This poor women was lying alone in a muddy field slightly off the beaten track, with only her Great Dane for company. The dog was not helping matters as it tugged at its leash adding to its mistresses’ discomfort and distress.
Having called the emergency services I dashed to meet them in Church Lane, the nearest access to the stricken lady. I was pleasantly surprised to see the ambulance arriving as I did, only to be told they had been called to a more urgent case and another would be along shortly.
A paramedic then arrived in a car, closely followed by an ambulance crew who were disappointed they could not drive their vehicle directly to the patient. However they gamely leapt into action and we dashed across the fields to find our casualty. Morphine, gas and air failed to relieve her pain as they carefully manoeuvred her onto a stretcher.
Some two hours later the patient departed for Brighton safely on her way. She had been supported by our vicar, kind locals, ten paramedics, three ambulances and a specially adapted recue six wheel vehicle, brought in to ferry her from the bottom of the field to the waiting ambulance. I think it would have been quicker and cheaper had the Air Ambulance been called out.
Times have certainly changed, it was not so long ago that in such circumstances the casualty would have been carried to the waiting ambulance.
However, she had to remain on the cold wet ground for over an hour waiting for transport to arrive. Apparently Health and Safety regulations insist paramedics don’t do ‘carry’. I did offer to get the Merlo, so we could put her in the bucket but what I considered a very practical solution was politely declined.
Food Banks, the poor, our increasingly obese population and the demise of free speech all hit the headlines last week. Some sections of the press, the PC brigade and left-wing liberals, managed to whip up a political storm ably fanned by the BBC, crushing any sensible debate and sound advice.
The Archbishop of Canterbury compared the poor of Great Britain with poverty and starvation in African. I am sure he was trying to make a point, and indeed ‘charity’ should begin at home. However I think he should be reminded that unlike vast regions of Africa, Britain offers every single person the opportunity to get a good education, make a living and receive health care, not to mention our welfare system.
He also suggested that Ministers and local government should take over the running of food banks, a suggestion rightly dismissed. When did politicians ever do things better than charities which have expertise in this field?
Baroness Jenkin very sensibly, having visited numerous food banks, made the point that if the poor had better cooking skills, they would be able to feed their families cheaply on good wholesome food.
For uttering this very truthful statement, instead of being applauded and the government leaping into action by sponsoring Mary Berry to give basic cooking lessons at 6pm every night, showing the nation how to make healthy meals on a very low budget, the poor woman is slandered, attacked verbally and abused for uttering the truth.
Shame on our leaders for not having the guts to stand up and support her initiative. The vitriol, threats and abuse Lady Jenkin received having visited poor families who bemoaned their lack of traditional cooking skills, which she honestly reported as ‘the poor can’t cook’, shows just how twisted our society has become.
Rod Liddell and other practical commentators, sensibly, although perhaps a little harshly questioned how it can be that the poor are reported to be starving at the same time as Britain is labelled the most obese population in the western world.
What is true is that many young people are hungry. Much of this is not necessary the fault of the state but due to the breakdown of the family unit. The days of children being brought up in a safe traditional household, with rules, discipline and nurture, and a structure of regular family meals, however simple, is sadly and dangerously increasingly rare.
The tragedy is that many youngsters yearn for such ‘old fashioned’ values. We know kids thrive when they have boundaries, but sadly we are now probably into the fourth generation in some cases, where ‘parenting’ and basic household skills are negligible.
This will not be put right over night, today’s bland politicians are nervous about upsetting the PC brigade and shy away from telling the truth. This problem needs addressing and if it takes compulsory public education with wall to wall coverage across the media, so be it. It certainly needs leadership but where are our leaders?
Carola Godman Irvine