The Slog asks what many of us may be thinking: was Jacintha Saldanha corporately abused after the hoax call?
This may be yet another of those posts that leaves people baffled by my apparent heartlessness, but I need to ask a question:
Why did King Edward VII’s Hospital nurse Jacintha Saldanha feel the need to kill herself?
She obviously felt humiliated by falling for the Aussie radio station 2Day FM’s prank, but was it really something worth getting suicidal about?
Let’s just analyse closely and forensically the total fallout from her error:
1. She answered some questions about Catherine Windsor’s state of health. This information was already in the public domain.
Now take a look at the exact statement the hospital released immediately after Mrs Saldanha’s suicide: it said that the nurse who died was the person who first took the hoax call and transferred it through to Catherine’s ward, adding that she had worked there for more than four years as an “excellent nurse,” who was well respected by co-workers.
The hospital “had been supporting her throughout this difficult time,” the statement said.
This statement came from the hospital’s public relations agency. Ah, right. Not that unusual in this odd age we inhabit I suppose: but I’m left wondering why an excellent nurse admired by her colleagues would be suffering such rock-bottom self-esteem, she would feel the need to kill herself.
Also concerning was the release from St James Palace. A spokesman there said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.”
Separately, a palace spokesman told CNN: “At no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the incident. On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times.”
It seems to me there’s an awful lot of protesting going on here. We supported her, we didn’t complain….who accused you of doing either thing? At no time has any media title or contractor asked:
1. Was Jacintha suffering from depression?
2. Who spoke to her professionally after the incident, and why?
3. Were the Royals upset enough to have made their feelings clear to either the management or the nurse?
Yet this would be the obvious thing to do. Imagine what the media response might be if a Cup Final referee gave a free kick of no great import, the replay showed he was wrong, and the guy killed himself?
As far as I can see, almost nothing in the vilification of the Aussie DJs and the death of this obviously skilled lady makes any sense at all when you hold it up to the light. If I burst a balloon behind a snooker player during practice, and he takes out a gun and shoots himself, do I deserve the world’s press on my case?
But overnight, I note from Sky News, “Police in London have contacted their Australian counterparts with a view to interviewing the pair [of DJs] ahead of an inquest into Ms Saldanha’s death.” I’m sorry, but this is absolutely ridiculous. And now, God help us, we have the oily Keith Vaz bleeding all over the late Ms Saldanha’s presumably bewildered family.
The main media obsession appears to be why on earth do DJs do this sort of thing, and why did Hospital procedures not preclude something like this happening. This in itself is a reflection of the abiding attitude in our elite’s culture: everything must be legislated for, and anyone or anything getting in the way of that must be castigated. It seems fine for politicians to create totally foreseeable disasters, but failing to see the unimaginable consequences of an everyday prank must be severely punished.
I would be genuinely interested in all reasonable thread comments. Without doubt, this is a tragedy, and I’m not trying to make light of it. But my water tells me more elements of this case may yet come to light.