Throwing money around is how we got into this mess

I reckon many people will have 2016 down as one of the worst on record, what with all the famous people who've died '“ and then, depending if you were against Brexit and Trump, it would have been even worse for you.

Tuesday, 27th December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:57 pm
Do people need to be told that smoking is bad for them?

The run-up to Christmas hardly went smoothly either. There was either someone going on strike or people protesting against something.

Meanwhile from abroad there was never-ending bad news about wars and terrorism.

Here in Portsmouth we had our own little demo in Guildhall Square against the £9m cuts the city council were planning to (and eventually did vote to) make, affecting services such as alcohol and drug misuse.

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The usual smattering of suspects turned up, got wet and sang a few boring songs. The loudhailer even made an appearance to try to gee things up. It was really inspiring stuff.

It all fell on deaf ears though and, much to the dismay of protesters, the 2017/2018 plans were voted in.

The thing is though, you just can’t keep throwing money around. That’s how this country got into this mess in the first place.

The reality is that savings have to be made somewhere.

For example, something like the NHS’s Stop Smoking Service. Is it really needed? I don’t think so. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, even those who do it.

There are no trees growing around the Civic Offices where the council can pull money from to keep funding certain services.

In an ideal world it would be great, but in reality this can’t happen.

It is only £900,000 that is actually coming from front line services. Most people will not even notice any difference in their day-to-day lives.

And the people it does affect probably aren’t the ones in the rain down in Guildhall Square.

I’m sure the average taxpayer would rather see a smaller rise in their council tax than have smokers told the obvious about the harm they’re doing to themselves or junkies continue to be offered somewhere more convenient to pick up their methadone prescriptions.


Train drivers disrupted a million commuters with their three-day strike, airport baggage handlers walked out and even workers at the Weetabix factory were at it.

Poor Joe probably missed out on the fire engine he was promised all year because workers at the Post Office had the hump about something and thought how great it would be to extend their Christmas holidays.

Strikes that affect the general public like this should be banned.

If you don’t like your job, find another one.

I’m sure there would be plenty of people willing to take it.

Funny how it’s always Christmas when these strikes happen.

I can’t for the life of me think why.


There’s a motivation meme that says ‘no matter how slow you’re running, you’re still lapping everyone who is sat at home on the sofa’.

The picture is of an overweight man trudging up the road.

On the first day I broke up from work for Christmas, I sat on the sofa stuffing my fat face with everything I could find whilst watching The Hobbit trilogy, as a steady stream of joggers ran past my window.

Everyone was doing better than me that day.

I rubbed my stomach at the sight of each one that ran past and promised myself things would improve.

But I’m afraid the eating has continued through Christmas and the scales have been hidden.

Pass the Quality Street....