Things I have learnt this week, a very sad week:
1: Doctors don’t trust the Government.
The “junior” doctors have voted against accepting the new contract proposed by the government. The reason I’ve put the word junior in quotation marks is because the word suggests that the doctors involved are young and low in rank. However, many of them are, in fact, very experienced doctors. The term is used to describe any qualified doctor, practising medicine, who is not either a Consultant or a GP. We used to (and many of us still do) call them Foundation doctors and Registrars. Registrars have 5 and 15 years’ experience before they become a GP or Consultant. So many of these “junior” are very highly qualified individuals, in their mid-thirties – hardly the young, low in rank folk the term “junior” would appear to suggest. 58% voted to reject the contract. The chair of the BMA Junior Doctors’ committee resigned from his post because he feels his position is now “untenable”. He said the vote was a ‘demonstration of just how appallingly frontline staff have been treated and undermined’ and accused the Government of overseeing a ‘fundamental breakdown in trust’. Another example of the Government – in this case Jeremy Hunt – not listening to its electorate? In the words of one doctor, “there isn’t a doctor in the country who believes a word he [Jeremy Hunt] says anymore”.
2: Racism and hate crimes are increasing.
A Sikh radiologist in Birmingham was asked by a patient – “Shouldn’t you be on a plane back to Pakistan? We voted you out.” The doctor’s response? He smiled and got on with his job. What a gracious man. The BBC reported today that there has been a 42% rise in hate crimes during the last two weeks in June, compared to the same period last year.
3: Men are better than women.
The Windsor Fringe Festival is hosting the 13th Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing and asked for submissions of 30-minute one-act plays. Organisers sent an email to one of the applicants telling her “a male was better” for the role. In a statement the Windsor Fringe said it “apologised for the error in judgment of the e-mail content”.
4: Women are better than men.
Our next prime minister will be a woman. And its headline news! Despite the plotting of Mr Gove, the final two candidates for Leader of the Conservative party are Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom.
5: Mr Blair should have listened to Robin Cook and Clare Short about going to war with Iraq.
The Chilcot Inquiry has been published.
6. Violence breeds violence.
The graphic scenes of policemen holding down and killing a black man were appalling. The policemen did not draw his weapon until the man had been restrained. It was tantamount to an execution. There is no excuse or justification for his actions. Likewise, there is no excuse for an ex-soldier, thereby trained killer, to kill police officers at a peaceful rally.