Question Time 19th January 2023
Will Quince (Conservative)
Wes Streeting (Labour)
Clare Gerada (Royal College of GPs)
Victor Abedowale (NHS Confederation)
James Bartholomew (Journalist)
La Bruce has given up on politics and current affairs and, as announced on last week’s QT, from now on the only issue will be the NHS. In other words, there now follows a kind of Fat Nurse Time, or Millionaire General Practitioner Time. Likewise, the audience which, let’s face it, already are a representative cross-section of strikers and malingerers who work for the National Health Service.
Former QT host David Dimbleby is credited with the quote, “The NHS is the only religion left in Britain.” As usual, Dimbleby was wrong, but why do BBC wallahs think it so in the first place? Especially as Dimbleby, Bruce and the rest of them all have private health care? Strange, exotic tribe.
Fiona opened with a lecture in which, to her credit, she informed us there are more doctors and nurses somehow managing to treat fewer patients. Ruby asked the first question which wondered if it was time to start charging for medical treatment.
Wes Streeting (Labour) began on a downer telling us he’d had kidney cancer treatment last year. The good news being he didn’t have to pay for it. Oh, and he’d recovered. He went on to suggest reform, to a silence from the audience. Will Quince (Conservative) agreed with him and mentioned record numbers of all sorts of things. For the first time ever, Bruce put a graphic up. A big multi-coloured chart that showed the Tories are b*stards. Will, rightly, ignored it.
The audience wanted prevention, easier GP appointments and less waste.
James Bartholomew (journalist) noted endless crises. There hasn’t been a health care crisis in Germany, he said, since 1945. Was that a joke? If so, nobody laughed. He wanted a national insurance scheme paid for out of personal taxes. That’s what we have now, James, it’s called National Insurance. Clare Gerada (Royal College of GPs) contradicted him and he contradicted her back. We’re number five in Europe, she said, whereas the Germans are only fourth. (Unlike in 1945 when we were first and they were second *sniggers*).
Victor Abedowale (NHS Confederation) said the NHS isn’t free, it has to be paid for. We are in a crisis. The Government has to sit around the table and talk about pay. We need a workforce plan, not reform. Ask nurses if what they want is reform and they’ll say, “No”. It didn’t matter if there was record spending, there still needed to be more.
The second question was asked by a large old lady in the audience who claimed to be in her early 20s and wanted a reason to stay here with a first-class nursing degree rather than go abroad.
It broke Will Quince’s heart to hear that. Retention is as important as recruitment. He reminded us that there are more amounts of record everything in the NHS.
William Quince is the Miniter of State for Health and Social Care and Conservative MP for Colchester. Although he did attend a state school, it was in posh Windsor. After leaving school he studied law at Aberystwyth University where he rose to be Deputy President of the Students Union. Recently the 40-year-old completed a summer course at Oxford University’s Said Business School.
According to his declared interests, Mr Quince has recently received donations of £5,890 from Spicerhaart (a Colchester estate agency), £3,600 from Firstsite (a visual arts organisation in Colchester), £2,000 from Hills Building Group (the Colchester housebuilders) and £2,000 from Terry Sutton (a late Colchester property developer).
All these donations from builders paid off when, as recently as this morning, Mr Quince announced a £20 million levelling-up grant to be spent on building work in the ‘cultural and shopping experience’ that is Colchester High Street, now rebranded as ‘St Bodolphs’. An area which, by coincidence, houses donor Firstsite’s premises.
Previously on QT Review your humble reviewer has plodded through the parliamentary guff trying to piece together MP’s donations and expenses. However, recently, Lie News have been kind enough to put it all into one usable online database. Although far from comprehensive (they, as did I, missed Puffin’s favourite Nadim Zadahwi’s £3,700,000 of unpaid tax stashed in Gibraltar), it is a help, if only to me.
Although the health service might not be well funded, Wesley Streeting is. Since December 2019, Wesley has declared donations, earnings, gifts and other benefits worth £263,100 which are itemised in an addendum to this article.
However, Lie News don’t explain fully who those people and organisations are and why they are donating. Likewise, there isn’t a nepotism section showing payments to MP’s spouses, partners and relatives. Suffice it to say Wes’s partner, Joseph Dancy, is a ‘communications and public affairs adviser’.
Besides donations, MPs benefit from All Party Parliamentary Group memberships, alive with jollies and slap-up feeds. Mr Streeting’s APPGs include; Antisemitism, British Jews, British Muslims, Fourth Industrial Revolution, British Sikhs, Islamic Finance, New And Advanced Technologies, Tamils and Taxis. That’s not ‘Tamils and Taxis’ but ‘Tamils’ and ‘Taxis’ as two separate groups. The obsession with racial and religious minorities is based upon white Wesley, a practising Anglican, being a racial and religious minority in his own enriched constituency of Ilford North. By the way, house points will be deducted from Puffins who refer to such places as sh*tholes. They are ‘rainbow cities’.
In a January 2022 Guardian interview, Mr Streeting is quoted as saying “I’m really not the Mary Poppins of the Labour party.” No, he isn’t. Besides never having had a real job and having been involved with the vile Stonewall organisation, some of his other nasty and unnecessary behaviour is reported here in an earlier Question Time Review.
The programme went round and round in circles. A nurse had left and become a locum which was better (paid). A medical student said all of his superiors looked miserable. Will claimed the ones he gets to see are more cheerful. Clare complained junior doctors can’t book a day off a year in advance to get married. Stop treating nurses like naughty school girls, she added.
If you’re not happy you’ll want to go somewhere else, noted James. The system needs to be changed.
Just as Dimbleby invented the NHS as a national religion, likewise James Bartholomew is credited with coining the phrase ‘virtue signalling’ in a 2015 Spectator article. His definition of such ran as follows,
“Having displayed the approved, virtuous views. No one actually has to do anything. Virtue comes from mere words or even from silently held beliefs.”
Sound on Brexit and a former Brexit Party candidate, James self-describes as an author, journalist and a director of the Museum of Communist Terror. His journalism has taken in the Financial Times, Daily Mail and Telegraph as well as The Spectator. A stint in the far east, based in Hong Kong and Tokyo, saw him contribute to The Far Eastern Economic Review.
A 2017 interview with the prestigious right-wing American Dartmouth Review contained another telling phrase and definition applicable to the type of self-righteous cretins one encounters on the Question Time panel;
Self-indulgence from better circumstances. When you are struggling to survive, the fact that your coat is not quite the right colour really doesn’t bother you, but when you are rich, you say “Oh, I can’t stand that colour.”
As for James’ own indulgences, based upon his better circumstances as part of a London chatterati bubble, in May last year he wrote of spending £68,500 on a tank. A T-55 no less, that was on its way from Czechoslovakia to Bremerhaven on a low loader as he wrote.
A critic of the welfare state and National Health Service, before we assume his comments will have any impact we must take account of his great work, The Welfare State We’re In, lying at an un-virtuous 882,971st on the Amazon best sellers list, an armour shredding 814,381 places behind the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom.
Wes made everybody more miserable by saying the service is broken and overwhelmed. Our hospitals are clogged up by delays. He started shouting. He didn’t want people to be miserable but he wanted to change the way the NHS works. Victor intervened, in London, 50% of the nurses are like Victor. Millionaires? Members of the House of Lords? No, blick, and they’re treated differently than the white ones, so they leave. Are they? Or is Victor’s impressive career the product of playing the race card at every opportunity?
Victor Adebolwale, properly titled Doctor the Lord Victor Olufemi Adebowale MA, Baron Adebowale of Thornes in the County of West Yorkshire, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire has perused a very profitable career in the non-profit sector. A comprehensive QT Review biography of Victor can be read here and includes a two-hundred-word addendum listing some of Victor’s quangoland appointments.
Millionaire Victor, one of the West Riding Adebolwales, is a high panjandrum in the NHS Confederation. Note: the confederation promotes the interests of senior NHS managers, not the patients.
Previously on Question Time (24th June 2021, London) his Lordship said the NHS was on black alert. In the intervening eighteen months the situation has worsened. Today’s NHS alert is so dark that the colour used has no name, can only be ordered from NASA and on arrival has to be registered at your local police station.
There are different models already emerging, said Clare. The problem isn’t the model but being inundated with work. The job is unsustainable. Another graph from La Bruce! Well. 0 to 50 on one axis and 2000 – 2015 on the other. The caption read, UK and peer countries. All of the lines across it were in grey. Clare said she didn’t understand it. It’s from the OECD, replied La Bruce. So what? Nobody could understand it. Clare didn’t want to throw out the jewel in the NHS crown but, rather like an OECD graph, she didn’t tell us what the jewel was.
Clare Gerada, not her real name (Professor Dame Clare Mary Louise Francis Gerada, Lady Wessely, DBE, FRCP, FRCGP, FRCPsych) is president of the Neolithic bolshy trades union that is the Royal College of General Practitioners. Note: the RCGP promotes the interests of the millionaire GPs, not the poor patients.
Daughter of a Maltese doctor, Dame Clare was born in Nigeria and moved to Britain in 1963 when aged 4. In the subsequent five decades, she has amassed an Adebowalesque collection of quangoland appointments. Her husband is Sir Simon Charles Wessely FMedSci FRS. Amongst his giant list of titles and quangos, Sir Simon is a British psychiatrist and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.
Away from committee meetings and the human body, Dame Clare is no stranger to the cameras. In a March 2020 interview on Good Morning Britain, conducted via Skype, Dame Clare, resplendent in lockdown messy hair apparently cut by herself with a knife and fork, persisted while the phone kept on ringing and her dog kept on barking. Meanwhile, a mirror on the wall behind revealed her husband tidying up the front room. Trooper.
Perhaps we should hesitate before critiquing Dame Clare’s appearance? On GPonline’s podcast Talking General Practice, Dame Clare said that she was frequently judged on what she looked like rather than what she said, and had to cope with other doctors posting ‘aggressive’ comments about her on social media.
Matters reached a head, perhaps more accurately described as a tail, when Dame Clare appeared on the Babylon that was the Sunday morning Andrew Marr Show. Having broken a leg, she was in a fibreglass cast from the knee down and was forced to concede in the podcast, “I couldn’t cross my legs.”
Good God. The 63-year-old went on to say,
And I was sitting on this quite low sofa and somebody had put on social media a photo of me with the camera zoomed in to see between my legs. I was shocked. I thought, “How can anybody do that? How dare they do that?”
Dame Clare removed herself from social media, Facebook and Twitter but worryingly the worst of the abuse continued as doctors posted ‘awful stuff’ about her on a medical website.
In a further blow to the profession, QT Review HQ takes no pleasure in concluding that the Andrew Marr upskirt perpetrator must have been a nefarious gynaecologist on some kind of a Sunday morning busman’s holiday.
We had another look at the graph. I told a lie. A bit of two of the lines was in pink and marked ‘UK’. On one side of the graph the pink line was at the highest and the other side at the lowest. Make of that what you will. The panellists, meanwhile, continued to go round and round in circles.
I’ve told this story before, I will end by telling it again. My GP won’t pick up the phone. There is nowhere to park. Public transport is non-existent. To see a doctor you have to walk to the practice, book an appointment, walk home again and then walk back on the day of your appointment (and then home again). One Sunday, a lady spoke after church. She told us that in Zambia you have to walk for three hours to see a doctor. Same here. If they pay less tax over there, I propose we replace the NHS with the Zambian model.
Wesley Streeting’s declared parliamentary donations, earnings and gifts.
£60,900 from MPM connect, £33,500 from Anthony Watson, £30k from Labour For The Long Term, £20k in donations from Francesca Perrin, £15k in donations from John Armitage, £12k in donations from Lord Waheed Alli, £10k in donations from Sir Trevor Chinn, £8,200 in earnings from Hodder and Stoughton UK, £8,000 in donations from Linda Riley, £6,000 in donations from Community Union, £5,000 in donations from Ben Gillam, £5,000 in donations from Red Capital, £5,000 in donations from Richard Parker, £4,700 in gifts or benefits from Labour Friends of Israel, £3,730 in gifts or benefits from Great Britain-China Centre (GBCC), £2,250 in donations from Dan Hughes, £2,000 in donations from BM Creative Management, £1,200 in earnings from Global Radio Services, £1,130 in gifts or benefits from SME4Labour, £700 in gifts or benefits from Allwyn Entertainment, £500 in gifts or benefits from Reach Group, £500 in gifts or benefits from This Generation, £400 in gifts or benefits from Galliard Homes.
© Always Worth Saying 2023
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