Jeremy Hunt – UK Government Minister Health Secretary July 16 2015
November 30, 2015
‘Mr Hunt said that a "Monday to Friday culture" in parts of the NHS had "tragic consequences" and said 6,000 people die each year because of this.’
Can you believe that such an outrageous statement might go unblinked-at in the British BBC radio reporting of it? Can you believe such an outrageous statement could be framed by and felt in any way ‘appropriate’ to be spoken publicly (or privately!) by a government minister?
The question arises spontaneously: What do the persons feel and think whose relatives have died over a weekend in a UK hospital?
Less particularly the Buddhist way comes to mind here:
If it’s not true; don’t say it
If it’s true; but unhelpful; don’t say it
If it’s true,; and helpful; say it
What place does this statement convey British doctors and nurses to? In the minds of those who might be duped by Mr Hunt’s duplicity? How do those nurses and doctors take to being removed to such a place? More broadly again: what is going on here? What does Mr Hunt think he’s doing? And who does he think he is?
Suddenly, like the God of the Israelites, he plucks down from nowhere a curse upon ‘Monday to Friday’ working. No doubt the culture he speaks of is in for some more bashing in the near future. Unlike the God of the Israelites he sees no reason to ordain rest on the Sabbath. It is this God of Israel which is responsible for the historical line of descent into a ‘Monday to Friday culture’ in Britain.
The ‘tragic consequences’ Mr Hunt speaks of cannot but be an implicit slur on and tacit tar and feathering of the medical profession of the UK. Mr Hunt has kept his imputation here very imprecise – ‘consequences’ is a word allowing just a little bit of doubt about their tragic nature being within or outside the control of any human agency.
However implicit again in his follow-through with ‘6,000 people die each year because of this’ is the assumption that these deaths could have been avoided (by medical staff having resolved earlier to eschew their ‘Monday to Friday culture’).
Mr Hunt has done this dastardly deed on the medics of the NHS, and I make no bones about my statement, no euphemism no treading carefully, he has made his public slurs so that thereby he has created a whipping boy of them; and given those of the public gullible enough to string along an excuse to rampage and fume about this awful miscarriage of natural justice and neglect of due humanitarian welfare.
Mr Hunt’s statement is ugly, contemptuous, and culpable. He should not have made it. He should not be Health Minister nor even be an MP. He should be working expiation in community service as his proper corrective punishment for such offering the nation such a nasty statement. He would not have got away with it had the drift and nuance he uses so cavalierly in his wiles have been used by him about an ethnic minority or about a non-heterosexual sexual-orientation group. He would have been hoist on his own petard by means of his political party’s projected Bill of Rights.
Mr Hunt is the latest of his brood to make insinuations and cast aspersions like this. Mr Gove, Justice Minister, hauled over the coals his bewigged colleagues in Chambers by laying into them and their practices:
‘Gove, the new justice secretary, said those who made the most financially from the legal system would be required to provide more free expertise’
One sees Mr Hunt‘s style of action is derivative of Mr Gove’s and of the Tory Party’s in general. Since they got their unexpected overall majority in the Commons the Party has been rampant and gone on rampage with the sort of diabolic delight of little children given free rein in a sweet shop. The tactic is nauseously and predictable monotonous: Come out fighting: Blame someone but in not government: then Pin the tail on this donkey and – killer blow – announce your cuts. Announce them by telling the people you blamed to get their house in order; if you’re a lawyer – work more and for free – or a medic – work more – and so remedy ‘tragic circumstances’.
No wonder people should be shocked and horrified by all this: the guys fitted up in the frame are first blamed, and then hit with forfeits and curtailments; then they are told that since you are the culprits, you must sort things out. No one is really supposed to notice the quarts out of a pint pots being attempted by these Tory third rate David Blaine’s.
Is it a wonder the British people consider politics to be tainted here? That if one plays with pitch one will get tarred. With people like we have in government, who clearly are up to using underhand means to get their programme for the boys in the City and the Board Rooms on the roster; can the British public be expected to trust them or believe them. Certainly when the means are sordid the product must likewise be sordid; and without schadenfreude glee I predict with some sanguine confidence that they will be.
The Sunday shopping hours extensions now in the frame to be passed in law again are claimed to raise the flag for shoppers and for shoppers’ choice and opportunity; but the drift is all the same way in actuality: do more business; do more business; no more money; no more money; sort it out yourselves; sort it out yourselves.
These guys running this brewery piss-up in the UK right now are drunk on the free market, competition, private industry, allowing the market to set its own levels and so forth; they have a holy mantra that when one allows business its head it flourishes and by it flourishing it remarkably and astonishingly cascades money down the social order into every vagrant and homeless pocket.
It’s like a drug; and theirs is like a drug dependency. They are forced into believing this set of postulates because they fit neatly into the straightjacket of their presupposed principles of meritocracy (see article)freedom and choice (see article) self-sufficiency (see article) and equal opportunity (see article) and so forth. These postulates they believe because they believe they are the people who embody them. They believe they are the meritorious, the free, and the self-sufficient; those who took opportunity by the scruff. But they are failed persons, and they are of the kind whom Buzz Lightyear describes Woody as being: ‘You are a strange sad little man; you have my pity’
Perversely they are puppets played upon by their own strings; their self-images and their dreams mingling with their intoxicants like a sleeping draft spiking a chalice. The chalice for them they feel contains the due fruit of their ascendancy and is the reward of their own worth. Satan too thought his ill-chanced ascendancy so.
I say that this chalice of theirs is, for those UK citizens who are modest, plain, straightforward, charitable and humane, that of Leontes aghast when he realises:
‘I have drunk; and seen the spider’