Someone drew my attention to an article written in the Daily Mail entitled: EXPOSED: The hard-Left doctors more concerned with bashing the Tories than your health, who idolise Marx, believe Brexiters are ‘racist’ and want to make ‘capitalism history’
Against my better judgement I read the item.
Now, I know you might find this hard to believe but the headline is a little bit misleading. I know, I know, you don’t expect this from the Mail, but I swear on this one instance , it is true.
The piece starts off with something that would seem fairly self evident, that clearly not all Junior Doctors are fully behind the current proposed 5 day walk outs. It’s a profession that is not used to walking out AT ALL, of course some members feel unease – most in fact. “… growing numbers believe that the BMA’s unprecedented decision to call for rolling five-day strikes, monthly, for the rest of the year, is disproportionate, unjustified, and risks both harming (and perhaps killing) innocent patients and alienating the public.”
What exactly is an Innocent patient? Is it alright if the strike action risked harming (or PERHAPS killing) guilty patients? Can someone in Daily Mail editing land please advise?
As for alienating the public , this is clearly a feeling which being the public servant that it is, the Daily Mail is not trying to stoke at all with it’s even handed headline writing …
But, anyway, after that gentle intro we go full on Daily Mail …
“What’s more, senior figures in the BMA believe the junior doctors’ dispute is now being cynically hijacked by a hard core of far-Left activists who have quietly gained power within the organisation and are using it to advance a radical political agenda.”
Oh my God, reds in the closet, runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
Hang on, it’s worse than that
“the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee (JDC), which is at the heart of the decision to call five-day strikes, is now dominated by a cabal of Labour Party members, Jeremy Corbyn supporters, and activists with links to Left-wing campaign group Momentum and extreme fringes of the anti-capitalist movement.”
Really, do tell.
“Take its leader, Ellen McCourt for example, a self-styled ‘Left leaning, straight talking’ former orthopaedist who spent May Day on a protest march in Newcastle which had the official theme ‘turn the tide against the Tories’.”
Clearly we should bring back hanging for this one. This woman, who’s day job is a being a specialist in correcting deformities of the skeletal system (especially in children), is a straight talker. What? But, she’s a woman. Does she not know what Guy Adams – the writer of this piece – clearly does, that only men are allowed to be a straight talkers. Indeed, when they are it is usually an admirable character trait. Worse than that she is ‘self styled’ at this straight talking malarkey, and sounds in need of some orthopaedic surgery herself as she appear to do so whilst leaning to the left. To cap all that off she went on a protest march, protesting against the current government. Could it get any worse you ask yourself? Yes. According to Guy ‘ Fierce industrial disputes are in her blood ‘ – Blood Type: FID. How does he know?, well her mother Kath McCourt was chairman of the Royal College of Nursing when it threatened its own national walkout four years ago. Jesus. Forget ISIS, we clearly need to be keeping an eye on this one.
Roll up , Roll up – who is next: How about the committee’s deputy chairs.” David Rouse, a Labour member (so clearly a trouble maker) , Aaron Borbora, a trade unionist who has spoken at meetings of the National Shop Stewards Network (what a terrible …oh hang on isn’t that like saying X is an MP and they spoke in Parliament ?), and Lucy-Jane Davis, a Bristol-based Remain supporter who has used her Twitter feed to accuse the Leave lobby of ‘rage and racism’, and advised followers to vote Labour at the last General Election.”
Let’s deal with Lucy, who seems to be Guy’s main target here. Clearly he has a problem with her being a remain supporter (did she not see the bus and the promised millions that the NHS will now be getting each week … oh, hang on …) Anyway, she used her Twitter account to attack leavers … Only, she didn’t actually, did she Guy? You’re telling big fat ‘liar liar, pants on fire’ porkies here aren’t you. What she actually did was re-tweet Ben Goldacre saying “Right then, well. The rage and racism were disturbing, and I think it was a self harming move overall, but let’s crack on and make this work.” Adding ” Yes. You’re right. Still quite frightened, though.”
Not quite the same thing as what you wrote, or what you were trying to imply is it.
As for her having to temerity to advise people to vote Labour at the last General Election – well, that clearly worked well. I know I find it hard to think for myself, as clearly Guy does too, but I’m guessing the average Twitter user is not going to vote one way or the other just because someone they follow says to do so. Otherwise Russel Brand would have convinced us all wouldn’t he? Also it’s her personal twitter account so she has to right to say whatever she pleases quite frankly, as long as she avoids breaking the law or libeling someone …
But, moving on:
“Other highly influential members of the committee include Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a hard-Left Marxist (as opposed to a soft Right Marxist – it is often easy to confuse the two) who has spoken alongside Jeremy Corbyn at ‘fight austerity’ rallies, and Pete Campbell, a Momentum supporter who wears ‘Make Capitalism History’ T-shirts and has used his Facebook page to promote talks in his native Newcastle on the subject of ‘how capitalism is killing you’.
Then there’s Kapil Ojha, a GP who uses his Twitter feed both to support Corbyn and heap personal abuse on Jeremy Hunt, dubbing the Tory Health Secretary a ‘smirking idiot’, an ‘ignorant, arrogant waste of space’, an ‘idiotic dishonourable moron’ who is ‘cowardly, unscrupulous, ruthless and selfish’.
Also at the table is Lauren Robson, a Labour member who said last August that Corbyn was ‘certainly getting my vote!’, and Adam Collins, a Scottish doctor who in April shared a tweet that charmingly called Jeremy Hunt a ‘c*** . “
I agree name calling and personal abuse should be avoided , but frankly most of these example are pretty tame and Hunt has been called pretty much all the things Kapil Ojha called him either across the dispatch box, or by shadow health secretaries over the past 5 years.
Guy and the Mail’s main point here seems to be the Committee is full of anti—government Labour supporters. Stop the presses.
Later in the article, almost as an after-thought Adam concedes: “Like anyone else, they are, of course, perfectly entitled to hold party-political views (though you can look in vain for Conservative Party members on the BMA Council).” It’s nice that Guy recognises that individuals are allowed their own political opinions. It’s just he’d prefer it if they held his and/or the Mail’s. Which will be why he goes on: “However, taking both an extreme position on the political spectrum (can Adam please provide me a picture of his political spectrum and where the JDC sits on it) , and a confrontational approach to the ongoing contract dispute, puts them at odds with many of the union’s 38,000 rank-and-file junior doctors, who may also feel upset at the fact that obscenities are being leveled at Cabinet ministers via social media in their name.” (of all things junior doctors are potentially upset about, I’d bet £350m a week that giving a toss about anything anyone said about Mr Hunt in very low on the list).
So, Ok, what’s the radical political agenda ??
Well, there was a meeting, it was heated – some pro, some anti strike – and there are several conflicting reports about what was said. That’s it really.
So, instead, let’s go back to 2013 when negotiations between the BMA and the Government over the new junior doctors’ contracts began.
Guy tell us “several long standing members of the Junior Doctors Committee decided to step aside, finding that they could no longer cope with the demands that negotiations were placing on their time.” And whilst no one was looking the others were killed off using polonium and then replaced entirely by ” Left-wing radicals.” (Ok, some of that might not be true, but frankly I think the Mail would probably let me away with it). Indeed the Mail have identified “11 current members, believed to be the vast majority of its serving officers. Of that number, at least four are Labour Party members and three are activist supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. “ Clearly these people can’t possibly have patient care in their minds if they support Jeremy and that party that set up the NHS.
But it was these shadowy figures that helped persuade those braying sheep (58%) in the profession to vote against the amended contract that the BMA and the Government called ‘a good deal’ for junior doctors. Yes, turn out wasn’t great, but you notice how this is only ever an issue with Union votes, not with votes in political elections, local or national.
So let’s look through that article title again:
- The hard-Left doctors more concerned with bashing the Tories than your health – [Proof provided = little or none that I can see to be honest, bar the writer’s own prejudices]
- Who idolise Marx – [Proof provided = one person describes self as a Marxist]
- Believe Brexiters are ‘racist’ – [Proof provided = none, in fact it is a blatant lie and a possible case of slander/libel]
- And want to make ‘capitalism history’ – [Proof provided = One person owns a T-Shirt]
Conclusion: So, all in all, Daily Mail ‘quality journalism’ at its finest.
Disclosure: My partner is an NHS Nurse. I support the Junior Doctors action, but am concerned about the escalation of action. I’m also deeply concerned by the attitude of the Government, and the Minister for Health in particular, who if he really cared about proving a 7 day a week NHS would ensure the service was adequately funded by providing enough money to hire the staff needed to actually do so. I’m not a Jeremy Corbyn supporter.