Tuesday, 18 November 2008


It's official: David Cameron announced today that the Tories would definitely make cuts in spending on schools and hospitals, should we be fool enough to elect them. We have all been warned!

God knows, Gordon Brown is a dull man, but my instincts tell me he's a man of principle and commited to a socialist (with small s) ethic of free health care at point of need and accessible higher education for all - should they want it. GB has a son with cystic fibrosis, and Cameron, also had a child with special needs. It stands to reason that, with Labour (Labour!) paving the way for a two-tier health service by allowing patients to top up their drugs fund (something I'm still not quite over the fence about), the Tories will tighten the financial screws on cancer treatment even more. Part of me is frightened by this. Part of me rejoices that they are not elected yet, and, until they are, we still have access to a reasonable spectrum of care choices.

PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T VOTE THEM IN AGAIN! I made the mistake, when a naive 19 year old, still at university, and tired of doing my homework in the dark nights of the 1970s, of voting for Margaret Thatcher (just the once...but once was enough). She's a woman, I thought. She must care. But that didn't follow, no more than it follows that Cameron cares for universal health care in this country because of the recent tragic loss of his eldest child, cared for so well at NHS Trust St Mary's Praed St. Never again.

As a note to this: I worked once at an inner London cancer unit (The Middlesex Hopitai), checking in patients on reception in thr morning, typing up notes and doing clinic filing in the afternoons - as part of a summer temping job while at University in London. This place was really Dickensian - but, even then (Thatcher's Second Term), the moves were well underway to dismantle the good old systems of Matron bug cont/total ward managementl, et al. Then the private cleaning r came in - and we all know wherwe that has led us. There were no drivers for chemo patients (and chemo was GRUESOME in those days....) The patients had to wait all day for an ambulance to take them out into the hinterlands of Middlesex itself....The only entertainment was a woman who had had the roof of her mouth removed, and when she took out the prosthetic soft palate (can't spell medical words...), it sounded as though she was in an echo chamber. Used to please the punters anyway. After a day at that place, you'd have been thankful for Simon Bloody Callow and his inane drivel on the X Factor...

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