The following sales pitch from the Daily Telegraph promptly made me puke (metaphorically speaking, my stomach lining is now built along the same lines as the walls of Alcatraz):
Now, more than ever, Britain owes the fearless, tireless staff of our brilliant NHS a debt of gratitude. Every day, their incredible work in the battle against coronavirus is inspiring people across our nation.
The weeks and months ahead are uncertain. But we do know that our NHS will give Britain their all. They always have. We want to show how much we appreciate the long hours, the late nights, the hectic days and the endless, unparalleled care given to every single patient.
We’d like to treat the wonderful, dedicated individuals of our NHS to our All Digital Access subscription - entirely free for six months. This includes the full newspaper for phone or tablet, to relax and catch up on the stories that matter.
There’s no obligation - and we don’t require any payment details. So if you, or anyone you know is an NHS worker, just email NHS@telegraph.co.uk from an NHS email account only to claim six months free.
Thank you, from everybody here at The Telegraph.
So that’s your reward! Six months’ free –(only digital so it costs them Sweet F.A.) --Daily Telegraph, the paper that never doubted the benefits of austerity. And despite the ‘long hours, the late nights, the hectic days and endless unparalleled care’ of NHS workers, said slaves to the public good might want to ‘relax and catch up on the stories that matter.’ I do hope the Barclay brothers are aware of the potential here for lost revenue. But I suspect that potential isn’t going to be all that great.
There will of course be some NHS workers who vote Tory, and who may be tempted to read the Telegraph. There are some things you just can’t explain. Unless of course such workers wondered where the hell the NHS was headed under Blair and Brown (for my part, I wish I had paid more attention at the time). Having said which, funding for the NHS went up significantly with Labour, and despite the encroachment of an all too-pervading target culture and inability to give reforms the time to work (key symptoms of futile managerialism) things did get better within the NHS.
The serious underlying condition of the dying Telegraph is that it equates itself to ’Britain,’ being one of those papers that ‘speaks for the country.’ This is now being expressed in its tear-jerking ‘gratitude.’ So great is this gratitude they’re going to give away something that may add to a few extra digital bits appearing in cyberspace. Such ‘gratitude’ will evaporate as soon as the time is right. That too sounds a bit like a virus that needs to be vaccinated against.