#NHS Government propaganda comes via planted press pieces e.g. Vanessa in @daily_express

I’m convinced that whenever Government wants to bring in unpopular measures, it plants pieces in the Press.

Usually there is a report of someone, non-govermental but in some quango like organisation voicing a concern.  The piece doesn’t actually qualify as News but is given more space than reports of events that have happened and might actually be relevant to people other than those of some political lobby.

If there is any abreaction, a Junior Minister will quickly (they never act quickly on anything else) produce a well worded statement distancing his boss from the very notion of such a scheme. It’s always a Junior Minister, in case the Minister needs to try and push the idea, again.

Next, there is a piece by a newspaper columnist. Sometimes these are obvious plants, because the wording and sentiments are so at variance with that columnists usual style and / or concerns. If the reaction is not too negative, other columnists will insert their own versions, often with some of the same key phrases.

If the reaction is favourable, it will then pop up on a “discussion program” and finally a Minister will appear on some BBC couch to give his/her considered opinion.

Again, if there is no serious abreaction then it will be quietly placed on the Government process schedule.

Some of the legislation relating to the privatisation of the NHS seems to be getting fast-tracked, with little regard for anything but the most severe abreaction. The example which has prompted this blog is that of GP’s charging for services.

First mooted, some years back, as a charge to see your GP, when it was ostensibly intended to cut down on those failing to keep appointments, even though it would only be getting paid by those, who actually kept appointments. An easier solution would have been to cancel appointment systems and simply go back to crowded waiting rooms (People didn’t attend, unless they absolutely needed to).

That idea was dropped for being so obviously crass.

However on Monday, some anonymous spokesperson, from the BMA, advanced the notion that GP’s might need to charge fo certain treatements. It wasn’t made clear, as to which treatments. Nor was it made clear, what had prompted this press release. Had there been a flurry of letters / complaints from hardworking GP’s in Urban area’s, or was it from Tory HQ?

The following day’s Daily Express carried an item by Vanessa Feltz (I haven’t checked any other newspaper columnists but I would expect something in the Telegraph and maybe the Mail).

Vanessa had her usual pieces bewailing the fact that her husband had dumped her, by taking up the cudgel for Nigella and for Anthea Bovey, and a bit about her own family concerns.

Apart from appearing on any reality show or ” I have an opinion” chat show that will have her, she seems to spend most of her time at one soiree, or another.

Her main piece was where, entirely off her own bat, she had asked one top (?) London GP about this issue. She found out that politicians were too cowardly to introduce it (Hunt the destroyer of the NHS?????).

Apparently, it’s Senior (????) doctor’s, who are claiming that a free NHS is unsustainable.

I don’t know how she defines a Senior doctor but why should they be allowed to speak for the thousand’s of working GP’s, who believe in the NHS and, who don’t have shares in private health provider’s, based in the U.S.A.?

She finishes  by suggesting that we should get used to the unpalatable idea of  paying, say £5 a time to see our GP’s.

She lives in her own little world.

Quite possibly she does use a NHS doctor, although it seems unlikely. Quite possibly, it might “only” be a  tatty little fiver that will be pressed into the receptionist’s petty cash box.  Quite possibly, Vanessa might spend more on a skinny latte. I can even imagine Vanessa spending more on posh frocks than many receive as their State Pension. There’s a thought. How often will Pensioner’s visit their GP’s, at £5 a time. Would a Gov’t intent on capping pensions, make them exempt from this charge?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Newspaper and their columnists kept Government propagandists at arms length.



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