Sunday, July 07, 2013

Credit where it's due

We give our politicians are hard time in the blogosphere and generally take no prisoners when it comes to pouring scorn on their apparent indifference to the people who pay their wages, well the majority of their wages but let's not go there, so when one of them does actually seem to be trying a bit harder than most I think we should give a small heartfelt 'Yay!'

Jeremy Hunt, as Health Secretary, has probably the most demanding and difficult job in British politics. The NHS is a sacred cow, it is something that anyone born after 1948 has grown up with and taken for granted even though over the years it has developed and evolved into a huge cash devouring beast that is no longer the same wherever you live in terms of health provision and one which due to successive changes of ideology has veered from one political extreme to another, all the time whilst trying to do something very basic for the people of this country - in that regard it suffers the same outrageous slings and arrows as our education system.

Rather than take the easy way out and hide behind a title, a large salary, pension and red box, Hunt is actually finding out first hand what it takes to work on the 'front line' - an emotive expression considering its origins but one that the tabloids like to use whenever something goes wrong. As the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker observed on Desert Island Discs last week one of the golden phrases of journalism is 'if it bleeds it leads' - meaning that misery and death sell better than happiness and success.  One day a week he reports to his local NHS hospital and learns how the system works from the inside, he hasn't yet been cleared to carry out any major surgery but he changes beds, answers phones, goes on ward rounds - much like any beginner on their first job would.

I applaud him for doing this, he's been doing it for a year without any publicity and fanfare and I like the concept of the 'boss on the shop floor', as I have made clear to my new employers I would never ask a member of staff to do something I couldn't do myself or something I don't understand. Now I don't want Jeremy Hunt there at my side when I have my 'lump' removed but the fact that he has been interested enough to make the effort makes him a good guy in my opinion.

and next week, Philip Hammond gets to fire a really big gun at some bad guys whilst Michael Gove takes a lesson in personal development at his local Comp.


Span Ows said...

yes, he's one of the better ones and rather good at getting his point across in a well toned manner. I put Gove, Hammond and Osborne in the same group of 'goodies' (IMHO!!) but of course the point you make about 'getting his hands dirty' is excellent (I didn't know he did it!)

Paul said...

I think its excellent and I agree with you about Gove, Hammond and Osborne - I've always been a big fan of Gove and Osborne even though I do struggle with some of Gove's ideas.

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