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Lansley’s Barking Spider

Posted by Dr No on 13 March 2012

indy_fp_13_3_0.jpgThe Ollie Wright/Indy/Number 10 axis of spin has spun again, choosing today to front page a week old ‘let’s be friends’ letter from Dr Clare Gerada to the Prime Minister. Why The Indy ran last week’s news as today’s front page is quite beyond Dr No. Perhaps the wheels of spin spin slowly at the Indy’s offices these days. Those at the BBC however were up to speed, at least when it came to peddling the Indy spin. Radio Four’s Today programme grabbed the week old story and put it at the top of the day’s news, and gave Dr Gerada one of the coveted post-eight o’clock news slots: doctors in massive climb-down. In the event, the story back-fired. Humph humped, but Clare was clear: the RCGP position remains the same - the bill must go.

Quite why the Indy has chosen to become Lansley’s barking spider is a mystery, but it appears it has. Today’s bark, complete with washed out mug shot of the red haired firebrand Gerada as if to emphasise the article’s point, follows a similar bark last month by the same reporter in the same newspaper, intended to slur ‘Ms Gerada’ – she wasn’t even afforded the title Dr – as a racketeering doctorpreneur who only opposed the bill because it threatened her profits. The article was quickly shown to be absurd, and one hoped that the Indy had learned its lesson: today’s front page suggests it has not.

Even the headline is absurd: ‘Doctors give up fight with Government over NHS reforms’. The letter, available here, is perhaps too conciliatory for comfort (or perhaps merely pragmatic) and the language circumlocutory – the bill ‘risks leading to negative outcomes’ (‘will f*ck up the entire NHS’ would have been better) – but it does nonetheless say ‘the College’s position on the Health and Social Care Bill remains consistent’ – a circumlocution for we continue to want the bill dropped. Later, it reinforces the College’s opposition to the bill: ‘we do not agree on the need for, and potential impacts of, parts of the proposed legislation’.

At no point does it say Dr Gerada, or the RCGP - let alone, as the Indy’s headline suggests, doctors in general - have given up the fight over the reforms. Indeed, RCGP press releases, and other statements by Dr Gerada, make it crystal clear that both Dr Gerada and the College continue to want the bill to be withdrawn – and that is hardly giving up the fight.

Of course, Dr No may be reading too much into all this. Perhaps the Indy just can’t get the staff these days. Perhaps this is what happens when political hacks cover health stories. Perhaps. But Dr No is reminded of the dictum of his esteemed colleague, Auric Goldfinger: ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action’. The Indy has now barked twice; if it barks a third, then Dr No for one will be persuaded that it is indeed Lansley’s barking spider.


Just that Dr No, because if I was head of any 'opposing' establishment, who vemently 'opposes' something 'outright', I won't go offering those in authority, who already said that they would 'interfere' and 'Enforce' whatever it is they want to do, a hand of 'friendship' knowing full well the conditions for that! Ironic, isn't it?! And the college is now talking about 'parts' of the bill, not the whole thing too, but for friendship to happen, maybe one needs to also drop the 's' too, then the 't', then the 'r' ... etc, etc, get my drift?

We have to see things as they are or we'd be hypocrates too Dr No. That, to me, looks like an attempt at a clever U turn ... when they realised the bill is 'most definately' going through whether they like it or not. And you wouldn't want to be the outsider, on the wrong side of 'Boss' in this case, would you?

I'm eagerly waiting for the government's response on this one .... ;-D

Sorry if I'm being thick here, but why a 'barking' spider? Don't they squeak if anything?

Julie - DN has come to realise not everyone uses the dreadful language he does. Here's the standard definition of barking spider:

barking spider n. Ringpiece; anus; chocolate starfish (qv).

Dr No hopes the post justifies the means...

"Barking spider"

I thought it meant 'spiders bark, then park'

Makes sense, doesn't it? ...

Oh well,

I'm glad that I didn't know what it meant. Proves I'm a lady..;)

Julie - You are Three Times a Lady. So too are you, Sam. Dr No is just a rough scoundrel who has picked up the most ungentlemanly language...

For those wanting a lot of innovative usage of language, the legendary Viz Profanisaurus is now available as an App: Useful for browsing in tedious meetings, but just be careful as may need to choke a few laughs, and it beats "buzzword bingo" as a game. Just how many of the terms can you work into a discussion, before someone starts to realise that a catheterisation is in progress?


You're never a rough anything Dr No, I think this may well pose a problem sometimes, but then, who is without? As for Julie, three is not enough, make it a million times a lady for that is true, me, I have no idea how I look from other people's eyes here on the blogosphere so, thank you very much for the compliment and back to you, the male equivelent of course :-)

Boots - It's Lent! You're supposed to be fasting, not corrupting pure minds with heathen language!

Its booze that I have given up for Lent, which I have found surprisingly easy, thogh will miss a glass of burgundy with my roast today. I have been an intermittent fan of Viz for years on and off. Amongst the scatological references there are some very pointed comments on British society. And I do come from Fulchester...

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