Good old Tony Blair, what a guy!
St Tone was up in my neck of the woods yesterday, accompanied by a few loaves and a couple of fishes, pressing the flesh, righting wrongs and looking for a Lazarus to resurrect (so what’s new?).
At the end of the day, he went to the BBC Manchester studios for an interview with pleasant, bumbling political reporter, Jim Hancock. Now, there has been a bit of a kuffuffle in the North West lately. The BBC local news programme, Look Northwest has been doing a bit of championing on behalf of a poor local woman who is suffering from breast cancer.
She asked her local health authority if she could have the new wonder drug ‘Herceptin’. ‘They’ being an English health Trust, and consequently having no cash to spare, refused to give her the drug. They fell back onto the fatuous argument that it hadn’t yet been cleared by ‘NICE’ – the Government drug agency for England…….. This is a thinly disguised excuse for not telling her it was too expensive.
All week, the programme has been following this woman’s increasingly desperate attempts to get the Trust to cough up. On Thursday night, we were treated to the grotesque mini drama of her at home, waiting by the phone for some health nazi to give her the thumbs up, or more likely, the thumbs down.
She waited and waited, the phone rang,some jobsworth was on from the Trust - ‘they were sorry but the Trust had decided they could not, on this occasion be bothered to stump up the cash’. They used as their excuse that those nice people at NICE hadn’t given it the ‘all clear’.
This woman was gutted. The health nazi said she could lodge an appeal if she wanted to. She said she would. I sort of got the impression that if they’d have said stand on one leg, pirouette and bark like a dog and then we’ll give it to you – she would have done it - and it had about as much dignity.
To be honest, I was really shocked, I cringed. Is that what we are reduced to? Begging on the telly for a drug. The very same drug, freely available in Scotland – for they don’t have such problems on funding – and hence no problems giving lame excuses about not having had clearance yet as per their English counterparts.
Anyway, back to the Tony Blair interview….
Jim Hancock started to tackle him about this Manchester woman. The problems in getting the drugs, the injustice of it all…. Suddenly, Princess Tony agreed. Suddenly, Blair had found his potential Lazarus. Hand signs set to ‘rapid.’ Facial expressions set to ‘honest John’. Voice set to 'high pitched hysterical', Tony was in his element. A just cause to hunt down – and Blunkett consigned to history.
"Of course" whined Tony "Of course this woman should get ‘Herceptin’. It’s only right and proper that her local Trust should supply her with the drug immediately"…..
And yea, verily, a bright light shone off St Tony’s bonce, and it was done. Within 10 minutes, the health nazi had rung the woman……. And hey, guess what? Money, drugs, clinic appointment and a fast delivery van had just been found under an old packet of humbugs…….
So next time you're ill. Just make sure you have a double dose of Honest Tone's - 'Blair's Patent Tincture' handy.