Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Doctor, doctor!

The doctors have been on strike. How dare they, people ask? How very dare they? But in the greater scheme of things, doctors don’t become doctors to earn vast wealth, they do it because they are ridiculously fond of the human race, or intensively curious about their insides – something like that. Yes, there is potential for some doctors to become filthy rich in the private sector after expensive training at the expense of the public purse, but I don’t believe this is the motivation of all but a very venal few. There are plenty of other routes to riches for those with the mental wherewithal to withstand medical training.

So, if you have even a shred of faith in the human race, you’d have to conclude that they have a legitimate reason to engage in withdrawing their labour. I don’t pretend to know much about medicine, but I do know that if you offer a human something for ‘free’ there’s a fair chance they’ll perk up: welfare, entertainment... healthcare. The National Health Service creaks at its seams because too many people expect too much without taking any responsibility. It’s always up to the government to pour in more money, isn’t it? And as the government hasn’t any money of its own it has to take it from those of us too busy to go to the doctor.

So it strikes me we can kill two birds with one stone here, three in fact... hell, we can crack shitloads. They say work sets you free and it really could. Fuck the EU, sod the environment (it will take care of itself) and pay no heed to the howls of the progressives. Leave the Deutsche Eurocratic Projekt, seal off the borders and let’s go self-sufficient for a while. Stop bowing to the deity of globalisation and start to consider not what citizens of the world need from their home country, but what we all need from each other, right here in the UK.

Open up the mines, re-fire the furnaces, get people back on the land and back in industry and flip a big fat bird at all the new-age, iMoney, eCommerce, everyone’s-an-entrepreneur, every kid's-a-coder nonsense. Start making stuff again, kickstart construction; get people grafting for a living. We'd regain a measure of independence and solve many of the problems of full employment and energy security and we would have to address our own skills gap... and we’d once again have something to occupy the laggards rather than just paying them off, writing them off, as we do now.

There should be no dole when there’s a harvest to be gathered in or black gold to be hauled to the surface. Work hard at school or work hard with your hands; instil a work ethic and make it shameful to claim special treatment for all but those who genuinely need it. Ah but, the mark of a civilised country is how it treats its needy and its minorities, they’ll say. Okay, so let’s reduce their numbers by rolling back on what is considered a ‘need’ as opposed to a lifestyle choice.

This won't hurt a bit...

Oh, it might not be pretty and we’d have to forego strawberries in December and three thousand varieties of breakfast cereal. Our treatment of indolence and sloth would necessarily be forthright and everybody would have to pull their weight, but speaking of weight, obesity may once again become a thing of rare luxury. Fitter, leaner, more active people would become the norm and the threat of striking doctors would recede with every pound of fat shed. What’s not to like? A self-reliant, healthier population and a return to community coherence...

But first, as Shakespeare famously said, we would have to kill all the lawyers. It’s never going back to the way it was, is it? 


  1. "So, if you have even a shred of faith in the human race"

    I am not sure that I do although I am often confounded that despite the human attributes of self-interest, greed, propensity to make bad choices and to often act inhumanly and violently the human race still survives and indeed flourishes.

    The junior doctors resistance to change is a prime example of self interest at work and the evils of monopolies. Despite those changes being to benefit the junior doctors customers(patients) they are resisting because they prefer the rights, privileges and comforts that working in a monopoly has allowed them build up over the years.

    I am afraid and I quote you again "doctors don’t become doctors to earn vast wealth, they do it because they are ridiculously fond of the human race" that quote is far from true. There are exceptions but generally people become doctors or go into any profession or job that offers them the best reward. The best route to the greatest reward is a certificate that states you have an academic or vocational qualification. That certificate does not guarantee that the ability matches the qualification and in my experience that all too often they do not. Especially in the NHS as I have found out to my detriment(but that is another story one that entails description of my experiences of other healthcare system where the mismatch of qualification and ability is not so apparent).

    1. Oh, I think that humans are simply more self-aware animals, but I still believe 'doctoring' is a vocation, rather than just a way to make a living. Few people in their right mind want to be accountants, clerks, factory fodder, etc and most of us work purely for a wage. It is a lucky man who earns his money doing what he loves, but I think the incentives for those who go into medicine are not based originally on financial reward - there are far quicker and easier routes into 'big money' if that's your aim.