WE all have our personal reasons for loving the National Health Service.
I remember the kindness NHS nurses in Essex showed to my father when he was dying of lung cancer.
And I remember the care my wife received at the Homerton in East London when it seemed like she was going into premature labour.
And I remember the Turkish doctor at the Royal Free caring for our young daughter when she fell from my shoulders and smashed her head against the pavement.
These were all bleak, terrifying moments in my life when I felt like holding my head in my hands and weeping.
BBC2’s Hospital shows crisis of not having enough beds for patients in NHS hospitals
But in our darkest hours, the NHS was there for my family.
The NHS did everything it could for us. The doctors and nurses of the NHS — often acting above and beyond what their jobs demanded of them — treated my family with kindness, compassion and endless dedication.
And frankly, I struggle to feel sentimental about a National Health Service that far too often does not give the elderly the care they deserve — even though they have paid into the system all of their working lives.
I look at the photograph of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Wales, where a convoy of elderly patients were parked on trollies in a corridor, some of them alone, some of them waiting 24 hours to see a doctor — and thank God my parents are no longer alive and in need of NHS care in 2017.
‘THEY ARE DOING THEIR BEST’
Hospital boss forgives NHS after blunder killed his 93-year-old dad
NHS IN CRISIS
Four in ten England hospitals declare major alert as NHS crumbles under mounting pressure
NATIONAL HELL SERVICE
Shocking video in NHS hospital shows toilets overflowing and taps running dry
Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh blasts Meryl Streep for slagging off MMA in Golden Globes speech
the sun says
Reporting Home Security Amber Rudd for a ‘hate incident’ shows just how absurd the policy has become
SHAKEN NOT SHERLOCK
Sherlock hits back at critics as showrunner reveals finale will be more James Bond than ever
It would break my heart to see my mother or father left to rot on one of those wretched hospital trollies. I would rather see them dead.
The NHS we loved so long is terminally sick. It is no longer enough for politicians to endlessly blame the other party.
What matters is that our demands on the NHS vastly exceed its resources.
We are living longer. After the greatest wave of immigration in our history, there are now 64million of us.
Too many people can’t get to see a GP so they go to the local A&E in a desperate attempt to get help.
Even the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has done it with his own kids.
There are too many of us asking too much of the NHS. How could it not be in crisis?
To save it, we need root and branch reform. We need radical change.
Our generation needs to be as visionary as the generation who created the NHS in 1948.
Give the £12billion we blow every year on foreign aid to our NHS. Bring back drunk tanks. Bring back GPs you can see the next day.
Reserve A&E for genuine emergencies.
It should not be beyond us to save the NHS even now.
But radical reform has to come.
And until it does, our loved ones will die without help or dignity on a trolley in some forgotten hospital corridor.
Bond is a feminist icon?
“A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long.”
But that’s not a misogynist. A misogynist is a man who hates women.
Every actor caught without a script is liable to spout some half-baked drivel, but Craig’s thoughts on 007’s “misogyny” are particularly crass.
If Daniel believes that Bond hates women, then I am amazed that he accepted the role in the first place.
But now comes a claim that Bond – far from being a misogynist – was in fact a feminist.
Ian Fleming would have chortled at the idea of Bond being either a misogynist or a feminist.
It is closer to the truth to say that Bond is a fantasy figure produced by a brilliant writer who was very much a product of his time.
James Bond did not hate women.
But a man with a girlfriend called Pussy Galore is probably not a feminist.
Sophy Ridge has the old guard shaking in their brogues
SOPHY RIDGE knocked it out of the park on her new Sunday morning political show.
No middle-aged male presenter could possibly have asked Theresa May about Donald Trump’s reflections on “p***y”.
It is about time that our national debate had a sharp, thoughtful young woman setting the news agenda.
If I were Andrew Marr or Robert Peston, I’d be shaking in my brogues.
Reporting Amber Rudd for hate crime was a waste of time
Rudd’s speech was conference-pleasing waffle about ensuring foreigners were “not taking jobs that British people could do” – the kind of empty soundbite that Gordon Brown used to come out with all the time.
But that didn’t stop university professor Joshua Silver reporting Rudd to the police and having her harmless speech recorded as “a hate incident”.
And it transpires that the good professor had not even heard Rudd’s speech.
Although he did read about it on the internet.
I thought that wasting police time was a crime.
It is not Amber Rudd the law should be investigating. It is this idiotic Oxford don.
We are actually allowed to discuss immigration these days, professor.
Meryl must be the only minority with millions in the bank
If that’s true then Meryl and her cossetted chums belong to the only oppressed minority with a limo waiting outside and millions in the bank.
When Hillary Clinton’s shrillest supporters wag their finger in your face, you can finally understand why millions of Americans declined to vote for her.
Superheroes make terrible role models
NEW research suggest that superheroes are terrible role models for children because they too often deploy brute force to solve life’s little problems.
“Kids pick up on the aggressive themes and not the defending ones,” says Professor Sarah Coyne in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. And, of course, most superheroes wear their underpants on top of their trousers. A look that should never be encouraged.
Buzzfeed taints real journos
But don’t confuse what BuzzFeed does with journalism.
Real journalists are governed by libel laws and editorial standards.
If we get it wrong then we get sued and we get sacked.
Old-school print journalism – currently facing its darkest hour in 300 years of press freedom – works in a different universe to the likes of BuzzFeed.
So why did it print a scurrilous story about someone if, as BuzzFeed admits, it had “serious reason to doubt” their accuracy?
Personally, I carry no great torch for the President-elect.
Many of the things he has said about women turn my stomach.
And despite his constant denials, it is clear Trump DID viciously mock severely disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski.
But none of this means that “journalists” – if we can call the gossip-mongers of BuzzFeed “journalists” – are free to tell lies about him.
BuzzFeed – which calls itself “the most trusted name in news” – has demonstrated why we need real newspapers more than ever.
It beggars belief that at the very moment our vibrant newspaper industry is facing the prospect of state regulations that are designed to kill it, the internet is running riot with stories that no newspaper – not one of them – would contemplate publishing.
Fake news is all over the internet and turns it into a running sewer where you can say anything about anyone simply because you despise them.
There is no defence for what BuzzFeed did to Trump, publishing a dodgy dossier so that readers “can make up their own minds”.
That’s not publish and be damned.
That’s publish and be stupid.
Just put the kettle on, Dannii
IT seems a bit extreme for Dannii Minogue to resort to Botox to alleviate her “inner sadness”.
My mum would have recommended putting the kettle on.
Dannii Minogue puts her foot in it on the X Factor
Knighthood for a nose wipe?
CONSERVATIVE MP Jake Berry reveals that David Cameron had a flunky to cut the crusts off his toast.
In a world where Samantha Cameron’s stylist got an OBE, cutting the crusts off Cameron’s toast has to be worth a knighthood.
Wonder what you got for wiping the great man’s nose?