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June 25, 2024, 04:24:00 PM

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Pulse article mentioned in Private Eye

Started by Solid Jim, April 22, 2024, 10:59:41 PM

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Solid Jim

From the most recent issue of Private Eye, some fallout from the recent article in Pulse.


PULSE magazine published an article in February by satirist Chris Morris, the son of two GPs, that was funny and informed and described a popular, small inner-city practice.

Morris wrote: "A Labour SpAd visited and liked it so much he asked for a job. 'This is exactly how general practice should work,' he said, 'but it won't win an election."

This surprised Morris, who continued: "What?! Access, continuity and a practice rule that the phone never rings more than three times and is answered by a human being? Who wouldn't vote for that?"

A few days later, Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting's special adviser, Will Prescott, contacted Pulse, stating: "My colleague (who is not a Spad) did visit this practice. He did not ask for a job. He did not say 'it won't win an election', and in fact our view is that the public will in part vote for the party they believe will improve GP services. Can you please remove this paragraph?"

Pulse editor Jaimie Kaffash checked his facts and changed the SpAd to a Labour adviser who had indeed asked for a training position, despite Prescott claiming this was "a falsehood". Kaffash removed the reference to protect the adviser's identity but was confident the adviser had also said that small practices and partnerships wouldn't win an election. However, he removed the quotation marks. Prescott asked for the whole line to be removed and remained unhappy about an updated paragraph from Morris, which read: "At the time of course, Labour had decided they were very much against partnerships and Wes Streeting was spouting nonsense about 'self referral' and 'tearing up GP contracts' and putting them all on salary. So the adviser's schizoid flip was consistent with the boss's ravings."

Prescott was particularly upset about the use of the word "schizoid." His furious emails climaxed last week with a message copied into Kaffash's bosses: "I wanted to inform you both that we will not be engaging with Pulse for the foreseeable future. I am astounded by the unprofessional behaviour of the editor in the exchange below. As you can see, he refused to include clarifications on an article which has been amended to remove inaccuracies about an identifiable colleague of mine. Other inaccuracies remain in the piece, which has also been updated to include a mental health slur. This is a real shame but I cannot see how we can engage in good faith with an outlet that behaves like this."

Pulse is hardly anti-Labour, just pro-GP. So it's an odd fight to pick if you want to fix the NHS.

The article in question: https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/views/special-investigations/pulse-in-print/chris-morris-the-government-would-rather-attack-gps-than-listen-to-them/

Ambient Sheep

Thank you!

I've been meaning to post this for a while, you've saved me the trouble.

Special thanks for the link to the Pulse article, as I hadn't read it.  Good stuff.

This is just linguistic pedantry but Morris' use of "schizoid" here is really annoying! I'm assuming here he is using the word to say that Streeting's assistant is  guilty of self-contradiction in that they both approved and disapproved of the GP practice- but I think this is mistaken on two fronts. Firstly, it's quite likely he's using the word to make the lazy connection between believing contradictory things and schizophrenia, and secondly, because "schizoid" doesn't mean "schizophrenic" in any case. It's a very particular condition sometimes associated with schizophrenia that has a lot in common with some types of Asperger's in that it's associated with an emotional flatness and coldness.