Glasgow versus the Queen

In Scotland, there’s a bit of a smart thing going on.

1277678_608923449148847_770556601_oDuring the referendum Scotland started questioning everything, trying to figure out, from scratch What’s Important For A (Reborn) Country. And even though, in the end,  Scots opted to stay in the UK, the country had got the hang of the idea of interrogating the assumptions of the powerful.

This year, the Scottish Government completed a new hospital in Glasgow, the header_nsghc_wide_01biggest in the country. The entire £842m cost was  financed by the Scottish taxpayer, built on time, and without some lame brain PFI malarky. Glasgow, and Scotland is proud of it.

Then a rich old aristocratic woman shows up, who is doesn’t use the NHS, who sits on her arse eating swans in palace 345 miles from Glasgow… she stays for about 45 minutes, says nothing of interest, then pisses off and…..they Name The NHS Hospital After Her.

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Glasgwegian. RAGING WITH QUEEN.

Glasgow has an appalling health record, mostly as a result of poverty and vast inequality. But now,  as the stricken from Drumchapel, Castlemilk and Govan  gasp for help, they will be obliged to say take me to….The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

It’s like a sick joke. But, as airport bombers found out, Glasgow likes to put up a fight.

About a mile from the hospital, is Sunny Govan Community Radio, and  one if its broadcasters, John Beattie – who worked in the NHS for 10 years – felt annoyed enough to started a petition saying that “we the people oppose the new South Glasgow University Hospital being named after a monarch“, hoping for a few thousand signatures.

So far, over 13,500 people have signed the petition. ( please sign here)

Purple faced and pathetic,  NHS Glasgow Glasgow Health board hit back, claiming it was ‘an honour’ for staff & patients to meet the queen and have the hospital named after her.

Lets ask the staff then….. A senior Dr Keith McKillop wrote to the Glasgow Herald saying….

“Queen Elizabeth is the most potent symbol of the glaring inequalities in our society, a vivid representation of the growing gulf between rich and poor. The name of the new hospital is not unimportant. One of my other bits of paper is an honours degree in theology, so I’m qualified to know that symbols carry meaning, power and influence. I am reluctantly obliged to reinforce the illusion that our hospital, and therefore our health, is the charitable gift of a benevolent monarch to her less fortunate subjects.”

Dr McKillop goes on to say that the general feeling amongst staff  is far from being ‘honoured’ they are either indifferent or object to the name.

Contrary to recieved wisdom, some Doctors can write very clearly…he goes on…

79-140R0131T9523“The association of royalty with healing is a medieval superstition with no place in the 21st century NHS. How can I realistically encourage the people of Glasgow to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing, for self-improvement, when the renamed hospital perpetuates the ideal of an inflexible social order? It suggests they should take life as it comes and accept their subsidiary position. It quite literally subjugates its patients.

Bravo Dr McKillop !

So who made this crass offensive decision ?

Such was the controversy that Andrew Robertson ( OBE ! Ha ! ), the chairman of Greater Glasgow Health Board wrote to the Glasgow Herald, “explaining” that they couldn’t consider a range of different names for the hospital as it would result in disappointment for those who’s preferred names weren’t chosen (this is establishment patronising speak for It’ll End In Tears…).

He claimed that Senior staff and senior nurses ‘considered’ the royal name ( and, it is implied, approved). But when the Herald made a request to see the minutes of the meetings, it turns out they didn’t exist.

Inviting this uneducated privately treated woman to Daimler up to Scotland to name  the hospital after herself cost over £100,000 ( this was only revealed after a Wings Over Scotland submitted a FoI request).

It looks unlikely that the hospital will be renamed. Naming a hospital after a royal is a risible idea, and I hope members of the Scottish government are squirming with embarrassment,

But at least Glasgow didn’t roll over and fawn. And that’s a start.

( despite the fact that -for once – this IS an interesting royal news story, it got very little attention, so please share on Facebook and Twitter and spray on the walls of royal palaces. Ta.)

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UPDATE: 12 November 2015 – having gathered over 16,000 names, the petition is now closed.

They assume you love the Windsor Family

We’re relentlessly told that the Monarchy projects a good image of the UK on a world stage.

Er… posh, stale, bloodsport loving, thick, white,  boorish, military cloned hereditary Windsor Yahs –  is that what we want the world to think of first when they think of the UK in 2015?

I know the snootyness actually appeals to some  ( “oh gee I love your Downtown Abby” ) but c’mon we don’t sentimentalise rickets, or workhouses, or other symptoms of class discrimination.

I’ve battered on about the arguments against royalty here, there and everywhere, and Republic do it better at their Winning the Argument section. But sometimes logic doesn’t make people change their minds.

What’s important, is to change perceptions, to point out that the Windsors are naff. Are ugly and uncool. Are as appealing as Nicholas Witchell’s lesbian crushing bumhole.

There will always be Peasant Crown Monkeys who gimp it up for the camera….

People like this guy – who wrote Diana and Dodi’s name on his face every day at the Diana inquest. You’ll also spot him at outside their private hospital festooned in union jacks.

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“I’ve always been a Diana fan, but last year I woke up one day and decided to paint her name on my forehead – it just felt right,”

Ok, I’m a sarcastic snidey blogger and don’t want to be cruel to this man but clearly…he has a few issues. But again and again, the uk media and (embarrassingly) the international media love these ‘umble types, and play up the idea that they’re representative of attitudes towards the Windsors.

And who else do they count as a monarchists ?

You actually. The media default assumption is we all are. If Das Feudal Circus is in town and an office worker munching on tasty Greggs sausage roll dawdles over to the kerb for a gawp, they’re hailed by the press as a royal ‘well-wisher’, who ‘welcomed’ that vulgar big Bentley into town.

Anyone staring at the bizarre freakshow family is portrayed as in thrall to the monarchy.

And every criticism is shunned and buried, no-one draws attention to disinterest…

Consider the scandalous fact that Scotland’s newly opened hospital – built entirely with public money – was opened by the queen in front a few hundred folk, some of whom were keen to see the monarchy, some of whom were just hanging out.

For unfathomable reasons the hospital was named the Queen Elizabeth University hospital Glasgow ( despite the fact that the queen doesn’t use the nhs, hasn’t been to university,  and purred with pleasure down the phone to David Cameron when Scotland shat it at the referendum. Glasgow voted yes ).

So far so tediously predictable..

Don’t let them count you as a Monarchist.