|Theresa May might be feeling stressed, uncertain about her future and concerned that she does not have the resources to do a good job this morning. If she is, perhaps she might have a little bit of an insight into how most nurses feel about their jobs every day of the week.|
Mind you if she did demonstrate that insight, it would be the first time she ever has.A few weeks ago yesterday’s election was considered to be Ms May’s for the taking; a landslide was all but guaranteed. But she has thrown away her majority and her authority – through her failure to show any interest in or respect for her electorate by turning up to publicly debate the issues that matter to them.
And I’d like to think that two now-infamous comments concerning nurses in the run-up to the election played a part in her reversal of fortune. Responding on the BBC Leaders’ Question Time to a nurse who asked why her pay had not risen in eight years, the prime minister said “there is no magic money tree”. That one patronising comment demonstrates how little she values and respects nurses; she speaks to them as if they are stupid and don’t understand the economics of the country. That is when she can be bothered to actually turn up and defend her record on such issues.
And of course, when asked on the Andrew Marr show a few weeks ago about nurses being forced to visit food banks, she defended this by saying it was for “many complex reasons”. I would say it was pretty simple actually, Ms May, you don’t pay them enough to feed their families.
I always say that nurses should never underestimate their power; the ripples caused by these two comments show just how powerful they can be.