20 April 2023

Blooming lovely

Just a few yards down the road from where I live is a guerrilla garden - a local resident has taken it upon himself to plant a flower and herb bed on the common grass verge that lines the road. There are little signs up inviting passers by to help themselves to herbs. I have blogged about it here before, as recent strong winds had played havoc with the tree that stood in the middle of the patch and council workers had shown scant regard for the plants, when felling the tree. The colourful plants always cheer me up when I walk past. This is how it looks this week. It's amazing what a few cheerful plants and the goodwill of one person can do for a neighbourhood.

10 April 2023


Following my recent post (see here), I am getting more and more cross at the way the media is presenting the junior doctors' strike. As we go into the next round of strikes this week, it is being portrayed, as if the junior doctors are greedy wanting a 35% pay rise. All I keep hearing is "pay rise" and the "havoc" they will create by going on strike, but nowhere is the real situation being reported.

It is NOT a pay rise. Their pay has been falling over the last fifteen years and has certainly not kept up with inflation. As a result they are earning less in real terms than they were 15 years ago. They are seeking pay restoration not a pay rise. As my daughter put it, imagine you have £4 and over the years that £4 is worth £3. In order to get back to that £4 you need £1. But that £1 is a third of the £3 you now have, so you need 33% to get it up to what you originally had. Add on a bit more for current inflation (which is more than that 2% but let's not be greedy) and there you have your 35%.

Forget the unsociable hours and long shifts they work. They're not sat behind a till in a shop, (although they earn just as little), but making stressful life or death decisions, often so understaffed that the patients are seriously at risk. The Covid pandemic has exhausted them and they feel, justifiably, undervalued and overlooked. Kay has worked all over the Easter weekend and is exhausted. She didn't have time to sit down once during her 12-hour shifts. 

If the media won't explain that, then please pass this on to whoever moans about the strike being a pain in the wotsit. It needs to be told.