Thursday 18 February 2016

Excremental Jeremy Hunt

The Bristol Stool Chart (BSC) is a medical aid designed to classify the form of human feces into seven categories. It was developed by Dr. Stephen Lewis and Dr. Ken Heaton at the University of Bristol and was first published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 1997. 

Here's the list in full (and you can search online for illustrated versions but (as the Daily Mail webesite would say) WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT. The agreeably un-technical type descriptors are those devised by Lewis and Heaton:

  • Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
  • Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
  • Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
  • Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
  • Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)
  • Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
  • Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

The remarkable thing is not only that there are as many types of excrement as there are types of ambiguity (according to Empson), but that each of these seven categories can be applied with great accuracy to the public pronouncements of Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and the Tory Member of Parliament for South West Surrey. 

Before reading this blog, which is JUST FOR FUN, you might take a look at Dr Rachel Clarke, a highly intelligent and calmly furious junior doctor, calling Hunt 'a liar and a manipulator' during a television interviewShe makes an eloquent case against this horrible mendacious man.

I lack Dr Clarke's authority and experience and alll I can do as a writer is compare the Health Secretary to different types of excreta.

Everything this awful man says is shit, of course - there can be no question of that. But what type of shitty nonsense does he evacuate at any given time? Let's consider some examples, JUST FOR FUN, with thanks to the extensive Wikipedia entry on Hunt:

Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
In an interview with The Times in October 2012, Hunt said that he was in favour of reducing the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12 weeks. This is a point of view (although it barely passes muster as a thought) that can instantly be categorised as BSC Type 1: hard lumps, like nuts. Hard to pass and, one might add, hard to swallow.

Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy.
In July 2015, Hunt broke patient confidentiality by tweeting a publicity photo with patient details visible on a board behind him. That seems to me a sausage shaped and lumpy kind of gaffe - inelegant, witless, and porcine.

Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface.
The cracks began to show on 30 January this year when Hunt seriously suggested that parents should go online to look at photos of rashes if worried that their child might have meningitis.  "if you're worried about a rash your child has, an online alternative – where you look at photographs and say “my child’s rash looks like this one” – may be a quicker way of getting to the bottom of whether this is serious or not".  

The charity Meningitis Now said his advice was "potentially fatal". I suffered from, and was nearly killed by, a dose of meningitis when I was five years old. Doctors and nurses at our local NHS hospital (now closed) saved my life. Hunt understands medicine las much as a sausage understands an abattoir.

Tyoe 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth but soft.
In June 2013 Hunt announced plans to charge foreign nationals for using the NHS, claiming that the cost was up to £200 million though official figures put it at £33 million.[However, £21 million of that £33 million was already recovered, putting the actual cost at £7 million - less than Hunt's crackdown could cost.  Smooth but soft.

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)
In 2009, Hunt was investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.The commissioner found: "Mr Hunt was in breach of the rules in not reducing his claims on the Additional Costs Allowance in that period to take full account of his agent's living costs. As a result, public funds provided a benefit to the constituency agent." Hunt’s offer to repay half the money (£9,558.50) was accepted - the clear cut edges of legality and probity were easily passed Hunt repaid £1,996 for claiming the expenses of his Farnham home while claiming the mortgage of his Hammersmith home.

Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
In June 2010, Hunt attracted controversy for suggesting that football hooliganism played a part in the death of 96 football fans in the Hillsborough disaster; when it has been suggested that a lack of police control and the presence of terraces and perimeter fences were established as the causes of the tragedy. He later apologised saying "I know that fan unrest played no part in the terrible events of April 1989 and I apologise to Liverpool fans and the families of those killed and injured in the Hillsborough disaster if my comments caused any offence. Note that heartless, evasive and self-exculpating "if".Jeffrey Hunt is a mushy stool.

Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid
As Culture Secretary, Hunt was the government Minister responsible for the London Olympics and Paralympics. He took the decision to double the budget for the widely acclaimed opening ceremony, which came to £27,000,000 for four hours of telly.

Well  now that's done and I'm glad it's over. I haven't had time to consider Hunt's absolutely disgraceful treatment of junior doctors in the National Health Service - that would involve an additional category on the Bristol Stool Scale. Type 8: explosive flatulence with excrement streaking the walls and ceiling. 

Hunt will be best remembered (though not fondly) for the moment James Naughtie inadvertently called him a cunt on the Radio 4 Today programme, before suffering 'a coughing fit'. Listen here

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