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As I shall later show, I am very much older than Sir John Rawlins and Dr E N Wardle, but I think that both of them are quite old enough to have discerned the motives for the General Medical Council's (GMC's) assault on retired doctors (May 2002 JRSM1,2). The GMC, having betrayed doctors and their patients by conniving in the subordination of the clinical/professional to the managerial ethos, is deeply concerned now to preserve its own existence. Retired doctors are an easy target at which the GMC can aim in order to show the Government its continuing zeal.
Fifteen months ago, I responded to the GMC's request for comment on its paper Revalidating Doctors, putting most of the points now made by Rawlins and Wardle. Of course I received neither reply nor acknowledgment, but in the course of my enquiries I learned that, in spite of previous letters and phone calls, the GMC could not get my address right. Even better: my date of birth was (perhaps still is) recorded as 1 January 1700—for technical reasons, I was later told. This is the quality of body that now proposes to judge us. Quis, as we say in this part of Buckinghamshire, custodiet ipsos custodes. Or, as we used to say in Praed Street, Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.