Funny politics and angry doctors


by Sunny
31st October, 2005 at 5:08 am    

Amidst a bit of controversy over the latest batch of Peerages being awarded, the IoS reported yesterday: “Sandip Verma, a businesswoman who fought Wolverhampton South-west for the Tories at the last election, also gets a peerage.”

Though she did pretty well in the last election, it is more significant to note that Verma represented a seat that once belonged to Enoch “rivers of blood” Powell. How ironic. Other Asian women in the Lords: Shreela Flather (Tory), Pola Uddin (Labour), Usha Prashar (Independent, also on the ITV board) and Kishwar Faulkner (Liberal Democrat).

The Indy also reports today that ethnic minority doctors suffer the most from racism according to how many complaints it receives. Trevor Phillips says an investigation by the CRE is likely:

Although nearly two thirds of senior doctors were now from an ethnic minority, they were not being promoted to the highest level, he said.

“The grade (called an SAS grade) just below consultant is absolutely stuffed with minority doctors. And they’re just stuck there. That’s not because they’re uneducated, not because they’re poor, but because they are black and Asian.

So the next time you go see your doctor, don’t mention the ‘c’ word.


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Filed in: Current affairs,Party politics,Race politics






6 Comments below   |  

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  1. coruja — on 31st October, 2005 at 11:28 am  

    Institutional racism in the NHS, is this really a surprise?

    It seems nothing has changed at the top in the last 20 years, but it will be pure demographics that will create any difference in the coming years, the NHS will have no choice but to promote more ethnic minority doctors to the senior position that they deserve, instead of creating many sub-categories just under the level of consultant!

    It would be interesting also to see if things have improved in the notoriously no-go areas of paediatrics and obstetrics & gynaecology (yes, don’t touch our children and women, you black beasts!)

    The NHS survives because it is propped up by around 40% ethnic minority staffing – it is a true disgrace that when the NHS is generally discussed by politicians and commentators this obvious fact never gets mentioned.

  2. Nush — on 31st October, 2005 at 12:24 pm  

    congrats to sandip verma, she did close the gap in this last general election she got 15610 votes which was
    37.5% and came in second position to the Labour candidate

  3. rashid — on 31st October, 2005 at 3:17 pm  

    Also worth reading is Cristina Odone’s
    take on Yasmin Alibhai-Brown :

    Here, there, and everywhere, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown pops up to tell the world about the racism she encounters. The conductor in a first-class train carriage, presumably shocked at the sight of an Asian travelling first-class, asks to check her ticket; a fellow guest at a dinner party tells her she and her kind should “go home” (though David Goodhart, the guest in question, hotly denies ever having said this); people accuse her of having a chip on her shoulder (“My hunched shoulders carry enough chips to open a take-away”). In shops, at restaurants, in London, in the countryside – everywhere, it seems, white supremacists are ganging up on poor Alibhai-Brown.

    Given all this abuse, one would think that she would welcome the support of another victim of racism. Yet when Darcus Howe muscled in on her patch, by claiming that Joan Rivers was a racist on Radio 4, Alibhai-Brown lambasted him as an “ego-maniac” in her Independent column last week. His intervention proved that he was capable only of having a “nasty spat” (presumably instead of the deep analysis Alibhai-Brown has so frequently offered her readers).

    Actually, there are a number of subjects where one could agree with Alibhai-Brown, indeed, where it would be hard not to. The problem is not that she is malign Just tiresome, repetitive, sometimes ignorant and alarmingly unrepresentative. She flourishes in a society that has elevated pundits to positions of power, that allows influence to be wielded by bodies whose members are appointed and not elected and that takes token representation of ethnic and religious groups in quangos and on telly as a substitute for their real participation in public affairs.

  4. Rohin — on 31st October, 2005 at 4:05 pm  

    Whoa Rashid. Did you hear the Darcus Howe-Joan Rivers spat? I CAN’T STAND Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, but she’s spot on here. Darcus Howe is an idiot of the highest order and the exchange with Joan Rivers was outrageous (as well as hilarious). I was entirely on Rivers’ side, Howe was being a complete moron.

    The issue of racism in the NHS is one I’ve been involved with for a long time (not BEING a racist, just doing stuff about it, you understand). I could waffle on for a long time, but suffice to say it’s been acknowledged and roundly ignored for a decade. Staff grade (SAS) doctors are indeed almost EXCLUSIVELY foreign. British-born Asian doctors have not been found to be subject to the same level of discrimination and whilst a huge amount of overseas doctors are Indian, many are from elsewhere in Asia and Africa. So it’s somewhat of a misnomer to say Indians are most likely to be discriminated against. Yes they are, because they are more numerous. But discrimination exists for all overseas doctors.

  5. pregethwr — on 31st October, 2005 at 5:19 pm  

    “The problem is not that she is malign Just tiresome, repetitive, sometimes ignorant and alarmingly unrepresentative. She flourishes in a society that has elevated pundits to positions of power, that allows influence to be wielded by bodies whose members are appointed and not elected and that takes token representation of ethnic and religious groups in quangos and on telly as a substitute for their real participation in public affairs.”

    Much as I agree with this, I can’t really see how Cristina Odone is any different, especially as she has used her catholicism so often to promote her career.

  6. Tanvir — on 3rd November, 2005 at 5:23 pm  

    have heard many home-grown asian doctors complain of racism.

    Whether there is institutionalised racism or not, like many other professions… career progress in medicine is often decided by a few elite doctors, who will give positions to people they like, are friends with or people who have kissed ass.

    This leaves the foreign doctors at a huge disadvantage,

    One doctor a few years ago did a test where is applied for various jobs under a white name and under an ethinic minority name with equally good qualifications on CVs. You were 7 times more likely to get a job or the interview if you had a white person’s name! The findings were presented to a BMA conference

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