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Referendum fallout

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A patient with metastatic cancer came to see me the other day and said she’d just had liposuction because she didn’t like the shape of her backside.

Who do you think cleans your bathrooms, drives your taxis and wipes your grannies’ arses?

That, by the way, was my attempt at a joke to lighten things up and the patient interaction didn’t actually happen. It’s called a metaphor. Now for any people who voted out in the recent referendum (I doubt if there will be many) I will explain all the grammatical terms carefully.

The above example is saying we, the UK, are like a terminally ill patient. That is we have lots of really serious problems. The removal of bum fat is a cosmetic problem, some would argue not really a problem at all, in this case it is an analogy for questioning our EU membership.

Now I am guessing that most of people who voted out have never visited a nursing home in the wee hours. Well I have, many times and guess who answers the door to you nine times out of ten… it’s one of those scrounging eastern Europeans who come over here and take all our red eye shifts in care homes looking after our demented octagenarians (that’s irony by the way).

To paraphrase a quote from the film Dirty Pretty Things: who do you think cleans your bathrooms, drives your taxis and wipes your grannies’ arses? (that is a rhetorical question).

But that does not do justice to the endless list of filthy, backbreaking, tedious, poorly paid and unpopular work done by the immigrants because the indigenous population are too lazy, feckless or incompetent to do it themselves.

Now I’m sorry if I have offended anyone who voted out, no, actually I’m not. Do you realise what an utter and complete mess you have thrown the country into?

Putting aside the fact all the leaders are resigning or being pushed out and nobody (not even the idiots who instigated all this crap) knows what to do next, without an immigrant population our health service is not going to survive.

In case you hadn’t noticed the NHS only runs because a section of the workforce are prepared to work long antisocial hours for low pay and lots of them are immigrants.

Sorry there is no hopeful end note here, but regarding the out vote, the resultant racism and all the other fallout – none of this is in my name (and that is just a fact).

Dr David Turner is a GP in west London

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Readers' comments (22)

  • I enjoy reading Pulse and hearing the comments of my colleagues.I have never commented on any article but find myself incensed by the tone of this article.

    How arrogant to assume that most readers voted 'Remain'.May I remind you that 52% of the population voted 'Leave ' and there is no evidence that I am aware of to suggest that the health profession voted in any other way.

    I too spend a great deal of time visiting nursing homes in the middle of the night during my regular OOH shifts.In our area of the UK most staff are not 'scrounging eastern Europeans' but hard working Filipinos,African or dare I say it UK nationals.Jobs are in high demand in our area of the UK even those that are 'tedious,backbreaking and poorly paid'.

    This referendum was about so much more than immigration .It was about the EU that was given the chance to address some issues and show some willingness to reform.David Cameron gave then the chance to show even the smallest amount of insight into the problem.All to no avail.

    Most of my patients can only dream of earning a fraction of the salary paid to the bureaucrats on top of their 300 euro daily allowance for accommodation and meals etc.How does that compare with £ 70.00 a week for accommodation,food,electricity etc etc.

    We welcomed Syrians into our communities that the EU did their best to kill by crossing the Med while they had yet another summit to discuss the issue.

    In our area of England the workforce is not run by immigrants but our local population who are in desperate need of support and jobs.They are fed up with being 'threatened by politicians' who live and work in areas of the country where the price of their houses could buy a whole village.Where the cost of HS2 to get to Birmingham 15 minutes quicker would revolutionize our county,where the major road from one end of the county to the other is a single road with no dual carriageway.Rail travel is none existent and the daily bus is under threat.

    Remember life exists in this country outside West London and our communities are desperate for some hope.

    This vote was not about immigration but about hope.Hope for change.

    You lost now get over it and move on!

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  • Ditto. Dr Turner obviously you like the other 48% (by the way that is less than half as you seem be to be having trouble with your math)really should stop moaning because you did not get your own way.
    Let me put this in simple terms for you and the other remain campaigners in mourning. John: I think we need to reduce the number of people coming to this country to live because we can't cope. Janet: Does that mean you are going to get rid of those already here? John: No, I said reduce the number coming -future tense. Janet: Does that mean stop all immigrants coming here? John No, I said reduce, not stop. Janet: Oh, I see, you mean have a policy of allowing reduced numbers, say for example, people to work in the health service and care homes. John: That's right Janet. Now can you please explain this to Dr Turner as he doesn't seem to understand.

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  • @11:02am : It's well documented that those with higher education more likely to vote remain. On a website where a 5 year degree is a pre-requisite for the target career, it's a fairly safe assumption. And that's a statement with an actual evidence basis - something not many Leave arguments can claim the luxury of.

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  • @12:01 - current Tory frontrunners now stating that they cannot ensure EU migrants currently resident in the UK will be able to stay. Currently, EU migrants make up 10% of the doctor workforce (https://fullfact.org/immigration/immigration-and-nhs-staff/), and now these doctors are under threat. In addition, it's well known that EU immigrants are net contributors (https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-immigration-and-pressure-nhs/).

    There's moaning, and then there's justified abject terror at the future of the country, and existential despair that a population can distrust experts and evidence to the point of self-destruction.

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  • @11:02

    actually if I recall correctly, about 85% of doctors voted to stay in the EU, from a telephone poll conducted by doctors.org.uk

    Polling aside, the Leave vote may have "won" but the whole country has unfortunately been split down the middle with this result, so no one has really won.

    Until the trigger is pulled to leave the EU, the remainers have plenty of say. And even on departure, the remainers have plenty of say on the method or means to leave.

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  • I don't think I would accept poll findings as "evidence" - polls haven't had a good track record lately

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  • I don't think I would accept referendum findings as "evidence" - referendums haven't had a good track record lately.

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  • Note to Pulse magazine: Please don't publish any more poll results for your surveys, because doctors do not feel they have any validity. Oh wait a minute. Yes they do because 85% of them are intellectual (@12.52) and obviously those with a higher education (@12.38) are more likely to vote remain. Are these the same educated people (Eton, Oxbridge etc) running the country that you all think so highly of? Forgive me if I think you are contradicting yourselves - where it suits you of course

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  • p.s @ 9.29. Another fact you Guardian wielding self named intellectuals might like to know. When your Tony Blair - you remember him - the bloke still telling us what to do now - thebloke who took us into the Iraq war on the advice of so called experts - maybe the same ones you think we should be listening to on Europe - well in 199t7 he only received 43% of the vote and yet achieved landslide, but that was ok wasn't it. How do your theories add up? 52% are wrong and yet the minority are right. Enough said.

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  • I'm one those scrounging eastern Europeans who 'wipes sore arses' if required to ease people's pains. And yes, I am adversely affected by the Out vote and feel a bit lost after having devoted 12 years of my life working 7 days a week as a GP. But this is not the issue.
    This blog highlights a few interesting points about menial and low paid jobs being done by migrants and the reluctance by the 'indigenous population' to dirty their hands. However, it also scorns people who exercised their democratic rights and it would seem that the reserves the monopoly to the only right decision which was Remain.
    Sorry fella, it's democracy and if you give people a choice then learn to honour and respect their vote. People who don't agree with your point of view could say the same nasty things about the Remain camp but they aren't doing it. For some reason, it seems only the remain voters are having a go. Maybe the government should provide the same level of funding for care of my patients in Strood as it provides in Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and West Malling or even within Medway.
    This vote was about inequalities and therefore, although it affects me adversely as professional migrant, I am satisfied that my patients have exercised their right to choose and kicked the establishment in the undertaking.

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