NHS Heresy, Part 4 – Junior Doctors Would Sell Out The NHS In A Heartbeat, If The Price Was Right

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Brave and principled defenders of Our NHS? The junior doctors would knife Aneurin Bevan’s vision in the back and happily serve an Evil Tory privatised healthcare system (how awful) if the price was right

Few people have been pronounced more saintly in 2016 than the holy NHS Junior Doctors, whose brave, principled and not-at-all-about-money industrial dispute with Jeremy Hunt and the Evil Tor-ee government has seen these humble, altruistic folks fight bravely and against the odds to safeguard the future of Our Blessed NHS.

Oh, wait. Nope. Turns out that most of those cherub-faced stethoscope swingers would throw the NHS under the bus and see the National Health Service privatised if it meant more money flowing into their pockets.

Kristian Niemietz of the IEA reports:

While I never believed for a second that the junior doctors’ strike was a People’s Struggle against the demonic forces of neoliberalism, I did believe that most junior doctors had convinced themselves of it. I was under the impression that they sincerely believed that that they were fighting The Just Cause on behalf of The People. Slogans like “Save our NHS” were everywhere, after all, and we always find it easy to convince ourselves that what is good for us also happens to be good for everybody, even if in roundabout ways.

And yet, in a recent survey of almost 10,000 junior doctors, 93% said they would accept “complete privatisation” of the NHS if it resulted in “substantially” increased salaries. Surely, some will dismiss these figures as a vicious smear, while others will accuse junior doctors of hypocrisy and opportunism. I think neither response is appropriate.

In practice, many doctors already act in accordance with the preferences expressed in this survey. Last year, about 8,600 UK-trained doctors went to work abroad, with Australia being a particularly popular destination. Australia has a universal public insurance system, in which the government commissions and pays for most healthcare, but in which the delivery is largely private and market-based. They are not doing anything immoral, because there is nothing immoral about private, market-based healthcare; in fact, the Australian system produces some of the best outcomes in the world. Come to think of it, even in the UK, most GPs are self-employed, not NHS employees. This means that technically, they are part of the dreaded – whisper it – private sector.

It would, however, suit junior doctors to quit the populist, anti-capitalist posturing. And the rest of us should try to keep our anti-capitalist knee-jerk responses in check. Even when it comes to healthcare.

My emphasis in bold. And you read that correctly – 93% of all those doctors who love to paint the NHS logo on their faces and protest Jeremy Hunt would happily live in an Evil Tory dystopia of privatised healthcare if it meant they were paid a market wage.

Niemietz is kinder and more understanding in his piece than I am inclined to be. Personally, I think that the junior doctors’ strike was just another example of the NHS Industrial Complex – that vast connected web of connected special interests who have a direct stake in the world’s fifth largest employer continuing to operate along broadly the same lines as it does at present – flexing its muscles and throwing the entire country under the bus for their own economic gain. But that’s just cynical old me.

There is no disputing, however, that nearly every tawdry public (and private) sector dispute in modern history has been justified by the protagonists on the supposed grounds of “public safety”, whether it is London Tube drivers suddenly becoming concerned about safety on the Underground in time to tack an extra day onto their Christmas holidays, Southern Rail train drivers convinced that taking over responsibility for opening and closing their train doors will lead to regular platform bloodbaths, or the sainted junior doctors.

We have known since May that pay was the only real red line for junior doctors, though surprisingly none of their placards made reference to the desire for more cash – they chose instead to go with their “Save Our NHS” angle instead, to elicit maximum public sympathy (by whipping up maximum public fear). We have also known, thanks to the steady stream of junior doctors moving abroad to work for other, better healthcare systems than our own anachronistic NHS, that their supposed high-minded commitment to socialised, government-provided healthcare is often outmatched by the desire for a bigger pay cheque and a larger slice of finite taxpayer funds.

But now we find out that not only would many junior doctors consider abandoning the NHS and selling their services to hospitals in other countries, but that they would actively support the tearing down of Our Blessed NHS and its replacement with a privatised system here in Britain. The commitment to socialised public healthcare is literally tissue paper thin with these people, even more flimsy than the home-made banners on which they proclaim themselves to be tireless warriors fighting to defend the Best Healthcare System in the World.

Will the revelation of this hypocrisy change anything? Probably not. The Guardian and other sycophantic leftist outlets will no doubt continue to gush over the various vested interests within the NHS Industrial Complex, as instructed by High Priests like Owen Jones:

Ask a striking junior doctor why they’re taking this action, and you won’t simply hear an eloquent spiel about their contracts. It’s the very future of the NHS – which they have committed their lives to – which they fear is at stake. There are the government’s policies of marketisation and fragmentation – yes, accelerating what previous administrations did – stripping the “national” from NHS.

“Committed their lives to”? Heavens, you would think that these people had pledged themselves as members of the Swiss Guard, the Night’s Watch or the Order of the Phoenix, the way that Owen Jones talks about them, rather than simply signing up as employees of the fifth largest bureaucracy on the face of the planet.

But it is sneaky what Owen Jones does here, suggesting that people become doctors out of a desire to work in a large government bureaucracy rather than feeling the call of a vocation to heal. Other countries seem to manage to recruit and train doctors without danging the carrot of getting to work for a massive state-owned bureaucracy in front of them, but Jones would have us believe that we only have doctors and nurses because people are so dreadfully inspired by Aneurin Bevan’s rusting 1948 vision. Nonsense, of course, but very effective propaganda from the NHS Industrial Complex.

The NHS Industrial Complex is made up of many different actors, all with their own motivations. One has the ideological leftists like Owen Jones, whose entire worldview relies on supporting a monolithic state healthcare provider churning out a precisely equally dismal service to every postcode in the UK. Then one has the worker bees within the organisation itself, whose medical or bureaucratic expertise rarely qualifies them to pass judgment on the optimal healthcare system for a country of 65 million people. And then one has the vast supply chain serving the beast, which is motivated primarily by a desire to preserve and expand existing revenue streams and avoiding risky disruption.

How fortunate that this cast of villains and useful idiots is able to hide behind the junior doctors – most of whom are eminently decent people supporting a superficially worthy cause – as they press for the preservation of the status quo, the scuttling of reform and a wider pipeline direct from the bank account of every UK taxpayer direct to the fifth largest organisation in the world.

But perhaps now that we know that the NHS Industrial Complex’s most photogenic spokespeople are actually more than happy to upend the whole system, spit on Britain’s national religion and see the NHS fully privatised so long as the pay rise outweighs the public vilification, the junior doctors’ collective halo might tarnish a bit.

Still, there are always the nurses. Everyone trusts a good nurse.

 

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Top Image: University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences / Wikimedia Commons

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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Momentum – NHS Edition

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Catastrophisation, Identity Politics, NIMBYism, Militant Trade Unionism, the NHS Industrial Complex, Ideological Echo Chambers and Socialist Fundamentalism – the Seven Deadly Sins of Britain’s NHS-worshipping Taliban

This charming missive from the Camden Momentum NHS Working Group pinged its way into my mailbox this afternoon, and in an idle moment I thought I would point out all of the things that are wrong with it, and which actively undermine the vital cause of healthcare reform and thwart necessary moves to improve healthcare outcomes for ordinary Britons, all for the sake of rigid adherence to failed socialist dogma.

The email reads in part:

Our NHS is in crisis and under attack, we must stand up and fight for it!

Please come to our Reclaiming the NHS public meeting:
– 30th November 7-9pm
– Council Chambers, Camden Town Hall Judd Street, London WC1H 9JE.

The junior doctors strike has alerted us all that our NHS is being stolen from us. It can only be saved by a massive public campaign. Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party by a landslide, we have parliamentary backing to stop and reverse privatisation. Come and hear about:

  • 80% of NHS staff are women. Over 30% are immigrant. Hear what they have to say on the impact privatisation has already had on the NHS and emergency services.
  • Find out which local services are threatened by cuts and privatisation (Sustainability & Transformation Plans – STPs).
  • Plan together what we can do to stop this.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Momentum and assorted other NHS-worshippers that I have identified are as follows:

1. Catastrophisation. Perpetually suggesting that the NHS is on the brink of destruction. Leftists have been making these breathless allegations during Tory administrations going back to the 1950s, including some long spells of Conservative rule, and yet miraculously the NHS survives – and with it, our unthinking devotion to government-provided healthcare. The hysterical alarmism card is really starting to get quite tiresome at this point. The NHS is far more likely to bury all of us (after quite possibly hastening us toward an early demise) than we are to bury the NHS.

2. Identity Politics. There is always time for identity politics now. If NHS acolytes can find an ethnic, gender or sexuality angle to support their argument they will inevitably do so, because they know just how fatal an allegation of institutional racism or sexism can be.

3. NIMBYism. A monolithic, socialised government healthcare delivery organisation must ration and allocate resources across the country in the most efficient way possible if it is to stand a chance of functioning correctly. Yet at every opportunity, NHS worshippers protest reorganisations that would close small and failing departments in favour of building regional centres of excellence because despite living in the age of the car and the air ambulance, these people come out in hives if they are not within five minute’s walk an NHS building at all times.

4. Militant Trade Unionism. Leaked emails revealed months ago that the junior doctors’ strike was nothing more than a tawdry, grubby pay dispute, with BMA chiefs and key junior doctor agitators deliberately hoodwinking the public by pretending that it was a high-minded dispute about public safety or indeed the very future of the NHS. Of course, every grubby public sector strike in history has been defended on the grounds that participants are engaged in a selfless stand for public safety, and in 2016 we really should be capable of seeing through these left-wing political antics.

5. Supporting the NHS Industrial Complex. The UK’s National Health Service is the fifth biggest employer on the face of the Earth, employing nearly as many people as global fast food giant McDonald’s and many more than the Indian railways, all to service a country of just 65 million people. When nearly the entirety of Britain’s healthcare sector is nationalised, there is inevitably a vast ecosystem of suppliers, support businesses, lobbyists and vested interests with every incentive to maintain the status quo so that they can continue milking the system. But such is the reflexive, unquestioning love that many have for the NHS that we never really stop to consider whether it is run for our benefit, or for the benefit of those vested interests. Just as the military-industrial complex has been a very real phenomenon in the United States of America following World War 2, so the NHS-industrial complex is a real phenomenon in modern Britain. We should be less credulous and recognise this fact.

6. Ideological echo chamber. As the UK general election, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president have shown, by living in an hermetically sealed ideological bubble in which people talk only to others of the same political viewpoint, consume only news sources which validate their existing biases and mistake social media “clicktivism” with real activism and change, leftists end up talking to themselves while ignoring the wider country. The NHS cultists can continue to share social media memes and infographics all they like, but they are only preserving the failing status quo and making it impossible for reformers to be heard.

7. Socialist fundamentalism. Nothing reveals the NHS cultists’ devotion to socialist ideology over and above actual healthcare outcomes more than their blind, hysterical insistence that all privatisation must be eliminated and every NHS service brought back in-house as a matter of ideological purity rather than clinical value. These people will only be happy when the government (through our tax pounds) funds and delivers every single aspect of healthcare, from support functions like laundry, catering, cleaning, construction, marketing, staffing and management through to the front-line clinical work. Never mind the fact that no other advanced country in the world successfully operates a healthcare system as completely nationalised as the one which they favour. Forget learning from best practice around the world, or (heaven forbid) trying something new and bold. No, NHS cultists insist that Britain is to be a socialist beacon to the world, and if you or I have to die because of substandard care in order to glorify their vision of socialised healthcare then so be it.

What do you think? Would you change any of these Seven Deadly Sins, or add any others?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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The Junior Doctors’ Strike Is A Tawdry Pay Dispute, Not A Principled Defence Of The NHS

NHS Junior Doctors Contract Strike

This strike is about money, not patient safety or the future of the NHS

James Forsyth speaks sense on the naivety and arrogance behind the ongoing junior doctors’ strike:

This walk out, the first all-out strike since the NHS’s creation, isn’t over some issue of high principle. It’s about money. The main sticking point in their negotiations with the government is that Saturday shouldn’t be treated as a normal working day.

The BMA’s suggestion at the weekend that it was prepared to call off the walk out if the government didn’t impose the new contract, but instead pilot it for a while, suggests that even the doctors themselves fear they’ll lose public sympathy by going ahead with this strike.

Yes. The fact that the final sticking point in negotiations is around money reveals all of the previous lofty, high-minded concerns about public safety and “tired doctors making mistakes” to be the cynical campaign rhetoric that it is.

Forsyth hammers home the point on pay:

Under the government’s offer, those junior doctors who are on duty one Saturday in four will receive a premium pay rate of 30 per cent. This means they are, on average, getting paid more for working on Saturdays than nurses, midwives and paramedics. The proposed deal is also more generous than what firefighters and police officers get for doing their job on a Saturday. This is hardly grounds for a walkout that will inevitably put lives at risk.

Junior doctors are right that they are paid less than doctors in some other countries. But this is, in large part, because the state has heavily subsidised their education. By the time a doctor has finished their foundation training, the state has already spent a quarter of a million pounds on them.

Until doctors are prepared to pick up more of this tab themselves, they shouldn’t complain that some of those working in other health systems are paid more than them. Indeed, it would be sensible of the state to actually require medical students to commit to working in the NHS for a certain number of years before funding their training—something that it doesn’t currently do. Junior doctors should also remember that if they stay in medicine and become consultants, they will find themselves in the top two percent of earners in this country.

This blog is no fan of the current Conservative government and no great proponent of the latest NHS reforms. But for the sake of decency, this strike needs to be broken. And then we need to have a long, hard national conversation about why an advanced democracy like Britain is facing a national strike of any kind in the year 2016.

Hint: if we did not still have a monolithic nationalised health service – the fifth largest employer on the planet serving the 22nd largest country by population – we could never be in the ludicrous position of suffering a strike of all the junior doctors in the land. Doctors would not all share the same employer, patients would not all rely on the same medical service and we would all be spared this drama.

Something to mull over as the accusations and counter-accusations fly.

 

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Responding To The Junior Doctors’ Strike

An inspiring (if unattainable) example from across the Atlantic

How to respond to a national walkout by government employees who perform a critical job for a large organisation, and who cynically advance their demands for more money under the false banner of concern for public safety?

Ronald Reagan offers us one blueprint, from back in that dim and distant time when both Britain and America were blessed with leaders who (for their various faults and blind spots) were not afraid to lead, and to take bold and decisive action when necessary.

This is the speech Reagan gave in August 1981 when PATCO, the American air traffic controllers union, called an illegal strike (federal workers being prohibited from striking under the Taft-Hartley Act) demanding, among other things, a 32-hour work week:

This morning at 7 AM the union representing those who man America’s air traffic control facilities called a strike. This was the culmination of 7 months of negotiations between the Federal Aviation Administration and the union. At one point in these negotiations agreement was reached and signed by both sides, granting a $40 million increase in salaries and benefits. This is twice what other government employees can expect. It was granted in recognition of the difficulties inherent in the work these people perform. Now, however, the union demands are 17 times what had been agreed to – $681 million. This would impose a tax burden on their fellow citizens which is unacceptable.

I would like to thank the supervisors and controllers who are on the job today, helping to get the nation’s air system operating safely. In the New York area, for example, four supervisors were scheduled to report for work, and 17 additionally volunteered. At National Airport a traffic controller told a newsperson he had resigned from the union and reported to work because, “How can I ask my kids to obey the law if I don’t?” This is a great tribute to America.

Let me make one thing plain. I respect the right of workers in the private sector to strike. Indeed, as president of my own union, I led the first strike ever called by that union. I guess I’m maybe the first one to ever hold this office who is a lifetime member of an AFL – CIO union. But we cannot compare labor-management relations in the private sector with government. Government cannot close down the assembly line. It has to provide without interruption the protective services which are government’s reason for being.

It was in recognition of this that the Congress passed a law forbidding strikes by government employees against the public safety. Let me read the solemn oath taken by each of these employees, a sworn affidavit, when they accepted their jobs: “I am not participating in any strike against the Government of the United States or any agency thereof, and I will not so participate while an employee of the Government of the United States or any agency thereof.”

It is for this reason that I must tell those who fail to report for duty this morning they are in violation of the law, and if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.

Obviously such a feat could not be repeated by the British government in its dealings with striking NHS staff – though the case for banning strikes by national public sector workers becomes more compelling by the day.

But if repeating Reagan’s actions are not possible for political and logistical reasons (firing 11,000 air traffic controllers is much easier than firing 55,000 junior doctors, not to mention the fact that the junior doctors are operating within the current law), at least we might hope that the government will act in the spirit of Reagan. And in the spirit of Reagan, the government should refuse to give any further ground to striking public sector workers who are willing to cynically jeopardise public health in a dispute which now rests primarily on the question of Saturday payand is certainly nothing to do with patient safety or the continued existence of the NHS.

This blog firmly believes that the NHS model is broken and than a system conceived in the 1940s is barely adequate to the demands of the 2010s, and will be hopelessly inadequate to the demands of the 2040s. If we are to persist with a public option, then there is no reason why healthcare should continue to be provided by a monolithic government organisation, the fifth largest employer in the entire world (with all the baggage, internal politics and resistance to change which that stunning fact implies).

There is no good reason why we cannot look closely at the healthcare systems of countries such as France, Germany, Japan or Canada and redesign our system accordingly – if only we could rediscover our sense of national ambition and shed our increasingly unwarranted pride in the NHS. We could even still call the new healthcare system “the NHS” if our cult-like attachment to the brand really runs so deep.

The time is long overdue for Britain to have that national conversation, endlessly kicked down the road by politicians terrified of upsetting nervous voters and governments which have proved constitutionally incapable of daring mighty things. But first we need to overcome this peculiar, anachronistic industrial dispute – one which belongs more comfortably in 1976 than 2016 – and end the junior doctors’ strike, by imposing the current contract offered if necessary.

And in that effort, let the spirit of Ronald Reagan guide Jeremy Hunt.

 

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The Immaturity And Cynicism Of The NHS Junior Doctors’ Dispute

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The junior doctors lost the moral high ground when they decided to portray a debate about pay and conditions as a high-minded effort to “save the NHS”

James Kirkup has a great piece in the Telegraph in which he charges that the junior doctors’ dispute has reached an impasse not because of government intransigence but because many junior doctors are arguing an inherently political case from a position of naivety and political inexperience, and so will not concede the validity of any opinions other than their own.

Read the whole thing. But it is worth noting these excerpts in particular:

Some of this is about basic competence. The doctors and their leaders have done a very poor job of explaining why they are striking, offering a range of confused and changing justifications. Many doctors seem unaware of the position taken in negotiations on their behalf by their trade union (short summary: if the Government had agreed to pay more for Saturday working, the BMA would have settled and there’d be no strikes) and believe their strike is not about money.

This in itself is quite damning. All the high-minded talk about patient safety and “tired doctors making mistakes” suddenly begins to look a wee bit cynical when it turns out that the BMA would have taken the deal if only there was more money on offer. Was the extra pay all going to be spent on Pro Plus and Red Bull? Unlikely.

But this is the really interesting point:

Yet the doctors’ failure of understanding goes beyond tactics into something more fundamental, an unwillingness or perhaps just an inability to appreciate that politics is about reconciling the diverse interests and desires, that no one gets things all their own way.

Simply they don’t understand the conflict they’re in. Many, engaged in politics for the first time, cannot understand why the Government will not do exactly as they want; for them it’s unthinkable that others would not accept the doctors’ word on how to fund and structure the NHS as final. Any course of action but theirs is not just unacceptable but immoral.

As for those on the other side of this dispute, there is apparently no possibility that their motives could be honourable. Throughout this dispute I’ve not yet seen a junior doctor admit even the possibility that Jeremy Hunt, NHS Employers, David Dalton, Bruce Keogh or any of the main players on the employer side might also be acting in good faith, doing things they believe necessary and in the public interest.

Instead, Mr Hunt and his officials are routinely accused of venality and self-interest, and worse. I keep a little file of choice emails and tweets from doctors. It contains evidence of members of the profession making statements in public forums that Mr Hunt is psychopathic or suffering from various other clinical conditions. (There were also a number of homophobic slurs aimed at Mr Hunt, but that was a senior consultant, not a junior.) I can only conclude that the doctors concerned are so convinced of their own righteousness that they cannot admit that those who take a contrary view are anything but immoral.

Here we have Labour’s self-righteousness syndrome all over again, but this time the patient is not a political party but a large and vocal special interest group within the public sector. Just as was the case with those convinced that the Tories are evil vampires and that Ed Miliband was heading for victory in last year’s general election, so the junior doctors and their supporters seem convinced that the government is motivated purely out of malice, and that they are unambiguously in the right. And we all know what happened on May 7th.

Kirkup continues:

Other doctors display an almost touching lack of insight into how some aspects of their own working lives (a job for life, steep pay progression, huge pensions) are simply unobtainable dreams for most workers, even those who also got good A-levels and spent years studying at good universities.  One junior doctor (again, I won’t name him) last week reprimanded me for writing about doctors’ £1 million pension pots on the grounds that the retirement such funds deliver is “comfortable” but “not extravagant”.

Likewise the tendency to overlook (or simply not know) the fact that many of their problems (antisocial hours, weekend working, growing workloads and static or falling workforces) are common to many other professions and trades, many of whom do not enjoy the same benefits as doctors.

What the junior doctors (and those who support them) fail to understand is that nearly every public sector industrial action is fought on the grounds of public safety while really being about something else. Relatively well paid people (compared to the average wage) walking off the job in a dispute about money and working hours does not elicit as much public sympathy as casting themselves as the only people willing to take on the government on a grave matter of public safety, so simple self-interest dictates that any union (including the BMA and junior doctors) will emphasise the latter over the former.

Consider: how many striking junior doctors living in London would have tutted with frustration during the last tube strike called by the RMT, and fumed to their friends that tube drivers are incredibly well paid, should be grateful for what they have and get back to work, Night Tube be damned? The RMT’s dispute was based in large part on safety concerns, just like the junior doctors. Are the tube drivers lying while the junior doctors are telling the truth? Is there something inherently more virtuous in a doctor than a train driver?

This, too, is worrying:

Spare a thought here for the impact this outlook has on the doctors themselves.  Having become so utterly convinced of the rightness of their cause, many suffer genuine distress when their cause meets resistance or challenge.  Some, sadly, are not robust enough to encounter such pressures without experiencing genuine harm. That harm should weigh heavily on the consciences of the BMA leaders who have encouraged young and politically-inexperienced people to seek out confrontation in the harsh arena of public debate.

This rings alarm bells, because it is the same way that we now speak of Safe Space-dwelling students, grown adults who by adopting a toxic ideology have come to see themselves as perpetually vulnerable victims in constant need of protection from higher authorities. One could take this sentence – “some, sadly, are not robust enough to encounter such pressures without experiencing genuine harm” – and apply it equally to those wobbly-lipped students who are now killing academic freedom and free speech on our university campuses.

In fact, we may now be witnessing the first major conflict between the Safe Space generation (many junior doctors have only recently graduated university) and the realities of the labour market and public sector wage restraint – only everything is made doubly toxic because the dispute involves the one subject about which almost no Briton is capable of thinking rationally: the NHS.

This blog contends that the mere fact that national collective bargaining is still making headlines in 2016 rather than 1976 shows that Thatcher’s work is far from finished, and that if we were not still lumbered with a national health service we would not be facing the prospect of an all-out national walkout by healthcare professionals. After all, nothing about public healthcare mandates that it must be provided through a monolithic state-owned organisation, despite the best efforts of NHS apologists to pretend that our options are the status quo or the American system.

Maybe the doctors holding candles in an overwrought silent vigil for the NHS (see cover picture) are entirely genuine. Maybe they have convinced themselves that this dispute really is purely about patient safety and “saving the NHS”, and nothing more. But the junior doctors can no longer plausibly claim that this is about patient safety, or “saving the NHS”, because we now know that these are side issues brought cynically into the debate by the BMA and credulous activists in a well worn attempt to drum up public support.

This does not mean that each one of the Conservative government’s intended reforms are sensible. The idea of a 24-hour NHS is more slogan than policy, while statistics about weekend deaths have been cynically misrepresented – that much we can concede to the BMA. But when your pay dispute is with one of the largest organisations in the world, and by far the largest employer in Britain, then everyone who pays for that service gets to have a say, including (or even especially) a government elected partly on a manifesto to make changes to that health service, whether or not those changes happen to be smart. By taking the public coin the NHS is inherently political, and those working for it cannot complain when those outside the organisation seek to wield their own influence.

And from a purely tactical standpoint, James Kirkup is right – the junior doctors and their representatives in the BMA have bungled this dispute badly. With their overwrought, hysterical claims that a new national contract will somehow be the end of the NHS when it turned out that the final sticking point in the negotiations was over nothing more noble than Saturday pay, their credibility is squandered. And neither they nor their supporters should not escape censure for their part in what is to come.

 

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