Sunday 25 March 2012

The Doctors' Party

Apparently the nation's doctors are taking the 'next logical step' in their bid for world domination by fielding candidates at the next general election. This something I have long recommended. A period of being abused on the doorstep and getting fewer votes than a man dressed as a chicken is just what these meddling quacks need to bring them down to reality.

Sadly, I doubt that many of them will bother to stand. The money's not good enough and they've been dictating the policy of successive governments without any popular mandate for years, so why bother?

There's nothing I can say about this that hasn't been said better by Graeme Archer at the Telegraph, so just go read his article...

[Minimum pricing is] a policy with the sticky fingers of the BMA all over it, too. I don’t know why we don’t just devolve government to the doctors’ trade union and be done with it; after all, they’re in such a high state of dudgeon over the health Bill (the BMA is not accustomed to being disobeyed by Health Secretaries) that they plan to field candidates at general elections. These candidates, it is claimed, will be “non-party” and “independent”, to which one might respond: independent of whom? Not of the BMA, whose party they effectively represent.

I looked up the BMA website, and – surprise! – the policy of minimum pricing is indeed one of the medico-comrades’ manifesto pledges. (The link to the alcohol policy is right next to the “Doctors taking action against Climate Change” page, which made me shudder and fear for what’s coming next.)

... I don’t know why the doctors feel the need to bother forming a party and standing for election anyway, since governments introduce every statist piece of social control they demand. I wonder if they’re ready for the rigours of an election campaign? There’s more to it than shouting “I don’t like the health Bill; now fund my ludicrously over-generous pension scheme” at bewildered taxpayers. The GPs might also be shocked to learn that most political door-knocking happens in the evenings and at weekends, and, no, you can’t get locums to cover that out-of-hours work for you. Still, I do like the idea of GPs being quizzed on their policy by interested voters: just how many units did you consume last week, doctor? And who gave you the right to make my sauvignon blanc more expensive?

Sadly, the answer to that last question is “a Conservative Prime Minister”. One of the reasons I did drag my sorry backside around council estates in the rain at the last election, delivering leaflets for the Prime Minister’s party and desperately trying to squeeze just one more Tory vote from the Labour-inclined burghers of Hackney, was precisely because more than a decade of a government that thought it knew better than I did how to live my life was enough.

Minimum pricing for alcohol fails, miserably, the leaflet test: we got rid of Labour, for this? That beer can be cheaper than water apparently troubles Mr Cameron. He should realise that the cheapness of beer is one of the few perks left to make life bearable for his over-taxed, over-regulated, fed-up fellow citizens. Better the sticky heap of Gin Lane, than the joyless futility of government-controlled alcohol prices.


Tim Worstall is also reliably sound on minimum pricing, an idea "so glaringly, inanely, stupid that it even has the European Commission on the right side of the point issue."

This is the most monumentally insane, stupid and illiberal nonsense that we've had imposed upon us in years. There have been things more illiberal, yes, but not insane at the same time...

I can reveal that I've once met Cameron, just after he came down from Oxford. I took an instant dislike to him and I'm able to say that the intervening years haven't produced any evidence that I should have changed my mind.

Minimum alcohol pricing is doing something that almost certainly shouldn't be done and then compounding the error by doing it in the most cackhanded way possible and illegally to boot. Just what is it that they teach in PPE these days?


Jay said...

When doctors began lobbying governments, they became activists instead of merely doctors. The next logical step for any activist is to enter politics, so you can better enforce your will on the people.

The really sad thing is: Far too many doctors no longer care about treating patients. In fact, many "doctors" have become lazy and, evidently don't want to treat anyone at all.

Pro tip for all doctors: You're supposed to treat us regardless of how we live our lives, regardless of what we eat, or drink. If you don't like what people do, don't be a doctor. Now please, doctors, shut the fuck and do your actual job for once and stay out of politics. Okay?

Anonymous said...

The public has a higher regard for Doctors than it has for career politicians. The people who are most likely to vote are older people, who happen to be the people who most value healthcare. I'm a similar age to yourself Christopher, & I go from one year to the next without seeing a doctor. Few of these voting pensioners can say that!

Many people in this country are disillusioned by both Tories & Labour. Last time many protested by voting Lib Dem, who are now part of the government. They won't be drawing many protest votes in 2015.

The doctors will be able to study the parliamentary career of Richard Taylor & the Kidderminster Health Concern group. They got elected & re-elected. Dr Taylor still drew a respectable vote in 2010 with all three parties stood against him.

If well-respected local Doctors get selected in constituencies along with a co-ordinated campaign then I think they could give the chap in the chicken suit a run for his money. If the Doctors look like holding their deposits in multiple constituencies then Lib/Lab/Con will offer something to accommodate their vote.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Taylor was standing on a single-issue platform related to the local hospital. If the Doctors Party is going to go on and on about the NHS Reforms (which seems to be the intention), they will find that ordinary people care much less than they think. People will also have noticed, by the time the election comes around in 2015, that despite all the talking of 'saving' the NHS, it is no better and no worse than it was in 2010.

If, on the other hand, they are going to campaign on a platform of banning smoking, making alcohol even more expensive, junk food taxes etc., they will be tarred and feathered. And I will supply the tar.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the whole Nanny State approach to lifestyle. I don't think they Doctors would use those views as a vote winning strategy.

My view on the NHS Reforms is that a lot of people don't understand the bill, or indeed much of what running the NHS actually involves. I know I don't.

I do think that a group of Doctors running a larger scale of the Health Concern campaign running on a "No Cuts to our Local Hospital" would be potentially significant. They appear both "anti-politics" & concerned with an issue that an ageing electorate will be increasingly concerned about. A doctor running to save local NHS services has an easy appeal to authority & compassion.

You may know from experience that it is difficult to argue against such an individual without appearing ill-informed or coldhearted to a casual observer.

Anonymous said...

I think that the key point here is that the speed at which ideas like minimum pricing etc can go from left field to government policy(courtesy of the internet, social media and the overwheming left wing mainstream media, including the BBC)is much faster than that which can be accomodated in General Election manifestos. So essentially the general public are totally disenfranchished from having a say on policies which could have a devastating social impact (the smoking ban comes to mind here). Isn't it time that someone (maybe your goodself) focused in on this particular issue? I wonder how many of your followers have seen Soylent Green? That is where we are heading courtesy of Dave and his nu Labour 2 gang.

Brugmansia said...

You actually canvassed by doorknocking for the Conservatives?

tsk. No wonder you're cross.

Anonymous said...

won't it be fun when a doctor turns up on the doorstep looking for votes to say:
"Sorry too busy right now, make an appointment for a weeks time."

Anonymous said...

Minimum alcohol pricing only really applies to bargains and loss-leaders, not to your average-price bottle of wine. It will be 40p/unit, making a beer cost at least £1 and a bottle of wine £3.60. Not exactly expensive, huh? And it's not surprising that doctors want to see less people coming in with liver disease or ridiculously drunk.

Also, I've read that the NHS pension is already in surplus and not costing the taxpayer - that would mean what you've posted is unresearched ranting more than anything else. I suppose if you're that desperate to protect your right to eat/drink/smoke the same old bollocks then this is just the sort of rant you'd produce.