Anyway, I missed my train, and took another that changed at B'ham New Street. From Birmingham to Oxford - almost 2 hours - it was standing room only. It seems that there was a carriage short. And to make matters worse it conked out for ten minutes - and I couldn't hear a word over the tannoy, stuck amongst other sweaty bodies between carriages. So I arrived for my brainstorming session late, sweaty and knackered. I've just made it home.

Can't say much about the discussion. Chatham House rules. But the issue is the meaningful 'empowerment' of people needing social care. In principle, I like the idea of 'empowerment' of the individual, but going down this road without some very careful thought could prove to be a disaster. OK, so Care Homes and Nursing Homes have got a chequered history, and no-one argues with effective regulation. But the alternatives could well be worse. We did no more than scratch the surface tonight.


Anonymous said...

Just leave a tenner in the glove compartment - yes, it could be stolen, so put it in an old smelly sock - yes, the dog could find it and play with it, so place the sock with the tenner in an old jewel case - yes, someone could steel the old jewel case and the tenner with it, so put the old jewel case in a old large smelly sock ... actually, treacherous 'drops' were sometimes done in Moscow and DC by placing the secret papers in a rat carcass previously 'marinated' in some kind of soy sauce ... maybe something else, but apparently the foxes wouldn't touch it, so slit open an old partially decomposed rate soaked in soy sauce and place said tenner in said rat and place the combination in the glove compartment of your up market BMW. Problem solved!

Anonymous said...

... but first 'try it out' in your wife's car ... on her birthday ...

Anonymous said...

"Chatham House rules" = no publicity?
Is this still the case Glyn?
Sorry to hear about the bad trip to Oxford..in my days there it was a bad trip at Oxford!

Glyn Davies said...

anon - the reason that its 'Chatham House rules' is that senior Civil Servants join in. I feel its OK to touch on the issue, but not to disclose any of the detail. I hope every trip wasn't bad while you were there.