News Reviews 2

Posted on Aug 4, 2013


Two big rants this week for you on my internet soapbox to sound out on. Maybe I should go to Hyde Park if I keep this up and join the rest of the fruit loops at Speaker’s Corner. Right, here goes…


Hemel Hempstead Hospital

A closed section of Hemel Hempstead Hospital. Next to it stands the old nurses quarters.

I walked past my hometown’s hospital in Hemel Hempstead the other day and looked on its sorry state. Barely half of it is open now; the rest boarded up and closed and the rest falling apart and unloved. Accident and Emergency was always full to the brim and I can only imagine the stress the nurses and doctor’s have to go through as well as anyone else who has to deal with the general public and the suits in charge.

The next hospital from here is in either St. Alban’s or Watford; both about five miles away or more so if you’re having a heart attack or worse, then your chances are slim no matter how good the paramedic and ambulance crew. The St. Alban’s hospital is the same as the Hemel Hempstead one, where it is half closed down, forcing a heavy and ever-growing population of the surrounding towns to converge onto that one hospital in Watford. It’s only a matter of time before they reach their breaking point and a serious mistake happens.

Now we here in the UK pay national insurance out of our wages as well as tax. You have to ask in a country that has around 63 million people where all that money goes if hospitals up and down the country are closing or being downgraded putting a strain on other hospitals.

Hemel Hempstead used to have two hospitals, one of which was a children’s hospital called St Paul’s where I was born. That was levelled many years ago and housing put in its place and I have a sneaking suspicion that the same fate will befall this one for it is crumbling and falling into disrepair. There are some Victorian buildings there all boarded up which were used by nurses to live in on site. That’s how busy the hospital was and still would be if it was fully up and running.

The town itself is struggling to survive like many up and down the country and to make matters worse there is yet another TWO more unneeded supermarkets on the way; one almost ready to open and another that will be up within six years when a whole regeneration project should be complete although it hasn’t started yet. We already have four and we don’t need another two! This is why shops are shutting. Letting in the big supermarkets can only end badly but that’s for another post.

It seems more housing and more shops are more important than the people who pay the taxes and keep it running.

Below are petitions if you want to sign them and an article on the history of St. Paul’s if you want to find out more.


Closed shop

One of many closed shops in towns across the land, empty for months.
Picture by the author, Darren Greenidge

So my second gripe is unemployment and the problems surrounding it.

Towns like mine which are small have a high unemployment problem with too few companies to employ them. Also, a large number of the people who work in this town seem to be from surrounding towns and even counties so forcing the local population to ironically search their towns for work which is utter madness.

The unemployed here are treated pretty badly and in some cases deservedly so if they’re not being entirely honest about their circumstances or don’t want to work. Also the unemployment office are under pressure to get numbers down to make the present government; who were not voted in by anyone, look good.

People are being forced to take low paid part-time work that doesn’t cover the bills and barely food. Parents are going without in some cases just to fed their kids. Then there’s the huge debt with so-called payday loans that have very high interest rates that people feel forced into getting just to pay the ever-increasing utility bills who are milking us all for everything we have whilst they grow fat on high profits and sit comfortable, eating well. With food prices on the rise too as well as public transport and fuel prices and wages staying low for the low paid, it’s no wonder the country is stressed, angry and frustrated. The world is not right is it?

So what can people do but fight. The well has dried as the government cuts ties with its people ever more and will not help them anymore. They really do live on an entirely different planet to the rest of us don’t they. It seems that they’ll keep pushing and pushing until something finally snaps…

So that’s my rant over for this week. No doubt I shall find something else to complain about in the news soon enough. I’ll finish with a quote from the excellent film V for Vendetta:

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people…”

Be safe and be good. Until the next time.