Monday, 5 December 2011

Freedom Of Speech?

Lunch, George Tooker (1964),
Columbus Museum of Art
When first viewing the fine painting opposite, there was not immediate inspiration and then I noticed the fellow at the bottom right hand corner.  Now he stands out as he appears to be thinking, whereas his colleagues appear to be to be lost in some awful blandness.

Viewing this scene reminded me of a post I had not long read at Bad Medicine and inspired, I wrote the below:

He Thinks

He thinks,
Therefore
He exists outside
The comfort zone
In which reside
Those who do not
Bend the rules,
Instead becoming
Slavish fools
To the dictates of those
Who profess to lead,
Control his every
Thought and deed.

He fights the system,
Will not conform,
Will not obey,
Become the norm,
Become a slavish automaton,
Where
Individuality is frowned upon
And freewill is all but gone.
………………………………

For those of you who do not read medical blogs, please visit BadMed and read Dr No’s post.   It deals with the aftermath of a particular ‘incident’ – I am not going to re-open an old wound, so visit blogs mentioned there and discover – which has led to a suppression of free speech.

You may notice that the majority of medibloggers in the UK do so anonymously and may wonder why this is.  Doctors are regulated by the General Medical Council (GMC), once led by the medical profession itself, but now a Government Quango and doctors are now very much policed.   In September the GMC held a poll in which opinion was sought as to whether the GMC should regulate doctors’ lives outside medicine.  How’s that for future policing?

Such is the power of the GMC, where independent thought is frowned upon, that doctors feel the need, the safety net of anonymous blogging.

Why do I blog anonymously?  For exactly the same reason, I love my job yet feel – quite strongly at times – that decisions are made (within the NHS); protocols initiated which actually harm patients.  I have a right, an individual freedom to say so, yet if I blogged under my own name – the nursing regulatory body (NMC) would consider I was bringing my profession into disrepute.

Fear is the driver of anonymous blogging.  Fear of losing ones livelihood. 

We applaud those brave souls who have fought for their freedom in the Arab Spring, yet at the same time are allowing our own freedom to be eroded.  Independent thinkers are being gagged and the gag is becoming tighter.  As illustrated in Dr No’s post – we are even gagging ourselves.

This erosion of freedom, the freedom to think for ones self is being eroded everywhere.  Look closely into aspects of your own lives, notice changes and be afraid, very afraid!

Anna: o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

***8/12/11   Interesting or worrying that the link to the GMC poll finds the page not found.  I wonder why that is then?***  (Link reestablished)

37 comments:

Muhammad Israr said...

yes thats the fear behind blogging anonymously... even though one wants to write something about the issues at hand but for fear of being policed prevents one from writing openly and hence anonymous is the only way out...

Frances Garrood said...

A really good take on a difficuilt Magpie, Anna. (And I'm so disappointed you're not really Anna as the name is a favourite of mine!)

Apropos speaking out, I used to do it in my nursing days, but no-one would ever stand up and be counted with me, which can be very dangerous proefession-wise! My doctor son speaks up, and I admire him for it.

anthonynorth said...

You really captured the spirit and message in the poem. Great words.

NorthernTeacher said...

Hi Anna
How I empathise with those who have a point to make but dare not.
I once asked a question and my boss at the organisation that I used to work for (British government quango teaching centre abroad) accused me of having standards! Although the corruption I was querying was important, in the scheme of things it certainly wasn't as important as anything being questioned in the NHS.
Keep blogging :-)

Helen said...

.. and HE is the man I would want to know better.

Anonymouse said...

Hi Anna,

"We applaud those brave souls who have fought for their freedom in the Arab Spring, yet at the same time are allowing our own freedom to be eroded. Independent thinkers are being gagged and the gag is becoming tighter. "

Well, some people can not eat 'democracy'! So, I am an 'Arab Sringe' sceptec. Not the idea of democracy itself, because of course, you want to strive to include and be fair to everyone, but when you have high percentage of poverty coupled with illiteracy and political ignorance, I feel that such people need to be weaned first, otherwise, whatever you do you'll end up with chaos instead of democracy ... and there is such a fine line between both!

As for blogging anonymously; unless those who do that regulate themselves properly and refrain from doing what would be considered illegal outside the blogosphere, then it is them who are inviting the regulators in. The problem is that the few incidents where some anonymous bloggers have gone over, other bloggers never tried to stop them and attacks on individuals continued unchequed, which is wrong, so, where is that self regulation?! Solution, maybe there should be a specialist body to register with first before you blog anonymously, and one which will be bound by confidentiality so long as a blogger behaves, but would take action against those who don't. This means that a caring and decent person like yourself can still blog anonymously without fear, since you will not offend, and this may well deter those who sin from doing so too ... remember; what you would not like for yourself you must not do to others ... whether in real life or in the blogosphere

Back to the Arab Springe, social media, etc. Somebody needs to say who has right to what, because it seems that if you are loud, you can do what you like and say what you like, claim whatever you like [representing silent majorities, for example], commit what you like then deny, then if anyone objects, you cry 'my human rights' and get away with whatever you have done, and get full protection too! ... Nuts or wot!

All the best ... and keeep blogging :-)

thingy said...

This is so good. I like that guy in the corner. Optimism in a sea of sad.

Dr No said...

Anonymouse - "Solution..." - neat blueprint for a police state you have there! Your proposal is for - although you don't use the phrase - centralised state censorship.

Although Dr No does not set out to offend, and does his best to check his facts (and, if there is a suggestion X happened, but we don't know, he will say we don't know), there are those who may take offence for personal or political reasons. It might even have offended Hitler to hear the brown-shirts described bullying thugs, to use a gross but one hopes abundantly clear example.

'Nice' free speech is impossible, a contradiction in terms. You simply have to accept that free speech means some people are going to offend others at some points in time. A variant of a well know Abraham Lincoln quote covers much the same ground.

Nicholas V. said...

Excellent post, Anna. I do so understand what you write about, hence my anonymity also.
Excellent poem!

manicddaily said...

Hi Anna, I am very sympathetic to the feeling of having to blog anonymously. I am an attorney, and worry that present or future clients will be offended, alarmed, etc. or my firm will become angry. In my case, I've been pretty lucky, I guess, in that people are more disinterested than alarmed! That said, it has a seriously chilling effect even so, and I've often thought of going anonymous.

Good take on the prompt!

K.

Witch Doctor said...

There are various reasons for blogging. One may be, for example, to promote oneself at a personal or professional level for some reason or another. In this case, it is likely the blogger will want to reveal his/her true identity. However other bloggers may just feel frustrated that some things need to be said and it doesn’t matter much who says them. They are more likely to remain anonymous.

That said, I suspect there are several other reasons why anonymous bloggers choose to remain anonymous and fear may be one of them. However, for some it is likely fear is not a reason at all. These fearless anonymous lions of the blogosphere may be prepared if necessary to take on anyone including the GMC, and if they feel strongly about an issue, put the law to the test. However, if a blogger is doctoring full-time, has considerable family commitments, and tries to fit in a hobby or two, then there is no time for the petty hassles that may come with possible consequences of clearly identifying yourself while exercising your right to freedom of speech.

This witch likes when people respect each another, but she would hate to live in a world of bland politeness from everyone where she can’t read between the lines and instinctively develop of a vision of the person behind the words. Furthermore she knows some very polite people who are rogues.

In any case, I suspect we already live in a world where all anonymous bloggers can be identified by the authorities if it is deemed necessary. Causing offence should not be deemed a necessary reason. After all, susceptibility to being offended is variable and subjective and something to do with skin thickness!

Anonymouse said...

Dr No said...

Anonymouse - "Solution..." - neat blueprint for a police state you have there! Your proposal is for - although you don't use the phrase - centralised state censorship."

The bottom line is, that's why laws are made and why we have police, to guide then punish 'if needed'. If and when 'self regulation' fails, then that's an invite to the whole machine to valse right in! ... and it should too


'Nice' free speech is impossible,"


And WD ...

"This witch likes when people respect each another, but she would hate to live in a world of bland politeness from everyone where she can’t read between the lines and instinctively develop of a vision of the person behind the words. Furthermore she knows some very polite people who are rogues."


Surely you know I didn't mean it that way, we've never been that bland and boring, have we?!

We are adults and can take a bit of push, even like it when well meant too, but not when it is used as a part of a campaign to target then drive a certain person to breaking point! ... as happened lately with a certain doctor ... and whether foul language was part of the weaponry or not, it is that nasty imposition of deviant agendas under the 'freedom of speech' banner that stinks and needs serious attention and it shouldn't be ok for those who use anonymity to get away with the cowardly act to do so, otherwise, what are we doing? And what are we teaching future generations too?! [Remember Norway? Was it his 'Freedom of speech' to publish a sick manual online, then when he got away with it, went to kill 73 of his own? What about the rights of those innocent victims?]

Dr No said...

Anonymouse - threatening to sue a colleague (another doctor) for possible (but very unlikely) copyright infringement for $150,000 looks like foul weaopnery to Dr No.

Oh - and by the way - Dr No is the pen name of one Dr Chris Sinclair - lately unemployed (and registered, but (by choice) no longer licensed), the better speak his mind.

Anonymouse said...

"threatening to sue a colleague (another doctor) for possible (but very unlikely) copyright infringement for $150,000 looks like foul weaopnery to Dr No."

Of course I don't know the full story because I do not have access to that doctors site but it was actually at this point that I started feeling for her, because it sounded like it was a scream for help rather than a real threat, don't you think? I mean, to threaten to go to the US with that, how desperate did this doc feel?! ...

And some docs will take another doc to court, although that should be avoided as much as possible, but it will happen when communication breaks down, that's what the law is for. It happens between family members too ... sad, but that's life, for some.

You know, IMO, most of those on the recieving end of bullying are inclusive by nature, they try to make friends with their 'bully' instead to taking them on, once, twice, ten times ... it does work sometimes and a potential enemy turns into a friend, which is brilliant. But other times, arrogance decieves the narrow visioned bully into thinking that this is a sign of weakness rather than strength, and they escalate the bullying! Sad, but usually those 'on the recieving end' will then ignore because they are left with no other option, sad again. Although, they always leave their door open to friendship, providing the 'bully' extends that hand this time, and takes a sincere step to approach said 'victim' ....

... and you have a nice name! Somehow it rhymes with your pen name, and the persona too!

Best wishes for your future Doc, whatever you intend to do with that, I am sure it will be good, if only to match the person

Dr Chris Sinclair! Yeah, it's got this je ne sais pas quoi sound to it, doesn't it? It does, you know ... it does ....

:-)

Witch Doctor said...

Huh, My Black Cat, it seems Dr No, The Valentine Blogger, is a man who wears The Tartan!

We were pretty sure he was a man from the very beginning, weren't we?

But "The Tartan!"

We should have guessed!

The Oldest Sage Witch's Highland Granny will be dancing the Highland Fling and wheeching about the mountains and glens tonight with glee! She'll probably crash land into Glencoe during The Witching Hour!

Margaret said...

Lots to think of here. And you are right... the guy in the corner does stand out. Let's hope his voice is heard and not the other "followers".

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your welcome comments folks.

Israr ~ you are sadly correct my friend – anonymous is sometimes the only available avenue in which to express a view.

Frances ~ I feel like an Anna when writing here, in fact I am! I prefer it to my own name which is not Ermintrude!

Speaking out is very dangerous, profession wise. Once (several moons ago) I and colleagues decided to whistleblow and I was the only one who turned up for the meeting! Such is life (and colleagues)!

Anthony ~ thank you!

Northern Teacher ~ good on you for asking tricky questions – it has to be done! (How dare you have standards?! (:o])) It is important that we don’t toe the line if the line is crooked.

Helen ~ likewise my friend, likewise!

Anonymouse ~ please see below! :o]

thingy ~ optimism is definitely good in a sea of sad!

Dr No ~ please see below below! :o]

Nicholas V ~ thank you! I shall recommence reading Mag’s tomorrow evening (only visited ten!) and yours will be first! (Must go to bed soon – up over 28hrs – which is not good!)

Manicdaily ~ I am glad that good luck (re blogging) has stayed with you. It is a worry!

Witch Doctor ~ please see below below below! :o]

Margaret ~ voices often need to be heard – but are not. It is difficult to fight an established system – but it has to be done if the system is flawed.

Anna :o]

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Hi Anonymouse

Before I begin my response I would like to assure you (and I think you know) that I like and respect you and enjoy your blog. It is true that you have a strong personality and express your views (in comments) with the same strength, whereas I tend to be gentler. In view of this, I thought long and hard at work last night re this response, as I do not wish you to view it as an attack, an attack on your opinions, for it is not The opportunity for discussing, sharing views is why I blog. So here goes!

“I do/may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” These words are often attributed to Voltaire; however it is thought that they were first used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote (as Stephen G Tallentrye) “The Friends of Voltaire” in 1906.

Whoever wrote these great words – for they are great words – is unimportant to me: I was reared on them and believe in the wisdom of them.

You write: “Well, some people can not eat 'democracy'! So, I am an 'Arab Sringe' sceptec. Not the idea of democracy itself, because of course, you want to strive to include and be fair to everyone, but when you have high percentage of poverty coupled with illiteracy and political ignorance, I feel that such people need to be weaned first, otherwise, whatever you do you'll end up with chaos instead of democracy ... and there is such a fine line between both!”

If I were one of those poverty stricken, illiterate and politically ignorant people I would certainly find your statement offensive. Is freedom not my right, can I not have a voice? Who would ‘wean’ me and when would this be. Whose ideology would I be indoctrinated with on my very slow (if ever) road to freedom. Is a democracy not possible until I am weaned? Why would I be weaned when it is a truism that dictatorships exist on oppression, and what better way of keeping the masses oppressed than leaving them uneducated and living in poverty?

“Back to the Arab Springe, social media, etc. Somebody needs to say who has right to what, because it seems that if you are loud, you can do what you like and say what you like, claim whatever you like [representing silent majorities, for example], commit what you like then deny, then if anyone objects, you cry 'my human rights' and get away with whatever you have done, and get full protection too! ... Nuts or wot”

Here again it appears that you regard (human) rights as the right of the few, the elite, the right of only those who adhere to the required diktats of those who represent a particular power or a desired opinion. We all have rights Anonymouse, the right to be heard, the right to an opinion, the right to say something beautiful or totally hateful – and the right to respond to these hateful opinions. You have the right to express your views and I have the right to attempt to dissect them. (This particular rant over! :o] )

Social media: It is my understanding that this damaging affair began innocently enough by a blogger objecting to the use of black humour on medical blogs. This initially led to discussion which escalated into what we all have read and things did get pretty nasty on occasion, however I firmly believe that this ‘situation’ was manipulated by those who sought and found enjoyment in stirring this increasingly unhealthy pudding.

On a (long) thread of comments I read, it appeared to me that the ‘victim’ was in fact the protagonist – but this is my opinion and I admit I could be wrong.

Whatever the case, free speech has been dealt a damaging blow of which I hope it will fully recover from. Yet I fear not, for free speech is being stifled in the name of political correctness and the (supposed) common good.

Good for whom?

Regarding your solution – I am afraid I am in agreement with Dr No.

Peace Anonymouse, peace! (My, this is almost a post!)

Anna :o]

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Dr No (Dr Sinclair)

You are a good man who firmly believes that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” and you certainly do something through the medium of your eloquent posts. Yours is a mighty and much needed voice.

I sincerely hope that you decision to out yourself – and I am honoured that you have done so here – does not have any untoward repercussions, for if it does the bland men have won.

For me, the decision to out your self is a show of personal strength and is to be admired. If I wore a hat you can be assured I would take it off to you!

Anna :o]

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Witch Doctor

I accept your observations on the many reasons as to why bloggers may remain anonymous. That said, in the medical and nursing professions (in the UK) the majority of bloggers operate anonymously and it would appear (to me) that by the very nature of their posts they invite controversy, in that in the main, they are fighting perceived wrongs.

It has to be asked why they feel they cannot do this openly and question whether fear (of repercussions) is a component. (I am thinking here of The Fuddled Medic who withdrew stating “I’m a coward. Time to call it a day, I started blogging with Dr Grumble, Rant, Crippen etc. Now they have gone, whether by choice or force.”) It does appear to me that the threat of the wrath of the GMC leads these ‘fearless anonymous lions’ to hide behind anonymity and it is sad that they feel they must do so.

I agree that we are all probably very identifiable and we are tolerated – unless it is decided that we have gone too far and then, if we do not toe the line – we become disposable in that we are put under severe pressure to cease blogging.

I remember reading your post re the identity of Dr No questioning whether he was a man and you concluded that he was. Scottish ancestry as well eh? – you should have guessed!

Anna :o]

Trellissimo said...

Free speech? Hmmm...essential.

Dr Phil said...

Dear Anna,

Perhaps the issue is not anonymity, but civility. Some of the least civil comments on a variety of sites (including DNUK) are done anonymously. I think that these can be best addressed by the site owners. The problem comes when the site owners do not take concerns seriously, or when complaints become vexatious.

I hesitate to say too much on the "Arab Spring" but the path to democracy is rarely a smooth one, and there are often backward steps. It took several centuries and lots of strife, including more than one civil war before democracy overcame, and even now there are those who would compromise it. If new elections become "one person, one vote, one time" before a new tyranny then we are just preparing for round two. Allowing new parties to form before elections take place is allowing democracy to have sound foundations, not denying it.

I am a little taken aback by that Dr No has outed himself. I have always enjoyed sparring with him and hope that he does not get a flogging as a result. I am sure that he can navigate between Scylla and Charbydis; a leopard does not change his spots.

Dr Phil

Anonymouse said...

"If I were one of those poverty stricken, illiterate and politically ignorant people I would certainly find your statement offensive. Is freedom not my right, can I not have a voice? Who would ‘wean’ me and when would this be."

Freedom is your right. Only, when someone stands in a place of worship and tell those vulnerable ones that it is a sin to vote for but one religious party, then those same people get out of the building to find a lorry, belonging to the one party, handing out 200 pound bills with some sugar and a piece of meat in exchange for a definite vote, then results come out with a sizeable majority for that party [and show you how to choose the sign that represents them on the ballot paper], then something is very wrong. Solution, nothing we can do about round one as results, riddled with more problems have been passed already, but we are teaching those people in as many places as possible, and that's what I am involved in now, a social group that is doing just that. Whether it will make any difference, we just have to wait and see the next results.

Of course, democracy is not just about voting in rushed elections, although, let a certain party in with enough majority to allow it to form a government, and that 'can' take back a whole country 100 years backwords with dire consequences for all, more so for those same very poor ones whose standards of living would deteriorate further and further ... maybe leading to another revolution. How many revolutions can a heavily populated country with a high level of illiteracy coupled with poverty take?

And Anna, if it is about money, you would be considered elite among those people, but they would always be grateful for your help still.

I know you read me and I like reading your material too so, please search or the word 'elite' on mine, because, rather than what a person has in their pocket, to me, elite is what you have above your shoulders, inside your chest, and sincere commitment to go with that too, and a bit of modesty.

Peace to you too

Isabel Doyle said...

A fine post and poem Anna. As you know, I also must be circumspect in what I post. Such seems to be the way of the world - and not a good way either ...
best wishes 'Isabel'

Dr No said...

Boots - the veil of anonymity is a thin one, easily penetrated. No one on DNUK is anonymous, for example: we all have to register with our real name and GMC number. The true identity of those 'anonymous' posters is in reality but a phone call away - should DNUK wish, or be forced, to reveal real names.

Those of us who blog with our own domains have to register the domain name, and again that means providing 'real' names (and perhaps more revealingly, real credit card details). Although the personal details can be publicly cloaked, the fact is the domain registrar knows who the owner is; and so again the real identity is but a phone call away, should the domain registrar wish, or be forced, to reveal real names.

Those who blog on hosted platforms (blogger, wordpress etc) may on the face of it have greater anonymity, but they still have to provide an email address, an email address that leads sooner or later to a real person. Dr No does not know the details, but he is quite sure the means exist to reveal that real person, should the blogging platform wish, or be forced, to do so.

So, yes, anonymity does provide a partial barrier, an extra hurdle to be crossed by those who wish to attack the person behind the mask, but it is a low hurdle, easily leaped by those who would do so. The anonymous thing has always been for Dr No (no doubt there are ways of ensuring better anonymity, but most of us don't know about let alone use them) more ruse and style than practical protection (and that, Dr No might add, for those who would accuse us, rather embarrasses the charges of anonymous cowardice).

Naturally most of us would prefer that all discourse is civil, but it is very very dangerous indeed to impose civility, for the reasons Dr No gave earlier ('Nice' free speech is impossible, a contradiction in terms...).

DN/CS is not unduly concerned about a flogging from the GMC. He relinquished his licence to practice earlier this year (but remains registered), and so is no longer dependent on GMC approval for a livelihood. If they do choose to hound Dr No (who by the way is a Leo, not a leopard, and those who know their big cats will know that a lion is a less dangerous animal than a leopard), the hyaenas risk looking vexatious and vindictive. And, although the lion may have the soft heart of a kitten, he can still roar pretty loudly when he wants to.

Meanwhile, Dr No plans to continue exactly as before. DN, as he often says to friends, is CS, with DN tacked on at the end. So 'business as usual' requires not one jot of change. The only insouciant difference is that those who care to can now know Dr No's real name.

Or can they? Perhaps DN isn't CS after all. Perhaps his real name is Dr Jeckyll? Or even My Hyde?

Witch Doctor said...

DN, CS, Dr Jeckyll or Mr Hyde,

"Ruse and Style" and fun!!

The state, regulatory bodies, Uncle Tom Cobley could all easily find out the identity of WD if they wanted to but it might be more difficult for friends, colleagues and patients to do so, although there are clues on the blog but they are well hidden and often scrambled. When I started blogging I think I did so with some bravado - a kind of "catch me if you can" and "see if I care" approach to the GMC. Stupid probably, but fun (witches are amused by the strangest things).

In particular, I didn't want my patients to know, because WD is not one for advertising her witchy wares. Things have changed a lot, but when WD qualified, a doctor advertising was a no-no and carried with it a GMC referral. I can see good reason for this, although many countries where private medicine is the norm would regard this as quaint. I see Twitter, blogging, Face Book as an excellent and free means of self-promoting – a sometimes blatant, sometimes hidden form of advertising. For this witch though, the concept that a doctor should not market his/herself has long been engrained into her DNA and it will be impossible to budge. Hence she will remain anonymous as long as she is able to practice medicine (and probably if not registered also, but for other reasons).

I notice the Doctor who initiated much of this controversy, and who feels anonymity should be removed from medical bloggers, is back posting openly on Twitter again. Today she is advising patients with a certain condition to see a certain doctor. This activity would be taboo for The Witch Doctor, taking into account her stance on advertising within the medical profession. But then we live in a free and ever changing society. That freedom implies a choice for a doctor to remain anonymous.

Susie Clevenger said...

A great write..I too would seek the man in the corner..I think outside the box and would hate to be stuck with those who can't climb out of it

drphilyerboots said...

There are many reasons to remain pseudonymous, and does it really matter if Dr No is a GP in Hampshire or a psychiatrist in Yorkshire? Does it matter if Anna is in London or Dorchester? Does it matter if I am an ENT surgeon in Derby or an orthopaedic surgeon in Worcester?

One of the advantages of being anonymous/pseudonymous is that we can generalise our experiences, without the distraction of local issues. As health care professionals we have a common interest, however we present ourselves.

The fact that I do not believe that the GMC has any business in regulating my private life is in keeping with 95% of the respondants to their survey. I cite the Bolam defence.

I wish Dr No success with his new career. It is pretty damning of the state of our profession that good people are driven out. I know a few others who have developed careers outside medicine. At my recent medical school reunion they seemed to be amongst the happiest, which is also pretty damning. I wonder if doctors are as unhappy in other countries.

Dr Phil

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, so powerful. Thank you.

Louise Gallagher said...

Wow -- first off -- I think you do and have expressed the greater social issues here. Brilliantly so.

And double wow -- if Canada --- Alberta in particular where I live --- can learn anything from the British experience, it is that to improve health care it is imperative to listen to the care-givers, not gag them.

thanks for this powerful poem and the insight into the 'system'

Brian Miller said...

scary stuff...and i can not imagine the pressure you must feel as well...kinda glad i have the freedom to b me on my blog...

susan m hinckley said...

I loved the poem, and especially appreciate having my attention drawn to the thinker in the corner -- I honestly don't think I had really focused on him and now he sticks out to the exclusion of everyone else in the painting. That's what I love about magpie tales -- new sets of eyes.

Eliza said...

Love the poem. Yes, its much too risky to blog using your own name. I'll check out that blog. Thanks for visiting mine again.

Other Mary said...

Wow, that is scary. I had no idea over here in the States. I'll check out the blog you mentioned.

Cockroach Catcher said...

Wow. Anna. What happened.

I still use my pseudonym only for a vague feeling that it is about my patient's anonymity although many are proud to be in my book.

Like DN, I have taken my leave from the GMC. So there.

Do I still practice medicine? Yeah, wold wide and last consulted by an american on a cruise ship. Yep. I don't have to prescribe!!!

DN, that is still what I prefer. welcome to the club.

My photo is there

Dave King said...

Excellent poem. Pithy and a good match for the prompt.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your comments folks.

Trellissimo ~ free speech is essential indeed.

Dr Phil ~ ‘Perhaps the issue is not anonymity, but civility.’ Perhaps you may be right but anger and frustration are often part and parcel of responses on comments, and cues and inferences – as in politeness, civility and emotions - are often impossible to transfer to the written word. When emailing others, if a remark/opinion appears harsh – I will always explain this is not my intent or at the very least place a :o] after said statement. And of course – sometimes there is no need to be polite as life is not often ‘nice’ and we can respond to situations as we deem appropriate at that given time.

I do not believe this particular affair began with the action of a particular person (which led to the ‘explosion’) – the seed was sown earlier.

Yes there are many reasons to remain anonymous, pseudonymous and it does not matter what our job description is or where we hail from – but it does appear to matter to those who ‘regulate’ us.

I agree with your statement re the Arab Spring in that democracy evolves, that said I do not think I have said otherwise?

Anonymouse ~ thank you for your response which gives credence and intelligence to your perhaps badly formed (and it did look flippant Anonymouse!) original comment on the freedom of the politically ignorant. You are to be commended for your work here.

I do understand about rushed elections and I also understand about the impatience of the youth in Egypt to see change – for in their eyes nothing has changed. Re your post on same (which I am attempting to recall – but have not visited due to time factors) – I see their impatience as just that and not some kidnapping of ideals.

Peace!

‘Isabel’ - thank you. Although realising your need to be circumspect - I did not realise that Isabel was an ‘Isabel’!

Susie ~ thinking outside of the box is essential!

Laurie ~ thank you!

Louise ~ what better way than addressing social issues than poetry and then building around same? Thank you for your kind comment.

Brian ~ can be scary indeed!

Susan – that’s what I love about the Mags too. We all see the world differently and that is what makes us individuals – we should fight being boxed in by those who wish us to be all the compliant same!

Eliza – thanks and anonymity is definitely required! Hope you have settled in your new ward.

Other Mary ~ cheers!

Cockroach Catcher ~ protection of patient anonymity does of course play a part and I am sure that ‘they’ are proud to be in your book – which oddly enough is the topic of my next post almost completed in draft!

Dave ~ thank you!

Anna :o]

PS If I have missed some kind soul out here – apologies! (I don’t think I have!)