Ed Lines

The NHS is a bit off-colour. Poorly, is the diagnosis of junior doctors and senior managers alike, stricken by an ailment that only the ‘antibiotic’ that is unlimited money can cure.

I assume that a large number of junior doctors – far from all, in fairness – believe that killing off the poor sods in their care is some form of alternative therapy, hence their planned five-day strikes.

Shortens the waiting lists, I suppose.

So much for the Hippocratic Oath – what’s a few bodies and a million folk left in pain, compared to missing out on a bit of weekend bunce?

Because that’s what the dispute is about (along with the  militant docs wanting to rub the Tories’ nose in the bedpan).

Meanwhile the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – the people who say where NHS money is spent – have threatened to do the same with tubbies and smokers. Lose weight and bin the fags, or forget that hip replacement.

But if the overweight and nicotine-dependent are fair game, who’s next? Workshy sods who spend the day in bed having their anti-depressants withdrawn? (Gets my vote!)

How does any of it sit with keeping addicts and alcoholics on methadone and booze-handouts while denying care for a bloke who pays 40% tax but is carrying a bit of extra timber?

My GP is in the self-same Vale of York CCG and the practice has just paid lord knows how much for a fancy, automated dispensing system.

My last repeat prescription took three members of staff, two visits and about an hour in total, just to get a bloody asthma inhaler. They couldn’t just reach and get me it, oh no – the computer had to make a little conveyor choo-choo it round the room and down a chute.

I nearly had a funny turn just waiting for it, but the point is – not so cash-strapped. But then again, the national perception of the NHS is adrift from reality.

I NEVER know whether to feel sorry for the Idiot Left, or furious at their naïve stupidity. A bit of both mostly.

Many of the IL were rampaging through city centres on Saturday, wanting to replace the democracy of the EU referendum with their perverse ideology – ‘no truth except ours’.

I suppose a brothers-in-arms dive into the abyss with the crumbling European Union has some conscientious merit at least. Principled idiocy.

And their position on the NHS, while equally strident and hateful, is simply dumb on many levels.

Mention of ‘privatising’ the health service has the sweethearts frothing like their morning cappuccino, but you’d have better luck trying to reason with a four-year-old having a sugar tantrum, than them.

We’re coming up on 20 years since that economic vandal Gordon Brown began his PFI (Private Finance Initiative) wheeze for building new hospitals and schools.

Right now Kirklees Labour councillors are howling their fury anguish at plans to ‘do a Dewsbury’ on Huddersfield’s hospital in favour of the rebuilt £64 million Halifax Royal.

Except that under Brown’s PFI the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust face bills not of £64m, but £773m!

Labour’s modern NHS – sponsored by Wonga. Estimates put the total cost of Brown’s PFI to public bodies as high as a staggering £300 BILLION.

So if you want to know why Dewsbury District Hospital is being raped like a Rotherham care home kid, start with the super-shiny Pinderfields and trace the line back to Brown.

He effectively privatised a generation of public sector investment for the explicit benefit of his big business and city friends. Socialism, eh?

It was a car crash that Brown knew he’d have been chauffered well away from, by the time the emergency services were called. A vile man.

Every household in North Kirklees received a glossy 12-page piece of PR spin from the Mid Yorks NHS Trust this week, part of their ‘charm offensive’ trying to convince us the slashing of local health services is good news. Rank deceit on a breathtaking level and a very expensive way of polishing a turd.

The CCGs direct 60% of the NHS budget and although they include nurses and consultants they are mostly GPs in lucrative private practice who happen to get paid in NHS cash.

As for your your conscientious consultants? If you’re struggling to get your knee done on the NHS – perhaps because you have a couple of crafty fags, or have put a few stones on in middle age – go pay £200 for a private appointment. You’ll be seen this week.

And here’s my bet: the consultant whose half hour you buy will often as not refer you back to himself in his ‘other’ day job ... with the NHS.

And finally the militant junior doctors, the well-educated branch of the Idiot Left. I reject the notion that they chose their careers for anything other than enrichment and ambition – and there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. But do us a favour, leave out the Florence Nightingale impressions.

The reason we have a dire shortage of doctors is that half of these strikers will qualify thanks to generous government funding and be on the next plane to Oz/Canada/NZ.

That’s why the NHS is spending fortunes on agency staff and eye-watering overtime, while scouring third world nations for semi-literate, semi-qualified staff.

Calling the pantomime a sick joke would be about right – if it wasn’t so damn tragic for the people who pay for it.

LIKE Monty Python’s famous parrot, The Arcade, once the jewel in Dewsbury town centre’s retail crown, is dead. Gone. Deceased. No more. An ex-Arcade. Finito Benito – or Bennetto, more appropriately.

The last trader keeping the Victorian parade alive, Bennetto’s Coffee House, has relocated to a unit in Empire House, meaning that market day shoppers were confronted only by iron bars at either end. Folk couldn’t cut through from Corporation Street to Market Place.

Owners the Adhan Group in Blackburn, boast of being the biggest buyers of commercial property in the north of England, having recently added over 4 million sq ft of industrial, commercial and office space to their “already huge” portfolio.

Out of interest, did you know that ‘Adhan’ is the Arabic word for the Muslim call to prayer? Given that the Dewsbury Pioneers traders were apparently effectively forced out, it sounds to me like company owner Salim Patel may have plans for this site...

LAUGH? I almost choked on my Weetabix.

Keith Vaz, the slimy, duplicitous MP who can’t even lie straight in bed, caught with a couple of rent boys. Oh joy. It was a mirth that could only have been bettered by the sting having netted Speaker of the House John Bercow as one of the playmates – and maybe the horrible Diane Abbott chasing them all round wearing a huge rubber contraption.

My glee was short-lived however as realisation dawned. What’s the betting that, a) Vaz survives in Parliament; and b) his devoted wife stands by him? They always do. As for Vaz himself, in the event outlandish claims that two painters and decorators (the rent boys) drugged him and staged the sting don’t fly, the blame will be thrown variously at the evil media, a racist agenda, or some dim and distant trauma in his Roman Catholic upbringing. It sure won’t be Keith’s fault.

STERLING hits a seven-week high against the dollar, July saw huge jumps in all kinds of UK economic data, the stock markets are soaring, and there’s nary a sign of the Angel of Death, let alone nuclear conflagration.

Yet still the teddies are being thrown from cots. It must hurt awfully, being so wrong.

AN UPDATE on last week’s Wembley-Woodman tales.

No names in order to protect the innocent, but two ‘mature’ trippers went for a Saturday morning stroll. London being a biggish place, they lost their bearings and so hailed a cab to be back in good time.

Why they didn’t tell the cabbie they were at the Hilton in Islington no-one will ever know. Instead, recalling the name of the pub next door, they asked to go “to The Castle”.

You know what’s coming...

“Windsor Castle, guv’nor?”

“Aye lad, that’s probably it.”

(Oh, and they hadn’t taken their mobile phones with them).

A couple of hours and Lord knows how much money later, the cabbie realised his passengers weren’t quite the sophisticates they were dressed up as.

Eventually the police were required to transport them back to base, where they watched the final from their hotel room.

Why so coy with their identities? Seems the nearest and dearest haven’t been told yet!

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