Thursday, July 29, 2010

Has the BBC not yet been informed of the NHS's demise?

The BBC reporting that the BBC Trust has said the BBC is doing a grand job:
BBC news coverage of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has "significantly improved", the BBC Trust says.

It follows a review published in 2008, in which the BBC was criticised for "falling short of its own high standards" and failing to meet its core purpose of helping inform democracy.

Since then, the number of national news stories about the devolved nations almost doubled, research suggests.

But there are still areas that require work, the trust said.

In particular, reporters do not always make it clear that changes to government policy may only affect England, or England and Wales.
My particular bugbear with their coverage is a relatively minor, but still mightily irritating one- the Beeb's constant referral to the dearly departed "NHS" as if it were still live and kicking.

While it's probably unrealistic to expect them to adopt my suggestion (the Balkanised Health Service), they should show some recognition of the fact that the constitutional vandalism wrought by Blair and Labour (aka as the devolution experiment) long ago destroyed any concept of a truly national health service. The present government, at least, are halfway there, in referring to Andrew Lansley as merely "Health Minster"; they should find that additional courage required to give him his full and correct title: "Health Minister of England".


Dilettante said...

Surely the exercise of such courage would whip up English nationalism and further exacerbate the problems faced by the Union?

O'Neill said...

Possibly, but I doubt it. It would be just a recognition of a situation that is firm and constitutional reality no longer just de facto.

Dilettante said...

I think that the threat to the Union would be greatly increased if the vast majority of those British citizens living in England actually took it seriously. An EHS might might well make them do just that.

O'Neill said...

But the point is that its the de-fact reality. If murmerings from swinney and from wales are correct, we're going to see the chickens come home to roost in the devolved regions re this question. At that stage the argument for a truly NHS will be much stronger.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it the case that the health service was separate in England/Wales, Scotland and NI before devolution?

Also, I'm fairly sure the Department for Health does have certain - albeit tiny - responsibilities which are not simply England-only.