Tag Archives: campaign organisation

You need to eat lunch and make mistakes

One of the lessons I try to convey to junior doctors (or in my case and after nearly a decade, more junior junior doctors) is the importance of getting lunch. If it’s 11am, the ward round has finished and you don’t have urgent jobs to do, I don’t care if it’s the morning – go and have your lunch. 

The nature of a hospital is that you never know what is round the corner. If you don’t eat now, you might not eat again until you leave and if it’s busy, that might not be until 7pm. That is bad for you and bad for your patients. It is a dereliction of your duty of care to them. 

It is just over 3 weeks until polling day. You need to ensure you, your candidate, your staff, your volunteers and everybody involved is healthy and not going hungry. It is bad for you and your campaign if you do not eat when you get the chance. It is a dereliction of your duty of care to it.

Imagine turning to current or former healthcare workers, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, members of the armed services, or members of the security services and saying “this is an emergency and lunch can’t wait”, about whatever it is you think can’t wait and imagine their reaction. I have told people their loved ones are not going to leave hospital, attended so many cardiac arrests that I have forgotten most of them, and have had adults and children literally die in my hands. Imagine telling me what you’re about to do is an emergency.

This doesn’t mean the committee room on polling day should turn into a place to have a conversation. It isn’t – go stand outside if you want to just have a chat and stop asking the people who are putting the data in “how’s it going?” (even if you’re the candidate). Let staff and volunteers do their work.

But if you’re a person with authority in the party, your volunteers and staff are going to make mistakes. Perhaps you think the best way to get things done is by shouting at people. Perhaps you don’t think people should be making mistakes. Perhaps you’re working full-time and nobody who works for you has admitted a mistake to you so far. If any of these are true, resign – you are incompetent and have no place in professional politics.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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