All from the Daily Telegraph, Saturday January 7, 2023.
Page 1: The Treasury warns against public sector pay rises of more than 3.5 per cent
Why does no one seem to realise what this will mean? A rise of 3.5 per cent will award £,1050 to someone on £30,000, but £1,750 to his boss on £50,000. Every percentage point rise widens the gap between top and bottom. Is that what we really want?
Page 2: Doctors say they have advised patients suffering possible heart attacks to get a bus to hospital
Our hospital is ten miles away in the big city. By using two buses we could get there within three hours, as long as the attack happened between 9am and 4pm, weekdays only. My wife and I moved from country to market town seven years ago; where we lived before there was one bus on Tuesday mornings. This is the thoughtless advice of people who are a five-minute walk from a bus service running seven days a week.
Page 3: Electric vehicle drivers have been hit with peak-time price rises at thousands of roadside charging points
Surely not a surprise? The aim of the household ‘smart meter’ campaign is to enable suppliers to charge variable rates depending on time of day. In order to smooth out demand it is inevitable that these ‘smart’ people will eventually be charged more at peak time, which is around 5.30-6 pm.
Pages 4, 5, 6 and 7 were given over to Harry and Meghan, alas.
Page 8: ‘People don’t want politicians who promise the earth,’ said our prime minister recently
This is the man who has pledged to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce the national debt, cut NHS waiting lists and stop illegal immigration.
Page 8: A focus group . . . summed up the apathy many voters feel towards the prime minister
Can a ‘focus group’ really say anything useful about the views of the other 59,999,990 people in the UK?
Page 8: Labour could abolish GP surgeries and give patients the power to refer themselves to specialists
The GP surgery system, meant to be the first port of call in the NHS, isn’t working, so let’s abolish it and plan something that would be chaotic and impossible to control.
Page 10: A cyclist was killed when his front wheel got jammed in a pothole
Potholes are a real danger to cyclists and motor-cyclists. Rain fills them and hides them. Repairs should be urgent, and come before any work on white lines, cats-eyes, new road layouts, traffic lights and all the thousands of confusing road signs.
Page 11: Devastating cuts force Glyndebourne to call off tour
The Arts Council has decided that the Sussex opera house’s grant should be cut by £800,000, which means it cannot go ahead with its planned UK tour. The Arts Council’s aim is quoted as being to ‘redirect public funding to support culture in the regions’.
Page 13: The world’s first manure-powered tractor has been unveiled by a British firm
Brilliant! Another first for the UK. But it runs on liquid methane, kept at minus 162 deg C. Not the most versatile fuel, perhaps.
Page 15: China admits its Covid toll does not add up
We knew that all along, didn’t we?
Page 16: Ski resort . . . drops snow from helicopters
We are all being encouraged to eat less meat, use public transport more, cycle to work and throw out our dirty gas boilers in order to bring down emissions. Meanwhile the world carries on as before. Need more snow? Summon the helicopters. Russians cut off the oil? Dig more coal.
Page 18: None of these people know what they are doing
‘They’ are the government and this is Douglas Murray pointing out that they don’t know how to create a booming economy or a credible plan for energy supply, and don’t know what to do about the NHS.
(I cannot resist quoting Quentin Letts in a recent Spectator article. ‘Serial failures still float to the top of our public life,’ he wrote. ‘They are not just in parliamentary politics. In the civil service, journalism, art, football, business, the church and elsewhere, duffers drift upwards . . . while the rest of us gasp: how did that happen?’)
Page 22: 1,927,581 children were persistently absent from school during the autumn term of 2022
Why, asks Camilla Tominey, is government energy being spent on additional maths when so many pupils are not studying maths at all?
Page 32: Nuclear fusion holds the promise of revolutionising the energy industry . . . providing power at a fraction of the cost of fossil fuels.
Yes, it does. But it has been talked about in exactly the same way for at least the last 40 years.
Wonderful what you can find in one newspaper on one day.