Today Jeremy Hunt has set off another firecracker in the already incendiary discussion regarding junior doctors.
Quoting an article written in The Times today he tweeted this call asking for the moderates to defeat the militants.
let’s be clear what militant means in this context, It’s not an organised army ready to use violence, but a style of aggressive confrontation that is adversarial in its nature.
I’ll leave it to others to decide if part of the junior doctors campaign has been like that but I want to be clear that that moderates have been here all along.
Only yesterday Aoife Abbey in her excellent blog spoke of dreaming about this dispute ending by both sides stepping back and talking to each other.
Well I want that to be more than a dream, so let me be clear Mr Hunt, I and many others have been here from the start, ready to listen to what you have to say.
Daily I have spoken with polite courtesy asking for information from NHS employers, form the Department of Health and from yourself. I’ve looked for opportunities to engage, yet sadly you make it harder and harder, with engagement meetings being cancelled at the last minute, calling our non-optional work danger money and somehow implying that the junior doctors contract is to blame for increased association between admission day and mortality.
I’m still waiting and still listening.
If you want moderation to shine through in this then you have to be willing to be so yourself, by not being adversarial in your language just as much as you call for the BMA not to be so.
You also have to make it clear that being moderate is valuable, if you only respond to adversarial approaches, then that’s all you get.
So I repeat my offer I’ve made many times now. Let’s have a cup of tea and a chat. Let me explain to you the underlying concerns we have and give you a perspective and understanding on all of this that you are probably completely unaware of.
I would hope then you’d see the value in sitting down with the BMA without preconditions.
You’ve called for moderates to stand up, well I’m standing up, the question is, will you listen?