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The fallacy of composition

Lord Mancroft has said that he was appalled by the standards of nursing he received from the NHS:

Lord Mancroft claimed that it was “a miracle” that he was still alive after his experience of filthy wards and “slipshod and lazy” nurses when he was admitted to an NHS hospital in the West Country, believed to be the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

On occasions like this, the standard defence is to adopt the fallacy of composition and pretend that the criticism was being made of the whole industry rather than just particular members of it.

Mr Cameron was swift to act. Aides said he was furious and has asked Lord Strathclyde to rebuke Lord Mancroft. His views were not shared by the Conservative Party, which knew that nurses did a fantastic job, often in difficult circumstances, a spokesman said.

Dave has clearly picked up a lot from studying Labour's modus operandi, but the public sector can still teach him a thing or two. The nurses union claims that Mancroft was bitching about the whole of the female sex! 

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said Lord Mancroft’s comments were “grossly unfair on nurses across the UK” and amounted to a “sexist insult about the behaviour of British women.”

Fallacious argument aside, you would have thought they might actually investigate his claims first, before condemning him. It's not as if he's the first person to say things like this about NHS hospitals, and he'll not be the last either. Longrider Peter Risdonhas his own NHS horror story to relate.

The NHS will never get better if we're not allowed to criticise it. 


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Reader Comments (2)

Not that there's anything wrong with being associated with Longrider, but...
Mar 1, 2008 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Risdon
Oh balls. Fixed now
Mar 1, 2008 at 9:09 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

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