If I told you that Leslie "the ugly blowfish" Ash was capable of earning £5m from 'acting' roles while resembling a startled truck tyre, would you believe me?
No, I didn't think so.
Unfortunately, the irresponsible c**t that was presiding over Ash's negligence case against the NHS was considerably more gullible than you and I. He actually believed that Ms Ash was no longer able to work as an actress because of her inability to play the “attractive young blonde characters” for which she was known (erm....HELLO??? I don't think that transformation can be blamed on the fucking NHS, do you?!). As a result, Ms Ash has received £5 MILLION of our money in compensation for her having contracted MSSA in a Chelsea hospital, in an out-of-court settlement.
Now. I take a dubious view of sueing hospitals in most cases (and yes, of course there are exceptions). If you're the victim of hospital error, it's a horrific experience for all concerned. But I'm afraid it does happen. That's life, and that's death, I'm afraid. Shit happens, and it sucks when it does. Hospitals and medical workers will do their best to save your life if you find yourself in need of treatment, but they can and will make mistakes. If they have to pay out millions every time they make those mistakes, where does that leave the healthcare system? If everyone who's ever suffered from having contracted MRSA or MSSA sues the hospital in which they've contracted it, what will happen? We'll end up with a healthcare system similar to that in place in the obscenely-litigious US, where poor people in certain parts of the country no longer even have access to fair medical assistance. (If you don't believe me, read Gavin Esler's United States of Anger).
Maybe, instead of paying out millions in compensation, we should use the cash in the NHS's litigation contigency pot to start paying full-time cleaners instead of hiring minimum wage contract staff who couldn't give a monkeys about the cleanliness of hospital wards?
Every time you sue the NHS you are taking money out the healthcare budget that could be used to provide a better service, and ultimately, to save lives. It is really that simple.
All of that aside....according to close members of her own family, who went on the record in national newspapers to this effect - Ms Ash was only in hospital in the first place because she was beaten up by her husband.
I'm not a fan of domestic violence, and I don't make a habit of blaming the victims of domestic violence for their unfortunate situation either.
But - but - the fact is that Ms Ash not only denied that she was being beaten up by her partner, but went further still to claim that her injuries were a result of "rough lovemaking". Hmmmm. I don't know about you, but I can't think of many occasions on which my own sexual activity resulted in broken ribs and a punctured lung. Suffice to say the word "lovemaking" doesn't seem too appropriate.
So Ms Ash very publicly protected her husband rather than use her position in the public eye to make a difference to the victims of domestic violence, to let them know that there were alternatives to living with male aggression in their home. Sorry, I mean "rough lovemaking". I mean, given that she was apparently capable of independently earning MILLIONS, she wasn't exactly forced back into a rough-lovemaking situation through poverty, was she?
You might say that the reasons for her being in hospital in the first place are irrelevant. But frankly, I don't care. Why should a woman who ended up catching a bug in hospital because she was drunkenly rough-loved by her fella receive more compensation than everyone else? (Ash received more in this one payout than all the MRSA-infected compensation recipients between 2002 and 2006). It DOES make a difference why she was there, and I'll armwrestle anyone who says otherwise.
Secondly, MSSA - which is NOT the same thing as MRSA, despite what cretinous Sun journalists might tell you (try looking up the definition of the word 'resistant') - is NOT "caused by poor cleanliness in hospitals".
Yes, cleanliness or a lack of it is a major contributory factor to the rise of superbugs in hospitals, but it is by no means at all the only thing that causes it. Anyone that wants to understand a bit more about how drug-resistant nasties like MRSA come into being might want to try learning a bit more about antibiotics and their uses and abuses - particularly within the human food chain. (John Humphrys' The Great Food Gamble has a frightening but interesting chapter on this subject). It isn't all the NHS's fault, people.
This £5m payout, by the way, comes on top of a £250,000 payout that Ms Ash had already received in June this year. So that's Leslie Ash set up for life - she can now stick sufficient botulism in her face to cause her to MOO should she wish to.
For the sake of the National Health Service, though - and to protect it from greedy f**kers like Ms Ash - I for one hope she goes private for her next bout of elective surgery.