This story is made up and couldn't
possibly be true
Corruption in high places?
It has been said that, "Power corrupts
and that absolute power corrupts absolutely".
Can you think of an instance in everyday
I think so.
Take this example for instance (completely fictitious.. naturally).
Cabinet meeting at Number Ten, behind
the usual closed doors
"I'd just like to say welcome to
this special meeting everyone and over to you deputy PM"
"Thank you PM
Just before we get underway lads and
two things.. first only one chocolate biscuit each and I'll send
a tin round during the meeting for the coffee fund
second just to re-iterate the house-rule about anyone not
supporting the official line gets the sack
AND by the way the tin is for putting
50p IN not for taking 50p OUT and it wasn't funny last week when
some irk slipped in a Euro!"
Vigorous nodding of heads and assertive
coughing and clearing of throats and tutting all round
"Back to you PM".
I'd just like to
Top of the list of today's opportunities
to get to grips with is The National Health Service
Just before we start
There's no-one here that actually tries to use it is there?
We've got to be absolutely unbiased and objective".
"No Prime Minister of course there
isn't we've all got the special medical plan you organised for
us and our families"
"Well that's OK then
So we can talk freely and without prejudice
By the way deputy PM, has that Think
Tank we organised come up with any more ideas?
Like the one where the patient is asked when they're going on
their holidays and a letter is sent to their house when they're
away saying that if they don't hear from them in two days the
hospital will assume they want to cancel their appointment.
That was a super idea and cut the waiting
lists for the seventh successive month!"
"Yes PM I got an e-mail from them
Well actually it wasn't from them exactly
it was from the Daily Express
For some reason it had got sent to them by mistake but they noticed
your name on the top and they sent it on to us".
"Very good of them
Do you think they read it?"
"No PM I'm sure they didn't
Not if it wasn't addressed to them".
Well what does it say?"
"It's a new idea
They've got a pilot scheme or two already running
It goes something like this..
The hospital receives a letter from
That goes onto a big spike for issue to the Pending Department
The Think Tank did some sums and recommended the spikes are 12
feet high but some hospitals found that was tricky because of
low ceilings so they reduced it to 5 feet
But PM we've had a problem".
"What's that Fred?"
"They just can't get the staff..
Most Pending Departments are understaffed
and just can't cope with the number of spiked letters"
"Can't they get agency staff to
"They say they're too expensive
and in the case of one London hospital the Chief Executive wants
a pay rise for looking after the extra people working for him".
"So what's the problem
He can give himself one surely to goodness.. we do for heavens
Tell him to help himself out of the money he's saved in operations
and pills and stuff
Right so these Pending Departments do
"Nothing.. they just file the letters
"Oh no they scan the letter into
their computer and convert it into a text file".
"Come on Fred.. don't blind us
with science.. we're politicians not nuclear scientists!
Come to the point...
Why do they copy the letters?"
"They send the text files to the
"Remind me Fred.. what do they
"Well they compare the patients'
names with Death Certificates
If they find a match they send a memo to the Waiting List Department".
"You mean so they can be removed
from the waiting list?"
"No silly.. oops sorry PM
so they can be put on
"Oh I see.. the waiting list is
full of dead people?"
"Oh no PM not everyone is dead..
people aren't perfect and mistakes are made
Sometimes live people are put on the
waiting list as well by mistake".
"Just by mistake?"
"No of course not PM, live people
are put on the list on purpose as well".
"Is that a good idea Fred?"
"It's like this PM..
We guaranteed that Consultants got a
good slice of the NHS cake
We always make sure that enough easy
jobs are fed through for the consultants to get enough work to
make a living
They can't survive on the non-NHS business
People like us just don't get sick like
the plebs do we, ha ha".
"I suppose you're right Fred..".
"Anyway we have to work something
out to put an end to those whining Lib Dems objections".
"Why not fully fund the NHS PM?"
new here I'll make an exception!
Let me explain in words of one syllable,
because I know you failed the GCSE in English
One.. We fully fund the NHS
To do this we put up Income
Tax by 10p
The opposition make a big
stink and we lose the next election
Then we're all out of work
So forget about FUNDING you ignoramus!
The solution is to simply increase the
length of the Pending Departments spikes
Any problem with ceilings and we can have a rebuilding programme
That should keep us going till after
the next election".
"What about all the disgruntled
NHS patients that didn't get seen to PM
Won't they vote against us?"
"Don't be daft Obadiah..
Let me spell it out for your tiny mind
N O !! BECAUSE T H E Y W I L L B E D
E A D
Now over to you again deputy PM".
I left the best bit till the end
Our pay rise
Murmurs of approval all round and the
sound of a coin being dropped into the coffee fund tin
"Just so we can be seen to be democratic
you can look it up later
All in favour say aye
Righto lads and lasses that's agreed
No-one say anything, don't go throwing
your money around, and the newspapers won't get to know anything
at least until I've sorted out a really good argument for our
rise. Something along the lines of bringing MPs salaries into
the 21st century.
Now just before we knock off one tiny
word of advice.
The Suggestions Box outside my door....
Some anonymous irk suggested a name
for these new schools we discussed last week.
The ones that will provide "education
par excellence" and stressing a superior command of English.
We CAN'T use the name "GRAMMER
In fact we can't even use the name "GRAMMAR
SCHOOLS" you useless buffoon.
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't I
recognise the scrawl of the Secretary of State for Education
on the suggestion slip.
Well if I'm right don't let it happen
And I'll ignore the other suggestion
to name the schools providing "education sans excellence"
as "MODERN SECONDARY" schools!
First it doesn't sound right and second
we already did away with something very similar donkeys years