Sunday 20 January 2008


A quick recap for those non-British readers who might not know who Lesley Ash is. Lesley Ash was a popular British television actress, who became rather famous during the Nineties for starring in the decade's biggest sit-com, Men Behaving Badly. Which was crap, but it was huge. Then, despite already being widely considered to be very good-looking and not having any difficulty getting work, she went and got lip-inflation surgery, which went wrong and left her looking very stupid. Shortly afterwards, she was rushed to hospital after having a nasty accident while having sex with her husband. (God only knows why she let that detail out. There are some things guaranteed to make you a laughing stock.) She went into hospital with a couple of broken ribs and a punctured lung, and then, what with the N"HS" being what it is, came out with MSSA, which left her crippled and destroyed her career. She will never work as an actress again — and probably not as anything else either — because she was treated in an NHS hospital.

So it seems reasonable to me that she's just settled out of court for five million quid.

Now, I know that comments on a website are never truly representative of the population at large, but still, the comments on The Times report are interesting. Interestingly awful, that is. A disgusting glimpse into the minds of today's defenders of the NHS. That whole idealistic "best healthcare possible for all regardless of circumstances" thing has clearly gone way out of fashion, to be replaced with "take what you're given and don't you dare complain and what the hell's a rich person doing in our hospitals anyway?"

Most of the complaints are a nice study in vindictiveness and spite, but, for sheer small-minded idiocy, I especially like this one, from one Marie Oakes of Bolton:

her hospital admission was required due to the 'activities' of herself and her husband. These were in my opinion self inflicted, considering she states that she consented in these activities. Therefore she should actually be paying the NHS for her treatment instead of making yet another spectacle of herself.

I love the way "activities" is in quotes. 'Cause, you know, sex is dead naughty so can only be mentioned obliquely. And Oh! My! God! She consented! To sex! With her actual husband! Disgusting. And because she consented, she should have to pay the NHS for her treatment for injuries sustained as an indirect result. Just as the victims of car crashes shoud have to pay if they consented to travel by car.

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