Attacking the last resting place of the dead – one act for which the word “desecration” is absolutely appropriate – is bang out of order. And that statement comes without any ifs, buts or asterisks. It doesn’t matter whether you loved or loathed the person, their memory, or their relatives. Sadly, that has happened to a campaigner and business owner in Stafford.
Julie Bailey’s mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital. Whether or not her death was avoidable I do not know, but this spurred Ms Bailey to start a group called Cure The NHS. Later, standards of poor care on some of the Hospital’s wards were exposed. The Francis Report followed. Stafford Hospital is now vastly improved, but is threatened with run-down or, indeed, total closure.
The closure threat has contributed to tempers running high in the debate about Stafford Hospital, which in turn has led to Ms Bailey being used by the NHS-bashing tendency of the Fourth Estate. It is too late for anyone to point out to her that she should never have gone anywhere near the Daily Mail, which is now pretending that Stafford as a whole has “driven” her from her home.
What may not occur to the average Daily Mail reader is that Stafford is not Royston Vasey, but a large town of over 120,000 inhabitants. They did not all meet in secret and devise a dastardly plan to drive Ms Bailey out of town. And no campaigner – the Mail, as is its wont, reserves most of the nudge-nudgery for the Labour Party – can achieve that kind of leverage on his or her own.
Most of the heat that has been generated over Stafford Hospital has come from out of town, and the Daily Mail has been the unquestioned cheerleader, this being another opportunity to demonise the NHS. One of Paul Dacre’s obsessions is to seek out stories showing the organisation in the worst light (recent examples HERE, HERE and HERE). Dacre goes private. He wants his readers to do the same.
The Dacre attack doggies have also massaged the numbers to keep up the attack on both the NHS and the population of Stafford: readers are told of “the horrific neglect at Stafford Hospital which cost up to 1,400 lives” (“think of a number” territory there) while the Save Stafford Hospital march, where more than 40,000 took part, is downgraded to 30,000 to make it look less relevant.
And one thing is certain: when the Mail talks of Julie Bailey having to sell up and leave her business, going to live in a static caravan somewhere, they won’t be around to pay the bills. There is only one winner when folks go to the Daily Mail. Everyone else loses: apart from Ms Bailey, the town of Stafford gets its reputation trashed, along with that of all of its NHS workers.
But the Daily Mail makes the mugs buy their papers, so that’s all right, then.
Whilst I agree with a great deal of your blog, and particularly your stance on the Daily Mail, can I point out that the claim "I have been forced out of Stafford" has also been repeated in local press, Stafford Newsletter, Express and Star and also on national TV in interviews with JB herself.
Can I refer you to the link below:
Where Ms Bailey is reported - by the BBC - as saying : Ms Bailey said she wanted to leave the town as she did not feel safe any more.
She said: "It's really sad to be going under these circumstances... we've been driven out.
"This is what a small-minded town and small-minded people have done to us... I will be glad to be out of Stafford.
Whilst JB has done a fantastic amount of good in intially highlighting the problems at Stafford Hospital, her continued attacks on both the hospital - which is now consistently ranked within the top 20 hospitals in the UK - and her courting of the media is doing neither the hospital nor Stafford itself any favours.
Should you feel inclined, please feel free to investigate matters yourself. Ask yourself where the vases that various neglected people were apparently forced to drink from on hospital wards came from when flowers and vases were banned from the hospital at least 5 years earlier. There are various other holes in stories of neglect appearing, but start with that easy one.
Thank you for reading. I await the venom, attacks and flaming that will no doubt ensue from CURE and its members
There is much in both of these articles which carry sound sense.
Ms Bailey and her group did a lot of good in their initial campaigning, and a lot of changes have been made across the board. Stafford is not the only Hospital which has struggled to provide the level of care which all medical professionals would wish to give.
I think that, if Ms Bailey and her group, in the light of the Francis Report and the improvements made at the Hospital, had used their energies to improve the services at Stafford, rather than continue the hate campaign, she would have been lauded as a true heroine.
Unfortunately, it seems that the draw of media coverage has continued to appeal to Ms Bailey, so that her motives are now unclear.
Does she really want to CURE the NHS or destroy it?
Sorry mate, you've fallen for a Big Lie here. There's no evidence for any of it - does the grave *look* desecrated in those photos? She made no complaints to police or council until after people started asking why, and she's definitely not driven out. She's off on holiday then moving to Dubai for family reasons - something she's been planning for almost 2 years according to a very close source.
Anyone else's claims would require substantiation before being believed but the media has run with this for their own reasons. Have a look at the recent articles on my site - she's just not what she claims/is made out to be.
Steve, had I not said at the outset that grave desecration was out of order - which it is - then you and I know the kind of accusations that would have resulted. This blog would have been called out for "unimaginable cruelty" and "trolling dead patients' relatives" (I've already been accused of the latter).
TBF it's not all of the media that has been giving Julie Bailey a platform, but the Mail has used her pretty shamelessly - which was the angle I was stressing.
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