Thursday, July 05, 2007

Al-Qaida in the NHS

Those who frequent UK hospitals will know that a substantial number of the staff are of muslim faith with one or two also having a beard. The media coverage of the phantom menace of NHS al-qaeda to me seems menacing itself. Menacing in the sense that muslim intellectuals and those in highly educated professions are now fair targets for the mainstream media. Such people are the most likely to mount an articulate and dangerous campaign against the current interventionist foreign policy that is wreaking havoc at various places on the planet. Perhaps that partly explains the campaign against them, but mostly I think it the government encouraged atmosphere of islamaphobia that is to blame for this campaign. I do not have radical insights into the mindset of others who did what they did in London and Glasgow for unknown reasons. I prefer to hold my counsel on these matters, until the bullshit level has died down and some real facts come to light. In some cases, this may not happen for a very long time. At them moment, I don't believe that these people had any Al-Qaida connection (although links to Iraq are a real possibility), despite suggestions that the one arrested in Australia had a ticket for Pakistan/India (so what? thousands have this very minute).

What is likely to happen is that the government (who were already looking for an excuse) will seize the moment to demolish the 28 day detention limit for suspects, and will bring in a whole host of screening measures to ensure that potential applicants for NHS posts have the 'right' political background. This could mean that people who for example are connected with Kashmir may be barred because for example they have a great uncle who was a local politician with involvment in one of the many groups in the Kashmiri freedom movement. Others who have spoken out against their governments could be barred because their government have put them on a database of undesirables or dissidents.

In many cases, the people who come here to work in the NHS are already treated appallingly by the system. I am aware of several cases where people have been allowed into the UK as qualified doctors, failed to secure a position in the NHS after years of trying and committed suicide after their experiences (without blowing themselves up or setting themselves alight near an airport). There is a seething resentment at how the system regards them as disposable after they have studied for decades to join the profession. The NHS is no more full of radical al-qaeda types than the BNP is full of black lesbian women. The fact is that more people have died as a result of the recruitment process than because of terrorism by muslim doctors.

My above prediction is proving to be correct already. It seems Brown has already ordered a 'review' or recruitment of overseas NHS staff:

Mr Brown also announced he would tighten background checks on workers coming into the country under the highly skilled migrant workers programme. He said: "When people sponsor them, we will ask them to give our background checks."

Ministers say they will flag up potential terror suspects using profiling based on information gathered in recent investigations. They say it is now possible to build up a picture, using certain attributes, to identify those who are potential threats.

The prime minister's spokesman later said the government would also run checks on the migrant's sponsors, whether they are organisations or individuals. In most cases in the NHS, the sponsor is a hospital so it is not clear what purpose a check on them might serve........Few or no questions are asked on the political leanings of potential medical recruits.

It seems that that despite promises not to act hastily or in a reflex manner, exactly that is happening. They have to be seen to be doing something against the 'massive unprecedented threat'. The slimy opposition bloke, Cameron is complaining that the government have not yet banned Hizb-ut-Tahrir, despite promising to do so. HUT may be a bunch of nutters, but above all they are a peaceful bunch of nutters, so I don't see how this measure would stop radicalised doctors setting the media ablaze with tales of Islamofascistomonstroterrorism. Seumas Milne talks sense when he says that the links with our foreign policy must be acknowledged. Yet, this issue has become the elephant in the room that must not be mentioned, otherwise we are supporting terrorists. For now, the media-led delusion that we are doing it all for democracy in Iraq, must be maintained. However, there are occasional gaps in this constructed reality for people to see why our forces remain in Iraq and the wider middle-east.


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