Thursday, 1 January 2009

So, today a new year, 2009 has arrived, and many of us I am sure, are wondering what changes, for the better, there will be.
Some new laws have come into being in this country but whether the majority of us will be affected, remains to be seen.
From today, coastguards around Britain will not be able to fire flares during night rescues. This is apparently in line with changing rescue practices and more use of night-vision goggles. Crews still with flares will have to hand them to the Ministry of Defence or face prosecution. I wish they would bring in a similar law to this about fireworks

Still on the medical scene, cancer patients will get free prescriptions from today, (in Northern Ireland patients will get slightly cheaper prescriptions, for some reason) This is good news at least. And 13year-old girls may be vaccinated against HPV, the sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cancer of the cervix. I suppose that is good news too, but it’s a little disturbing (to me) to say it.
“Extreme pornography” images become illegal. (I thought they already were)
The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association have introduced new health screening practices for animals so that they will be certified for glaucoma. More good news. And it is now 20p cheaper to drive a car or motor caravan across the Severn bridge.
But amidst this, the headline “Gazans fight cold and hunger as supplies run dry” scream a little more loudly at me. Yes, far away from us, and not our concern maybe? Get our own back yard sorted before we start on someone elses?
I don’t think so.
Smashed windows in the middle of winter caused by bomb blasts from Israeli air strikes, mean people are huddling together in one room trying to keep warm and find something to eat. Medical supplies have almost ran out and more attacks are expected.
There has been no electricity for days, pumps have failed and water supplies have run dry. Toilets and showers are unheard of now even for the most war-hardened Gazans .Just staying alive is the main priority. Even before these recent hostilities, a friend of mine, like so many others, struggles to survive on about £160 a month – if they get sick, even if the hospitals would take them, which they won’t at the moment only taking seriously wounded…they would not have the money for medicines. Nobody knows what the next target will be. No one really knows if their neighbour is a sympathiser with Hamas or not – but if they are and you are found out, chances are your house will be blown up.
Many belive that Arab countries are the ones who have left them to their fate.without any support. Civilians, with no hand in political disputes are the victims of the siege and of the politics.. And innocent people continue to be killed, mercilessly.


Is this really 2009 ?
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