I’m Glad Our Press Are So Perfect

Well, actually they’re. Not, far from it.

I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of the British Media constantly playing the Blame Game.

Now that the excitement of yesterday’s fast-moving events is over they have adopted their default stance. Knocking, Sniping, Criticising, Blaming, and pointing out, from their nice warm studios, what exactly could have been done better.

In my opinion, and it is only that, the tragic events in Paris over the past few days were swiftly brought to an end by the French Gendarmes , Special Forces and GIGP. To my mind the authorities excelled themselves with an early identification of the suspects, which I believe was achieved by rapid processing of DNA evidence.

Plain, old-fashioned, balls out bravery was evident everywhere as Gendarmes followed up on leads and sightings, knowing full-well what the end game was likely to be.

Eventually the two Kouachi brothers were located and contained.

Not long after we had the siege at the KosherSupermarket.

It soon became apparent that the two incidents were linked and the Police and Special Forces hatched their plans.

In my opinion they did an excellent job. They didn’t have very much time in which to plan and coordinate between the two scenes. They did not have much previous experience to fall back on, as this scenario, fortunately, does not occur very often.

In the fullness of time we saw the end game unfold live on TV and all I saw was immense bravery by every single person involved.

It was quite obvious that the two operations had been coordinated, but there appears to have been a very slight delay at the Supermarket, POSSIBLY caused by a lack of cooperation from the Media.

Tragically four hostages lost their lives, but TV footage shown on French TV clearly shows their bodies on the floor BEFORE Rapid Entry. Investigations will ultimately confirm it, but it seems very clear that they did not die in the Rescue Operation.

This morning there is no live action for the media to cover, so we are now faced with journalists of several companies picking apart yesterday’s events, looking to see who they can blame for what. The Police and Security Services get a huge chunk of their criticism because these three terrorists had previously come to the notice of the authorities but we’re allowed to roam free and carry out these atrocities unhindered.

The simple answer to that one dear journalists is EVIDENCE. Members of our illustrious media would be absolutely incandescent if we started locking people up without evidence. Surveillance is time-consuming, resource-intensive and expensive. It also provides no absolute guarantees that the events of the past few days could have been prevented.

Maybe it’s possible for whoever ACPO are today to arrange an anti-terrorist exercise and invite representatives of the media to participate. Let them experience at first hand how it feels to contain and confront armed terrorists, have guns aimed at them and discharged, how things evolve in the Command and Control Centre, what it’s like to be in the immediate vicinity of a Flash Bang (Sorry, Stun Grenade), and maybe, eve, explain to journalists that INTELLIGENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE.

I don’t envy or underestimate journalists in war zones, but they do need to play fair with scenarios such as we have just witnessed. If they have all the answers why are they journalists and not Tactical Advisors?

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What Do I Want For 2014?

Happy New Year to my reader.

One thing I don’t want for 2014 is World Peace. If I say I want that I’ll end up being elected as Miss World 2014 and that would never do.

What I do want is for our Government and the Press to stop lying to us. A bold statement, but true I feel.

The government have stated and the press have reported that Migrants and Overseas Visitors will soon have to pay for their treatment for NHS services.  Well I’ve got news for you. They should be paying already.

To the best of my knowledge no-one from outside the EU is entitled to free NHS treatment whether they be Health Tourist or Holidaymaker.  They are supposed to be charged for their treatment and reclaim it from Health/Travel Insurance if applicable.

EU residents can be issued with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is a re[placement for the old E111 us codgers will remember.

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth.

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland.

Nothing there states that it is free except in certain circumstances.  The reverse is true when Johnny Frenchman comes to visit us, he has to produce his EHIC and pay the reduced rate, even at GP surgeries.

When Mrs Angry and I left these shores for France we were summarily expelled from the NHS, had our medical records stored gathering dust in Newcastle somewhere and if we needed to visit the doctor whilst visiting family in the UK then we were supposed to pay and claim it back from the French authorities or Travel Insurance upon our return.

Where it went wrong was that the well-meaning NHS staff didn’t understand the system and why would we be charging a British National for his/her healthcare?  Lack of education/training by NHS bosses, simple as that.

For the government to state and for the press to report differently to that is WRONG. Not a mistake, not a misunderstanding. Iain Douglas Smith’s DWP (yes him again) produce a plethora of leaflets in a multitude of languages informing anyone who sends for one what the situation is.

The NHS’ own website has this to say on the subject ”

If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you will no longer be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. You’ll also have to notify your GP so that you and your family can be removed from the NHS register.

You will no longer be entitled to use your UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare abroad.”

It also says “If you are a visitor from the European Economic Area (EEA) then you are strongly advised to bring a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, otherwise you may be charged for your healthcare.

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth.

Bear in mind that the UK’s healthcare system may be different from your home country’s and therefore your EHIC might not cover everything that you would expect to get free in your country

I can’t speak for all countries but in France healthcare is NOT free for French residents. Except for certain welfare cases the State pays 60-70% of your healthcare costs and the remaining 30-40% can be repaid by your Health Insurance if you have any, except for 1 Euro. The French government decrees that 1 Euro cannot be reimbursed by anybody, heaven only knows why, those bureaucratic French, don’t you just love them?

If, as British holidaymaker in France you needed to visit the doctor, you would have to pay 23 Euros (last time I was there), probably in cash, and then be charged for any medicines prescribed. The EHIC entitles you to the same service as the French, and that’s what they get.

The French Healthcare system is, in the main, an excellent one. Waiting Lists are hugely lower than they are here, but do not, for one minute, let the government convince you that it is free, not even to the French, except, as I say, basic healthcare for the really poor and disadvantaged.

Our government cannot claim that healthcare in the UK is free to overseas visitors, because EU citizen or not, it should not be free.

It has been estimated that by charging overseas properly for their healthcare could save the NHS £500 Million per year.

But don’t be fooled, this is nothing new, the system already exists, but I know from personal experience of having to tell a doctor or a dentist that they should be charging us for our treatment most NHS employees don’t know because they have not been told. I didn’t hide my address and pretend I was a British resident, I told the truth, and they still didn’t know how to charge me for my treatment.

It’s Lies, plain and simple. Tell the truth Camoron, BBC et al and put systems in place that allow for charging to be carried out as it should be, and report the news accurately and responsibly.

I have no complaints whatsoever about paying for my Healthcare in France, because I was treated the same as a French National, and I hadn’t paid anything into their Health System, but don’t let Camoron,Hunt and Smith convince you that’s free for EU Nationals cos it ain’t.

Happy New Year