Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gloom and cliché keep the Telegraph ticking

Labour is at 40% in their poll* and in its ninth year of government. It's more than three years to a General Election and the country's doing pretty well. So it isn't hard to understand the misery suffered by the Telegraph and its hard-core readership.

I should be more sympathetic. I can remember the mid 1980s when it seemed that I had more chance of winning the National Lottery than of seeing a Labour Government again in my lifetime. And that was before the National Lottery had been started.

Patricia Hewitt has announced, in an interview with the said paper, that the government intends to introduce health screening for everyone who wants it. Seems an eminently sensible idea to me. But it doesn't take much for the Telegraph's leader writer to trot out their pathetic 'nanny state' cliché. Even more gloomy are the blatant lies: "But in this case, we have a government that after nine years has found no means of improving the NHS....". Never let the facts spoil a good rant.

My GP's practice already runs health screening sessions, at least it did a couple of years back and I assume still does. I was summoned to be asked some lifestyle and family history questions, to have my blood pressure taken and to endure a couple of other tests. Happily I got a good score and didn't have to go on to the next stage.

But this wouldn't fit with the Telegraph's gloomy agenda. A shame really because, away from the editorial line, it has lots of rather good stuff in it.....

* the latest Yougov poll for the Telegraph puts Labour on 40% and the Tories on 39%. But I couldn't find a reference to it on the Telegraph web site I had to seek out the Yougov one. It's an impressive result for a government which is, according to some of its critics from both without and within, engaged on introducing allegedly deeply unpopular reforms....


At 19:11, Blogger Aunty Marianne said...

One of the hazards of being a civil servant is that after spending so much time suppressing your own political opinions, sometimes you wonder whether you have any any more.

When I feel like this, I buy the Telegraph. The litter of scrunched-and-hurled editorials, neatly balled educational punditry and cultural criticism reserved in a small basket by my TV chair specifically for throwing at Gary Rhodes on Saturday morning cookery programmes, and opinion columns torn into little, little strips just right for lining cat trays soon reminds me that there are some things up with which I will not put.

I then continue my loyal and unbiased service reassured that there is somewhere where I draw the line, and the Telegraph is the other side of it.

At 13:59, Anonymous Cathryn said...

I'm not so sure about the NHS, at least the GP service. Living in central London, I had to try 3 surgeries before one would register me. I can only book an appointment on the day, which means effectively taking the day off work in the hope I'll be able to get one. If I'm an 'emergency' case, I can go and sit in their offices until they've got time to see me. So, I pay medicentre, where I can drop in or make an appointment when its convenient for me, and have up to half an hour.

And as for health screenings, I'm aware that the one for cervical cancer is only once every 5 years which is positively criminal. Never mind what happens if the test isn't taken properly, it is perfectly possible to progress from clear to incurable in less time than that. My Aunt certainly did.

I suspect the service varies a lot depending on where you are, and NW1 certainly isn't the place to be.

At 14:29, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Aunty M - I admire your self control and restraint. I'm generally unable to suppress my opinions be they political or other (and most of the latter have a large dollop of the former in them). It did my career no end of harm. Asking the Director of HR if he also sold fudge after one of his more nauseating 'feel good' presentations to managers is still spoken of in hushed whispers. No wonder they elbowed me out.

A drawback to reading newspapers on line is that you can't scrunch them, tear them into little strips or light the fire with them however much they offend you.

Cathryn - I guess the NHS is still a bit patchy, I was fortunate to get a 'well man' session. I had similar difficulty to yours trying to find a GP in NW8 although that was Quite A Long Time Ago. But people still complain about paying extra NI to fund the NHS.....


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