Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Healthier Scotland - The Journal: April 2013

Healthier Scotland: the Journal is part of our attempt to take the health debate in Scotland forward. We welcome the level of political consensus in Scotland around health that means we avoid the ideological dogma that is undermining the NHS in England. However, we have huge health challenges to address and that requires new thinking on how to address them. 
In this edition we start with Iain Gray’s challenge to the health consensus. He argues the status quo is no longer an option for NHS Scotland. Dr Margaret McCartney author of ‘The Patient Paradox’ argues for a different type of reform by concentrating resources on those who are ill. Dave Watson then provides an overview of health inequality in Scotland and asks if structural change can be part of the solution.

Shelia Duffy outlines the role tobacco use plays in health inequality and Richard Simpson follows that up with his proposed private members bill on measures to address alcohol misuse.

The debate over homeopathy in the NHS has resurfaced with the NHS Lothian consultation and a vigorous internal debate within the SHA. So we invited a doctor and a scientist to give us their contrasting views on the subject.

Gordon McKay rails against the media portrayal of mental health and Matt Mclaughlin highlights the role of nurses in NHS Scotland as their numbers fall yet again.

As always we welcome views on any of the issues raised in this edition and are grateful to the contributors for their time and effort.


  1. Very disappointed you've repeated the myth that Clarkson called for the execution of striking public sector workers. I was a striking public sector worker that day and I saw the comments he made on the One Show. You have completely misinterpreted what he said. I can't stand the man's public persona but he did not say that, and repeating that he did is a) unfair, b) inaccurate and c) liable to make us look like idiots with poor comprehension

    1. Clarkson was asked what he would do with strikers, he replied: "I would have them all shot."He continued: "I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.
      "I mean how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed, while the rest of us have to work for a living."

      That's what he said I'll leave readers to decide

  2. That's a very distorted view of what happened Dave. The One Show had just done a moderately lengthy piece about the strikes and the arguments we were using in favour of the strikes, and then the presenters asked Clarkson what he thought about it. And he said "this is the BBC so in the interests of balance I'd have them all shot." He clearly didn't mean it. He was saying that because the BBC had just done a bit about why the strikes were happening, and because the BBC is supposed to give both sides of an argument, it was his role to give the opposite view and therefore he gave a very extreme opposite view. There was absolutely nothing in the piece to suggest he meant it, believed it or was saying it for any other reason than for a dig at the BBC's "fair and balanced" policies. It was flippant and it wasn't in the best of taste, but it very clearly wasn't something he meant.

    1. You may have some knowledge of what he meant and you may be correct. But you can't accuse me of distorting his words. I have simply reproduced here what he actually said.