Welsh NHS goes all Social (Column 27.3.13)

It’s true. Social Policy Professor, Mark Drakeford, has just been appointed the new head honcho for the accident prone Welsh NHS.

Those boyos up at Cardiff Bay who run Wales (at least they like to think they do), have come off their cruiser pleasure boats to announce that a Social Policy academic is now to be responsible for your life expectancy.

Now, believe it or not I used to train CAB advisers in Social Policy, indeed my own step-daughter has obtained a degree in the subject from Bristol University no less – she still thinks Beveridge is a cup of tea but we won’t go into that. Anyway, I am still trying to work out what the evolution from the Poor Law to the Welfare State and all the academic fluff that goes with it, has to do with a hernia or for that matter diabetes?

The Welsh government never ceases to mystify.

As usual, Carwyn has put style before substance and allowed Mr Drakeford to be filmed wandering around the empty caverns of the Assembly building wearing Welsh tartan trews and a jumper, his statesmanlike elan on show for all to see. In fairness though, I’m told that  AM’s have apparently been instructed to go all casual, you know, men and women of the people etc etc, also such attire is easier to wash, particularly after a night out on the town. Funnily enough, our very own Keith Davies AM, has always been ahead of the game in this respect and is to be commended.

So, a Cardiff University academic will now decide on your health care. God forbid that Carwyn and his Merry Men, should recruit someone from the hard-core world of private sector business administration or even NHS administration for that matter, can’t have that now can we? Some talent from across the Severn Bridge?  Don’t be silly, this is the Welsh public sector for heaven’s sake, and must be kept exclusively for the Welsh-speaking Welsh, to hell with everyone’s health.

Before I go, and I hate to harp on (I don’t really, I’m just being politically correct), but I hear on the grapevine that our Carwyn is about to try and pass an haute couture Bill, that will  make all AM’s wear tall, black Welsh hats (regardless of gender) from the moment they enter the Assembly building. Outdoing Paris, Milan, New York and London in the fashion stakes is the name of the game apparently.

Carwyn’s Peelers will enforce this new cultural diktat, I’m told.

NB A fan of this column sometimes provides me with amusing and perceptive material on Welsh politics for me to play around with. He wishes to remain anonymous, but I thank him all the same.



3 thoughts on “Welsh NHS goes all Social (Column 27.3.13)

  1. Some fortunate people in Wales gets paid to write books via money from the Welsh government. So that would mean that they would not write anything derogatory about Welsh Government policy – say for example a novel set in the NHS in Wales.

    So if someone had money from the Welsh Government and wrote a novel, around a character – say, a Mr Jones. Mr Jones dies waiting in queue of ambulances in a forecourt of a hospital……………

    “Just hold on Mr Jones it won’t be long now.”

    “I’m the First Minister!….get me into the hospital now!”

    “Sorry Mr Jones you will have to wait like everybody else.”


    “Have you got private health insurance?”

    “Private health insurance, I’ll be damned I’m a socialist.”

    “Well then Mr Jones, you will have to wait in the queue.”

    “But I am the First Minister and a citizen of Socialist Wales.This can’t be happening get me into the hospital now!”

    “Just relax Mr Jones it won’t be long now.”


    “Just keep the oxygen mask on Mr Jones, don’t struggle it will just make things worse.”

    “But I am First Minister.”

    “Well you can’t have preferential treatment First Minister, that wouldn’t be fair would it?”

    “But I am the First Minister, bloody, NHS fascists, I’ll report this. I want to make a complaint, you ruthless bunch of sods.”

    “Mr Jones, the First Minister wants to make a complaint.”

    “Does he really. We had someone in the queue last last week said he was Napoleon Bonparte.” said the other paramedic.

    “Just keep the oxygen mask on First Minister it won’t be long now. You can make a complaint in the next Assembly meeting.”

    “Mmmmmmhhh…. Mmmmmhhh…..”

    “Just keep the mask on and breathe deeply Mr Jones.”

    One year later in the Office of Partisan Publishing, the manuscript of “The Casualty” arrives. The “casualty” not being Mr Jones waiting in the ambulance but the Welsh NHS and the sterling job they do despite having their budget slashed by the Welsh Government since devolution.

    “Well not bad, a few grammatical errors, doesn’t really show the beautiful landscape of Wales not really giving a good impression of Wales and seems to a bit critical of Welsh Government policy. We can’t have that can we….oh well, bin for this one then ….shame good novel really could have allegorised it and set it in 2031, in a future dystopia in some South East Asian country. Anyway it is hard operating in the cut throat world of publishing in the 21st century………and we would be buggered if our subsidy was taken away. OK what’s the next one?”

    “This one is about 2000 year old druid vampires living in a secluded village in Ceridigion. Sucking blood from anyone they can get their teeth into basically.”

    “Well…..we’re not so keen on fantasy in Wales, what a load of rubbish – Bin. Next!”

    “This is a really outstanding work it’s called ‘A list of toilet facilities on the A470 – the Welsh route 66 and beyond.’ I thoroughly recommend it.”

    “Is this some surrealist fantasy again, like the ‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’? Bin Next!”

    “No, no….this is about the toilet facilities on the A470. It comes with a cover letter, the author says he has had a grant from the arts council and the Welsh Arts Minister is his uncle. We haven’t verified it though.”

    “Really! A list of toilet facilities on the A470. Practical and informative. Brilliant that’s our choice then, all in favour say aye.”


    • Haven’t you heard, Mr Origami? A book titled ‘How to grow your own leeks and daffodils on the slopes of Snowdonia’ by Dai ap Wordsworthio, is up for a ‘Wales Book of The Year Award’!

      ‘The TaffMaff Strike Again’ tome by Carwyn ap Assemblio, the present Cardiff Capio di tutti capio, has also been shortlisted, I’m told.


      • Ah!….magical unrealism is a favorite genre of mine. I have just ordered a penny copy from Amazon. It sounds quite interesting! A community of rural people coming together to be self suffient in flower and plant cultivation – an Agrosocio utoptia under a benign dictator.

        I hope ordered the right book?

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