In a recent poll by Time magazine Iranian politician, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was rated the most influential person in the world.
This decision makes some kind of sense: if the experienced and judicious Mr Mousavi had power in Iran perhaps the world would be a safer place?
I was surprised to find a Chinese rally driver by the name of Han Han in second place. I am personally unconvinced by the power of rally driving as a force for good but it seems that Han Han is something of a renaissance man. When not driving recklessly through the woods he writes books, music and the most read blog in China. He is followed by tens of millions of people and thus influences a nation that dominates the world economically.
‘Nurses battle on despite a lack of support. But what will happen if cuts are too deep this time? How will the profession advocate for patients let alone itself?’
In third place was Kim Yu Na. Influential politician or activist? Well, no, actually she is a South Korean ice skater. Lady Gaga came fifth and homely karaoke queen and leading Brit Susan Boyle came seventh. Barack Obama came 21st by the way.
So apparently logic left that poll quite early. Somewhere between the rally driver and the ice skater. By the time we’d got to the British singer reason was at home tucked up in bed with some hot chocolate and a good book.
Personally I am convinced that if you were to sit down and ask anyone, face to face, who they felt the most influential person in the world is they would not say, “It’s Lady Gaga. Or Susan Boyle.” In truth, I suspect people got confused by the word “influence”, and may have mistaken it to mean “the first name that comes into your head” or “someone you saw on the television recently”.
We are heading into a period of public service cuts. They are considered inevitable, essential, non-negotiable. Yet I retain the belief that if you asked most people if they thought we should sacrifice public services in order to reconstruct the ever nebulus “economy” most would say no.
Most people care about health and wellbeing yet somehow we get distracted from clear values by politicians or the media, or Lady Gaga. Somehow we lose sight of the fundamentals and accidentally vote for a South Korean ice skater. Or worse.
No matter who you voted for or how happy or sad you are at the result of the election, what is about to come threatens the things most nurses consider to be really important. Not just jobs and pensions but services, standards and wellbeing.
How nursing is going to respond to the coming challenges may just decide the future of the health service. Nurses tend not to relish conflict; they can be remarkably tolerant. They keep things afloat when, by rights, they should be sinking. They battle on stoically despite a lack of staff, or support, or investment. But really, what will happen if they cut too deep this time? How will the profession advocate for patients let alone itself?
Quite simply we have gathered enough wealth in this country to protect the things that matter most. I wonder if we will let politicians pretend otherwise.