Actually, rushed is a tad specious, as it took four days of discomfort and a bit of nagging from somebody-who-knows-better before I deigned to allow the NHS to confirm my diagnosis. In fairness they were all very thorough, patient[sic] and courteous, batting aside my concerns that I was wasting their time and my entreaties that I was only there because I was nagged. The diagnosis? Indigestion... we think.
So, there's nothing to see here, move along the corridor smartly and try to avoid staring at the mad-haired Scots lady trying to manoeuvre a fag past her nasal oxygen cannula whilst reciting... well, it could be anything really, it's in Scottish. Avert your eyes, also, from the grossly be-tattooed, multiply pierced, heavily pregnant teenager and her attendant posse of identically clothed 'individuals' - they're the future, they've got rights, you know. (There should be an exam, really there should.)
With all due respect for the long-suffering staff, the last place you want to be if you're ill is in a hospital. But I'm not, so it's all good. And I did get to put in a spot of reading. Whatever you think of UKIP and in particular, Nigel Farage, you can't deny he has to be one of the most colourful and charismatic politicians out there, right now. In the AMU I was reading Flying Free, his engaging memoir in which he sets out his stall for a retrenchment, at the very least, of our role in Europe.
I've blogged about Europe before; about how I was just one year too young to make my feelings known in 1975; about how I never trusted the shifty Ted Heath and about how I have yet to hear a single fact-supported argument for the travesty of democracy that is the European Union. Nigel's book pointed me at a number of avenues for further research and I append a few links below.
But I don't need to 'do the math' as they say. I don't need to study dry old economic theories and European war histories. I don't need to peruse a balance sheet of pros and cons.I don't need to do any of those things to know that Europe is pure poison. Free movement of people across borders? I used to have that anyway; it was called a British Passport. In fact, even as a post-war, post-empire nation, Britain had far more respect and possibilities than we will ever have again if the spectre of costly, corrosive, creeping Euro-Everything is not halted.
And just as against the Nazis - whose European ambitions were so close to those of the EU Commissioners - the English Channel is a natural border between the European mainland and the last free country this side of the Atlantic. All you need to know about the three main parties is that not one of them has made any serious noise about withdrawing from Europe. What they have all been complicit in is handing over ever more power while flatly denying it.
Now I'm not saying that UKIP is the answer to all our ills, but surely a party willing to draw the line has to be a better bet than all the governments willing to hand over £19.2bn per year, or if you prefer, £53m per day, to the unelected, unimpeachable, bureaucratic nightmare of Brussels.