I’m a busy Beestonian right now, so am letting others take over my blog for this post. First up is news of what looks like a very good cause exhibiting in Beeston tomorrow evening, followed by a piece submitted by a reader which on the Government’s NHS debacle and how our MP, the indefatigable Ms Soubry is dealing with it.
FAIRTRADE EVENT : Tomorrow (Tuesday 6th) Evening 6pm for 6.30 until 8.30, Beeston Town Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston
As part of the national Fairtrade fortnight campaign, Fairtrade Beeston is delighted to be able to invite you to a Fairtrade evening at the Town Hall. There is a special guest speaker at the event, Moses Renee, a Fairtrade banana producer from St Lucia in the Windward Isles, Moses will give a talk and answer questions about his experiences of Fairtrade and the benefits it has for his community. You will also be able to visit stalls and sample a range of delicious Fairtrade products, find out more about Fairtrade and how people in Beeston can get involved making a real difference to Fairtrade communities throughout the world.Full details of the event can be seen here http://tinyurl.com/FT-Beeston & on www.fairtradebeeston.org.ukMoses Renee is interviewed on this video from the Guardian website http://tinyurl.com/MosesReneeThe event is free and everyone is more than welcome. To help them with planning, if possible please reserve places by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Weekend Revisited: Anna Soubrey and the peculiar case of real and non-real GP’s
Guest Post by Simon Cross, Beestonian
Today on the BBC Politics Show I watched Anna Soubry sock it to the leader of the Royal College of General Practitioners that she and 90% of her 44,000 members were “wrong” in opposing the NHS Bill in such overwhelming numbers. But it’s easy to make this preposterous claim when one has presented Central Weekend. Let me explain. To begin with, the overwhelming members of the RCGP’s are not, it turns, real GP’s and as such are ineligible be taken seriously by Anna. Where, then, are the real GP’s to whom Anna listens? Well, Anna found them, you guessed it, in her very own Broxtowe constituency. Thus, she tells Andrew Neil that she has gone into her constituency to speak to “real GP’s, on the ground”. Anna tells us: “I was approached by a doctor who lives in my constituency but practices in Nottingham. And he took hold of me and said ‘For God’s sake’s [sic], get this Bill through so I can deliver the treatment to my patient’s, that I want to do’”. Anna doesn’t tell us quite how she dealt with such dreadful manhandling of her body-politic even by a ‘real’ GP.
Here is the Central Weekend connection. Those of us old enough to remember late-night Friday telly will recall that Central Weekend was not just a poor-man’s Kilroy, it also the nearest ITV could get to a post-pub laugh for sheer awfulness. The basic premise of the show was to marry expertise with experience and to ensure that the latter won every time. No matter how well informed was the expert what really mattered in this ‘debate’ format was that the ‘common sense’ of ordinary people won the day based on the only type of knowledge that mattered: the supposed authenticity of direct experience. And in the Politics Show today Anna’s Central Weekend-ness shine through again. Thus, she suppressed 90% of the Royal College of GP’s by declaring them ‘not real’ and not ‘on the ground’. Instead of the statistics of opposition, Anna prefers to conjure up the one anecdotal GP and presumably will have photographed the bruises on her arms if evidence of the ‘real, on the ground’ encounter is ever required. It’s not that I don’t believe Anna but more that Central Weekend rhetoric sounded like the worst form of journalism and the most of desperate of political manoeuvre.
Now here’s another Central Weekend connection. When I had the misfortune to experience Anna’s barrack-room lawyer tactics in one of her open surgeries, which amounted to shouting me and a colleague down by, well, raising her voice like a parody of a lawyer who never willingly gives up the floor because they enjoy shouting too much, she did tell me that Central Weekend was a ‘terrible programme’. I had to agree with her. And I would add here that the rhetorical manoeuvre Anna employed of undermining the voice and expert views of GP’s in favour of what one GP ‘on the ground’ says was a key element in what made her appearance not just embarrassing but revolting in its political thuggery. It is also precisely what made her performance on the Politics Show terrible and the voters of Broxtowe need to judge for themselves by clicking on the accompanying link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17144005
Beestonia adds: there’s also an interesting piece here questioning Anna’s performance: http://www.margaretmccartney.com/blog/?p=1341
Also, tune in later this week when I reveal how Anna has been less than honest in a recent letter…