The Conservatives new Health Spokesman has used his first public appearance to criticise TV coverage of women being scanned for possible breast cancer. ‘Whenever there is a feature about breast scans, they always show some saggy old bint in her fifties with her top off’ said Peter Atherton, retired army officer and MP for Surrey West. ‘There are lots of prettier young girls they could use, why can’t we see one of them with their top off instead?’
The Department of Health is keen to encourage women to get regular mammograms and has been looking at ways of raising awareness of breast cancer issues. But the shadow minister’s suggestion, made in a speech to the Royal College of Nurses got a frosty reception, particularly when he suggested that nurses themselves could augment their wages by posing for breast scan photos.
‘This isn’t about titillation or voyeurism – it’s about getting the message across in the most appealing way possible’ he said afterwards. ‘But if nurses kept their little hats on and sort of glanced around looking surprised, it would certainly grab my attention!’