Thank you, Mrs Bloggs

I’M GRATEFUL to Mrs Bloggs, who’s sent me a comment originally posted over at The Guardian and which subsequently found its way onto Don Paskini’s blog (pay attention, will you?).

This says what I’ve been trying to say but in a far more effective, powerful and relevant way. No doubt those who use phrases like NuLabour and Zanu-Labour will be as outraged at this defence of the government as they were at my previous post. I hope so, anyway.

I’ll be voting Labour at the next election and I’ll tell you why.

I’m 85 and been in and out of hospital frequently since 1992. I can say categorically that things are infinitely better now . Back in 1992 not just a long waiting list but when you got a date you had to ring up on the morning to see if there was still a bed. 2 times out of 3 there was not. Now medical procedures have improved and speeded up. When the consultant says “we’ll have another look in six months” you get an appointment in precisely six months. In the nineties a medical exam under anaesthetic meant three days in hospital now you go in at 8AM and sent home 4PM. Many internal examinations are now done by endoscopy and you only spend a couple of hours in hospital. I know because I served on a Health Service Committee that the long waiting lists were due to lack of funding.

I’m also voting Labour because I’m better off. Yes things are tighter than they were 12 months ago but I’m a damn sight better off than 12 years ago. Then my pension just about covered day to day living, now there is some over for the odd luxury.

No doubt the above will cause apoplexy among the majority who contribute to Cif. I get the impression they are nihilists or anarchists and anti-government and within six months of a change of government the bile and invective will be as OTT as it is now.

Btw will those who use the silly phrase “NuLabour” do so in the opening sentence. I can then skip to the next comment because I know their unoriginal contribution will be the same old rubbish that all users of “NuLabour” spout.

The same applies too to those who use BLiar, Broon Harperson et al. If you’ve got a constructive point you want to make it is not improved by unoriginal Private Eye name calling.

Incidentally, since I don’t know the identity of the person who originally wrote this, I won’t be publishing any (critical) comments in response; I don’t mind criticism of me, but I don’t want to subject this particular person to it without his or her knowledge. Them’s the rules.

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4 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Labour, Media, Politics

4 responses to “Thank you, Mrs Bloggs

  1. I read what you said about not publishing comments on this post, but for your information (in case you’ve not seen it before) this remains the best defence of Labour’s NHS policy I’ve ever read:
    http://snowflake5.blogspot.com/2008/06/nhs-at-60.html

  2. Stu

    Since you said you weren’t publishing comments, I wrote you a blog post instead. I do try and be nice in it, though. It’s not overly crtical.

    I’d summarise it here for you, but it’s late and I’m tired.

    Stu.

  3. I suppose I should make it clear that, as far as I know, ‘Mrs Bloggs’ didn’t actually write the original comment; she merely copied it to me in finding it. If I’m wrong, I apologise.

  4. You’re not wrong, Tom.

    I was merely posting a comment, someone else had posted. But felt it gave a useful correction to some of the negativity and hyperbole around and felt the other comments made, about the quality of debate, in the comment worthy of wider circulation. Presumably there were other patients alongside this person (gender unknown) who will also have used the same hospital, staffed by the same nurses and medical staff and were equally well served. But how many people actually stop to register a positive experience of a service.

    As for my own family’s most recent experience of the NHS- last year my eldest son, aged 18, had need of a routine operation. With the new ‘choose and book’ system the whole process from GP appointment, to hospital consultant (the choose and book system enabled a choice of local hospital/waiting time factors to be considered by the patient) to operation and aftercare took 3-4 weeks. His quality of life has been improved.

    Elsewhere in my extended family, my uncle (worked all his life) has recently suffered a heart attack as a result of the strain of his enphesema (can never remember how to spell that, am sure there’s a y in it somewhere), rushed to hospital in an ambulance, hospitalised, stabilised, life saved.

    He does regret not giving up smoking sooner. He gave up fifteen years ago!

    Alan Johnson gave a speech, dunno whether it was on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the NHS or some other debate, but it was certainly around that time, where he offered a reminder that now we are measuring waiting times in weeks not months. That’s progress.

    Government must always have the humility to listen to and recognise what more can be done but it is equally incumbent on those who wish to discuss the issues to recognise the progress made not for congratulatory purposes but in helping define policy priorities and ways forward.

    We also have a younger son, aged 17 at the moment, who is Autistic. Although our family had a lower income due to our caring responsibilities in respect of the younger son, the elder son was still able to go to college because of the extra income provided through the Education Maintenance Allowance, sufficient to pay for travel costs, books and stationery. He is now a fully tax-paying member of the working/middle classes (that ‘/ ‘ is another debate altogether).

    I also have, incidentally, a dear friend who is a ‘locality manager’ for children’s centres, who reports positively of the impact of the provision of childcare and other family support on families who are using the service, not because of being a self-serving bureaucrat but because of genuine recognition of the outcomes.

    Policies are having an impact on people on the ground that might not be captured by more dramatic and sensational policy debates.

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