In my misspent youth I worked in a cinema. I would spend 8 hours a day standing near TV screens that ran a 10-20 minute loop of adverts and film trailers. That was one of the worst aspects of that job, worse than smelling of popcorn, worse than the customers, as the DVD would only be swopped out on a monthly basis. New video loop day was a good day. Thankfully I wasn’t enduring this mental needling while worrying about my health on a hospital bed…
While he tries to dismantle the cornerstone of our nations health, a national institution that the world looks upon jealously, Andrew Lansley has decided, in a move that would be more fitting in a Doctor Who episode, to have a video loop of him, every 2-5 minutes, beside every bed, telling the unwilling occupant, “that your care while you’re here in hospital really matters to me.” Creepy. If David Tennant heard that, he’d promptly pull out a sonic screwdriver and start looking for the Dalek plot. Trying to pose as someone who actually cares is a cynical move, that, while in no way beyond the tory party, is a surprising one, that seems calculated to drive the staff to new levels of impotent rage and helplessness while they battle cuts, pension reductions, and an uncertain future.
Meanwhile, Michael Gove is stamping his personal beliefs on his department, education. Our schools are all being sent a special “anniversary edition” of the King James Bible, with a forward writhed by Gove himself. It’s bad enough when bands re-issue old albums, but for a government to re-issue a bible? What you have here, is a government issue bible, being sent, unsolicited, to all schools, regardless of their wishes, the beliefs of the pupils, the beliefs of the teachers and at presumably great cost, as they are having to print their own editions of this bible. Of course this fits naturally with Cameron’s vision of a big society, because not enough charity groups try to give bibles to impressionable young children as it is, so it’s vital that the government steps in and helps here. I can’t think of a better use of that money or resource.
As a rebranding exercise, it seems misguided. I’m not sure what’s worse, Nasty Party or Creepy Party. At least I could trust the Nasty Party not to be up a tree with a pack of doughnuts and a pari of binoculars (unlike Labour). As it stands I’m had expecting them to do something dodgy like force job seekers to work for multi billion companies like Tesco under threat of losing their job seekers allowance if they don’t. Oh, wait. Because we all know business’ are hurting and need our help, especially Tesco’s. And there’s nothing that is more urgent in this country than stacking those shelves that job seekers could be doing instead? No? Everything good? Lovely. I guess we’ve nothing to worry about then, as Tesco’s empty shelves are the nations most pressing issue. Good job Cameron et al. Almost makes me wish I’d voted for you. Oh wait, thanks to Nick Clegg I sort of did….