It is now known that Dido Harding is applying to run the NHS in England. On the basis of her track record of failure at Talk Talk and Outsourced Test and Trace, the second of which has the appearance of being secured on the basis of privilege, she now wishes to destroy the NHS. I say that wisely. Her husband has written about his desire to privatise the NHS and she has never hinted at her disagreement with his views.
We did learn more about her own views today.
We are all foreigners now. Foreigners in a country that no longer gives a damn about us or our values or what our country once stood for. pic.twitter.com/OaHFrEQXCo
— Tim Walker (@ThatTimWalker) June 19, 2021
The article is from the Sunday Times. The suggestion she makes is, in my opinion, deeply racist. It is to end the dependence of the NHS on those she thinks to be ‘foreigners’. One in seven NHS staff identify themselves as not being British at present. But since many who now use the NHS think that all those British people who come from ethnic minorities who work for it are foreign, and all too often demand not to be seen by them, what this really amounts to is nothing short of a racist dog whistle to remove anyone not white or with what might appear to be a non-British name from the NHS.
Harding’s platform for the leadership of the NHS is in that case not just racist, it will also put very large numbers of its staff at risk of very real discrimination in the course of their employment. That, of course, is illegal. And it is the inevitable consequence of what she is saying. The floodgates for litigation would open up, and wholly reasonably so.
Racism is bad enough in this country. It is very bad in the NHS. And what Harding would let loose would be the permission to be racist amongst those who will hardly need encouragement to be so. If she does not know that she is not fit for the job. If she does know that she is also not fit for the job of leading the NHS.
Could there be a worse person to be considered for this job? I am sure there must be. But it is hard to imagine anyone else stupid enough to make comments like these.