To Madam ,with love
(Inspired by Sir Sydney Poitier)
First of all , you do not need to reflect on this comment as I am never a member but at least I am not anonymous.
It is my opinion that you were a breath of fresh air when first being elected just over 12 months ago. My expectation was perhaps you could be the charming girl who pointed out to everybody that the emperor was in fact, wearing no clothes instead of new ones. Being disappointed so far , one would still want to give you the benefit of doubt on a learning curve.
It is a fact that there is much negativity circulating in our profession and will become unhealthy to our young colleagues. To do 'something' about this is politically correct.
However , there is a difference between treating the symptoms and the origin.Surely ,you are well experienced for this argument as a senior colleague in general practice.
''Every matter has its origin and final form ; every event has its beginning and the end . Only if one understands what comes before and after , the 'great way' is near to be acquired.'' Great Learning
All these negatives we are talking here did not develop in one day with no explanation. And they are not confined to the older colleagues and those teaching our trainees . Think about how our younger colleagues felt after their defeat by the government on their industrial actions in more than one occasions. We are at war , precisely war of politics , with the government . The day our longest serving health secretary in history said he was not 'picking a fight with GPs' , this war was declared . His infamous comment of underfunding GP was a 'penance' of our contract in 2004 , demonstrated his belligerence towards this profession. Frankly, we are not traditionally trained for fighting a war like this as we only want to look after our patients , rather than involving in politics. Not knowing how to tackle these politicians with undoubtedly hidden agenda(s) had led to this vicious cycle of negativity. We looked up to the ones elected to represent us but they were too stuck in a political ambiguity by a baggage of staying politically correct in front of the public . The words ' no better time to be GPs' were exploited by the previous prime minister in House of Commons and his conclusion was 'crisis , what crisis?' Then our well established medical journal published an academic study of investigating the pattern of mortalities between weekdays and weekends. This was immediately hijacked by our clever health secretary and this provided the basis of the seven days GP opening policy (without extra new
investment of resources). It is not surprising BMJ is so much politicised and anti-government in tone these days.
The ideal politics in a war is the type which requires the least amount of physical conflicts.
In Chengdu , China , there is a couplet posted on the wall outside a temple paying tribute to the arguably most intelligent military strategist in Chinese history,Zhuge Liang(諸葛亮）. Those who had played video games(or watched films)involving the famous Three Dynasties period(184/220-280 AD) would be familiar with him .
The couplet read :
''Playing the mind-games properly , the enemies would self-neutralise by itself .
It is well known through history that soldiers do not really want to be belligerent.
Without a throughout analysis of the current circumstances , either a flexible(liberal) or harsh(restrictive) strategy will create mistakes .
Always rule my country(Shu) with careful consideration, not once , not twice but thrice.''
The mind games this government had played on us were numerous and it is time for playing ours . The good news is this government is weakening and zombified .
From Capita to Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) , resilience funding to premises support etc , the word hypocrisy only kept repeating itself . The caveat of genuinely hurting our patients has become more and more plausible.The careless whisper of 'Public sector workers are overpaid' revealed the true mentality of a government willing to sacrifice people's well being for better economy and GDP rise.
Winston Smith worked for Ministry of Truth in 1984 but never really wanted to lose his soul and true identity . He was not allowed to show any negativity towards the establishment and his fate was clearly sealed with a drop of melancholia.
Even the government's own propaganda media and organisations have been exposing negative 'facts' .Based on objective facts , we can make subjective comments. I believe that is what we have been doing on this platform, even though you may not like the negative tone of them. Making no mistake , we are not deluded that these comments represent the opinion(s) of the majority. Certainly , we condemn character assassination as it represents verbal abuse and violence. The level of anger and frustration amongst all medical frontline workers is historical and phenomenal . This is also true to those who care about domestic issues and social justice in this country.
Watched The Good , The Bad and The Ugly(1966) again after 40 years. What inspired me the most was the poignant speech of the Captain of the Unionist in last part of the film against the backdrop of the brutal civil war:
Soldiers on both sides were reek of alcohol and really did not continue fighting. It was only a bureaucratic argument from the 'headquarter' that his army had to defend this bridge connecting to their enemies , no matter how many soldiers died as a result. He wanted to bomb the bridge but he did not have the guts to disobey the higher order. So the Good(Blondie) and the Ugly(Tuco) blew up the bridge and stopped the two sides fighting as they themselves wanted to get hold of some gold coins on the other side of the river. It was all about self interest ultimately whether you were good , bad or ugly. After the bridge was blown , the first person the Good came across was a young , not old , soldier dying of his fatal wounds.......
As far as those who are still respectably enthusiastic about training our younger colleagues, I quoted what was said in To Sir, with love (1967):
Barbara Pegg: Well, Sir, you're like us, but you ain't, I mean, you're not. It's kinda scary, but nice. You know what I mean, don't you?
Mark Thackeray: Well, I... I don't know how to answer you, except to say that I teach you truths. My truths. Yeah, and it is kinda scary, dealing with the truth. Scary, and dangerous...