Saturday, July 15, 2006

A sad day for believers in liberal values - Britain - Times Online

Every day in Britain at present is a sad day for those with liberal values. I am sorry for my blogging colleague Doctor John Crippen because if these proposals go forward (and when does this Government ever pause for mature reflection?) he will no longer be a member of a learned profession.

Doctors should walk out of the health service en masse rather than submit to this ignominy. Only a group of skilled people who regulate the conduct of their own members is truly a profession. For all others, the word is a mere courtesy title for skilled workers.

I would argue that the most important and most dignified of all professions in any civilised country is - or should be - that of teacher. In Japan, there is no higher honour than to be known by that name, sensei. Since the teaching profession was "nationalised" in the 1940's, however, it has become no more than a corps of, mainly, state employees acting mindlessly under central direction and subject to the erratic (and often politically-motivated) discipline of its major employer, the State.

There is - appallingly - no prestige in being a teacher in Britain today, although many teachers of my acquaintance are better educated, more cultured, more intelligent and more thoroughly professional in their outlook than some in my own profession. With the demise of the GMC's disciplinary role, there will soon be no more prestige in being a doctor.

Those who submitted to the NHS because - as Nye Bevan put it - he "stuffed their mouths with gold" betrayed their successors. Dr Harold Shipman could never have murdered so many if he did not operate in a sloppy State bureaucracy. From the deepest pit of hell reserved for dead Socialists, Nye Bevan must be laughing that it was the evil Doctor Shipman who finally allowed Bevan's Socialist successors to complete his work of reducing free professionals to minions.

A sad day for believers in liberal values - Britain - Times Online

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