When newly qualified doctor Andrew Manson takes up his first post in a Welsh mining community, the young Scot brings with him a bagful of idealism and enthusiasm. Both are soon strained to the limit as Andrew discovers the reality of performing operations on a kitchen table & washing in a scullery, of unspeakable sanitation, of common infantile cholera & enteritis.

There are no X-rays, no ambulances – nothing to combat the disease and poverty. It isn’t long before Andrew’s outspokenness … More

The introduction of free health care was the first brick laid on the road to the social welfare state. So it has always been difficult for me to listen to politicians, proud possessors of health insurance & shares in private health care companies, when they talk about how the health service that we fought so hard to build must change.

  From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry … More

What a fine thing capital punishment is! Dead men never repent; dead men never bring awkward stories to light. The prospect of the gallows, too, makes them hardy & bold. Ah, it’s a fine thing for the trade! Five of them strung up in a row, & none left to play booty or turn white-livered!

Died #OTD 1870, Charles Dickens. Starved and mistreated, empty bowl in hand, the young hero musters the courage to approach … More