Getting ready for book launch...
7th September 2020
I have slapped on a new lick of paint on this website in anticipation of the book launch later this year. I am working hard and frantically on this. You can click here to see the countdown timer. Otherwise just come here ocassionally to say hi.
My Dear American Friends,
1st October 2013
Must we shut down the whole government infrastructure over an issue which can only be resolved with honest dialogue? I don’t know much about anything but this is an issue I know a little bit about. I have walked the journey with you from across the pond and will like to make a contribution or two to an issue which stirs your passion and mine.
For those who missed it, this link will explain why once again, I find myself here. I promised, after all, to ‘keep track of the progress of your healthcare bill’.
How did we get here?
We got here through a long, winding road. Something akin to your Pacific Coast Highway in California. It is an exciting journey filled with so many surprises, intrigues and at times danger. It was our honeymoon trip many years ago which started in the city of Angels and ended in San Francisco. We stopped over in Monterey, spent 3 nights in San Francisco and headed for the Yosemite National Park. That was a journey that made a lasting imprint in my mind.
This is not, however, a travelogue! We are here today because the GOP failed to engage productively with the Obamacare bill. That is in the past now and you punished the GOP for placing pollical calculation over the interest of your fellow citizens. I guess the GOP now wished, deep down, that it had showed up at critical moments. It didn't and the die was cast. I happen to think that when the GOP does decide to truly show up, it can actually improve the bill but not in this way!
My personal view is that the Obamacare bill must pass as it is and over time, it will evolve - with the help of a GOP, that is fully engaged with a process of improving the bill in a very bipartisan way. That will start a healing process which will cleanse your legislative houses of these deep divisions which is threatening to tear the house down! Remember, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
No political party has a monopoly on truth and all must embrace changes that will work for your fellow citizens.
My advise is that all parties quit this 'game' of brinkmanship and show leadership. Pass the funding bill as is, and get everyone back to work. Evolution of the bill will come later. There is San Francisco ahead and we all know how dramatic and exhilarating the landscape is there. The landscape took my breadth away. After that, it is Yosemite - with the tranquillity of the high altitude and the mesmerizing granite cliffs, waterfalls, Giant Sequoia groves and biological diversity. Our time there was so memorable that I felt heaven was near. It was tranquility personified - and that is the future ahead, if we do the right things.
A Social Experiment: An Open Letter to Americans (Final Installment)
25th December 2009
Hello again Americans,
She walked in. I was so glad to see her and I expressed this by sharing a smile. She returned the smile. 'I just thought I will let you know' she started. 'You know I said I was going on holiday to Spain' she continued. I nodded vaguely, clearly my memory has failed me again. 'Anyway' she said noting that I was struggling to remember our previous conversation. 'On the day my husband and I arrived there, I felt ill. I knew something was wrong. I couldn't move my hands. I felt I had had a stroke.' she continued. 'We went to see a doctor in Spain and after examination, he said I had just slept awkwardly. I didn't buy it and I immediately wanted to come back home to my doctor' She paused to catch her breathe and I took her aside. Clearly I wanted to hear where this story was leading and as we moved to the side I noticed a fresh looking scar around her neck. I said nothing. 'The airline was kind and we managed to get the next flight back to England. I felt bad for my husband as this was our only holiday for a long time. Immediately we got back to England, I saw my GP and was fast tracked to the hospital and before I knew what was happening, I was undergoing surgery to repair the artery here' She said pointing to the scar around her neck. 'I was discharged a couple of weeks ago.' she finished. 'So how are you feeling now?' I asked. 'Great' she replied. 'I just thought I'll let you know'.
Let us leave aside why she was 'letting me know', the story above is true. She just had an urgent Carotid artery repair. Carotid artery is the main artery that supply blood to the head and neck region. Any blockage or damage to this artery can be fatal! Yes fatal or lead to irreversible brain damage. She was smart and she made the right decisions. This of course, is not a story about the relative merits of the Spanish and English healthcare systems. With all the wills in the world there will be incidents of wrong diagnosis in every healthcare system. This is however the story about the trust she had in her NHS. And in this particular case, she wasn't disappointed.