Monday, December 10, 2012

A Bit Rich

There's nothing like a good old British bandwagon to jump onto, is there, especially when it involves the royals, and even better if there can be a bit of colonial-bashing thrown in for good measure.

So ... a couple of Aussie radio chatshow hosts made a prank call to, shock, horror, the hospital where Catherine Middleclass, Britain's most famous social climber, was feeling a bit poorly. The expensive private hospital had, unfortunately, not spent its high fees on training with the result that the nurse on reception was somewhat less well prepared to filter calls than the average Hong Kong secretary (or nurse) is. She therefore put the call through to someone else who spilled the detailed beans about how poorly Ms Middlebrow was, and much hilarity ensued. Three days later, the switchboard girl (note: not the person who divulged all the information) topped herself and hilarity was replaced by finger-pointing.

Being better versed in PR than in staff training, the hospital, the King Edward VII Hospital for Privileged Cnuts, got its defence out quickest, in fact too quickly to get all its tenses and punctuation right, thus :

“It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII Hospital for more than four years, she was an excellent nurse and a well respected and popular member of staff with all her colleagues.
We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.”

Note the cunning piece of linkage slipped in with the effect of suggesting the death was indeed caused by the hoax call (and not by, say, any lack of training by the hospital, or the hospital perhaps giving the nurse sh1t for the slip-up, or any personal factors that might have made the nurse take her life), and therefore, coincidentally, that the hospital was not to blame. Attack is the best form of defence, as they say.

Hmm... the hospital "had been supporting her throughout this difficult time". Clearly, they had been doing this about as well as they trained her in the first place. Or perhaps their support had consisted of telling her how badly she had screwed up and they were the ones to push her over the edge. We may never know.

1 comment:

  1. While this is a tragedy for the individual involved and her family, it's giving rise to increasingly ridiculous reactions elsewhere. The Sun even suggested that the 2 Aussie radio hosts may be charged with manslaughter. In order for that charge to stick, it would have to be proved that they had a reasonable expectation that their actions might lead to someone's death, which they (and everyone else) obviously didn't.