This week’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E had me in tears. Honestly, who would want to do a job in the NHS, especially with the dwindling resources they’re given? People who give a shit about people, that’s who. The entire programme is worth watching for the expertise of the staff and the tenderness shown by people toward each other, but there’s one particular section which cut right to the bone, starting at 35:04. The clip below should start there, but if it doesn’t, and you’ve only got a few minutes, skip to it. It’s worth sitting through four crappy adverts for. It’s a three-minute section in which an ordinary teenage girl called Chelsey is waiting in A&E and spots an old man waiting for treatment. He reminds her of her grandad, who she quit college to care for. He died of a stroke and she not only misses him, she misses caring for him. This is the sort of person that I think is the real essence of this country and who gives me hope that this crappy society, this appalling selfish austerity regime we’re currently living through, isn’t all there is. Chelsey has more humanity and compassion in her little finger than the David Camerons and George Osbornes and Iain Duncan Smiths and, especially, the Jeremy Hunts who – self-appointedly, self-righteously, without mandate – run this place have, or will ever have, in their entire pathetic, shitty, self-serving, privileged, posturing bodies. And I don’t mind them knowing it.
And yes I am also a bit in love with Chelsey, but anyone with a heart who watched that programme would be too.
The other day there were news reports that this shambles of a government had again formally refused to publish the NHS Risk Register, despite being instructed to by an Information Tribunal back in March. (What on earth is the point of the Information Commissioner, then, if the government can just do what it likes?) I heard about the story via Twitter where comedian and writer Graham Linehan, amongst others, was lamenting this latest episode of coalition numskullery and joined him in requesting that the register be released without any further bullshit. However, in the absence of Cameron, Lansley & co listening to us (who would’ve guessed?) I announced that the register had in fact been leaked… to me!
I tweeted this via Lockerz and tried my best not to look at the stats every few minutes, although I couldn’t help noticing it was gradually getting views. That’s not saying much though, as anything uploaded to Lockerz gets a few dozen views regardless of what it is. Stats crawled up to about 19 or something and at that point a non-celebrity Twitter friend retweeted it, this time adding some hashtags which I should have added myself to begin with. It got a few more views and I then unashamedly decided to RT my friend’s tweet at Graham Linehan to see if he’d RT it himself. He didn’t seem to notice it for a while, which is understandable as he has about 170,000 followers and must get mentions all the time. But then, suddenly, he did. What a guy! I watched as the views went quickly into three figures, and the RT was itself RT’d about 50 more times over the course of the next two hours. By that time, views of the photo had exceeded 4,000, and at the peak of the RTing I got a tweet from an account I’d never heard of called @TrendsUK saying that I was, er, trending in the UK. I couldn’t quite believe this and when I looked at the official Twitter there was nothing there to back up this claim, but it was a nice feeling while it lasted.
I am only joking, of course. None of this is “nice” at all. The way the government is behaving over the NHS is appalling. I don’t for a moment fail to see the irony of a photo like this getting retweeted dozens of times. But it’s the sort of thing that happens when a government lies to the electorate. Shame on the government for propagating this sort of satire.
NB: I’ve still not heard from any of the Lib Dem peers I emailed back in March asking them to vote against the Health & Social Care bill. Not a single one.