Posted by: Tony Copperfield14 May 2013
‘Something is squeezing my skull,’ sang Steven Patrick Morrissey on his, let’s face it, rather disappointing last album. But I think I know what that something is, now, because I’m suffering the same sort of tension headaches I imagine prompted the ex-Smiths’ frontman to pen that song. It’s a vice, and the man turning the screw is Jeremy Hunt.
His bewildering and crushing array of criticisms, constraints and contractual impositions are, literally, doing my head in. But now you can add insomnia to cephalgia, too. Because I can’t shake this little sleep-destroying thought sequence out of my head: JH demonstrates he can run roughshod over our contract and make us work much harder to earn the same; JH blames nation’s out-of-hours ills on us and the ‘disastrous’ 2004 contract; JH knows that, to the average newspaper reader, we’re the anti-Christ; JH takes big chunk of money away from contract and waves it in our faces; JH makes us re-earn it by taking back OOH personally; JH very popular with public for making lazy overpaid GPs work harder and for making it less likely to get killed out of hours; JH for PM.
You can just about read it between the lines of every utterance, can’t you? There’s one problem, though. I think he’s underestimated us.
Yes, we embarrassed ourselves with the day of inaction protesting about our pensions. But this issue, I think, would really unite all GPs, even those with anaphylactic reactions to militancy. If he actually goes for the nuclear OOH option, then I genuinely think GPs might strike.
This one would, for sure. Because Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now - but taking phonecalls again for threadworms at 3am would definitely push me over the edge.