Posted: 15/11/2010 at 20:56
the easy stuff first -
I'm good thanks. A little unfit, but then consistent hard work does that to you some times, and my unscheduled trip in to the operating thatre didn't help. Just starting back with the training and managed 12 miles at a reasonable ish pace this evening.
Plan is to do a Mara in the Spring - I'm in London but may not "race" that as I've promised to support C as she has a club place for her debut Mara - so if she asks me to run with her I will. If so then I'm looking at Paris or Edinburgh, but don't know when either of them close entries.
Now, without this country's long history of generous exploitation of immigrant workers, I wouldn't be here (Irish roots), and neither would my GF (Italian roots), and even if i was here, my kids wouldn't be (their mum has German roots).
I'd also argue that our historically aggressive foreign policies have led us to a place where we face a moral obligation to keep our doors open to people from lands that we've previously exploited, but also have produced the foundation for the terrorist threat we face from some of those whom we let in.
I have a long held belief that when going to someone else's home you should respect their house rules. On a global scale I think this means that those coming to the UK should respect our national language (ie make the effort to learn it), our national culture, and our national laws. Trouble is though that so many people "native" to this country don't tick all ( or even some) of those boxes, which kind of makes a shakey foundation to be preaching to others from.
So, we have a history of short sighted policy around both foreign affairs, and home affairs, and I don't think we should really be surprised at the place we find ourselves in if we take a step back and a long hard look at ourselves.
My ideal scenario would not be very far from what i outlined earlier - get rid of anyone who isn't prepared to contribute to a harmonious and productive society, and only let in those who can add real value. The reality being far more complex than this though, and the legacies of historical policy being all around us, I thnk we all know that nothing is really going to change.
Oh, and as far as the NHS is concerned - I think its on a slippery slope as it is. Any real rationing of access according to passport is largely unworkable, but that won't matter eventually as when it's paired down to its essential bare bones services (not long), everything else will only be available to those who can pay anyway. - whether thats a good thing or not depends on how well we reward people who do make a genuine contribution to society - but thats another debate entirely!