Will we ever learn from political history?

September 9, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Hazel Speed

Those of a certain age within the UK will have survived one political strategy/power or another. Playing the system was always better than head-on collisions. No better example can be found than the years when Mrs Thatcher ruled the roost.

It signalled the end of traditional old time ‘fall on your metaphorical sword’ if caught decades that preceded her era.

We were in the era of ‘carry on regardless’ (a tacit political nod to the famous Carry On films), except there was nothing funny about such a stance in Mrs T’s version.

Scapegoats actually queued up to offer their sacrifices for the cause to enable her particular power wagon to keep rolling on and some were already members of the Peerage so why were they so willing to oblige?

We are presently still reaping the regurgitated periodic wrath from the Scots as Mrs Thatcher trialled some of her worst policies there first, such as the Poll Tax, which arose by another name, the Community Charge. Refer to that in old terms at ‘City Hall’ and they will immediately correct you, the actual difference between the two being as thin as tissue paper.

Mrs Thatcher’s policies were divisive and consequently the country was philosophically split in two, therefore in real terms, once again was replicated ‘the haves’ and ‘have nots’.

Prudence still dictates where, and when, her name can be raised in polite circles, also between which family members or friends (if you want to retain said friendship that is).

The reason for the above outline is to firstly refer briefly to her miners’ strike dilemma. It was ‘hers’ because of her lack of diplomatic skills when dealing with the facts. She was determined regarding what she wished and why, which is why the core issues were not addressed to the rest of us.

Despite the heated arguments that arose and police confrontations (accidental and/or initiated by her power), the one key question she would not entertain was ‘is there still coal in the mines before they were forcibly closed?’

Akin to a stubborn landlord Mrs Thatcher was dogmatic in her refusal of allowing any confirmation by an independent third party. That one stance sealed her own political fate within domestic policies as it was later proved that yes, coal was still present to be mined, a point proven by co-operative enterprises which were ran by Miners thereafter to quite some financial success. I believe in recent months the Miners have progressed matters for Justice relating to those years so it will be interesting to watch and learn of the outcome, regardless of how long ‘eventual’ proves to be. The truth and proofs of those years must be made public.

The reason I have written this article is that I notice a similarity presently between the Government and the NHS, except in one regard. The alleged blocking of hospital beds and other aspects claimed by hospital doctors, nursing staff and especially A and E departments.

It is true, in some, but not all respects, that for one reason or another a bed may be blocked because an elderly person does not have required care or support at home so would be at risk if discharged. Contrary to this are reliable reports that there are occasions where patients of all ages are well again and stressing their wish to go home but no matter how hard they beg, they are refused discharge (along with explanation why) or an excuse is made such as ‘your Consultant is on another shift’ or busy and it is also the weekend – despite constant pleas from the government that the fact it may be a weekend should not deter discharge from hospital, admittance to hospital, immediate treatment and full use of all equipment and tests required, i.e. X-ray, scans, blood tests, etc, etc.

I myself keep promoting the need for visual and audio activated recordings in respect of all interactions with patients including medications ascribed and given. If there is a personal reason why on an odd occasion such a facility should not be activated then a statement should also be added to the same record-keeping device accordingly. Police personnel are often seen wearing such devices on their uniforms.

It is a telling fact that some hospitals have notices outside triage rooms in A and E departments that you are not permitted to record your interview or discussion/assessment when inside the room. So why not? Are your medical staff not trained in basic triage procedures? Also, along with notices that staff will not tolerate abuse, where is the comparative one stating ‘neither will the patients!’?

Where have the coffee and sandwich machines gone/and the pacifying TV on almost silent news stations? On one hand we are told that wait times can vary from being seen fairly quickly to being in the A and E most of the night. But the lack of basic human amenities in such situations infers ‘can’t you go home and see your GP tomorrow’. Where is the straw poll when it is needed?

There are, however, metal guard frames around reception areas now like the good old DSS (Unemployment signing-on departments in Mrs Thatcher’s time). Is this outwardly hostile unwelcome mat quantifiable in terms of mass migration and abuse from those unaware of our hospital A and E procedures?

If all hospital staff (from Admin, Medical, Porters and Cleaners et al) wear a similar recording device as police personnel have, will the true NHS situation and workloads be known? Surely a corporate impartial sponsor could initiate 100 such sample devices in selected hospitals (secretly assigned but with co-operation of respective Unions).

This also is testimony to any neglect, bullying, missed medical life-threatening deteriorations in a patient, incorrect or missed medications, and the diversity of dedication by medics and all interactions with, or requests made by a patient and/or families.

It also protects all hospital staff as such, a system similarly proving any abuse by a patient. Incidents of theft would be less as the culprit is identifiable. Any doctors (all ranks upwards too), in fact anyone who was deficient in attitude or workload could be challenged, dealt with and if necessary, dismissed without any responsibility passing to human overseers, ergo no Union involvement, disputes or strikes.

It is common sense in this technological age so why isn’t someone ‘getting on with it’?

We live ever increasingly in an ‘evidential’ age, i.e. Proof is required in more and more daily and ordinary situations anywhere we go or whoever interfaces within our lives.

Remember this, all Authorities such as Council and even the Police or many Government Departments defer breaches of all things legal to the victim to sort out and pay for the services of a solicitor – if you can find one then afford one.

It is quite shocking to learn too that something which is illegal, or breaches any given law, if it is done in public/in front of witnesses or police personnel, is then considered an immediate arrestable offence.

However, what is stunning is the fact that the same incident behind closed doors, via a telephone (mocking of a disability/racial abuse or other abuse), then without ‘proof’ becomes a civil matter.

The caveat has to be added in recent decades, domestic abuse/sexual abuse, is now reportable hence so many incidents of historic crimes coming to the public knowledge, so these are obvious examples of exceptions to that general rule now thankful for those victims.

Bullying is assumed to only be the case between parent to child/adult child or vice versa. Then again in respect of spouses regarding emotional abuse also – an accepted plea within circumstances pertinent to divorce applications.

Few people have heard of serious sibling emotional abuse from childhood well into decades of adulthood, often utilising family circumstances or a family member who may be a carer of an elderly parent, unsupported by their siblings, others may want to usurp the role of another sibling in another situation and so on. This is an abuse which splits families but is not looked on as abuse because it does not have an accepted heritage – yet.

Many Government Offices claim that all their calls are recorded but if anything goes wrong and one may seek a copy under data protection laws it seems common practice that ‘not every call is recorded’, ‘yours was not recorded’ whether it was or not.

To sum up, the NHS issues are replications of Mrs Thatcher’s Miners’ Strike. History does repeat itself, the tag names may be different but the issues remain the same. It has ever been thus. There is a saying ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ and that is a truism in its definitive meaning on all levels – A Priori.

In all things from now on, and forever (until a type of moral Utopia is achieved, so yes, my term forever is really ‘forever’), independent evidential proof is always required to determine the truth in all and any situation. Sad indictment of where we are at now as human beings with moral potential within each one of us, but true never the less.

The only solution to get to the truth of the NHS situation (all circumstances anywhere if a lie or some other threat can be a serious issue) is to have everything recorded forever so ideally all parties (but especially yourselves) have copy USB memory sticks of all potential evidence or proofs.

In the interim I also suggest we should all have our own telephone and home recording devices. Legally, one is obliged to facilitate a statement, also recorded on one’s phones/notice on one’s front doors for visitors, that all communications and/or conversations, text messages and emails are recorded for ‘evidential’ purposes and that the caller should not proceed further if they have a problem with that.

Then everything is legally submittable, especially in Court.

You have your answer if they the caller on the phone then does not proceed further but hangs up, or your home visitor reads your notice then turns away.

What a sad world it is that we have come to this.

NHS Unions should initiate a system as outlined herein and take the moral high ground then the rest of us, whether patients or staff (and that means everyone employed by a hospital in whatever capacities) can evidentially report to the Government and tax payers the answer to what really goes on in hospitals and what it costs us all, not just in financial terms but in those of medical and emotional ones too. Then bed-blocking can be determined, analysed either way, then corrective action taken.

I challenge an entrepreneur or Corporate Company to initiate the re-birth of our fine inherited NHS before a DNR notice is attached to it! (And that term itself is another issue for a further article – how long have you got?)

Junior Doctors in particular, although the political scenario is another metaphorical miners’ strike, you must remember that back in those years the evidence was within the mines but Mrs Thatcher disallowed independent proof of its existence and almost triggered a civil war with (ironically), leaving deep wounds even to this day.

Your issues are not yet independently proven to the average person in this country and your ‘coal equivalents’ are matters relating to working excessive hours and bed-blocking. There are those who claim to have seen you deliberately doing so to ‘play the political system’, you do not have a tangible equivalent to coal except that of proof. You must earn the trust and belief via the only way possible, that of tangible recordings, otherwise this issue will run on ad infinitum.









Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: www.thepinkprofessor.com.

Art sites: www.candystoreart.comwww.terrificart.comwww.artbadges.co.uk.


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.