The African Wildebeest can weigh up to 250 Kg, and lives in herds tens of thousands strong. If they were capable of co-operative action as a herd the individuals within the herd would be virtually invulnerable.
But they aren’t. When predators attack, all the individuals within the herd panic until the predators single out their victim. And then they all go back to calmly grazing even while their comrade is being torn to pieces and devoured within their sight. Once they realise “it’s not me today” they lose all interest.
The reason I describe this phenomenon is because that is exactly how NHS consultants behave when confronted by a belligerent management. I have commented before on a small number of the more publicised cases where individual consultants have been targeted for special attention by management, and received virtually no support from their colleagues. But these few I have featured are the tip of the iceberg.
Another analogy is to be found in the book “Watership Down” The wild rabbits of the story encounter a group of rabbits who appear to live a utopian existence. They live a life of luxury, fed and watered, constantly warm & dry, and protected from predators. But every now & then one of them is taken away, and is never seen again. These individuals are never mentioned. It is if they never existed.
Management at all levels from the local to the national know full well that this is how the consultant body behaves and that is how they keep us under control. They know they can isolate and destroy any one of us, and our colleagues will stand by and let it happen, conscious that it might be them next time.
And that is why we will never win. For whatever reason we are unable or unwilling to co-ordinate our considerable strength for the common good. Why should it be like that? We are not wildebeest.