Which is the joy of cats. A yes-man, yap-man is less fun than one that occasionally bestows their favour on you.
We have two rescues, one is completely soppy, yet goes in and out, is well known in the neighbourhood for friendliness, and hunts and kills rats. The other is a house cat, mostly, a moody psycopath who will lash out for no reason. And we have an outside cat, a true stray who is grateful for anything we give her - and then slinks off! Their interactions are fascinating. The psycopath becomes a raging terror if confronted by the outside cat, the rat killer the opposite, he'd rather creep away, but will then show off by climbing trees and pretend hunting when further from the outside cat.
I very much doubt it, but I don't think either that they'd have taken it as a mandate to go full #hardremain- sign the Schengen agreement, switch to the Euro and drive on the right - before the referendum nobody on the leave side (except a few marginal loonies) were talking about leaving without a deal (in fact, a deal was going to be easy) and the EFTA model was definitely being presented as an option which doubtless swung a few people who were on the fence.
This chart may be of interest:
Menno says that costs of medical care in the Netherlands are extremely high. They do spend more than we do, but not that much, just look at the graph. We are at the bottom end of the middle group that Ireland leads, because the NHS has been starved of funds by a Tory led 'austerity' policy. That policy was more an ideological vote winner than a measured, rational economic policy, and has long been overtaken by events. The chanceller has more than enough spare cash to revive the NHS, but is keeping it in store as a protection against the awful impact of Brexit.
More than 15% of GPs posts are vacant, representiong a shortfall of more than 6000. The Royal College of GPs says that there is at least one vacant post in every practise.
When you consider the record of the Tories privatising - they call it "outsourcing" - other state services to Carillion, Interserve, G4S etc, keeping that sort of asset stripping out of the NHS seems like good sense.
Sorry to read this Hamish. As you say they are our friends, and part of the family. Dogs, probably, give you unconditional love, cats are a little more aloof.
Our two cats were rescue and like your dogs we don't know what they went through before we got them. The tortoiseshell - Fidget - remains pretty subdued two weeks plus after losing her companion, although in life it often appeared that they barely tolerated each other.
We are all a bunch of softies when it comes to our pets.
In the Netherlands, everybody is insured. It is mandatory, but you can choose your own insurance company. Something car insurance. Sort of semi-privatised. Costs are about 90 euros/month, but you can choose more expensive insurance. Children under 18 are FoC. All are covered with that. Free GP, free hospital etc. There's an annual 350 euro threshold (pay it yourself before insurance pics up the remaining bill) for special things like teeth-whitening etc.
Seeing a doctor is no problem: the same day. Hospital is mostly within a week (when it's not something 'bad'). Waiting times in the hospitals etc is never more than 30mins. Casualty Ward is longer of course.
Doctors, pharmacists, dentists - you name it, are all LTDs over here. A few years back, those one-man-band LTDs earned up to 1M euros annually. So the costs of medical care were extremely high. Aforementioned insurance companies + the government refused to pay that sort of money anymore and now these LTDs have to make a living out of a modest 300/350K annually.
Talking of Osbourne, my money is on him making a comeback...
I reckon he took the clever decision to swerve all this Brexit chaos, gets a nice little job, and once things start to settle and so many politicians are tainted (both sides of the house for a number of reasons) he can reappear. Just wait and see,
Why, because Leavers would have accepted the result and just gone back to moaning about straight bananas?
Cameron still Prime Minister
Osborn still Chancellor
May still Home Sec (no scratch that, she would have had to resign over Windrush)
and UKIP still under Farage and winning Council and By Elections from both Tory and Labour.