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Friday 20 November 2015

Sun Demonises Junior Doctors

The less than perfect oversight of the NHS by Young Dave’s Pal Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary) has now resulted in not merely an impasse with junior doctors, represented by the BMA, but a vote to take strike action, and by a margin of 98% to 2%, on a turnout of 75%. That means no proposed higher ballot threshold would have stopped the action, and demonstrates the strength of feeling against the Government.
He's not at all swivel-eyed, you understand

Given the generally high regard in which the medical profession is held by the public, one might expect the more rabid elements of the Fourth Estate to stop and think. But that thought would be misplaced: well-paid editors, pundits and hacks tend to go private, and therefore view the NHS as no more than a source of cheap knocking copy, a means of frightening their readers into shelling out and doing as they do.

And no paper exemplifies the unedifying spectacle of overpaid hacks telling the readers what they should think than the Murdoch Sun, which has decided to wade into the dispute on the side of Hunt, who, after all, might have got the BSkyB deal for Creepy Uncle Rupe if only the reality of the Screws’ disgraceful - and illegal - behaviour had not intervened. He went in to bat for Murdoch: Murdoch would go into bat for him.
Hence today’s laughably skewed and partisan editorial “Healthy salary”, where the BMA is painted a “militant” (there hasn’t been a junior doctors’ dispute for 40 years), the pay deal on offer “will give a hefty rise to three quarters of junior doctors” (no it won’t - see the Guardian explainer HERE) and contains the priceless “They average £40,000 a year” (the basic salary is around £23,000 - after years of study and qualifying).

So why is the Sun taking its stance? Simples. The Murdoch doggies know that three days of strikes have already been pencilled in. This could be a long dispute. For that reason, they are trying to undermine the public’s respect and support. To do this, they resort to the most fundamental of Sun ideas - if the facts don’t fit the narrative, and being selective doesn’t give the desired result, just make it up (otherwise known as lying).

For instance, that “hefty rise” should be put alongside this: “At the moment junior doctors are paid ‘standard’ time for working during normal working hours, which is defined as 7am-7pm Monday to Friday … if Hunt prevails, ‘standard’ time will be extended from 60 hours per week to 90 and stretch up to 10pm every night of the week apart from Sunday. Juniors say that by not being paid extra in future for working at antisocial hours they will lose up to 30% of their salary”. That is what the Sun is defending.

Yes, what The Sun Is Not Saying is that the “hefty rise” given with one hand is most likely to be taken away with the other. Add to that Hunt’s intransigent attitude, the plummeting morale in the profession, and the Tories’ press pals spreading the usual falsehood and misinformation about them, and no wonder junior doctors are angry.

On top of all that, we know that with Rupert Murdoch there is always a quid pro quo. So expect to see the Sky bid make an allegedly unexpected appearance - and very soon.


Andy McDonald said...

One can only hope a few readers ask "If the deal is so good, why are these clearly intelligent people not taking it?".

Shawlrat said...

This tripe would presumably have been sanctioned by Stig Abell. The same Murdoch employee who appeared on BBC Question Time the other week saying that the NHS was too important to be used as a political football.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's all part of the Nastzi party (and Yank) wet dream to privatise the NHS. Their rabid attack dogs in The Sun can always be ordered to yap loudest.

They'll never be satisfied as long as there exists any semblance of successful community action and investment. Lest we forget, the neocons are the same mentality that in Parliament voted over 50 times against the NHS founding legislation. Hunt is just another gobshite Lahndan spiv and barrow boy, just another bought-and-paid-for messenger shill......as he was when selling off "media and culture" to his paymasters and public school chums.

Nor should we forget there is a spivs "market" in completed PFI hospital projects - the ultimate in far right gangster economics.

Just watch as mainstream media hack cowards do the neocon propaganda job they're hired for. They have no honour, no decency. Utter scumbags the lot of them.

The junior doctors are among the genuine heroes in our society. Not just in the job they do, but in their determination to stand up to the econofascists and thieves and their yapping media. The Sun hack cowards aren't fit to lick their boots.

SteveB said...


SUN readers?????? They think as they are told and even that is hard work for them.

Hunt was the main go between in the pre-2010 discussions between Cameron and Murdoch prior to Tory policy on the BBC changing in-line with Murdoch's, followed swiftly by the Sun coming out in favour of Cameron.

And don't forget that this week the BBC announced it is dropping the red button news services and cutting back on-line output, guess who will be pleased by that.