Dear Mr Cameron,
I feel like I owe you an apology.
Due to a sick feeling in my stomach since the election results got read out I have spent the last few days frantically– despairingly— voicing my fears for our country’s future. When I saw the scenes on the TV from London yesterday, I felt worse. Then when an (almost as outspoken as me) old school friend suggested that all negative press about the election had in-part led to those acts… Well, I almost couldn’t bear it.
My life is a mantra.
I postulate to everyone whom I come into contact with that we should ‘harm none’ lest karma come to visit us with its ‘rule of three’. Had I, an advocate of free speech, healthy debate — and a discourager of violence of any kind — supported this in some way? Were my hands red with the spray paint that defaced that monument? ...Mr Cameron, I was devastated.
Given that I didn’t formulate, plan or implement any of what occurred yesterday— Hell, I didn’t even know it was happening until Facebook told me—
I think its clear that no, my hands are clean. But still, what has led to this week?
— Why has an election result, which in the past would have been a passing interest and possible cup of tea conversation, sunk me into a perpetual feeling of impending doom? After some soul–searching I realised something, that this sinking feeling is not new. I just hadn’t realised it before.
See David, can I call you David?
I am really, really tired.
I am tired... Of there not being enough local council funding for my son to attend an ASD school. I am tired... of being told there’s no space for him and thus nothing can be done. I am tired... Of meeting people with difficulties –the most vulnerable in society– taking cuts to the budgets said to be in place to support their welfare.
How do I help them to understand what is happening?
I am tired
Of children’s safeguarding cuts. Of knowing that children are being left in precarious situations none supportive to their development or well–being because the budget for care services have been squeezed... As has that which pays for the social–workers to care for them. I am tired of knowing that when these children become adolescents they will likely have some sort of emotional dysregulation as a result of their experience of the mental health services available to them, that are being budgeted too. I am tired of seeing children’s centres —set up to help support the parents of our future— closing because they can’t afford to be open.
And the libraries
And the leisure centres...
I am tired of old people laying on the floor; waiting for ambulances; the staff of whom cannot keep up with the demand without the resources to meet it. People who are old and who have broken their hips say, a medical medium priority, but surely a moral priority one? Of knowing that if my Grandparents need an ambulance there will have to be a wait because the service in their town no longer exists. The service is 6 miles away in the nearest city.
I am tired of the photos of firemen – in my opinion the bravest men we have (aside from our soldiers) crying because their stations have closed.
I am sick of good, hard working and dedicated professionals leaving your NHS because they no longer have faith that they can provide a decent service. Of our nurses being torn to shreds in the press, with no recognition that they are under staffed; over worked & disillusioned.
Your staff are travelling outside of our country because they can’t get jobs! Why are we giving other people the benefit of the best trained professionals in the world!?
I am tired of knowing that the psychiatric inpatient beds have been closed because the trusts can’t afford to keep them open. I am tired of people who are acutely unwell with a severe and enduring mental illness waiting for inpatient beds that are like gold dust.
—The market will provide you may remember ‘she’ said, but David, the market isn’t providing for them. The market won’t provide for people they think are too expensive, and they aren’t your NHS, they have the right to refuse. That is why the more profitable addiction services are no longer ours; but the older people’s mental health wards are, and without doubt, always will be.
I am tired of worrying that if I needed a policeman; I am probably going to have to wait for days because their service is just about meeting the emergencies. I think the police are probably tired too.
I am tired of worrying about how my Nan will pay for her extra bedroom, because she’s 85 now and her husband, my Granddad is dead. We can’t brick up a bedroom. Or what if she needs a care home? Will we allow this to be ‘standard’ because she has no money, or will we try to make sure we get her a good place and get a top up?
So you see all these things kind of exploded in my mind in the last 72 hours
But still, I do not support ‘getting you out’ – That is not to me, very British.
What I do support is your people taking every opportunity they have to tell you how they feel –about their grandparents —their children.
— The ideas that they have for improvements –about economising and using the community spirit I have always been proud of.
I hope that you will accept my apology...
– I also hope that you will listen to what your people have to say.
So that I can start to sleep this off.
Yours most respectfully,
One exhausted nurse in Liverpool.