Christmas Crackers…..

A heartwarming story? A young lad got onto a bus but could only offer a £10 note for his £2.40 fare. As the bus driver did not have enough change he would not allow the lad onto the bus. Fortunately one of the passengers was prepared to dip into her own pocket and stump up the fare, thus allowing said lad to travel on the bus after all.

I think this is a nice story that restores faith in human nature. It is good to know that there are people prepared to help out because they believe it is the right thing to do rather than because there is some benefit for them in doing so. Yet we live in a cynical world and I guess many of you out there will be saying that the youth was probably indulging in a spot of subtle fare dodging by offering a £10 note that he knew could not be changed, therefore hoping to get a free ride.

What of course you should be saying is how incompetent the bus company involved is and how contemptible their treatment of their customer was. I can just about understand a £50 note being a problem as regards change. A £10 note surely should not be. I firmly believe that in such circumstances bus companies should be compelled to take passengers. They should not be allowed to bar passengers because of their own failure to carry sufficient change.

No doubt the bus company will say that it is impractical or dangerous to the driver to carry too much change on a bus. Maybe but I am sure that with the security and other technology that is now available it is not an insoluble problem.

Actually what they will probably say is that the passenger should bring the correct fare with them when looking to travel on their buses. Of course, it’s the customer’s fault, stupid! It always is when you are dealing with big businesses with little competition and absolutely no common sense.


Another heartwarming story then. Last Saturday I had to take a relative to a walk-in centre at our local hospital so that their swollen ankle could be looked at. The centre was moderately busy when we arrived, yet following two consultations and an x-ray, we were out of the hospital in 45 minutes flat.

We like to moan about the NHS. It is probably wasteful and overstaffed in places. There are too many highly paid and highly pensioned bureaucrats who have no idea how to manage resources effectively. However at its best it delivers a wonderful service with efficiency and care, something that is worth remembering.


Just over a week to go. Panicking yet? Just checking….

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