WHEN you hear of changes affecting people nowadays, do you think back through your life?
I remember fairly well the bombing of Eastbourne and the Monday morning at school seeing an empty desk next to mine which belonged to a classmate who was killed when a bomb hit the surface shelter he was in.
When I left school I got ‘a job for life’ as a civil servant in Post Office Telephones, this was interrupted for a while during National Service when I travelled to a recently independent ex-colony where I was astonished as a young lad to find myself being addressed by the ‘natives’ as Master!
In the following years I well remember the start of the National Health Service which was welcomed by the ordinary person as a very big improvement in their life.
In those days most of the hospitals were diabolical. St Mary’s still had the remnants of the workhouse.
At work through the years I recall we stopped being civil servants when we were nationalised.
Through these years we learnt there was never enough money to do what was necessary.
Later on we were ‘privatised’ and we experienced a number of re-organisations.
One re-organisation took us back to 1911 when the National Telephone Company became part of the General Post Office. ‘Plus ca change... ’ as the French say..
This was the time when we had an influx of graduate managers who were very clever people but most of them had no experience of dealing with people.
One senior manager said that it was difficult not to smile when they suggested re-inventing the wheel.
I have been retired now for about 22 years and have been happy to experience the improvements in health care.
Last year I had a knee replacement and had some cardiac treatment...A new lease of life!
I feel quite a bit threatened at the moment with the latest proposed health service changes as do some of my friends. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
I am worried too for the young people who face a different outlook in life and job expectations.
I was contented and remain so when my taxes helped pay the tuition fees for students including the Cleggs and Camerons etc.
Am I just a silly old fool?
Leyland Road, Pevensey Bay