Steve Barclay just got his ass handed to him over the BMA junior doctor and consultant strikes

Steve Barclay looking shocked BMA junior doctors consultants
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Health secretary Steve Barclay probably wished he hadn’t turned his social media on on Sunday 3 September. An ill-conceived post on X (formerly Twitter) ended up with people labelling him “useless“, an “odious piece of shite“, and a “robotic penguin” (or possibly a “minless plastic automaton”, hard to tell). This was all over the NHS junior doctors’ and consultants’ strikes, organised by the British Medical Association (BMA).

The BMA: everybody out

As the Canary previously reported, the BMA recently announced that junior doctors and consultants in England will go on strike together. It will be the first time in the history of the NHS this has happened:

Junior doctors have already staged several days of strike action in recent months, and will walk out again in September. The BMA stated that they’ll strike on September 20-22, with one day coinciding with a strike by consultants. Then, junior doctors and consultants will also strike at the same time on October 2-4.

Consultants also walked out in both July and August. It’s of little wonder these medical professionals are striking. For example:

So, the BMA is calling for pay restoration for junior doctors, in line with inflation since 2008/09. For consultants, it says it wants a:

credible offer that puts an end to these pay cuts and a commits to reforming the pay review body process so that it can be truly independent in reviewing consultant pay and begin addressing these historic losses.

Intransigence, lies, and bad social media

Of course, the Tory government is unwilling to do any of these things. It’s offered both junior doctors and consultants a 6% pay rise, plus a one-off payment of £1,250 for the former. Moreover, Tory ministers have shown intransigence, at best – and at worst, have lied. Barclay was guilty of the latter on the subject of consultants’ pensions.

Read on...

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Now, the health secretary has commented for right-wing shitrag the Express – whining about the BMA “playing politics” and labelling the strike action as “callous”. Clearly, Barclay (or some wet-behind-the-ears comms intern) thought that sharing the article on social media would provide some much-needed positive PR for the health secretary and the government. Talk about a miscalculation:

Barclay’s post provoked a near-unanimously furious backlash from people on X. One doctor thought the health secretary was the one playing politics by stalling on negotiating with the BMA:

That was one of the more polite posts. Other people had some choice words for Barclay – noting his “shite brand of gaslighting”, among other characteristics:

Another doctor thought the health secretary had the air of a “robotic penguin” about him – in reference to Barclay’s recent encounter with one:

Overall, and one consultant summed the situation up nicely:

Barclay: running out of options

Of course, posting shit on social media and talking to the Express are the only weapons Barclay has left in his armoury. The splurge guns from Bugsy Malone would be more effective – and ditto for a bunch of kids in costumes when it comes to dealing with the NHS, compared to our health secretary.

Barclay’s desperation is obvious – as is his very-thinly veiled propaganda, trying to turn the public against NHS workers. However, the health secretary is running out of options. With a union that clearly won’t back down, and public support for junior doctors still in the majority (but admittedly with consultants lagging behind), Barclay is on the edge – as his desperate social media posting shows.

Featured image via Good Morning Britain – YouTube

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