Strikes a risk to patients
Junior doctors, driven by their trade union, the BMA, are now going to escalate their strike action – withdrawing their labour and not cover emergency situations.
That is their right in law, to put their financial interests before their so-called professional responsibilities to treat and care for seriously ill people.
Those ill people have paid their taxes to fund the NHS and expect doctors, who are employed by the NHS, to be there and treat their needs when required. They do not expect to have their lives put at risk because doctors are standing outside on a picket line baying at the press like 1970s Rover car workers.
During the 1960s American protests against the Vietnam War, when President Lyndon B Johnson extended the draft to increase the number of young people being sent to fight, the battle cry from the left was: “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?”
God forbid doctors do go on strike, without providing emergency cover, and patients die because of their actions. Perhaps there may be a battle cry on the lines of: “Hey! Hey! BMA! How many patients did you kill today?”
Tax fiddling is everywhere
The philosopher Voltaire said there was only one thing worse than dishonesty and that was hypocrisy. The past few days have been awash with it.
The PM has admitted he benefited from investments his father made in offshore tax havens. What his father did was not illegal. Nevertheless, David Cameron has been subjected to disgraceful criticism by Labour and the SNP, criticism that was highly predictable given the need by these two parties to use politics to mask their own serious weaknesses.
Other critics within Westminster have apparently forgotten that, a short time ago, over 100 of them were found guilty of fiddling their expense accounts, in brief, of committing fraud. For them now to occupy the high moral ground is hypocritical.
Finally, before condemning a son for what his father did, it might be useful to remember that tax fiddling is rampant throughout society.
How many traders ask for cash to avoid payments being traced? How many do paid work that is not even recorded for tax purposes?
The answer to these and similar questions is thousands. Irrespective of the sums involved, such actions are fraudulent.
Those who wish to make political capital out of the PM’s disclosure should first ensure their own tax affairs would withstand scrutiny.
Hypocrisy and leaflets
For years we have been bombarded by an anti-European narrative from the majority of the national daily press. The reason is that divided communities are less able to stand up to major corporations, who move tax liabilities between countries, or to the corrupt, who cross national borders to hide wealth in international tax havens.
Anti-Europeans in the Cabinet who eagerly nodded approval for a Government leaflet setting out the case for the UK in the recent Scottish referendum are now apoplectic when the Government plans to do just the same in the Europe referendum. These hypocrites don’t trust our citizens to read the information calmly and make up their own minds based on the facts of our membership of the European community.
JP via email