Sunday, March 27

Easter, the Tories and Hospitals


May you know the promise of new life in Jesus Christ that comes from his glorious resurrection from the dead.

Changing tack completely, I've been thinking recently about one of the Tories campaign posters I've seen around which sports the slogan

"I mean, how hard is it to keep a hospital clean?"

Something troubled me about this slogan but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until a couple of days ago. I realised it's reminiscent of Hague/Duncan-Smith's (I forget which is which) "Common Sense Revolution" - A campaign of soundbites and policies that seemed like they made sense ... until you actually switched your brain on for 30 seconds.

How hard is it to keep a hospital clean? Well, actually it's very hard! Hospitals are big places full of lots of ill people with lots of germs. Large numbers of Staff and visitors will come in each day bringing in their own germs and dirt. This makes for an extremely daunting task for hospital cleaners - a job that can't be the most pleasant in the world and thus motivation must be hard to come by. This seems to be a classic case of employment snobbishness - the tendency to look down on certain manual (and menial) jobs and minimise them. Ok, so perhaps cleaning is not the most skilled labour of all, but it's hard work nonetheless and the tone of this advert seems to indicate that the Tories don't think much of the people who do these jobs - a very unpleasant job for very little financial reward and little job satisfaction.

However, this is not to let New Labour off the hook in any way, shape or form. The constant drive to meet targets leads to corners being cut and it seems hospital cleanliness - a massively important aspect of healthcare - has been forgotten ... with fatal consequences! The Tory poster is an attack on New Labour undoubtedly, but it appears that Hospital cleaning staff are being caught in the crossfire ... If I was a hospital cleaner, I would be highly offended by such a poster. Perhaps a better slogan would be something like "Dirty Hospitals - Labour cut another corner" and lay the blame firmly at the feet of the Government.

Anyway, enough politics for Easter Day. Maybe they should contract the guys who cleaned up after Jesus. Clean, tidy, and the linen all neatly folded up in the corner ...

Please excuse my flippancy!


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