Gove On Crutches; Oh Please Tell Me No One’s Falling For This!

July 23, 2015

by Martin Odoni

The Tories seem to have decided that the people of Britain are now ‘the stupids of all Europe’. The worry is that they may turn out to be right.

The Conservative Party’s embarrassing love of set-piece publicity stunts hit an all-time nadir during the recent General Election, especially the laughable David Cameron ‘rally’ in a barn in Cornwall. But somehow, for all the blatant fakery and blundering throughout the campaign, and all the evidence of ‘substanceless-ness’ (to coin a slightly awkward word to pronounce) so-entailed, the Tories still managed to secure a majority in May. Admittedly it was with less than a quarter of the eligible electorate, but even so, there must be a damningly high proportion of stupidity in Britain for that to happen.

The Tories may have learned the wrong lesson from that i.e. that such set-ups are a clever tactic. But this week we can put that to the test, for they are quite shamelessly manipulating the media with more set-piece fakery that, I hope, will fool no one.

That is my hope. My worry is that it will fool tens of thousands.

Michael Gove, the most paradoxically-named ‘Justice Secretary’ in British history, as well as the most punchable export that Scotland has ever inflicted on England (revenge for the War Of The Rough Wooing at last? Alas, “the punishment doth greatly exceed the crime…”) has apparently had an ‘accident’ that may have ‘broken his foot’.

Now this injury ‘just happens’ to have afflicted Gove at exactly the time that Jeremy Hunt, the most paradoxically-named ‘Health Secretary’ in World history, has been trying to force forward unfunded plans for a 7-day-per-week full National Health Service. Just days after Hunt was bombarded with an angry Twitter-storm from NHS staff hash-tagged #ImInWorkJeremy, to emphasise that the NHS is operating at a very high capacity every day of the week already, thank you, the redoubtable Gove ‘just happens’ to have decided to use an NHS department to get his foot treated rather than go private, and ‘just happens’ to have decided he should do so on a weekend. And the fact that ‘there was no one available to give Gove an appointment’ was mysteriously known by the Daily Telegraph, and as Gove was hobbling out of Shepton Mallet Hospital on crutches (which he, also mysteriously, managed to obtain without being seen by a doctor), a photographer from the Telegraph ‘just happened’ to be passing and ‘just happened’ to have his camera at the ready and took a photo of him.

Now I said at the start that the Tories think we’re stupid, but really?

Do the Tories and the right wing media think we really are stupid enough to fall for that?

If they think this little stunt is even one percent convincing, they must think we have peanut butter where our brains should be.

If they think that people do not understand the dirty trick that they are trying to pull with the NHS, they must think we have no brains at all; –

It has been quite obvious since the day it was announced that the whole ’24/7 NHS’ policy platform of the Tories was a huge carve-up job. Having been meanly starved of funding for five years, the NHS is already badly overstretched, and now, by deliberately and cynically increasing its workload while promising no extra staffing or funding to lessen the renewed strain, the Tories are hoping to cause the system to collapse altogether. They wish to create such overwork and exhaustion of resources that the quality of care in the NHS plummets, then declare that the system is simply not working, and use it as an excuse to carve up and sell off what remains of public healthcare in Britain.

For years now, right-wing bloggers have denied that this is happening, insisting that the Conservative Party would never go so low, and that the services privatised so far have merely been ‘outsourced’ (as though a change of label means anything), but with last week’s failure by Hunt to rule out charges at the point-of-delivery, ‘never’ is, at best, a big overstatement, and with the current push for an unworkable new scale of service, ‘never’ looks frighteningly imminent.

Profit means more than care in right-wing minds, and that is why the Tories hate the NHS. It is why they hate the Public Sector. It is also why they keep carving them up, and we can be very sure that the death-throes of public health will happen soon, probably during this Parliament. We are going to have, in effect, random taxes on our illnesses from the unsettlingly near future. Those of us who are low paid will face times when we will have to choose between getting treatment for persistent illnesses and eating.

I beg your pardon, what did you just say? What?! You ‘did not know’?

You mean you did not realise that the death of publicly-funded healthcare was coming? You did not realise that Gove’s hobbles were another unashamed publicity stunt? You did not realise that the NHS had been, until Austerity started to eat into it over the last couple of years, the best health service in the world? You did not realise that all the changes that the Tories were making to it were not only unnecessary but actually harmful?

Well, some of us have been warning about this for years. Some of us have been marching through the streets to warn about it and protest against it. But somehow, you did not know?

Were you too busy obsessing over who was sleeping with whom in Coronation Street, which particular body part Kim Kardashian was having photoshopped in the mass media, and which Premier League footballer was getting which ludicrously-unearned wage increase, to notice things going on that will actually affect you and your family then?

Maybe the Tories are right then. Maybe the British public really are that stupid.

Please prove them wrong.


I have no way of verifying this as yet, as I do not know who said it, but the following rumour has been put about on social media, and it seems to have quite a strong ring of truth about it; –

“He was in Somerset and went to Shepton Mallet, which is a tiny town which [only] has a Minor Injuries Unit… So he hadn’t even gone to a full-blown A&E, and he expected a 24×7 Radiologist and X-ray facility to be available at a Minor Injuries Unit? I used to live down there as a child – even kids know that you have to go into either Yeovil or Dorchester to get x-rayed etc. This is rural Somerset on a Sunday!

And here is the website for SM Minor Injuries Unit. Impressive complex, eh?

More on this topic here.

5 Responses to “Gove On Crutches; Oh Please Tell Me No One’s Falling For This!”

  1. Phil Blimpo Says:

    Political fools, abound through Tory and Labour to allow this to happen. Our NHS is being abused. Too many foreign free loaders are a severe problem for the Service regarding cost. The message must be that our NHS provides care free at the point of use, but only for eligible patients.

    William Beveridge and Aneurin Bevan would be outraged by the abuse of their flagship social reform and on such a scale. The time has come to protect our NHS. British taxpayers should not be funding an International Health Service.

    • hstorm Says:

      Ah, it’s ‘blame-the-foreigners’ time again, is it? It’s amazing how quickly some people try to turn any discussion on any subject into an anti-foreigner grumble.

      ‘Healthcare-tourism’, as it is now being called, in fact *saves* the NHS more resources than it uses up, because of the large numbers of British people who go abroad to have operations done. If we were to close our borders to ‘health-tourists’ from abroad, their own native countries would respond by closing their borders to ours. So we would then have to find considerable extra resources to provide appropriate medical care for the people who would previously have gone abroad. QED.

      The net result would be that we would probably have to find money and materials to build a dozen extra new hospitals around the country just to maintain current service levels.

      This is not a ‘freeloaders’ issue, nor is it a xenophobia issue, so please do not try to turn it into either.

      Also, please note that when you start trying to narrow down the arbitrary definition of ‘eligible patients’, it can be very difficult to know when to stop.

      Why would Beveridge or Bevan be outraged by the idea of the NHS being used to cure sick people, just because they happen to be from abroad? I have never seen any evidence of them being insular about where patients should be allowed to arrive from, they just wanted the sick to have a fair opportunity to be made well, without having to pay for the privilege.

  2. Jon Maine Says:

    Wow, assumptions !! I can comment on one fact, the photographer in question used the same hospital just before as he is a local resident and had hurt himself and recoginsed Gove. It is a MIU with nurse practicioners, very good too, unlikely to see a doctor there. Not a set up but why no comment about Gove holding a 15 year old American book on running prisons? Where is the real story here? Who is stupid and missing the obvious?

    • hstorm Says:

      Yes, I did read the photographer’s explanation, and it was a perfectly obvious cover story. If you can’t see the enormous line of coincidences required for this to happen, then I know who is missing the obvious.

      As for the book Gove was clutching, I didn’t really see it as relevant.

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