Monday, 14 September 2015

Excuse me Mr Cameron

So, I was struggling to think of something to focus my next blog entry on, and then I heard about David Cameron’s remarks about Yorkshire people. For those of you who don’t know, David Cameron was caught making a not-so-funny joke that went a little bit like this: “We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”

Now, I do have a few issues with this. The first of all being that I don’t get it at all. If he had said something true, I might have got it. For example, if he had made fun of the word “the” not being in our dictionary, that would have been obvious, but earnt him a few funny points. If he had said we’re all cheap mo-fos who don’t like to spend money, that’s true! So it’s kind of funny. Even if he’d have gone as far to say that we should have tea that flows out of our taps, instead of water, because LORD KNOWS we drink all the tea, that would have been a bit funny. But to say we hate people? I spent majority of my life in Yorkshire, and then moved to another extremely nice place (Norfolk), but Yorkshire is still full of the nicest people I’ve ever met. This isn’t a rant post. But the topic did make me think of a group of people I encountered when I was young.

We moved to Rotherham, South Yorkshire, when I was 9. I went to a really good school called Wath Comprehensive school, which was a 45 minute walk from my house. Every day my sister and I would walk to school together. Whether it was heavy rain, bright sunny skies, or a blizzard outside, you’d find us walking to school.

One route we took was through a racecourse. It was a bunch of fields that hadn’t been used as a racecourse in donkeys, now it was and still is used primarily for walking dogs. Anyway, we used to walk passed a group of dog walkers every morning. And every morning they would say hello and have a nice day. We were strangers. I don’t know who these people were, but they were nice enough, and we were nice enough, to say good morning despite not having any kind of relationship. Now what part of that screams that we hate each other?

I remember when we were walking to get our results, they shouted to us “Good luck”. And if they hadn’t seen us in a few days, they’d ask if we were okay. I remember one day, there was one less walker than usual. I always assumed it was the wife of one of them men, as she was always with him, and I think they shared the dog. The days of her absence stretched on, and I don’t remember ever seeing her again. Back then, I kind of just thought “Oh I hope she’s alright”, but I didn’t really understand what might have been going on.

When I see patients’ husbands, wives, children and friends in hospital, the first thing that goes through your mind isn’t “I wonder how they pass their day without the other”. But it is still something really important. I like to think that he went to visit his wife every day she wasn’t there. If she was in hospital, her face would light up the way we see so many patients’ faces light up when they see their loved ones. Her anxiety would have disappeared as if it wasn’t there in the first place. She would have felt comfortable and happy.

All too often in health care you see people who have no one. No one to bring them fresh clothes and toiletries. No one to visit them or keep them company when they’re lonely. No one. I just know that the friendly old lady who walked her dog would not have had no one.

Every time I walk over the racecourse when I visit home, I think of the friendly YORKSHIRE people I once kind of knew and I hope that they still walk their dogs in the morning. So David Cameron, I think you were confused. People in Yorkshire don’t hate everyone, they don’t hate each other, they just hate you. And with good reason if you keep making stupid insulting jokes that aren’t funny!