Sunday, September 12, 2010
I notice with interest that the promise to scrap hospital car park charges has itself been scrapped and the charges are to continue.
These charges have always been a bone of contention. First, they closed down the local hospitals and then replaced them with huge district generals, out in the sticks and poorly served by public transport. For those that have them, the car then becomes the obvious (and necessary) form of transport.
Having thus created this situation, the hospital authorities then slap huge, punitive taxes on car park use – and of course the roads approaching the hospitals have yellow lines. Thus, in this man's NHS, going to see a doctor might be free, but it'll cost you at least a fiver in car parking.
Then along comes the new, whiter than white coalition – which promises to abolish charges. Then leave it a few months ... and the promise is broken. That is politicians all over. How do you know when they are lying? When they open their mouths.
The trouble is that we take it. People dutifully roll over and cough up even though the charges are barely, if at all enforceable.
However, occasionally some of us have the good fortune to find that all the payment machines have been "repaired" with a liberal dose of superglue. Amazing how effective that stuff is. And if the machines don't work, you can't pay ... shame that! But it keeps the politicians honest.