Junior Doctors are surprised by these familiar faces during their latest strike (TWEETS)

Support us and go ad-free

As junior doctors at London’s Northwick Park hospital continued their solid campaign of resistance against the imposition of dangerous new contracts, they were supported by some famous faces in their latest strike action.

Actors Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Oliver Chris, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Pippa Heywood, all of whom starred in Channel 4’s Green Wing (and some of whom played junior doctors themselves) made their public display of solidarity alongside their former ‘colleagues’.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Green Wing actually featured no medical storylines at all; though an episodic sitcom it functioned often like a surrealist sketch comedy. Five of the cast reuniting for the strike action, however, shows that they are not ignorant of the pressures real doctors are currently facing.

Celebrities are often pilloried for contributing their thoughts, talents or bodies to political causes. Lately, both singer Charlotte Church and actor Michael Sheen, for example, have been particularly vocal about the failures of the government. Church has come under intense fire for this.

Notorious hate-monger Jan Moir wrote a particularly trite piece for The Daily Mail about Church singing at an Arctic drilling protest. Filled with condescension and a diagnosis of “Emma Thompson-itis”, Moir also attempts to dismiss outspoken actor Thompson for publicly sharing her political opinions.

As though Moir herself does not earn a living by doing the same.

Celebrities lending their name, bodies, talents or whatever they choose do so as individuals participating in society. Whether or not they are hoping for attention for themselves or the cause, it tends to be out of their control considering they already have attention from the public no matter what they do.

It’s interesting to note that Church, as a young child star transitioning to adulthood, was treated terribly by the press. She was once blackmailed by Rupert Murdoch himself into singing at his wedding in exchange for favourable media treatment. Far less criticism of Michael Sheen, a middle aged man, can be found in the papers for expressing his political conviction. The criticism of celebrity ‘political PR’ is one that can be easily and lazily wielded, and is usually one embedded in sexism or racism, in an attempt to shut people up when you don’t like them.

The solidarity shown by the Green Wing cast through the simple act of turning up is a perfect example of a pointed gesture against political injustice. Campaigners often urgently need money, time and change, but these things can be hard to come by. An equally useful, and very easy and simple gift to give, is one of public support.

Get involved!

Write to your MP in support of the strike actions

Support the doctors’s union the BMA, and join a strike action.

Image via the BMA/Twitter


Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us

Comments are closed