Jeremy Hunting for Villainous Expertise – Cartoon Logic
Now that the latest junior doctor’s strike has come and gone, it’s time to reflect and see whether there be anything from which to learn. Instinctively, I find myself firmly on the side of the doctors, partly because I will probably need their help one day and partly because I love Doctor Who, but mostly because 98% of the junior doctors voted for the strikes, and I can’t really convince myself that that many of them are motivated by self-interest, rather than by a genuine desire to block bad contract changes.
That’s all academic now, because Jeremy Hunt, the main governmental foe of the doctors, has decided to force new contracts on them anyway. I’m suddenly reminded of that viral letter of last year in which junior doctor Ben Carter compared Jeremy Hunt to a Disney villain. ‘Hyperbole!’ you might shout, but suddenly no, because Hunt has resorted to just forcing his plans through anyway, in the fashion of the best fictional villains of all time. Yes, he says things like ‘we have to have a resolution’, and he dresses his dictates in conciliatory language, but that just makes him seem all the slyer.
Here’s my suggestion, Jeremy. Just give up on the niceties and go full Ursula. You’re 90% of the way there. You just need a little push from Jafar or Cruella de Vil, and you’ll be skinning junior doctors and wearing their weary hides like trendy suits. On the off chance that you read Cartoon Logic, Jeremy, (and I bet you do; I bet you can’t help it; every week you think, ooh, I know I shouldn’t, but I must just get a taste of the latest wonderful word-play-ridden title) here’s my advice to help you become the true villain you were always supposed to be.
First of all, your name. Jeremy Hunt is too bland to be even slightly scary, though ‘Hunt’ is a fairly good place to start. Ironically, sticking ‘doctor’ at the front does the job. Doctor Hunt. A name that wouldn’t be completely out of place in a Bond film. Giving you a title like that is too respectful, however, don’t you think? Ah, hold on. Your full title is the Rt Hon Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, MP. The Dishonourable Mister Streyn! That’s better!
You need a better costume, too. Again, the faceless suit is a fairly good start, but we need shoulder spikes and leather gloves. And a cape. A long cape with a red lining and a tall top hat. Slightly wonky. And a cane with a skull. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Mr Streyn needs henchmen. Alastair Burt is the Minister of State for Care and Support, but he could easily become Sinister Burt, Minister of State for Carelessness and Distress, Mr Streyn’s right hand man. Let’s also promote Tory backbenchers Peter Bone and James Cartlidge to your department as Cartilage and Bone, the Skeleton Brothers. And give them black cloaks and scythes. These are your enforcers.
Other than that, you’re basically there, Hunt. Your plan is excellent. Next time you meet with the junior doctors, just start saying things like: ‘the time draws near!’ and ‘soon all the pieces will fall into place!’ Stride around parliament flanked by two columns of junior staffers. Time your entry into the House of Commons with thunderstorms and have someone standing at the fuse box to make the lights flicker.
As for the attitude? No changes are necessary. You’ve got it. 100%. In fact, you might need to tone it down a touch. I hear that you frighten Captain Hook. Hades will have nothing to do with you. And Dr Facilier (the creepy chap from The Princess and the Frog) has announced you’re mortal enemies. He’s junior doctor Facilier, after all.
This week, the Trumpsday Clock is kept at EIGHT MINUTES to Trumpsday. There haven’t been any huge developments in the US Presidential Election since last week, besides a nasty Republican debate on Valentine’s Day which no one really did well in. Donald Trump, in particular, seemed like the sort of pantomime villain Jeremy Hunt could do well to learn from. In his clashes with Jeb Bush, Trump came across as a bit of an arse, attacking Bush’s brother; he was booed accordingly. On the other hand, two rival Republicans dropped out after New Hampshire. Chris Christie (larger-than-life New Jerseyite with the slogan ‘telling it like it is’) and Carly Fiorina (middle-right business magnate) ended their campaigns. Both these ex-candidates have certain similarities to Trump; with them out of the way, his campaign looks a touch stronger. He’s also still polling strongly. All in all, I’m leaving the clock where it is. We’ll have a better idea after the South Carolina Primary on Saturday.