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Francis Bacon’s interpretation of our health service as it struggles to catch its breath.

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The image came to me this morning and I’ve been unable to get it out of my head.

It isn’t pleasant.

It isn’t jokey.

No.

I watched the PM’s 15-minute presentation (Spiel?) on Sunday night – I don’t usually get to tune-in to his talks (or those of his stooges) as the 5pm show is too early; I’m always working.

Sunday was different.

I hadn’t intended to watch; my brother had mentioned it in passing.

And then the image.

A Spitting Image doll; recorded, in real-time.

I’m not sure if you remember the public service broadcast from, I think it was the 90’s which played the drunken conversation of an abusive husband as he batters his wife, ‘I love you so much Morag… Punch.’ Or words/images to that effect.

Yes, BJ talking about Covid felt to me like an abusive partner talking to their spouse, expressing love, appreciation, as they land another kick or slap.

And that is what it feels like to work in the NHS.

…We have stripped you of assets, ignored your requests, diminished your position, but, we still love you; we have led you to strike (remember that Mr Hunt?), we have forced you into burnout, lengthened, prolonged, stretched and manipulated your waiting times, messed with your working conditions; we even promised to build, what was it, 20? 200? New hospitals. Slap.

We care about care home workers, older people, ethnic minorities, we honestly… Slap.

A drooling, dribbling, stuttering, stumbling, drug-addled bully, we express our love through brutality.

And you, the people, the patients, the old, the young, the sick, the poor, keep coming-back for more; you vote me or my party into power. We mock you; we humiliate you with lies, falsehoods, twisted logic and yet, you come back for more.

Oh, yes, Mr Farage and I are having a wild time down the boozer as you sit at home waiting for me to crash, pissed, through the front door, long after the kids are in bed.

They sometimes describe damaged relationships as car-crashes, train-wrecks; the twisted, pulverised, humiliated remains unable to resist.

Well, ‘Let me tell you this, I love you, and it is my love for you that makes me,’ Slap, ‘do the things I do,’ Punch, ‘Because no one can provide for you the way I do…’

Bullies love the limelight.

They can stand tall and spin the lies that have maintained them, they can peddle the snake-oil that funded their empire.

And we, keep clapping.

Clap, clap.

Captain Tom keeps on smiling, his benign appreciation for your work all part of a mistaken tableau of appreciation.

Trust me, I have lots more where that came from.

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One Reply to “Francis Bacon’s interpretation of our health service as it struggles to catch its breath.”

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