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What is a humanitarian crisis? A famine of biblical proportions in Africa? China’s Persecution of Uyghur Muslims? The millions displaced by war in Ukraine?
For the increasingly hysterical NHS Confederation (led by Matthew Taylor, a one-time Blair striker), it’s the more mundane issue of rising energy prices.
In a purely political intervention, the organization warns that unless ministers offer more help with rising bills, households will have to choose between eating meals and heating their homes this winter. That would mean more people getting sick from cold and hunger – putting an unbearable pressure on an already collapsing NHS.
While this is undoubtedly disturbing, this is hardly a ‘humanitarian crisis’. Such an exaggeration is grotesque and diminishes the discourse of true calamity.
Also forget that the government is already spending £37bn to support families struggling with energy costs – and the package is almost certain to be extended.
Matthew Taylor (pictured), head of the NHS Confederation, said Britain is facing a ‘humanitarian crisis’
No, this was nothing more than a blatant attempt to get ministers to hand over even more money.
At the same time, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine warns of a ‘major crisis’ in ambulance care. Instead of being treated quickly, too many of those who call 999 experience life-threatening delays. In a horrific case, a woman was stranded on a concrete pad for more than ten hours after breaking her leg before the ambulance arrived.
Even though the NHS budget is already a record £178.5 billion, the solution proposed by the health institution is exhaustingly inevitable: more money. Like a blackmailer, the behemoth always comes back for more. No amount is ever enough.
But it would be easier to take its cries for money seriously if it wasn’t wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on virtue signage.
Today the Mail reveals that the NHS has spent more than £1million on ‘wakeful’ staff support groups, having picnics or conversations about transgender issues, pronouns, sexuality and racism.
Of course NHS staff, who do an excellent job, deserve care. But the public will rightly wonder whether their hard-earned taxes should instead be spent on more doctors and nurses or tackling waiting lists.
In the grand scheme of things, £1 million is of course a drop in the ocean. But it’s endemic of an NHS mentality where our money is there to spend at their leisure, much of it on unnecessary layers of management.
Until someone bravely steps forward to understand what the country can afford for health care, and how to afford it properly, things will only get worse.
Hands to the pump
Hoses banned, and the public told them to ration the water they use. Pipes leak billions of liters a day. And raw wastewater routinely pumped into our rivers and seas.
With drought drying out the country, water companies have generally performed poorly. But is it a miracle?
Surprise, surprise, those who fail the most are letting their staff work from home during the crisis.
In contrast, those who do best have kept busy offices.
When long-suffering customers are abandoned like this, the water companies should put all their hands to the pump.
Hoses banned, and the public told them to ration the water they use. Image: file image
RMT of the rails
With fiery but depressingly predictable rhetoric, union barons warn that the crippling railway strikes could last “indefinitely” if their wage demands are not met.
But does the union action work? With typical resilience, Britons still go about their daily lives – working from home or finding other ways to travel.
The RMT can enjoy a political blow with the Tory government. But when their endless disruption kills the railroads, they’ve betrayed only their own members—leaving them out of work and out of pocket.
The RMT can enjoy a political blow with the Tory government. But when their endless disruption kills the railroads, they’ve betrayed only their own members—leaving them out of work and out of pocket. Photo: King’s Cross St Pancreas closed as a pipe strike hits the capital on August 19