Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Phone baiting - I love it! (even more than cricket)

ODPM versus HTW…

I’ve got 5 minutes spare.…. Just time enough for a bit of dumb animal baiting. I dial Prezza Towers, lair of fatboy Prescott and his clack of snivelling hissing Sid clones….

020 7944 4400.....

"Hello, can I speak to someone about some information on your web site?"

(They put me through)

"Hi, I wonder can you help me - in the 'Sustainable Communities' section of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s web site, it says -

"We are committed to thriving, vibrant, sustainable communities. The Sustainable Communities Plan will reach every part of the country."......

"By 'Every part of the Country' - do you mean the UK? Or do you mean England? And if it is England, does that mean the Deputy Prime Minister has recognised that England is a singular, proud and historic nation in its own right – by referring to it as a Country?"

"Ahhhh, right, I see what you mean. No, it doesn’t mean the UK, as Scotland look after there own sustainable community issues – it’s just for England."

"But the text as it is, sort of says that the ODPM has power and influence over the whole of the UK – it is deliberately ambiguous and deliberately misleading to say that his Sustainable Communities Plan will reach every part of the country." When he is only referring to the historic and proud nation of England. Don’t you agree?"

"Yes, I think it needs amending. It’s just not clear – and England obviously is a proud and historic nation – in its own right"….

(almost faint with the shock of it)….

"So you will amend it?"

"I need to speak to my line manager, I’ll get back to you."

"Before you go, can you please ensure that the wording will not be changed to ‘The Sustainable Communities Plan will reach every part of each region."......

"I’ll get back to you"……

DOH verses HTW…..

Still a couple of minutes left – I’ll give the Department of Health another ring seeing that they have totally blanked my original enquiry of a month ago….

020 7210 4850...

"Hi, I wonder if you could help me, I rang last month, but no one has got back to me yet. Health Minister, Rosie Winterton recently stated that the increase in dental check up charges by over 100%, to £15, will in her words "Make the system fairer and simpler." Is that really the case then?

"Yes, most definitely, the system needed sorting out – and we agree that Ms Winterton is correct."

"Well it’s not really correct, is it. Not really strictly speaking correct - or fair. In fact it is really, really unfair. Don’t you agree?

"Well no, I don’t agree at all. Everyone will have to pay – the same. So that makes it fairer."

"Ah-ha! But everyone won’t have to pay the same will they? For some people, it’s fairer, for others it’s not. In Scotland for example, by the year 2007 dental check ups will be free, to every single one living there. Free, gratis and for nothing. Now that is the kind of system that I consider to be ‘simpler’ and ‘fairer’, don’t you agree?"

"But Scotland look after their own…".

"Exactly – Scotland really do look after her own, courtesy of the English taxpayer, mate!"

"As I was saying, Scotland look after their own health affairs, they have done since the ‘dissolution’ of the Scottish Parliament."

"Don’t you mean since ‘devolution’?"

"That’s what I said."

"So to sum up, people in Scotland are going to have a very simple dental check up system – basically free for everyone. People in England are going to have to pay fifteen quid, which is not as simple or as cheap as the Scottish model."

"Well, yes."

"I wonder, can you contact your boss Rosie Winterton and ask her to reissue her statement – something along the lines of. "Increasing the standard charge for a dental health check-up to £15 for people living in England, enables us to subsidise the people of Scotland to an even greater level. Thus enabling their people to have free, gratis and for nothing, dental health checks"….

"I’m sorry, I can’t possibly comment, perhaps you could contact your MP about this injustice"…

"I certainly will do that, maybe you should write to yours as well – and while you’re at it, ask them why we can’t have free prescriptions as will be given as of right to the people of Wales next year…

"Maybe I will".

I reckon, the word is spreading…….


wonkotsane said...

You really have too much time on your hands. :D

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Toque said...

Beautiful. These civil servants don't like it um 'em do they Alfie Sir?