The new temporary hospital to be opened in Glasgow’s SECC is to be called the NHS Louisa Jordan, after a Glasgow nurse who is a national hero in Serbia because of her efforts in working in field hospitals in that country during WW1. Not everyone was happy though, because this is Scotland and calling anything after someone from Scotland is going to be denounced as a political act by British nationalists. You’d think they’d just go the whole hog and demand that it’s terribly divisive and nationalist for places in Scotland to have Scottish names. So let’s stop calling Glasgow Glasgow and instead call it Birmingham on Clyde in order to show that we’re better together.
Wee Dougie Alexander – remember him? – took to the Twatters to complain that the Scottish government has had the temerity to name the new temporary hospital in Glasgow after a nurse from Glasgow. Surely they should have called it after Florence Nightingale in order to show that we’re all in this together, opined Dougie, instead of this divisive nationalism of naming a hospital in Glasgow which will be staffed by NHS workers who live in Glasgow and which will serve the people of Glasgow after a nurse from Glasgow who in a time of crisis showed solidarity with people who weren’t British. Dougie still wants us to believe that we’re all in this together despite the fact that it’s highly unlikely that anyone rich and well connected will ever end up coughing up their lungs on a cot in a temporary hospital in the SECC.
We’d all much prefer that there was no need for this temporary hospital and that like the coronavirus it wasn’t there at all. So perhaps we should call it the Charles Windsor Hospital because no one wants him here either. Although unlike Charles the hospital does serve a useful purpose and strives to contain the infection rather than spread it.
It is funny how British nationalists like Dougie, who are of course not nationalist at all on account of being British, only ever complain about Scottish things getting Scottish names. They never seem to call on English institutions to be named after Scottish people in order to, you know, demonstrate that we’re all in this together. This is the Labour party that’s always demanding that the SNP focus on what’s important. And also the Labour party – why does the hospital have a Scottish name? Because that’s the real issue here. Not the utterly hauf-airsed way in which the British government has been going about its strategy for dealing with this epidemic.
Personally I couldn’t give a toss if they called it the Loabey Dosser Memorial Doss-spot, just as long as it’s fully equipped and saving people’s lives, but when you’re on the furthest reaches of irrelevance like Dougie you have to say something crass and cringey in order to remind people that you exist. We live in hope for a vaccine for the coronavirus, but there’s no cure for British nationalist cringery. Dougie’s a ProudScotBut.
This is what Dougie thinks is the most important issue on the day when a British government which has totally screwed up the provision of coronavirus tests for NHS workers and everyone else decided to prevent the Scottish government and NHS Scotland procuring tests by themselves. He thinks that this is the most important issue on the day when we discover that the promised “thousands” of much needed ventilators that the best of British was going to deliver turn out to be just 30. He thinks that this is the most important issue when we have a British government that refused to cooperate with the EU on the provision of ventilators because Brexit, sunlit uplands, and sodding commemorative 50p coins. He thinks that this is the most important issue as NHS staff go without personal protection equipment to keep them safe from infection as they treat us. He thinks that this is the most important issue when the Westminster government has no clear exit strategy from the lockdown, no strategy for mass testing and contact tracing, and regales us with press conferences where British cabinet ministers clearly don’t have the foggiest idea what the answer is to some very basic questions.
I don’t want a pissin’ government that tells us to clap for the NHS out of our windaes as we’re locked down. I want a government that funds the NHS properly and hasn’t presided over a decade of austerity that’s cut our public services to the bone. I want a government that had the foresight to ensure that when an entirely predictable epidemic came along – something which has been forecast for years – there was a sufficient stock of personal protection equipment and medical equipment to help deal with it. But instead we have a government that doesn’t hesitate to throw billions of pounds at the obscene weapon of mass destruction that is the UK’s nuclear viagra while it allows tens of thousands of citizens to die due to its lack of care and planning. I want a government that when it’s dealing with an epidemic listens to epidemiologists, virologists, and experts in public health, and not whatever happens to be the latest buzz trend to catch the attention of Dominic pissin’ Cummings. And most of all Dougie, I want a government which when it screws up as monumentally as this one, Scotland is able to vote it out of office instead of having to pray helplessly that people in the rest of the UK feel the same way.
So maybe, just maybe Dougie, it wasn’t such a great idea to ensure that Scotland remained subject to a Conservative government made up of charlatans and ideologues and presided over by a habitual professional liar. Even the Daily Telegraph has been forced to admit that the bunch of incompetent clueless cretins that it crowbarred into office are a bunch of incompetent clueless cretins. But British nationalists in Scotland can’t admit to what’s staring even the cheerleaders for Brexit in the face, because then they’d have to acknowledge that Scotland possesses the means to find a cure for that particular affliction.
Scotland is a victim of a government which it didn’t vote for which is responsible for an epic failure in public health. If this was a Scottish government, Dougie would be the first to call on us to vote it out of office, but we’re stuck with Boris Johnson no matter how we vote thanks to Dougie and his pals in Better to Die Together. It’s hot takes like Dougie’s which explain how it is that the Labour party in Scotland will be holding its next branch office conference in a skip, and it will be taking British rule in Scotland along with it.
And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…
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