Monday, 1 June 2020

Happy St Theo's Day 2020!

On behalf of every serving hospital porter, every former hospital porter, and everybody else who loves, appreciates and supports us, with all the Pride and Dignity of my Extremely Proud and Dignified Brother and Sister Porters, I'd like to wish all my friends and readers, a very happy St Theo's Day. Here is my HPANWO TV video for St Theo's this year: https://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2020/06/st-theo-2020.html.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The NHS Religion

As St Theo's Day approaches, now is a good time to reflect on the twelve months that have just passed and ask some fundamental questions about the way we can save our proud profession and the healthcare system it is a part of. My answers might be controversial and objectionable to some readers. During my career in the UK National Health Service I went through many changes. I began as a very naive and quite antagonistic teenager who quickly got sucked into leftist politics through the powerful trade union presence in the Oxford hospital community. The ethos of that mindset was very polarized and inflexible: public-good-private-bad. I became disillusioned with trade unionism very quickly. I was probably only really hardcore for about a year. As my twenties dawned I developed a more nuanced view of the NHS. However I stuck to the principles of public-good-private-bad long after I had become much more centrist on other issues. This was because I experienced NHS privatization directly, from the inside. The NHS trust introduced policies that I regarded as insane, although they were actually very cold and calculated; see the background links below. This preserved in me a dim view of private enterprise, at least when it comes to public utilities and essential services. As I matured through the years I came to understand that the public sector in its present form is actually far from perfect. I also came to understand that the private sector can take many forms and not all of them are bad. Socialists have a go-to answer whenever their critics bring up the excesses and brutality of the Soviet Union: "Yes, but that wasn't real socialism!" Well, could it be that what we see in the world today which the socialists lambaste so much is not real capitalism? This video by Niall Murphy is very interesting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwZ32nUIEFo

Niall brings up some of the same points that I have been contemplating, including an awareness of the difference between the different socio-economic models that are given the label capitalism. He uses the terms "monopolist" and "gangster capitalism", which is attributed to Terence McKenna. Stefan Molyneux calls it "crap-italism", to distinguish it from something that might turn out to be more positive and vigorous, if it's given a chance. The essence of capitalism is said to be the free market. Its supporters claim this encourages perfection through producers competing to provide the best product. Economic growth is indefinite and therefore good capitalism grows it quicker. Its critics say it leads to greed and, in an economy in which capital is limited to a fixed amount, it results in wealth being hoarded by a very few people at the expense of the majority. However, in the NHS there is no competition. The reason contractors are so awful is not because they are private companies, but because they can do whatever the hell they like because they constitute a synthetic monopoly. They're only keeping their place through corruption. They therefore enjoy a parasitic relationship with the NHS, pocketing as much of their fees as possible by doing the cheapest and nastiest job they can get away with. This maximizes short-term profit at the detriment to their employees and the patients they serve. There is no free market involved. The patient cannot choose not to use one company and choose to use another instead. Where's the competition? Also a healthy system would not only have different firms competing to maximize results. To maximize results they would have to sacrifice short-term profit to deliver a better service. To do this they would have to invest more, raise their overheads, pay their staff more and take better care of them. They would also have to value proficient staff over those who were less so, because proficient staff generate profit; whereas in the present state-corporate bureaucracy all staff are worth exactly the same, see: https://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.com/2016/12/nurse-sacked-for-praying.html. By sacrificing short-term profit they would be building a secure future of long-term profit. Niall also describes state bureaucracies as "grim and soulless", and that's very true. I only really appreciated that point quite a while after I had moved on. I have no final answers to this matter and I am still thinking it over, but I have moved away from the more conventional suggestions that involves nothing more than better funding and reform by the state alone.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Pride! Intelligence! Guts!

One thing a hospital porter has to learn very quickly is how to resist humiliation. This is where my dignity statement method comes from, for examples see the background links below. The essence of the dignity statement is to force your antagonist to destroy themselves by reflecting their attack back at them without initiating one of your own. In the course of perfecting this tactic, there are several intriguing and inspiring resources in cinema. Matilda is a 1996 fantasy drama directed by Danny DeVito which is based on a children's novel by Roald Dahl. It is about a young girl called Matilda who discovers that she has magical powers, however her greatest magic is not of the supernatural kind. Her teacher at school is an abusive authoritarian bully called Miss Trunchbull who is brought horribly to life with an ingenious performance by Pam Ferris. One of Matilda's classmates is an obese boy called Bruce who loves chocolate cake. One day he steals a slice from the school kitchen and Miss Trunchbull catches him. As punishment, and as a warning to the other pupils, she forces Bruce to consume the entire cake on stage in the school hall in front of the entire school. The intention is that he will stuff himself to the point of sickness in public view, degrading him. However, during this ordeal Matilda begins cheering him on. The other children follow her lead and soon all of them are encouraging Bruce in his endurance of gluttony. Bruce finishes the cake and holds the empty plate above his head in triumph. Trunchbull realizes that her plan to embarrass Bruce has totally backfired. She shouts at the children to stop, but they refuse. Bruce is their hero. It's one of the most moving film scenes I've ever watched. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOQeU_6vbeg.

Another example is a 1993 film called Bopha! and is a rare directional curiosity by Morgan Freeman. It stars Danny Glover as a South African policeman during the final years of the Apartheid era. His force is constantly under attack by rioters who assault and kill his men at every opportunity. They hurl the insult: "Pig!" at them; it is a derogatory slur for a police officer in my country, Britain, as well. Unfortunately the clip is not available but I remember the scene well and will try to paraphrase it correctly. Glover's character is training new police recruits in a classroom. He says: "Everywhere you go, the people will shout at you: 'pig!... pig!... pig!', but there is something they don't know..." He begins writing on the blackboard. "The word 'pig!' is an acronym: 'P.I.G.' You know what that stands for?: 'Pride... Intelligence... Guts'!" Once again we have a way in which attempts at humiliation fail because the people being attacked know how to defend themselves effectively. During the course of your service you, as a hospital porter, can develop your own versions of these tactics. The two examples from Hollywood I've shown you are just there to give you ideas, as can my own dignity statement experiences. Or even if you're not a hospital porter, you might find this information useful with social and professional interactions in your civilian life. Or perhaps the positive message just makes you feel happy. Good luck!

Friday, 1 May 2020

Sick Hospital Video

A group of nurses have been slammed after a video they made went viral on that usual platform for controversial material, TikTok. The video shows them dancing through their hospital carrying what looks like a shrouded corpse with the word "COVID 19" written on it. The video, which was shot at a hospital in Ghana, has disgusted the world, not long after people first started appreciating healthcarers in a way that they never have before, for example see: http://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.com/2020/04/captain-toms-number-one.html. Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11520259/sick-vid-dancing-nurses-carrying-corpse-coronavirus-victim-tiktok/. I do express condemnation myself, but only for the video being made and published, not for the action in itself. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals have a ghoulish sense of humour. To an outsider, this will probably appear heartless and facetious. Another good example that I came across many times would be a doctor writing in a patient's notes the acronym T.F. BUNDY. This stands for "Totally Fucked But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet". Horrible, you might think. Vicious! Cruel!... But it is something only done in confidential correspondence. Under no circumstances would a doctor ever speak like that about a patient to their relatives and other loved ones. These ghastly jokes are shared exclusively among healthcare providers in private when they are alone together. In truth it is merely a survival mechanism. Hospitals are places full of pain, fear, illness, injury and death. Staff there have to cope with that every working hour of their lives. If these people did not make sick jokes about their work they would not be able to do it; it's as simple as that.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Captain Tom's Number One

Thomas Moore has just become the oldest person ever to top the singles charts in the UK. He beat the sixty-eight year old Tom Jones by over thirty years; Tom is ninety-nine. The Rogers and Hammerstein cover of You'll Never Walk Alone by Captain Tom and Michael Ball has raised twenty-eight million pounds for various welfare schemes in the NHS. (The HPWA is not officially registered as a charity and so will receive nothing, although I do not ask for anything.) Captain Tom turns one hundred years old next Thursday so he will be still be at number one for at least one day into his second century. He also has successfully completed a sponsored walk; one hundred laps of his garden, a twenty-seven yard circuit. This makes just over one and a half miles. Quite an achievement for a man of his age who cannot walk without a wheeled zimmer. Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52415966. The title of the song is ironic of course considering the social distancing rules currently enforced. Tom has lived a rich and varied life. He was an army officer who served in World War II and afterwards ran a concrete mixing company and raced motorcycles. When he finished the last lap of his walk there was a guard of honour from his old regiment to greet him. As an NHS veteran myself of twenty-three years, I'm deeply touched by Captain Tom, Michael Ball and everybody who has supported the NHS. I say that mourning the loss of my colleagues, see: http://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.com/2020/04/ive-lost-another-brother.html and: https://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.com/2020/04/ive-lost-two-brothers.html. I know some people reading this believe that what Captain Tom did was a staged publicity stunt as part of coronavirus disinformation conspiracy. There is a coronavirus conspiracy, but this is not a part of it.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

I've Lost Another Brother

I'm sorry to report Brian Darlington, a porter at Mid-Cheshire Hospitals, has died of COVID 19 disease. He was described as having a sense of humour and positive outlook. I think these are essential for hospital portering. Facilities supervisor Richard Studinski said: "Nothing was ever too much trouble for Brian. He worked hard and was happy to do whatever was needed of him. He always walked round the hospital with a smile on his face, passing out sweets to colleagues he'd meet on the corridor. Mid-Cheshire's chief executive James Sumner said: "Brian had dedicated over twenty years to the trust during his NHS career and will be sadly missed by all who knew and worked with him. He was without doubt a treasured member of the team." Brian leaves behind his wife of forty-six years, Ava. Condolences to her. Rest in peace, MEP&DB Porter. Source: https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2020-04-16/porter-at-cheshire-hospital-dies-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

I've Lost Two Brothers

I'm very sad to report that two porters at the John Radcliffe Hospital have died of COVID 19 disease. Healthcare service providers are by far the highest risk group for any contagion because anything at large in the community ends up concentrated in hospitals. Hospitals are like vacuum cleaners for bacteria and viruses. You might think the title of this article is misleading. The two men who died are not literally brothers of mine. They are not related to me at all. However all hospital porters are my brothers and, in some instances, sisters. In fact they are closer to me than that. I will not post any source links because the media has named the two porters against the wishes of their families, who asked for privacy. I shall grant them that. Rest in peace, MEP&DBP's. I salute you. At the present time thirty-six NHS personnel have died of the coronavirus. I salute them all.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Thank You, St Thomas'

I would like to pay homage to MEP&DB&S Porters at St Thomas' Hospital in London, but also of course the entire civilian staff too, the doctors, nurses, PAM's and civilian ancillaries. You have saved the life of a great man, our leader Boris Johnson. Never in living memory have we had a Prime Minister we can respect. Boris is a strong man, a brave man and a decent man. Without him there would have been no Brexit, no foiling of the New World Order machinations. Boris is a starseed and a lightworker. He is where he is because of the 2016 Effect. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I'd also like to give tribute to the dedicated friends of freedom who have invaded the establishment where the Illuminati have had free reign since time immemorial. To QAnon and all those like him/her/them, much appreciation. Boris was very lucky. He had a near-miss with death. Thanks to you, he came through it safely. Bless you all!

Friday, 27 March 2020

The Nation Applauds

Yesterday evening at 8 PM millions of people stopped what they were doing to clap and cheer in the streets as a tribute to National Health Service workers for healing the coronavirus crisis. I was just starting the live HPANWO Show broadcast when this happened and I heard somebody in my street playing a brass instrument. It is audible on the programme, see: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.com/2020/03/programme-362-podcast-lisa-phillips.html. Signboards across the nation flashed supportive messages and #ClapForCarers went viral on Twitter, if you'll excuse the pun. Shops allowed people with NHS identity badges to jump the queues at the door, which have become the icon of the COVID 19 pandemic. Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52058013. It is the first time anything like this has happened before. I am no longer an NHS hospital porter, but I was one for twenty-three years. I am ex-NHS and always will be. Until the day I die this will remain a core part of my identity. I'd like to express my appreciation to everybody who took part in this event. It means an awful lot to me; and I'm sure it does to all other healthcare or former healthcare servicemen and women.

Friday, 17 January 2020

The Real Eleanor Roosevelt

As regular HPWA readers know, I have created a maxim for the St Theo's Day celebrations: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." I felt that this was a perfect motto for Hospital Porters' Pride and Dignity, the spirit of St Theo itself. The statement was coined by somebody called Eleanor Roosevelt and at the time I included it I did not know who that person was. Since then I have found out. She was a First Lady of the United States, a title which means the wife of a US President, like the incumbent Melania Trump. Her husband was the thirty-second and longest served ever US President, Franklin D Roosevelt. The role of the First Lady carries no official political office, but it is invariably one of charity work and non-partisan activism. Eleanor Roosevelt became what is today known as a "goodwill ambassador". She worked hard to improve the lives of workers left jobless and poor by the Great Depression and was one of the pioneers in the quest for civil rights for black people. She was also heavily influenced by the first wave feminist Marie Souvestre who had been her schoolteacher. She was rumoured to have had homosexual relationships with a number of famous women, including the aviator Amelia Earhart and the journalist Lorena Hickok. (To be fair, her own husband was reportedly doing the same thing with women, as presidents often do; so what's good for the goose is good for the gander, you might say.) Her support for leftwing causes drew the ire of many American conservatives, such as J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI. As to be expected in the mid-20th century, Eleanor Roosevelt was accused of being a communist agent. This video is particularly condemnatory: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Cum7gEyObVoT/.

During the 1940's and 50's the United States of America was struck down by an hysterical fear of "communists!". That word had a very different colloquial use to that of today. It didn't necessarily mean an orthodox Marxist; it could be applied to anybody who was not a table-thumping redneck. With retrospect, it turns out that there was some justification for that fear. The Venona project was a counterintelligence operation by the Signal Intelligence Service, later the NSA, that exposed the Cambridge spies; Blunt, Burgess, MacLean and Philby along with the espionage ring within the Manhattan project to develop the nuclear bomb. Yet that was just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of Venona intercepts were never deciphered. The agents who sent and received them were never caught. Some may still be alive today and walking free. Even the man whose very name was coined for institutional paranoid suspicion, Senator Joseph McCarthy, has been absolved somewhat, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wljpYZ8wejA. Yet none of these facts legitimize the depths and extremes of the "anti-communist!" obsession of that era. It was even suggested that Superman's red cape was actually a red flag in disguise. A number of films emerged at the time which capture that terrified mania. They are almost funny when viewed through modern eyes, for instance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KWHDNPdoCg, and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8zhmCjV71w, and: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4alzh3. The only excuse I can think of was that this was the early Cold War and the threat of nuclear holocaust had just emerged; something so horrific that it caused mass insanity among the population in a way that those born under the shadow of the bomb could never comprehend. A number of cinema actors, writers and directors were subpoenaed by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Most refused to testify and were found in contempt. The "Hollywood Ten" as they were called were blacklisted from America's famous movie industry. These included some household names such as Arthur Miller, Humphrey Bogart and Lionel Stander. This film is a good history of the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ-dKru9RWM. Could Eleanor Roosevelt have been falsely accused of being a Soviet agent because of her leftist biases? Maybe. Was she wrong to be concerned about the legitimate iniquities of the era she lived in? I don't have a problem with civil rights; in fact I regularly defend them for all people. I would not tolerate black people being forced to sit at the back of buses and women not being allowed to buy houses, or any other similar injustices. I have no opinions at all regarding other people's private lives. What I object to is that the civil rights movement has been warped into a mockery of itself through cultural Marxism, for example see: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.com/2019/11/sjw-ufo.html. However, Eleanor Roosevelt was a keen supporter of the United Nations which, as G Edward Griffin has correctly pointed out, is an embryonic one-world government, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwPy7oSs6Yc. In fact she was the United States' first ever ambassador to the UN. She was the powerhouse behind the American Youth Congress and National Youth Administration which were definitely infiltrated by socialist tendencies supporting the USSR, such as the Young Communist League. I don't have an answer to this conundrum; I've only just started investigating who Eleanor Roosevelt really was. We can't ask her because she died in 1962. Really, for the purposes of St Theo's Day, does it matter who she was? I am quite willing to repeat quotes of wisdom from many people who I consider deplorable. Winston Churchill was another one-worlder, but he said something truly enlightening, and during my Larry Warren research project I reproduced it in this post without a qualm: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.com/2017/02/is-larry-warren-fraud-part-6.html. I am also a big fan of the author China MiƩville, see: https://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-city-and-city-by-china-mieville.html, and he is a raving socialist. In fact, far from being an undercover agent he wears it on his sleeve. Eleanor Roosevelt's quote: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." is one that resonates with my hospital portering experience enormously, regardless of the character of the one who said it; therefore I will continue to use it in HPWA publications and the St Theo's Day posters.