I wish I had seen this clip earlier. It says everything about the government’s side of the junior doctors’ strike:
Love this lady’s righteous anger, making Steve Barclay squirm 👇👏pic.twitter.com/zGVzws7s0o
— Billy Nice Misanthrope 🇫🇷 (@BillyVacant) April 13, 2023
“You’ve done bugger-all about it. People have died, and all you’ve done is nothing.”
That’s a pretty good summary of Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s behaviour all round, really, isn’t it?
So, Thursday (April 13, 2023) was the third day of the latest junior doctors’ strike. And what happened?
Well, I’m going to cheat a bit, but this circular video happened, and it makes a fool of Jacob Rees-Mogg, which is always good when you consider he’s in line to lose his Parliamentary seat at the next election.
Take a look:
— Need To Know (@needtoknow_uk) April 12, 2023
Also cheating: Jonathan Pie resurrected an old video that has become relevant again. Here it is:
Unfortunately I’m having to repost this because it is sadly once again very relevant.
— Jonathan Pie (@JonathanPieNews) April 11, 2023
On the other side, here’s Keir Starmer, sitting on his Parliamentary salary that is as near to parity with its 2010 level as makes no difference, telling junior doctors to accept their 35 per cent pay cut and get stuffed:
Sir Keir Starmer KC states that the wage request of Junior Doctors is “unaffordable”.
Your friendly reminder that MPs pocketed a £2,440 pay rise this week. pic.twitter.com/thXZBmIQX7
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) April 13, 2023
All right, nit-pickers. With the derisory two per cent the government has offered, it’s a 33 per cent pay cut. A whole third of the value of what they were being paid a few years ago, before the Tories slithered into government again.
And Starmer supports that cut.
There’s trouble in his home camp, though:
Junior Doctors have had a 26% pay cut over the last 15 years.
They're on strike to get their pay restored – lifting it for a doctor on £14 an hour to £19 an hour.
It's ludicrous to claim one of the world's richest countries can't afford that.
Solidarity to the Junior Doctors!
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) April 11, 2023
On the other hand, Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer (she’s based in Bristol, This Writer’s original home town) has been on the picket lines with strikers. She said:
“Junior doctors are absolutely right to call for their pay to be restored to pre-austerity levels. Most people clearly agree that it is unacceptable for junior doctors to work ever longer hours while being asked to accept a real terms pay cut. A new poll shows 54% of the public back junior doctors taking action, while only 26% oppose.
“Years of government underfunding has pushed the NHS to breaking point and resulted in poor pay, thousands of unfilled vacancies, declining working conditions, overworked staff, and stretched capacity. Strike action by junior doctors and other health service workers is the inevitable consequence.
“The Green Party is committed to a properly funded NHS. We would increase investment by at least £6bn each year and ensure junior doctors and other health workers are decently paid. And to tackle the fact that one in three hospital beds in parts of England are occupied by patients well enough to be discharged but unable to access social care, we would also provide free social care.”
There’s this, too:
The Green Party do not equivocate. They don’t feck around. They don’t speak double speak.
The Green Party stand 100% behind the Junior Doctor Strike as would any person who appreciates what our NHS workers do for us. pic.twitter.com/4ISpvTIr8X
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) April 11, 2023
Staying at the picket lines, when a junior doctor was told the 35 per cent pay parity demand was “eye-wateringly huge”, he pointed out (rightly) that while nurses were being balloted on a much smaller pay offer, he and his colleagues have not (yet) been offered anything.
It really highlights the fact that Steve Barclay continues to be missing.
Where is he? Why isn’t he doing his job and trying to find a solution to the strike?
While all this has been going on, other issues have been raised on the social media, such as…
Don't you just want to be a fly on the wall when one of these Tory MPs or right wing hacks who are arguing, not just against the junior doctors strike, but against the principal of putting right their pay short fall, is wheeled into A&E.
— Gyll King (@GyllKing) April 11, 2023
— Socialist Party – Devon Branch #TUSC (@SocialistDevon) April 11, 2023
And this puts it all well into context:
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) April 12, 2023
Looking at it in the round, we can see that the Conservatives are faring appallingly badly, without even a spokesperson to put forward any argument they might have for cutting the pay of some of the most useful people in UK society while keeping their own unreasonably high.
The Labour Party seems divided, with the leader parroting a Tory/Establishment view that restoring doctors’ pay is unreasonable (while pocketing his own unreasonably high salary) while MPs on the party’s back benches are entirely supportive of the strikers.
And the Green Party is raking in the benefits from the failures of the two main parties, with wholehearted support for the junior doctors and their struggle.
Meanwhile, public support for the doctors continues to grow, with more than half of us supporting them. How long can the Tories continue pushing their unreasonable position?
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