The Eternal Impotence of the Middle Class Left

How many times has someone described themselves to you as an ‘Anti-Capitalist’? Whether on a facebook profile or after 3 drinks at a party some people love nothing more than to label themselves with this pseudo-rebellious moniker (Ironically they tend to be the same people who use phrases like, “I don’t like Labels”). But as you look down you notice they are not wearing tree bark sandals or hand woven hemp. Their wardrobe is straight out of Gap and Fat face and they’re usually holding a bottle of craft ale that’s been marketed so well Milton Friedman would blush.

The bearded hipster brigade is oblivious to the myriad ways capitalism not only makes their existence possible but actually enriches their lives. Without the bewildering choice of almost every consumer good they can imagine, many pushing the boundaries of technology and science, there would be no Youtube videos of Russell Brand and Owen Jones. How on earth would they pass the time? The Grauniad itself is only here today because of its prescient understanding of the print media market.

They have a fanatical obsession with local producers and traders over faceless corporations but do they ever consider that this is part of the wondrous variety that makes market economies such incredible places to live? It is capitalism that ensures over 8,000 different real ales are produced every year in the UK. Without capitalism we’d all be on ‘Victory Gin.’

And what does it mean anyway? How can anyone describe themselves as against one of the most basic processes of their life? They might as well describe themselves as ‘Anti-Oxygen’. Everything they do from the moment they get up to the moment they climb into bed supports, sustains and contributes to the glorious market economy they are privileged to be part of, from the brand of Muesli on the breakfast table to the Channel 4 property programme they watch after supper. Their very freedom to be anti-capitalists is proof of the wonder of capitalism – could/would any other ‘-ism’ tolerate such a vocal fifth column?

They rail against capitalism but in fact they are protesting against corruption, cronyism and corporatism, an antipathy shared with many a good libertarian. Politics is so much easier when you decide that everyone who disagrees with you is evil and this blinds them to the fact that fairness is at the very heart of conservatism . Heaven forbid they actually share any opinions with the other side! They’d never be able to show their faces on a Westminster demo again (which seems to be a weekly occurrence now, Like a ‘Right-On’ substitute for going to the football).

If I thought that the world was controlled by a secret ‘Neo-Liberal’ elite that oversaw government and mass media across the globe, I would do something about it. Take up arms, man a barricade, refuse to comply. If I genuinely believed that democracy was a sham and we were all willing drones to corporate bosses, I wouldn’t stand for it.

So what do they do? They sit in comfort and plenty streaming idle profanities across Twitter and Starbucks. They can’t even find an independent coffee shop in which to plan the revolution. Anonymous abuse of anyone on social media who dares to question dirigist orthodoxy is about as rebellious as a wet fart in an empty train carriage. Che would be turning in his grave.

The EU referendum is a perfect example of stupefying left wing impotence, with thousands of social justice warriors happy to forget the glaring absence of democracy and willing to accept the biggest corporatist cartel in history, all for the fear that someone they know may or may not lose their job. I guess the revolution will have to wait, eh Comrade?

What happened to the Left’s Euroscepticism?

Until 1983 the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU was official Labour party policy. It was Labour who offered the official opposition to our entry into the common market, the social democrat Labour Leader Hugh Gaitskell warning it would be, “The end of a thousand years history”. And even after it ceased to be official policy the Labour Left continued to campaign earnestly for Brexit. However since Corbyn’s accession to the leadership of the party there has been an unexplainable bout of collective amnesia. The question begs to be asked – What happened to the Left’s Euroscepticism?

The established socialist view of the EU was pretty strait forward – A crypto-fascist conspiracy dreamt up by a cabal of malevolent industrialists to further exploit the workers. Of all the fairy tales that the Left has ever believed in this one had more to it than most. The EU has never served the people and its lack of transparency and accountability is an affront to anyone who believes in democracy. It’s not only the traditional Labour Left that has forgotten this narrative, the tens of thousands of non-aligned socialists and members of the disparate Loony-Left groups that have thrown their weight behind Corbyn without a moment’s hesitation have ignored the fact that the Labour party will campaign to remain regardless of Cameron’s renegotiations. The SNP’s Mhairi Black cited Tony Benn as one of her Signposts in her maiden speech yet she chose to conveniently overlook that one of his most passionately held views was that Britain should abandon Brussels. (How ironic that Benn’s viewpoint boiled down to his belief that his people should be able to govern themselves – supposedly the defining creed of the SNP).

Compare Corbyn’s leadership on Trident. He has doggedly pursued unilateral nuclear disarmament despite most of his parliamentary party being against him and it being about as popular at the ballot box as the Poll Tax, a lesson Michael Fallon taught Ed Miliband less than 12 months ago. Not to mention the fact that scrapping Trident is a ‘Pie-in-the-sky’ leftie pipedream, about as likely as Eton being turned into a comprehensive, the end of gender identifying pronouns or Fidel Castro living to 200.

Whereas if they were to support Brexit they would at last have a platform on which to confront UKIP in the North, underpinning their claims to be a radical alternative to the Westminster mainstream. And there is also the very real prospect of success. Leaving the EU is not some wishy-washy left wing fantasy, it is entirely realistic. We are months away from a referendum and the polls are encouraging. If Jeremy Corbyn really wanted to score a ‘Principled’ victory for a traditional left wing cause, giving Cameron a spectacular bloody nose, he could do no better.

Corbyn will argue that he is displaying pragmatism, doing what is best for Britain – a curious act of expediency for a man who has made his reputation as a righteous idealist. I suspect the reason is altogether more prosaic and pathetic. No matter what office they hold Corbyn and his acolytes can never shake the mindset of protest politics. It is all they have ever known and all they will ever feel comfortable with. They don’t actually want power, they enjoy being on the outside too much. Creating, building, producing, doing is simply not in their nature. If you’ve been throwing stones your whole life, why would you suddenly become a glazier? For the Corbynistas the insouciant enlightenment of a Rebel With a Left-Wing Cause is all they ever wanted. Decisions and consequences don’t make good T-shirts. I think they baulked at the idea of having to actually take responsibility for something, to actually have a belief tested in the real world. Life is so much easier carrying placards and spitting at people.

I understand that there are Labour MPs campaigning to leave and even the Boy Wonder Owen Jones, High Priest of Corbynism, has flirted with ‘Lexit’. However they are a handful of ‘Character’ politicians enjoying a last hurrah in the limelight who have been in the chamber so long they lack the cognisance for a U-turn. And while Jones has come out in favour of leaving, you get the impression his heart isn’t really in it and he’d prefer Corbyn to focus on pretty much any other cause, such has been his subsequent reticence on the issue. As conspicuous as these figures may be they are merely a drop in the ocean of mindless left wing support for the EU.

The fact is that ‘Brexit’ is simply too toxic an issue for the Left to go anywhere near. The crippling fear at Islington dining tables that middle class Marxists could be seen in any way as narrow-minded and prejudiced has erased a belief the Left held for decades. Political correctness has delineated Euroscepticism as a vulgar, right wing obsession that any self-respecting socialist wouldn’t be seen dead wearing. To jettison a long held principle simply because it has been pigeon-holed as contrary to your virtuous, multicultural persona is further proof of Corbyn’s unsuitability for office.

There is stunning ignorance on the left of the deficiencies of the EU but it is an ignorance borne of a complete reluctance to examine the issues for fear of what they might learn. And while suburban socialists foolishly panic that ‘Brexit’ could jeopardise their supply of Mascarpone or end their weekends in Tuscany the people of the UK live with the consequences of an organisation that constrains our economy, restrains our lawmakers and prevents our nation from realising its awesome potential.

Such Sweet Sorrow

As a child growing up in the 1980s there were only two sounds that would make my heart ache with a giddy sense of pure joy – The theme tune of ‘He Man and the Masters of the Universe’ and my mother uttering the words, “You can get a 10p mix.” Coke bottles, flying saucers, white gems, vampire teeth, cherry lips, coconut mushrooms, candy necklaces. To this day I can’t look at a selection of penny sweets without smiling, the very taste of childhood innocence. We even picked them with our grubby, little fingers – not a scoop in sight. The thought that the state could interfere with this sacred relationship between child and corner shop owner is thoroughly unpleasant and casts the PM as a real bully – forget the bedroom tax or cutting child tax credits, taking blackjacks out of schoolboys’ pockets is about as low as anyone can stoop.

The Sugar Tax is what happens when TV chefs dictate government policy. I would expect nothing less from a Labour administration but for a Conservative government to enact such a patronising, interfering policy is tragic. Yes, we are getting fatter and yes, the NHS will struggle to cope but when hasn’t it? It is practically part of the NHS business model that it must always be on the precipice, such is the size and scope of its remit. There are numerous ways to fund healthcare in a period of increased demand and while many of them may be ideologically offensive to those of a socialist persuasion surely some involvement of the private sector is preferable to a tax on taste?

It is the ultimate in killjoy legislation and the epitome of The-State-Knows-Best attitude- an affront to liberty and an insult to the idea of choice and personal responsibility. The Sugar Tax masquerades as a common sense funding solution to a pressing issue but it is in reality nothing more than further encroachment of the state into our private lives.

Where will it end? Are there any untaxed pleasures left? Minimum alcohol pricing is permanently on the agenda and you now need to arrange an appointment with your bank manager before you can buy twenty fags. What’s next? School sports? Bouncy castles? Balloons? Beaches? Panini sticker albums? For many on low incomes a Mars bar or a can of Tizer is the one affordable luxury they enjoy.

Besides, we all know where this is leading – manufacturers will replace sugar with sweeteners and in 20 years’ time we’ll discover that the alternative is actually worse for us than the original, just as happened with butter and margarine. And in the meantime they manage to suck a little more joy out of all our lives. Big Brother strikes again.

However, by far the worst aspect of the Sugar Tax is that it will prove to be completely counterproductive. Nobody will stop buying Kit Kats because they’re 5p more expensive but after the sugar tax is imposed on your weekly shop it will mean less money to spend on fruit, vegetables and fresh meat. You never find a shrivelled, limp Twix at the bottom of your fridge. Sweets last an age, keep kids happy and never go to waste, for any mum on a budget it’s a no brainer. Making confectionery more expensive will simply make it less likely that low income families eat a healthy, balanced diet.

The Sugar Tax is a piece of legislation that Tony Blair would have been proud of and by proposing it the Prime Minister looks every bit the successor to Blair’s legacy. David Cameron will not be around forever, indeed he increasingly looks like a man on borrowed time, and whoever succeeds him must cease this relentless lurch to the centre ground and the pursuit of pernicious nanny state policies. These are uncertain times for the Conservative party and the surest way to guarantee the party’s survival in the aftermath of the EU referendum is to adopt an uncompromising, unambiguously conservative platform. The time is fast approaching but the question remains – Will a real conservative leader please stand up?

A Pound of Flesh

So it’s your 29th birthday and life is good. After working your way up through your twenties your career is finally going places, you earned that big promotion last month and can finally start looking at German cars with poor fuel economy. You’ve got a nice flat in a nice part of town and a full social life but still have time for the gym once a week and 5-a-Side on Wednesdays. Sundays are still spent sitting around a table eating mum’s roast and laughing at dad’s jokes. And to top it all off you think you might have just met The One. As your mind contemplates full nappies, school runs and Cotswolds cottages your pocket starts to buzz. The message reads:

Citizen 27815696107, You are hereby ordered to present yourself at The Sir Benedict Cumberbatch Hospital at 6am on February 25th for removal of a section of your Liver for transplant. Failure to appear will result in your apprehension by police using your digital tracking implant.

It is a terrible vision of where society is headed, all the more troubling as it is increasingly possible. How long before a simple heel prick test at birth can provide a detailed medical profile valid for a lifetime, including suitability for organ donation or bone marrow compatibility?

As immediate as the technology may be public acceptance of compulsory organ donation seems like a far-fetched Sci-Fi fantasy, a discarded Doctor Who plot line or one of those cheap, dystopian future films that Hollywood regurgitates ad nauseam – minimal computer effects needed as the future needn’t look that far away and enough depth for unexceptional teenagers to consider it profound.

However if you consider the motives, ethics and consequences of mandatory organ donation you realise it is actually remarkably similar to how our taxes are collected and used to fund an unrelenting welfare state.

We have no choice when it comes to the collection of our taxes, for most they are deducted before they see their pay, the rest of us risk the courts if we fail settle up. Every five years we face a binary choice whether to pay a little more or a little less but the prospect of a serious reduction is never on the ballot (though I expect a serious increase will be an option in 2020). But more importantly we have precious little say when it comes to how our taxes are spent on others. None of us would ever give our liver, kidneys or any other organ to a shameless reprobate who spent his life pickling his organs in white cider and neglecting a sizable brood of delinquents. Yet we have no choice when it comes to our money enabling him to sustain this lifestyle.

It is impossible to remove any organs without causing considerable pain and triggering long term life changes, even a minor procedure like bone marrow extraction is excruciatingly painful. By way of comparison we will never know the true cost of excessive taxation on millions of hard working people. And we’re not simply talking about holidaying in Bognor instead of Barcelona or foregoing designer labels – How many people have had to delay retirement or work longer hours away from their families to fund the lives of millions of people who appear to be wholly unable to make sacrifices themselves? How many of us might have been able to give our kids a little bit of extra help? A better school? A car? A deposit? No. For being responsible and supporting ourselves our children must do without what we have worked for to provide for those who decline to try.

However, just as the nightmare of compulsory organ harvesting has parallels with our current taxation system, so the current scheme of voluntary organ donation suggests a better, more human way for us to support those in need. Under the current system the act of giving is transformative both for the donor and the recipient. The recipient feels an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and a fundamental responsibility to honour the sacrifice made for them. The donor benefits from an incredible sense of well-being and the increased self-esteem that comes from the knowledge that they have saved the life of someone they deem worthy.

This is, of course, nothing more than the simple practice of charity and it would be a far more responsible and a far more responsive way for us to deal with those who, through no fault of their own, need some form of support. This targeted aid would make an incomparable difference to thousands of people’s lives, especially compared to the current scatter-gun approach where ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ and the state’s word is final.

Some will always sneer at the idea of charity as an instrument of social support (Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ was shouted down by the ear-splitting screams of undeserving entitlement) but after seventy years of the welfare state it is clear that our current system is causing as many problems as it is solving.

Don’t believe it could work? I bet a few doors down from you there’s an old fella who struggles to get out. Ask him what he’d prefer – a fiver a week extra in his pension or a chat over a cuppa and a trip to the shops? We are all human and money is no longer enough to fix the social dysfunction at the heart of so many of our communities. Charity is one of the noblest qualities of the human condition, exemplifying the very best of man. State-sponsored welfare turns us into brainless cattle, with no care for responsibility, propriety or consequence. I say it is time we aspired to something better.

Jeremy Corbyn: A Head of the Hydra

As 2015 draws to a close Jeremy Corbyn is still the leader of the Labour party. A year ago who would have thought it possible? The only thing more remarkable than his election is that after three Months of indecision, disorder and chaos not only does he remain in place but he shows no sign of going anywhere.

There have been lots of bold words thrown around like ‘Resistance’ and ‘Rebellion’ from the Blairites but disagreement over foreign policy and military intervention has in no way challenged Corbyn’s position as leader and the sight of the Labour Right emasculated through fear of de-selection is one of the most pathetic spectacles in the history of Westminster. That not one of them has the courage to sacrifice their own career to save their party is a sad indictment of the calibre of current Labour MPs.

The 60% share of the leadership vote together with the support of Don McCluskey and the other Union bosses ensures that Corbyn is fixed in place. It had been presumed that a poor performance in May’s Scottish, Welsh and Local elections could force a challenge but people are slowly beginning to realise that 2016 will be dominated by the EU referendum, as it rightly should be, and this will afford Corbyn another year of hiding in the shadows.

But if he were to fall, would it matter? Thanks to Ed Milliband’s catastrophic overhaul of the Labour Leadership election process and the Unions’ refusal to have new members/supporters scrutinised, the Left now holds the future of the Labour party firmly in its hands.

The idea that 100,000 ‘Moderates’ could be attracted to the party come 2017 is laughable. Moderates are by their very nature, well…Moderate. Corbyn appealed to tens of thousands because he was selling a revolutionary alternative. The idea that thousands could ever become inspired by Chuka Umunna’s insipid, lukewarm Statism is absurd.

For the Labour Right to achieve any sort of grassroots uprising it would need to declare open war on Corbyn and from what I have seen I doubt any of them have the stomach for it. Simon Danczuk’s defiant Daily Mail columns amount to little more than the political equivalent of a child playing Knock and Run.

It is easy for the Conservatives to focus on defeating Corbyn but that would be foolish. Corbyn is not the beast to slay, he is merely one head of the Hydra, cut it off and it will only be followed by another. Get rid of Corbyn and you get McDonnell, get rid of McDonnell and you get Abbott (a terrifying thought in itself), and so on and so on. Until the election process is reformed Labour is a party of the hard left. It could be decades until this changes.

The Labour MP most likely to end Corbyn’s leadership is Corbyn himself. His public demeanour seems to shift between that of a muddled pensioner on his weekly trip to the shops and the grumpy old man next door who won’t throw the kids’ ball back over the fence. Either way the stress of leadership has taken its toll on him and one wonders whether he has the mental strength to continue to face the relentless assault of the ‘Commentariat.’

I suppose he will consider the capture of Labour by the hard left to be a satisfactory legacy and step aside when he’s forced to the end of his tether. I think he’s the Accidental Leader who never really wanted the job and if it were not for some shady individuals in his camp telling him the world is still flat I suspect he would already have gone.

As we watch Labour crash and burn the Conservative party must take advantage, taking the opportunity to do what is right rather than what is popular. Fears over the effects of the Tax Credit cuts at the ballot box were wholly misplaced. The 2020 Conservative Manifesto could include a commitment to slaughter the first born male in every household and the Tories would still win a majority. The time is now for a bold Conservative leadership to shape both the party and the nation.

Much has been written about a healthy democracy needing a credible opposition but this is nothing compared to the gilt-edged opportunity we now have to reduce the malignant influence of the state. Free from the short term concerns of electoral appeal the Conservatives must take this chance to cut welfare and roll back the state from our lives, reinventing the United Kingdom as the nation we desire and deserve.

 

The Assassination of a Labour Moderate

Simon Danczuk’s suspension from the Labour party for sending steamy texts to an under 18 year old appears to be a classic case of a sleazy MP abusing his power in an all too predictable and pathetic way. The story boasts an extra helping of bathos given his well-publicised/self-publicised love life and his position as a leading campaigner for victims of child sex abuse. The story is so cliché it barely warrants a second glance. But on closer inspection the story is a revealing open wound on the Labour party’s soft underbelly.

What an amazing coincidence that one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most prominent critics from inside the Parliamentary Labour Party should be implicated in a sex scandal! The whole tawdry affair has Honey Trap written all over it. Regardless of whether it was a set up the idea that someone who works as an online financial dominatrix could be shocked by a middle aged man telling her he was horny is risible. Whether she decided to go to the press out of political malice or simply to cash in she knew exactly what the consequences would be and there is little doubt that someone with Corbyn-ish tendencies would have encouraged her to come forward. And who would have thought that the girl selling humiliation and sexual degradation on the web would scrub up into such an innocent virgin on the front page of The Sun? The stench of media manipulation is hard to ignore. Not to mention the rape allegation that has miraculously surfaced, no doubt given a bit of Momentum by Corbynites working round the clock to dig up any dirt they can find on him, the more salacious the better. Welcome to the new politics.

After its publication the Labour left wasted no time mobilizing against him. Almost instantly his constituency office was besieged and there were all manner of Pro-Corbyn figures on telly ready to denounce him. But in all the furore one thing has been completely overlooked – Danczuk’s actions may have been vulgar and offensive but he did nothing illegal, as Greater Manchester Police have confirmed. The insatiable pleasure with which the the Corbynistas have pursued him is completely out of proportion to his offence. He has spoken about how he has struggled with both loneliness and alcohol. All things being equal your average Guardian reader would consider him someone who needed support not public flogging. If it were an MP on the left of the party there there would be an appeal for sensitivity from the across social media but as a Blairite, Red Tory Traitor he gets no mercy from the cashmere and cocoa communists.

The whole sorry tale exposes three things. Firstly, despite the lip service they pay to an egalitarian society many Northern Labour MPs regard their constituencies as nothing more than private fiefdoms. They have more in common with 19th century absentee agricultural landlords than they could possibly imagine, treating their constituents as little more than disposable serfs while gorging on their money in the big smoke. The arrogant contempt they have shown in taking their core supporters for granted is why UKIP is threatening Labour in the North and why the SNP has wiped them off the map in Scotland.

Secondly, it reminds us of the coercion, intimidation and cowardice that underpins the New Politics of the Left. Whether it’s Miners dropping breeze blocks on the M4, students defacing war memorials or spitting protestors at the this year’s Tory party conference there are few depths to which Left wing ‘Protest’ will not sink. Fear not, every time a Left wing hate mob makes the news Labour loses 5000 more Home Counties votes.

And thirdly, it illustrates perfectly why neither the Left nor the Right of the Labour party possesses individuals worthy of high office. The whole sordid business has been conducted with a level of maturity that you would expect from a seventeen year old girl but not from people who are presenting themselves as potential leaders of our great state.

The Labour moderates are now the nomads of British politics. With Cameron, the real Heir to Blair, standing firm and unassailable atop the centre ground and their own party pulled from under their feet they are stranded in a political limbo, exposed to hostility from all sides without the sanctuary of their party to fall back on. In the old days they might have defected to the Lib Dems but with their future looking equally bleak they continue to walk the corridors of Westminster aimless and confused, surviving on past glories, single malt and sexting teenagers.

“I Stuffed Their Mouths With Gold.”

Breaking News – In a last ditch attempt to avert strike action and to get Junior doctors to accept the government’s new deal the Conservatives have enlisted military scientists to re-animate the corpse of Mother Theresa and installed her as the new Health Secretary in place of a weary Jeremy Hunt. As the she left the BMA headquarters following failed talks she was spat at by a protestor and called a, “Tory Scum!”

Seriously, who could the Tories get to sell their 7 Day NHS plans to the medical profession? At the moment Jeremy Hunt could offer every doctor a trillion dollars an hour, a Caribbean island and a year’s supply of Ferrero Rocher and they would still say No. The BMA have branded the government’s latest offer as nothing but a political manoeuvre but surely the blind opposition they offer to pretty much anything the Health Secretary has to say is just as political. The fact of the matter is health professionals will never be happy until the Health Secretary is no longer a Conservative. The BMA is now little more than another Labour pressure group and like any trade union is advancing the cause of its members at the expense of those they are there to serve. Do you think they’d have pulled the same stunt on Andy Burnham?

They complain it is both a case of taking a pay cut and losing further time with their families but these arguments are obviously contradictory. If it’s about the money then they should be happy with the raise in basic pay (It is clear to anybody with a GCSE in Maths that the vast majority of doctors will actually see their salary rise), if it’s about the work life balance they should welcome the fact that working the most unsociable hours has been de-incentivised. They complain about having normal working hours extended yet point out they all work these hours anyway.

The medical profession, like the police, is another group that the Blair/Brown client state has completely prised away from the Tories. Time was when a good proportion of doctors, as high earning professionals, were sympathetic to a range of Conservative policies. Despite taking a pay cheque from the state they still wanted a strong economy to protect their investments and underpin their savings. However they have fallen victim to the Labour propaganda on the NHS – that the Tories only want to destroy it, whipping up fear of a non-existent privatisation bogeyman. It is entirely plausible that within a generation all those paid out of the public purse, even in previously ‘Right Wing’ fields, will be duped into thinking only the Labour party will support them as it is the only party prepared to invest in public services, no matter how close it pushes us towards economic oblivion. Jeremy Corbyn recently used a soldier’s family as an example at PMQs and it may not be such a stretch of the imagination that Tory voters could, one day, be in a minority in the armed forces. A very frightening thought.

Witnessing the Mid Staffs disaster first-hand I saw the heartbreaking reality of our so-called 7 day NHS. Weekend wards of despair and loneliness where nurses where like ghosts that vanish when you follow them and nights spent praying that my Nan would make it through safely to the morning. I witnessed the brutal fallibility and human capacity for error that we foolishly refuse to accept is part of a doctor’s DNA. We perceive doctors to be untouchable, as superhuman Gods, imbued with selfless altruism and faultless judgment. As a result we are only too willing to make no end of concessions. Doctors are special, we all accept that they should be well paid and Hunt’s offer protects this, but they are also human and the sooner we accept that the sooner we can finally have an NHS that is there to serve the needs of its patients and not the needs of its staff.

The BMA can argue all day about who stood in the way of a negotiated settlement but the truth is they have shown nothing but disdain for the government’s 7 Day NHS plan, they have put forward no alternatives and have displayed a complete lack of flexibility in a Post-Francis NHS when change is essential. Their blanket opposition to any changes in working practices would make 1986 Wapping Pickets blush. The BMA’s intransigence is all the more disgusting when you consider that the commitment to a 7 Day NHS was a cornerstone of the Conservative manifesto which was endorsed by the public in a free election. When the junior doctors strike it will be no different to miners striking in the 70s and 80s – a politically motivated action intended to undermine, or even overthrow, a democratically elected government. Don’t be fooled by their pleasant home counties accents and Berghaus gilets, striking junior doctors are just as much of a threat to democracy as any khaki-clad anarchist. They possess a credibility that masked May Day vandals can only dream of and this makes them more dangerous to the government than the entire shadow cabinet.