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Wildcat: Health Service Wildcat by Donald Rooum

Wildcat: Health Service Wildcat by Donald Rooum

Wildcat in the Health Service.

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The truly amazing – and most depressing – thing about Donald Rooum’s Anarchist cartoon strip is not the superb drawing talent displayed nor even the range of subjects that fall under the bellicose scrutiny of his team of lampooning and lambasting characters. It is that the issues he and his occasional collaborators highlight and skewer never go away. The names and faces of the political and industrial scoundrels and mountebanks may change but the mistakes and problems they create just keep going.

Take this particular collection of strips, originally released in 1994 and dedicated to “the daft doctrine that people trained in making profits can provide a better health service than people trained in caring for the sick” as a particularly telling case in point.

Victoria N. Furmurry was a long serving Health Service worker. She spent decades doing her job and even managed to have a rather successful sideline as a professional comic book writer. She was eventually compelled to combine her two jobs here in a desperate attempt to highlight the problems that beset the new management structure and system.

The obvious pseudonym was also necessary. Among the new crimes in the service were “bringing the service into disrepute” for which read ‘complaining or disagreeing’ and the truly Orwellian “causing the management to lose confidence in you as an employee”, both of which constituted “Gross Misconduct” and were grounds for instant dismissal. Understandably, she took the advice offered and kept her head down whilst delivering the fusillade of brickbats and jabs featured here.

Thirteen years later and nothing has really changed. Market principles still rule the Health Service, the wrong people still give impossible orders and profit handsomely from their ineptitude, the workers at the sharp end are still ignored and blamed, and ultimately it’s all Our fault for letting ourselves be ill or injured.

So why not pick up this slim book of scathing and deadly funny indictments and at least give an alternative treatment a shot. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine?

 

 

Please note some of the books we have been getting from Freedom Press (including this title) are the best of the fire damaged stock. The books may be slightly discoloured on the outside and smell a bit burnt but we believe they should not be wasted or purely cosmetic reasons and we want to help Freedom survive the arson attack by fascists. Consider such copies as special "solidarity copies" as opposed to "soiled"!

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