A NICE LITTLE EARNER

HI FOLKS I AM BACK HOMEAbove is my latest Covid PCR test result. I say latest because it is my second one in 72 hours as the UK authorities insisted I must have one before boarding the plane in Greece and I required a second test within 48 hours of arrival in UK. Let meContinue reading "A NICE LITTLE EARNER"

A NICE LITTLE EARNER

HI FOLKS I AM BACK HOME
Above is my latest Covid PCR test result. I say latest because it is my second one in 72 hours as the UK authorities insisted I must have one before boarding the plane in Greece and I required a second test within 48 hours of arrival in UK. Let me tell you about these two tests, what was involved in both, what each company did, and of course the cost of both.

The First test came in Greece. the Health professional drove to our hotel, came to our room, completed the paperwork, checked our passports then carried out the test. This was at 10am in the morning and took about fifteen minutes. The results were with us by 8pm same day.

The second test was on the concourse of Stanstead airport, where the company has roped off a section of the concourse, erected a tent, put some cheap garden furniture inside and the test was completed in the ”walk through” facility. It took about three minutes once our passports were checked and booking confirmed.The results arrived the next morning.

Now to the costs. For the Greek official to visit us at our hotel and complete the tests, including giving us the tests was 30 Euros each.

To visit the tent on the airport concourse in the UK and get the results the next day the cost was £68 pounds each.

No doubt a UK Tory would say ” ah but the UK ECONOMY gets a boost from the UK test “ but how much benefit? One of the testing staff let slip to me they were using laboratory testing facilities in Ireland to determine our results.

So it appears two EU countries gained from our tests. Not sure where or how much the UK benefits? This “taking back control” seems to have a few holes in it. Given the value added comes at the lab end of the process it seems it will be Irish GDP that benefits. Did I mention they have a more generous company tax system as well?

Now I have to tell you the other thing we had to do. before we travelled to Greece was to complete our passenger locator form. It was a one page document, well designed by someone with a clear understanding of English and took no longer than a couple of minutes to complete. Compare that with the online British Passenger location form which was clearly designed by a combination of Sir Humphrey Appelby and a civil servant with a degree in gobbledegook.

It required a good knowledge of computer skills to complete. A familiarity with legal terminology and civil servant speak and to possess a modern phone or tablet with photo or scanning capability. It took hours to complete as they are using the one form for this ”four nations approach” and you are repeatedly reminded to check that what you are completing is compliant with the regulations for each different country. Worse this maze of different actions are determined by varying factors, vaccinated, non vaccinated, country you are returning from, etc. It is a mess and must be causing great confusion, particularly for the elderly (of which I am one). How you get home without a smartphone or Ipad is beyond me?

This may be a clever Boris plan to distribute confused UK pensioners across the world. Certainly anyone with even mild dementia or lacking modest computer skills will be at risk! This might not be the time to venture abroad.

I want to make a suggestion here. Surely in the 21st century it is possible to design a form that first of all determines the status of the user. Which country of the UK do they live in? ( So which set of rules apply) Which country they are returning from? ( this clears up the red, amber, green status of their trip). Vaccination status ( again this clears up what restrictions apply to them personally). INSTEAD every user has to read the rules which differ for different countries, for people who are NOT vaccinated, even though they are. They have to decide what status THEY are amid this flurry of regulation when a decent computer programme could tailor the information required from THEM in seconds.

So to summarize.

  1. THE UK Testing system is grossly overpriced and compares unfavourably with the vast majority of countries in the World. There is without doubt great profits being made. A special wealth tax on these testing companies should be applied based on the tests completed in the UK. The information needed exists through the compulsory results registration.
  2. The paperwork is ridiculously complicated for users, very stressful and unnecessary. the designers should never be allowed to design anything again. 50% of the civil servants monitoring this shambles should be sacked as its been designed to keep them in work rather than deliver the required information.
  3. IT SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK, THE UK HAS ONE OF THE WORST COVID RECORDS AND SHAMEFULLY SCOTLAND IS EQUALLY GUILTY WITH THE FOUR NATIONS APPROACH AND THE KEEP OUR BORDERS OPEN TACTIC. HOW MANY DID THAT FOLLY KILL?
  4. The country I visited has a much lower rate of Covid than either the UK or Scotland.

It was a great holiday, our time in Greece allowed us to enjoy fantastic scenery, meet lovely people, eat beautiful and tasty food. The only negative was completing the hopelessly inefficient, time consuming British paperwork then being rip off by the testing regime in the UK with what appears to be Government support to do so. This could easily been conducted by our financially challenged NHS. They could have made the profits and everyone would have benefitted. Instead it is the political parties, Tories for sure, but might the cash starved SNP in Scotland also be hoping for a coin or two, after all they have shadowed Westminster’s tactics loyally from the start?

I am, as always

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND.

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GREAT NEWS

Nigel Farage is online today complaining about being unable to get fuel despite trying seven different garages. To top it off his car was damaged while he was queuing for petrol on a roundabout. Karma eh?