Tag Archives: NHS

We are all nurses – Christie Watson

12 May
Photo of Matt Holland and Christie Watson

Matt Holland and Christie Watson ©Fernando Bagué

I’m drawn to kindness, and I was pleased to see an event on this subject at this year’s festival. We live in a country of increasing homelessness and poverty (again) – to hear/read about kindness feels more important than ever. 

I’ve also been a psychiatric nurse myself during the 1980’s and 1990’s, in one of those old asylums, and sometimes kindness was not part of care: lack of time and lack of resources always pushed kindness to the outer edges in those cold enormous wards, and people were dehumanised by this. 

Christie Watson’s book is impressive. She raises the awareness of the quality of good nurses through stories that highlight her own twenty years of kindness and dedication: “Sympathy, compassion, empathy: this is what history tells us makes a good nurse.” (p.8).  Continue reading

Read the Daily Mail, Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee urges Swindon Festival of Literature audience

4 May

Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, once described by The Independent as Queen of the Leftist Journalists, has said everyone should read the Daily Mail.

Toynbee was responding to questions from a Swindon Festival of Literature audience about the effect of government cuts to the public sector, the subject of her new book, Dismembered.

In the face of a system run by emboldened libertarians, she and co-author David Walker, former director of public reporting at the Audit Commission, and Guardian contributor, were asked what we – as ordinary citizens – could do.

“There’s one thing we can do daily, and that’s not buy the Daily Mail,” said Walker, to rapturous applause.

Toynbee, though, was having none of it. “We’re living in a bubble of the likeminded,” she scolded. “Eighty five percent of the press is rightwing – and more rightwing than it used to be.

“You have to understand the forces you are up against. Read the Daily Mail, even if you have to pick it out of a bin.” Continue reading