Posted by: Witch Doctor | November 23, 2009

Prime Time or one foot in the grave?



Rather suddenly and unexpectedly, The Witch Doctor and My Black Cat will have to take our leave from all things Blogosphere for a couple of weeks. Perhaps someone will have discovered The Interesting Intertwinglement by the time we return. We doubt it though.


The Witch Doctor does not know any of the other medical bloggers personally, indeed she does not even know who they are with the exception of Dr Rita Pal, Dr Bloggs and more recently Julie. However, it is just about possible to deduce one or two things about the ages of most of them and an interesting phenomenon is developing.

Dr Grumble was pointing out yesterday that of those medics who blog regularly there are probably very few young doctors among them. I may be wrong about this, and apologies to the youthful ones if I am, but it seems to me that The Ferret Fancier and The Junior Doctor are the youngest. There is a great new medical blogger who might be younger still.  Rita is probably next in line. I’m not sure about Basics Doc – he might be next. There may be more younger doctors or medical students still blogging regularly and My Black Cat is going to look them out. The remainder seem to be “at their prime” or past it depending on whether it is a good day. The Witch Doctor, of course is of an evanescent  age depending on what particular spell she is under.

The Witch Doctor seemed to misunderstand what Sam was saying over the weekend. She thought Sam was of the opinion that the older bloggers were a load of old medical fogies who lived in the past and were resistant to change. However what I think she was really saying was that we were resistant to any degree of privatisation within the NHS.

I think Sam is really quite fond of us all in spite of our weird ways.

Over the weekend too there was some despair among the bloggers regarding which party to vote for in the next election.

In the past there was probably a general trend for those with a Socialist leaning to vote against privatisation and those with a Tory leaning to vote for it. Not sure what you did if you were a Liberal though. But now the waters have become very muddy and no-one seems to know what each party stands for.

This led The Witch Doctor to contemplate what would be her voting pattern in the next election. She also spent some time considering her views on privatisation.

Now, we witches are not hindered by any present or past allegiance to any political party. We are certainly not and never have been socialists, old labour, new labour, social democrats, communists, tories or liberals. We have absolutely no allegiance to any of the new or extremist parties either. We believe all political ideologies eventually become tainted and we look out for that happening to whoever is in power and do what it takes to vote that party out. We are truly floating voters. It makes us feel important. We love it when they woo us round about election time.

The wooing is good fun but a waste of the politician’s time. The Witch Doctor will wend her way to the polling booth and do whatever it takes to vote against hubris.

She will not take leaders into account at all because she has learned over the past few years that they do not run our country. It is the gurus in the Think Tanks and powerful businessmen that encircle our leaders who do that.

One of the problems is that there is a new political ideology that has been foisted upon us unawares. It is a problem because no-body understands what it is about. Many have never even heard of it. Not knowing it is happening and not knowing what it is really about means we don’t know whether it is good or bad.

It is called The Third Way.

Another name for it is Communitarianism.

Tony Blair’s name was closely linked to The Third Way. So are those who surrounded him and those coming after him.

However, it is likely that all three major political parties are now Communitarian to a greater or lesser extent. This is why the voters are confused.

If you do a Google search for articles published on The Third Way, you will find a little intertwinglement or two. But you have to know what you are looking for.

The Witch Doctor placed a little Third Way intertwinglement experiment in Saturday’s post. It was so deeply hidden, she doesn’t expect anyone to spot it. Especially those who refuse to click.

Communitarianism is the reason why Old Labour who used to be so in favour of nationalisation, is now wooing the private sector. We witches also believe it is the reason behind The Skills Escalator.

All political parties will be hand in glove with the private sector from now on, so you’ll need to get used to it.

It is an important part of Third Way politics.

My Black Cat and I will try to learn all we can about The Third Way before the next general election. We have already learned a little.

And we’ll look for more intertwinglements.

Just in case some of them turn out to be very important.

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The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





© Dlundin |


  1. Witch Doctor, I am flattered on both accounts!

    (Although, I believe I may be older than The Junior Doctor… maybe I should come out of my kitchen for a while and find out!)

  2. It is the young who should worry about the future and not those with one foot in the grave. But the more you have seen of the past the more you are able to see the future. If you look back along the path you have been down you are able to see the direction in which you are heading. The young cannot look back so cannot see ahead.

    In his careers counselling sessions with young doctors Dr Grumble points out that the future may be very different. The mention of privatisation causes a look of bewilderment. Despite the evidence it’s not something that has crossed their minds. Of course there’s the third way too but they wouldn’t begin to grasp that. Either way (and it will probably be both) the future will still be very different.

    Some people (as well as witches) are able to see the future. Twenty years ago Dr G read a few management books by Charles Handy which predicted the future. That future has now come. When it comes to the future of the NHS it is not that difficult to read the runes.

    There are critics out there who think we are just looking after our own self interests. But that is emphatically not the case. We are all too old for that. Our pensions will be there for us. Our motivation is that we can just see the enormous strengths of the NHS as it once was and the great weaknesses of alternative systems which are not nearly as wonderful as others (especially Big Business) make out. Certainly these alternative systems have not been able to contain spending – the key problem facing healthcare in every civilised country. We have a system that, unlike others, is well set up to minimise spending while giving reasonable care. Why change it?

    Unfortunately our politicians do not see it that way. They see private as efficient. More tests as better. In fact private will encourage just that: more of everything. That’s what private organisations do. They sell you things you don’t need (bottled water, too much fast food, tests you don’t need, even operations you don’t need). US healthcare loves to do that and, if you read Dr Aust’s comments over at JD, so does German healthcare. There is no way that is efficient.

    Some American writers have referred to Dr G as a ‘socialist blogger’ but like the Witch Doctor he is not wedded to any party. And, unlike Dr Crippen, he has never voted Labour – not even New Labour. Unfortunately there is no party for people like us with no allegiance but a lot of common sense.

    I do think that outside Scotland and Wales the NHS as we know it is doomed. There are strengths to the new private ways that have caused Dr Grumble’s own NHS department to boom but there are much greater weaknesses. If things go one way in England and another in the devolved nations it will be a very interesting experiment. We will see then who was right and who was wrong. I do hope I live long enough to find out.

  3. Haste ye back, WD. Hope everything’s ok..

  4. I agree with Dr G but then I always do.

    The young should be more worried than they are and this is what I find so very frustrating, often the young are just so self interested and willing to sacrifice anything for their own gain. This means that they are so easy to divide and rule. The minority of fools that run medicine in the NHS would never be able to get away with what they do if everyone acted in a more cohesive manner against this minority of fools.

    The problem is that the older majority have run out of energy and have stopped fighting, while a lot of those in power just act for their own personal gain and now the young never fight as they do not want to burn their own bridges of self interest.

    Of note when groups of consultants have stood up for what is right and proper, things have happened, big things, much bigger than would have been anticipated by even the most optimistic.

    The Birmingham MTAS affair showed this.

    To me one can see from history that life is made up a series of rebellions of the serfs against the minority of lords with the power. The uprisings are often small and often amount to nothing, but over time the dissent builds and sometimes the dissent amounts to something rather significant which unseats those in power, thus changing the way things work for a while until those in power build up their own corrupt power bases over time.

    Until people unite then the decline will continue.

    We need more rebels to stand up, say what they think and stand up against the establishment. Unfortunately this isn’t the British way. Maybe the camel’s back will break during out lifetimes, I certainly hope so.

  5. […] is going on round about them. We’ll need to take them by the hand. Anyway, it’s only a little Intertwinglement that may be of no importance at […]

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