with AL Likilla 

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A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
                                    To the picket lines outside Lambeth Hospital in South London, where HDUK has come to one of 147 British 
                                    Medical Association-backed protests. Today these are all populated by disgruntled junior doctors and taking place 
                                    across the country. This latest series of 48-hour walkouts have led to the postponement or cancellation of many 
                                    minor operations, and they come in response to the imposition of new ‘core’ working weeks of eighty hours-plus by 
                                    Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Indeed, our government’s demands are something most medical professionals across the country find unreasonable, although not everyone is in agreement.

“Hunt’s just the fall guy for this, he’s been tasked with implementing an ill-thought out manifesto promise the Conservatives never actually believed they'd have to realise.” Special Advisor to Mr Hunt, Scribonius Platt, argued nearby. “Rather than meekly accept the enormous 24% of the electorate who voted the Tories in last year, giving us an overwhelming mandate to do whatever we want, some of these selfish types have
                                                decided to embrace extremism instead, which Jezza simply will not tolerate.”

                                                When asked how this ‘extremism’ had manifested itself, Mr Platt (left) pointed to those men and women holding placards nearby who proceeded to boo him. “It’s this sort of thing –
                                                industrial action, protests, marches, the little people not knowing their place generally. This government clearly understands what's best for everyone, including those  lazy ingrates
                                                working in the NHS. We’re still trying to weed out established doctors who are radicalising their junior colleagues, using unpleasant ideology and intellectual argument, but it isn’t easy.”

                                                “By failing to go into work today these people leave vital services unavailable, the reckless bastards.” This SPAD intoned, raising his voice so that those protesting could hear. “Have 
                                                they no concern for the well-being of our nation? I thought medical professionals were meant to take an oath then honour it. Nowhere does the Hippocratic gesture mention guaranteed
                                                overtime, stopping work before 9pm in the week or getting special treatment every Saturday. These Junior Doctors tell me they’re worried about exhaustion, patient safety and ‘burn 
                                                out’ but I say, if you can’t take the heat – get out of the operating theatre. You can always give up your chosen profession and do something society values instead, like online marketing or operating an offshore tax haven.”

Indeed, those thoughtless troublemakers identified by the Health Secretary and right-wing press intend to do just that, all refusing to work longer hours for a reduced 
wage or accept pay rises of less than 1% a year forever. The alternative for many is to move to a place they can practice their healing trade in peace; somewhere 
governments realise the importance of such work and don’t alienate entire professions with illogical demands.

But Jeremy Hunt is having none of it, and the ferrety, dead-eyed Health Secretary (right) made a speech to parliament earlier today in which he decried this fresh 
industrial action as “a few radicals intent on undermining the NHS”. Hunt went on to assert the protests were “all about greed” and describe the employees taking 
part as “no better than terrorists”. Yes, this son of an Admiral with a multi-million pound fortune who once started a business selling marmalade to the Japanese came 
out fighting. A bold move, particularly when it seems clear he has no real knowledge of the health service or what the striking doctors do all day. Still, that didn’t 
stop Jeremy saying the following words to Parliament:

                                                                    “These surgeons, nurses or whatever are the enemy of all right-thinking establishment types and hardworking hardworkers everywhere.” Hunt cried out, to jeers and ‘wanker’
                                                                    hand gestures from the opposition benches. “For many ordinary people, none of whom I’ve ever met, the weekend consists of regular employment. These plebs might work
                                                                    as shop assistants or gastropub chefs, Premier League Footballers or prostitutes walking the streets. Why doctors think they’re special when these people toil every day,
                                                                    for no special reward, I’ll never know. When I was a Management Consultant my underlings would stay in the office until after dark, otherwise I’d have a right go at them.” 

                                                                    “I don’t include politicians in this, obviously.” Jezza clarified. “MPs have a comparatively light schedule and deserve the fifteen weeks of holiday we get every year, as 
                                                                    I’m sure my learned friends over there will agree. That’s because we do really important stuff that involves lots of brain learning and working out what to say in difficult                                                                     situations like this one.”

Hunt then argued that a working week in excess of eighty hours, something Junior Doctors are now expected to bear with no additional benefits, is commonplace to many countries, citing the examples of sweat shop children, frantic small business owners, homeless scavengers and workaholic comedian, Josh Widdicombe.

But the public remain unmoved, with more than two-thirds backing the Junior Doctors’ ongoing campaign of fear, insurrection and walk-outs. To discover whether those 
professionals picketing health clinics really are conscienceless hell-demons, bent on causing mass death (as the Conservatives say), HDUK met one exhausted man outside 
Lambeth hospital. Here he was participating in ‘meet the doctor’ events and ‘little life-saver’ volunteer sessions, the latter aimed at teaching parents first aid so they can 
help their children in medical emergencies.  

                                                                        This selfish git told us: “I’m no radical; but I realise that the NHS is already seven-day. The government's only bringing in 
                                                                        this change because they don’t know what’s going on. I prefer to think that yes, rather than believe Hunt, Cameron and 
                                                                        company have deliberately set out to oppress selfless members of society or inspire patients to go private and thereby 
                                                                        swell the coffers of massive corporations. That would be the purest form of evil.”

                                                                        “I still have some optimism though. All of us here at the Hospital Trust know there can only be one outcome. From the moment Hunt ordered these public servants 
                                                                        to accept unjust terms and smeared us in the Murdoch press when we refused, this was only going one way. If Hunt doesn’t back down, most of my fellow Junior 
                                                                        Doctors will resign to ply their trade somewhere they’re appreciated, like Australia or mainland Europe. That would leave this 
                                                                        country with few medical practitioners, which seems to be what Mr Hunt wants. Then again, he’s extremely rich, so I expect 
                                                                        everyone Jeremy knows uses BUPA.”

But the last word must go to the Health Secretary’s SPAD who cut in to say: “Don’t listen to this simpleton – what we’re doing benefits everyone. As for the lack of public 
backing, that’s because everyone had their minds polluted by heroic media images like George Clooney in E.R. or that hunky Dr. Kildare.”

“The reality is very different,” Scribonius Platt asserted. “You’ll find these striking doctors are more closely akin to Josef Mengele, or possibly Harold Shipman, in my head 

Militant Junior Doctors Embrace Extremism Out of Sheer Selfishness

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