Daddy, what did you do?

This was a recruitment poster from WWI – designed to create a feeling of guilt in young men, chivvying them to volunteer, head-off to Flanders, Ypres or somewhere on the Western Front and, likely die. At least they wouldn’t have to face their children… ‘I stayed at home, because I didn’t want to participate in a futile zero-sum game designed to fill the pockets of imperialists’ – or, something to that effect.

I don’t want to uncover old sores – there are plenty of new wounds to look at today.

I thought of this, when I thought about JH – I don’t know if he is married or has children (I can’t bring myself to Google him) – in five or ten years when things have settled-down, and, we are left with the two-tier privatised health-insurance driven system him and his cronies have been building, and, perhaps the headlines show the children – not perhaps of the poor people, (like the homeless), because, well, they are poor, but, the nice people, stacked-up in overcrowded A&E departments or limping along the road from poorly healing wounds for want of antibiotics to treat the infection (you see, tomorrow, when current antibiotics stop working, there will be effective treatments – they will just be available to the moneyed classes.)

Flucloxacillin 0.5p/treatment

Rangerovercillin 1000p/treatment (available via certain health insurance policies)

What will he say to his children?

The utilitarian response: Yes, I knew what I was doing. It was for the good of the country. I admit, individuals have suffered, they have died – but, you need to understand the bigger picture.


The outright lie: We are spending more on the health service than at any time in its history, Penelope (or whatever), the NHS failed because there were too many old people, too many who opted to smoke/drink/abuse sugar or, buy the latest iPhone rather than invest in health insurance.


The diversion: Don’t ask what I did to destroy the NHS – ask, why was Corbyn talking with the Russians/Chinese/Mongolians?

You get the idea – this is defined, within psychological circles as, cognitive dissonance – it is how your mind disconnects from reality.

It is a psychological parachute that allows us to stay sane. Or at least, the pain of introspection/self-analysis is dulled.

The NHS was never going to continue – the ageing population/long-term conditions/credit-crunch/rising sea-levels/immigration/organised crime/corrupt charities/ thepossibilitiesareendless…

Well Penelope, fear not!

I am going to save you from having to ask this question, or at least, me and my pals, are not going to let the NHS fall into the sea.

I don’t want to get folk too excited, but, this is war.

The stakes are high.

We can’t lose!

And, perhaps instead of us scapegoating the clown who carries the tag, let us look to ourselves, let us determine how we can re-nationalise the NHS, take back control, examine the inequalities that are as dependent on survival as JH and the greed he invokes.

We have significant geographical variation in quality, outcomes and experience – we can no longer look away; pretend that everything is OK. Waltz into the establishment of care systems that have one inevitable outcome; death of the NHS. Two-tier; You can get your cancer looked at here if you have insurance, failing that you can go for just OK, over there. I am sure the outcomes are equivalent…

I am going to take the question away from Penelope and JH and direct it towards every one of us.

What did you do when the NHS was on a knife-edge? How did your efforts, your passion, dedication keep the organisation afloat?

When I was a new consultant, a favourite quote of a senior colleague was, ‘It’s like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic’ – the suggestion being ‘We are doomed, what is the point?’

Well, I wrote yesterday about the bright young things coming-through.

I am calling on them, calling on us, to dig-deep and step forward and stop taking no for an answer.


Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

2 thoughts on “Daddy, what did you do?

  1. Good blog. Are we in crisis? I’m seeing some tough times but looking back I can’t remember it ever being hugely different- we just weren’t being told we were in crisis by the press! Listen carefully I shall say this only once- I think the NHS resistance is already very active. Just waiting for the call ✊


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