It’s the NHS first got me thinking how the power of the narrative distorts so much of how organisations & ideas are viewed. This one starts; “Staffed by dedicated doctors & caring nurses the British National Health Service is the envy of the world…”
It runs for a couple of paragraphs, was first written the day before its inception & has been repeated so many times it’s probably encoded somewhere down in our DNA by now. It’s not just that the public believe it. Almost everyone connected to the NHS do as well. Doctors, nurses, administrators, politicians. Even most of the media. It makes it impossible for any of them to view it with a clear eye.
The incidents quoted above… others much worse we’ve heard about in the last few years… they should be part of the narrative as well but it just rewrites itself over them. Edits them away so the next time comes as exactly the same shock as the one before & the one before that. No-one actually learns any lessons or does anything because the narrative reassures them it’s not necessary. They’re just aberrations. Momentary & inexplicable blips in an otherwise perfect system. Or just signs that even more money needs tipping into it. That the engine that’s coughing & banging & spewing out smoke & broken parts would be running as sweet as a sewing machine with just a little more fuel.
- Commenter ‘Bloke in Spain’