Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Bloody Cheek!

The classic example used to define chutzpah is a young man murdering his parents and then demanding that the court show mercy because he is an orphan. 

This week, I think I’ve found another, albeit on a lesser scale, from some members of the health workers’ unions. I’ve just had an email from the NHS blood people - I get these from time to time thanks to a relatively uncommon and particularly useful blood type - inviting me to make a donation as soon as possible. Like all their communications, it’s heavy on the emotional blackmail -‘save a life’, ‘we urgently need your help’’.

This urgency, they say, is because stocks are very low indeed due to bad weather and ‘industrial action’. The email doesn’t indicate whose industrial action is to blame, but a quick search confirms that, sure enough, there were blood donation staff joining the merry throng of NHS workers on the picket lines in the recent strikes.

That is their legal right, of course, but, given the unions’ claims that the system is already over-stretched and operating with minimal margins, it seems a bit much on the part of those who walked away from this ‘vital’ process and missed a couple of days of legalised vampiring (as well as costing management time to deal with the disruption) to expect the public to rush to make up the resulting deficit. 


  1. Srewth - 'cheek' is a nice way of putting it. Not quite as bad as asking if they can take more than usual, but not far off.

    1. Definitely! It feels rather like being demoted from welcome benefactor to the status of livestock.

  2. I would tell them you'll donate blood for twenty quid. They'll insist they're not allowed to pay you, but I'd insist on cash upfront or no blood

    1. I suppose that technically counts as controlling the means of production, which would make it a novel and interestingly ironic way to tackle Marxist unions.

      It would certainly be an improvement on the usual cup of tea and a biscuit!

  3. "expect the public to rush to make up the resulting deficit."
    Of course we will - it's the envy of the world, after all . . . Oh, drat: my blood's too old and decrepit.

  4. Even if we did descend on them in droves - this year’s equivalent, perhaps, to banging post and pans together - it’s almost impossible to get an appointment (even with my speedy boarding pass) unless you live near a permanent centre; you’d think they’d moderate the social media campaigns etc until they had that sorted out.

    Of course, they could always try extracting whatever they need from the armies of NHS admin staff, as well as the marketing types who work on their numerous and varied media campaigns; it would save a lot of time and effort.


Moderation is on as I’m having some technical difficulties with Comments