Andrew Lansley has been in the news today, in the morning because he was going to the Royal College of Nursing conference this afternoon to talk to a select few nurses, and there was to be a motion of no confidence.
Later in the day he was news because he’d been to the conference, there had been a motion of no confidence which was carried by a margin of 99-1, and he’d met some nurses, and told them he regretted that the message he had for them had failed to communicate itself (whatever that means).
Now it’s a given that Lansley is a toast in the making, shortly to be hung out to dry along with his policies (to mix my metaphors). That he was patronising to the nurses also goes without saying. He probably doesn’t know how NOT to be patronising.
But surprisingly it is not with him that I have an issue. No. Rather it is with the media.
The BBC this morning, STV at 6.30 and Channel 4 at 7 pm all made the same mistake. They talked of Lansley as The Health Secretary, and of the NHS as if the UK only had one.
Now, of course, we are all used to the fact that national news programmes treat Scotland as if it isn’t there most of the time.
That’s a given. But I beg of the tv and radio stations, not to mention newspapers to take heed of my plea..
This is election time in Scotland, I SAY THIS IS ELECTION TIME IN SCOTLAND... and we are electing a GOVERNMENT, just like you did last year, which will run our internal affairs.
Among these affairs is health. Your current misleading coverage may mean that some Scottish folk watching you programmes will think that our health service is just about to be semi privatised by a man so out of tune with everyone’s feelings you wonder that he’s not from Mars.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable if they did given today’s coverage. And come to that, the front page of yesterday’s SCOTTISH edition of the Daily Telegraph, which led with a story about the ENGLISH health service.
The truth is that under Nicola Sturgeon (Cabinet Secretary for Health) the Scottish Heath Service is getting better all the time.
Now the Daily Telegraph has no obligation to be fair and even handed so it’s just irritating that it’s not. The BBC, STV and Channel Four, however, have fairness as a contractual obligation. Perhaps at election times (even in far off, unimportant, little Scotlandshire) they might make a little more effort to ensure that their stories are as near the truth as they can reasonably be.