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If Cameron and Lansley plough on with NHS car crash, it could yet be the end of them

Posted on 7 February 2012 | 11:02am

I haven’t read The Times, so I am only going on an edited version of Rachel Sylvester’s column today, as summed up by Labour’s media monitoring department.

At the risk of offending Rupert’s paywall principles, I would like to print in full what the media monitors took out of it.

‘Is Lansley the exception to the no-sacking policy?’ (Ti op-ed) – Sylvester thinks it is extraordinary that Lansley is still in position as Health Secretary having so monumentally mishandled the Govt’s NHS reforms. He has failed spectacularly to persuade either the professionals or the public of the purpose of this legislation. What was intended as a symbol of modernity has become an emblem of obstinacy that will do little to improve patient care. There is deep frustration in No 10 about the Health Secretary’s handling of the “pause” in the passage of the Bill. Strategists have watched in dismay as, far from attempting to win over his critics, the Health Secretary has used the time to further annoy NHS staff and alienate voters. One insider: ‘We’re back to square one. Andrew Lansley is just a disaster’. Sylvester says he seems emotionally incapable of showing any understanding of other pple’s concerns and intellectually unwilling to consider alternative ideas. A Downing St source: ‘Andrew Lansley should be taken out and shot. He’s messed up both the communication and the substance of the policy’. Both Cameron and Osborne are remarkably loyal to Lansley, but many snr figures, Lib Dem and Tory, now admit privately that it was a mistake to introduce a flagship Bill on health when most of the key changes could have been implemented without primary legislation. Indeed, Clegg considered calling publicly for the whole thing to be abandoned — then decided, for the sake of coalition unity, to back substantial amendments instead. One strategist: ‘Health reform shld have been carried out by stealth’. The contrast is drawn with Gove’s education reforms, which have been presented successfully as the fulfilment of Blair’s schools policy rather than a complete break with the past. There is an idea circulating in No 10 that Alan Milburn shld be offered a seat in the Lords and his old job of Health Secretary. With a guaranteed free hand to change the policy, he would be asked to complete for the coalition the reforms he began under Mr Blair. By creating in effect a govt of national unity, Sylvester reckons this would neutralise the issue of the NHS. In policy terms, it would achieve many of the aims of the Bill without the controversy (Ti).

Wow! Let’s just re-run some of that. First, it is a columnist on a paper broadly favourable to the thrust of the Cameron government. Second, she has clearly come across a lot of opposition inside the government, and not just from Lib Dems. But when people are talking of taking out ministers and shooting them, that is quite something. As for the Alan Milburn as a minister in the Lords, I have two words on that – Alan, don’t (not that I think it is a runner.)

When David Cameron announced ‘the pause’, one of the more bizarre moments in our constitutional history, I assumed he would then make sure Number 10 got a grip of the Bill, and of Mr Lansley. But what was already a dog’s dinner is now something that even a dog would not touch. They are ending up with the worst of all worlds, with some of the measures effectively already being implemented, and costing plenty, and with doctors angry and confused.

I met one such at the football on Sunday, a Reading GP who said they just could not understand what they were meant to be doing now. I met another yesterday when I went to get more drugs for this bloody chest infection that won’t go away, and was met with another exasperated doctor saying they just don’t understand why, when everyone can see the car crash coming, Cameron, Osborne and Lansley just plough on so that the pile-up gets bigger and bigger.

My football GP said the only people supporting the Bill were those who saw the chance to expand their private practices. But now even Lansley’s medical profession backers are deserting him. Back to Labour’s media monitors if I may.

‘Backers of NHS shake-up turn against Lansley’s plans’ (Guard p17) – Two prominent backers of the coalition’s NHS shake-up have joined the growing chorus of critics by claiming that GPs will be ‘suffocated rather than liberated’ by the planned changes, rpts Campbell. (no relation) Dr Charles Alessi and Dr Michael Dixon are leading lights in the NHS Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care, two key pro-reform organisations. But they now fear that the new consortiums of local doctors will not have the freedom that the health secretary has repeatedly pledged. They are worried that the GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which will replace PCTs, will find themselves unexpectedly under the control of another organisation, the NHA National Commissioning Board (NCB). In July the NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, said ‘CCGs will be the engine of the new system’ and that the reformed NHS ‘gives pride of place to clinical leaders’. But the reality is that primary care doctors and clinical commissioners will not have the promised ability to make key decns because the current bureaucracy is simply being replaced by another that is growing up around the NCB, the pair claim. The DoH’s latest document about the design of the new board involves ‘layers of bureaucracy and management, with complex guidelines. The old “footprint” [of the PCTs and SHAs], ie 50 local offices, remains there, plus four sector outposts, all using a single operating model,’ the two organisations said in a joint statement. The fact that many of the staff of the new NCB will simply be staff who have joined from PCTs and SHAs ‘adds to clinical commissioners’ concerns and perceptions that they will be suffocated, instead of liberated, which in our view is fundamental to the success of clinically-led commissioning’. Burnham: ‘Things are going from bad to worse for Lansley. In the last fortnight there has been a deepening crisis of professional confidence in the government’s health bill, but until now the health secretary could rely on the support of the NHS Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care. Yet the bill’s biggest cheerleaders are now lambasting the increasing layers of bureaucracy. Even the health bill’s greatest supporters are now concerned that Lansley’s plans are so complex and full of worrying uncertainties that they risk thwarting the principle of true clinician-led commissioning’

Will this make any difference? I think it will. If Rachel Sylvester’s briefing came from deep within Cameronland, then the key complaint is the one questionining Lansley’s emotional intelligence. Cameron has more of it, and he will be looking for a way out. If not, he is daft.

But as Lansley is set up as the fall-guy, never forget this … it was Cameron who said there would be no top-down reorganisation of the NHS; and Cameron who said there would be no cuts. The cuts are already happening. The surgery I visited yesterday has lost its alcohol support and advice service. The mental health units in my area have been halved. Waiting times around the country are rising. Nurse numbers are falling. On every day in many ways, Cameron’s promise is being broken. The NHS got better under Labour. Fact. It is getting worse under the Tories. Fact.

As for ‘no top-down reorganisation’ this is as big a top-down reorganisation as it gets. If this Bill goes through, the NHS is no longer the NHS as we know it. That is a move Cameron will regret. It could yet be the end of him.

‘The great NHS sham’ (Mirror p6) – Lyons says Cameron’s vow to reconsider his health reforms was last night exposed as another empty Tory pledge, by his former adviser James O’Shaughnessy. The PM claimed the Govt had ‘listened and learned’ after opposition to the plans forced him to put them on hold while NHS staff and patients were asked for their views. But as opposition to the reforms gathered pace, Mr O’Shaughnessy admitted in a BBC radio iv the public meetings last year were a sham – just a ‘tactic’ to get them through, adding: ‘Actually, if you look at where we got to on the Health Bill, the fundaments of what we were trying to do are still there’. Burnham: ‘This is proof from one of the PM’s closest advisers that their listening exercise last year was nothing more than a PR con. When it comes to the NHS Cameron is all soundbites and no substance. The Tory-led Govt has got it’s priorities seriously wrong. The PM has taken a successful and confident NHS and turned it into an organisation that’s demoralised, destabilised and fearful of the future. The time has come for the Govt to halt its destabilising NHS reorganisation for good and focus on patient care’. Mr O’Shaughnessy: ‘We had to adopt dffrnt tactics in order to get the same principles across’ But the PM’s spokes insisted the former adviser was wrong to claim the listening exercise was a sham: ‘It was about pausing, listening, reflecting and improving the reforms. The shape of our plans, the detail of how we’re going to make all this work, that really has changed, as a result of this consultation’ (Mirror).

  • Michele

    http://www.totalpolitics.com/opinion/290312/for-the-good-of-this-governments-health.thtml   
    “No 10 is desperate to stop the NHS becoming a toxic issue. For 2012, it has created a ‘neutralisation’ plan.”

    I doubt many would dare confront either Lansley or Cameron actually, they wouldn’t want to end up being ‘placed’ on leave as surgeon Mr Nunn did.

    —————————

    According to the mag article Cam and Sam ‘know more than most parents should about the NHS, its strengths and its challenges’.
    They also know more than most about local SSD responsibilities (which have functioned without means-testing, having depended on residents’ need for specialists).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Duncan-Phipp-macintyre/525048347 Duncan Phipp-macintyre

    “There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing
    but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.”-Phillip Franklin, White Star Line Vice-President

    Captain Cameron really has got us all in this together – The N.H.S. is at the heart and soul of the U.K.

  • Michele

    Postcode Lottery Xtreme?

    If, as Andy Burnham said on Jonathan Dimbleby’s programme at the weekend, the N will soon be redundant in NHS, I wonder whether one’s local health service will become a component for estate agents to use in house valuations?

  • http://twitter.com/socialtechno Gordon Rae

    The Coalition’s plans for the NHS seem to have created the worst possible outcome: a profit-seeking bureacracy. Meanwhile in Greece, the medics are locking out the suits, and taking hospitals under workers’ control.  http://libcom.org/blog/greek-hospital-now-under-workers-control-05022012

  • Mark Wright

    Why does Lansley seem to think the NHS has a spare 49% capacity to give
    over to the private sector? For several years the situation has been precisely the reverse as the private sector has
    been drafted in by the NHS for precisely the reason that the NHS has no
    spare capacity whereas the private sector does.

    The idea of the NHS contracting the private sector to conduct operations and hospital care was a controversial move when TB originally unveiled the policy. However, TB rightly defended it on the grounds that so long as the NHS was free at the point of delivery the public didn’t much care who provided the treatment. This was a way of managing waiting lists and keeping the numbers down.

    So:

    a) If the private sector are already able to take up part of the NHS burden then can we assume they already have spare capacity as it is and have no need for 49% of the NHS?

    b)  If ‘a’ is correct then what possible reason could Lansley have for so doggedly pursuing such an unnecessary policy?

       

  • Simon Landau

    We know that Lansley has low “emotional intelligence” (a rather silly phrase to describe political antennae).  What does for him is the absence of managerial competence.

    The first rule of any organisational change programme is that you can’t focus on efficiency and effectiveness at the same time.  Many have tried it in large organisations and, if persisted with, it leads to a hugely demoralised workforce and the confusion is transmitted to the customers (patients in this case).  The end results are huge fees on management consultancy, change budgets burnt at an alarming rate and performance indicators going south.

    I hope Alan Milburn does not take up this poison chalice. The NHS must either focus on efficiency (in which case Nicholson does the job) or effectiveness which means more money and a political death warrant for Cameron.

    Yet again he is caught in the headlights and will get run over by Andy Burnham and Ed Miliband.

    • Michele

       Focusing on very narrow meanings for the words ‘efficient’ and ‘effective’ is pointless.

      You can’t truly be one without the other and phrases from time management ‘gurus’ won’t help, there was one word (cynicism) to describe the ridicule plastered around about targets.

      Alan Milburn was efficient and effective and all those working under and after him continued with those qualities and boy, did the National Health Service improve under them all.

      There was a time I’d have had to travel 30 miles, way out of Greater London to find an NHS dentist for my family.  I didn’t have the time so we used private till about 2000.  I daresay things will be changing there too.

  • Anonymous

    It started as a dog’s dinner. Now it is like something the dog threw up.

  • Alan Wroe

    Speaking as a healthcare professional (Registered Metal
    Health Nurse), I feel the most despicable and demoralising, aspect of the
    progression of this ‘reform’ is the extent to which work was allowed to
    progress on its implementation before due process was followed; admirably
    expressed by Polly Toynbee in yesterday’s Guardian:

     

    ‘Andrew Lansley’s last refuge is his most disreputable
    argument so far: his health and social care bill must pass as so much has
    already been implemented without waiting for royal assent. None can recall such
    flagrant flouting of parliament.

     

    All but abolished are 151 primary care trusts – replaced by
    279 clinical commissioning groups – while strategic health authorities are to
    become four hubs. The new national commissioning board already has a chief
    executive and finance director with seven board members recruited on salaries
    of up to £170,000 before the bill is passed. Brass plate shifting has
    squandered £2bn, while the NHS suffers cuts of £20bn. McKinsey and KPMG already
    have fat contracts to take over much commissioning supposed to be done by GPs.
    Which sector will they instinctively favour for contracts? Yet none of it has
    yet passed into law. The health economist Professor Kieran Walshe says £1bn
    could still be saved by stopping it now’

  • Ehtch

    The torys in the eighties were right messing about with the NHS, and they tried buying off the nurses with quite an impressive pay rise – in about 1988 I think it was, anyone else remember? I remember because my mother worked as a nurse in the NHS then, started her training in around 1950 at Bolingbroke Hospital, London, then moved back to Wales. She didn’t think much of Thatcher and her health secretaries, even with the extra wad of cash she was given. And seems history is repeating itself – wait for the pay rises to buy employees at the sharp end, and I don’t mean those tossing NHS management, they wouldn’t know a tibia from a humerus.

  • http://mark.gppixelworks.co.uk/ Mark Lansbury

    Dear Mr. Campbell,

    I’ve a question that nobody has been able to properly answer since the first quarter of 2011:

    What is the legal basis for implementing legislation prior to it becoming law?

    With this bill being implemented widely already (at a cost of over £2 BILLION), it would seem the current government has
    blatantly ignored the Parliamentary process in addition to the very basic principles of democracy.

    I’ve met with my MP (Andrew Turner, Isle of Wight) on two occasions regarding Health and Social Care bill in the last year.  Upon putting this question to him, he responded:

    [Paraphrasing] Perhaps 90% of all legislation passes,
    becoming law. Sometimes we get it wrong.

    I was both stunned and disappointed by Mr. Turner’s response.

    Would be most interested in learning of the legal issues surrounding implementation of legislation while it’s still very much in the parliamentary process.

    Best regards,
    Mark Lansbury

  • Trevorsmith

    On last week’s Question Time programme there was a question about the Government bill on the reform of the NHS
    None of the panelists excused themselves as non users of the NHS so we must assume that they are users (GP practices and /or NHS hospitals)
    Non users in my opinion must declare this before giving their biased opinions.
    Just who finances the Taxpayers Alliance?
    Should we not know in order to see from where their positions come from?
    Why are the Labour Party plus Labour sympathisers always in a minority on this programme?

  • ambrosian

    What makes this so toxic for the Government is not the detail of the re-organisation but what is happening at the sharp end. There are few families lucky enough not to know somebody interacting with the NHS and waiting times are already rising inexorably. I know someone who has had elective but important surgery repeatedly postponed over a period of months, something that Labour had almost eliminated.

    There is a double political and constitutional outrage here: not only did Cameron promise no top-down re-organisation of the NHS at the election but that was also written into the post-election Coalition Agreement that both parties signed up to.

  • Ehtch

    NHS? yeh agreed, NHS.

    Anyway, since we are in Six Nations season, not debonnaire season, posh ladies 21 coming out and all that, how about some highlights from last Sunday, but commentary from RTE, much better than that Butler waffling tool on our beeb, and he is a taffy suposedly, as like me, so I have every right to call him a tool. He is a total tool in fact, in trying to commentate – that Lieutenant from Goodbye Vietnam comes to mind with me with him, trying to be a DJ. Anyways, brill highlights,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZKtrdD69go

  • reaguns

    AC how about educating people, probably including yourself if you’re honest, on inflation.

    Inflation is the tool by which Cameron (or your own lot) can cut spending, cut wages, cut everything else while look like they are maintaining them.

    Ie increase NHS budget or civil service pay by 1%, cause inflation of 5%, effectively in real terms you have cut both by 4% but the public don’t understand as they think inflation is some external uncontrollable factor (it isn’t.)

    Paraphrasing Henry Ford’s quote on banking, if the people really knew what inflation was, then all the riots would be about inflation – not public sector pay, not occupy, not tuition fees. Inflation is a far bigger crime against the people.

    But of course inflation is a multi-purpose pro-government anti-people tool. It helps tories to make cuts by stealth, but it helps labour to tax and spend by stealth too – which is why neither of them ever speak the truth about inflation.

    You know how angry AC got at Paul Dacre yesterday? Thats how mad everyone should be about inflation, and in ACs words government is a peddler and an operator of inflation.

  • reaguns

    What do people think about Obama’s health care reforms? I can’t decide. I’m a supporter I suppose of “Universal Health Care” but Obama’s solution seems to be the worst of both worlds – ie force people to buy insurance off private companies. Then again he perhaps wanted to do more but only get backing to go this far, people have pointed out that this is a step that can be built on till they get real Universal Health Care.

  • Ehtch

    Furthermore, offtopic, but rugger requires the NHS at times, at the lower levels amateur levels most especially – heard 5pm in various casualties is quite busy, been too many times then to remember, shoulders out, ankles sticking in strange directions, and everything. Cuts, christ, just put a plaster on it and on you go. Hep C danger? ok, shove half a pint of iodine on the cut then.

    anyway, where was I? Oh yes,

    Knighthoods to the Scarlet two – Foxy and George, arise Sirs.

    as I posted here – ok, you now know my yehtubby handle now,
    Foxy – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ0-LeDbWPg
    George – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd8-7CE6DfE

  • Janiete

    It is shocking to think anyone would even consider breaking up our NHS, after a period of solid improvement and record high patient satisfaction. To change the system at all, without very good reason is a serious mistake. To change it in order to benefit the private sector, interested only in profit margins, is a national disgrace.
     
    We know where this is going to lead. A sizeable proportion of the £100 billion now spent on health will be siphoned off in profits. As more services and consequently finance is transferred to the private sector, willing only to offer easy, cheap and profitable treatments, the rump of NHS core provision will be left providing expensive treatments for the chronically sick, disabled and seriously ill.
     
    Efficiencies possible in the system now, like large health authorities sharing overhead and purchasing costs between minor and more serious treatment services, will be lost. There will be greater pressure on budgets which will lead inevitably to a reduction in the range of free services available. Those with multiple, complex problems will find the new fragmented system fails to share vital information across sectors and between providers. Above all, the hard won battle fought by the Labour Party to improve waiting times and ensure prompt responsive treatments will be reversed. Waiting times would have grown inevitably as less money reaches the front line, but now that the NHS will be allowed to use 49% of its resources to benefit private patients, lists will return to 1990 levels in no time.
    That the Government has managed to progress this bill at all is testament to the Liberal Democrats desperation to retain power at all costs. As this was not in the coalition agreement, they could have killed it off at source. The Conservatives and Cameron in particular, were at pains to avoid any suggestion of plans to interfere with the NHS before the election. As Michael Portillo admitted, they knew people wouldn’t vote for them if they’d been upfront about it. This is an outrageous abuse of our democracy, worse even than Clegg’s lies about tuition fees.
    The media, as is so often the case, has neglected its responsibility to emphasise this democratic deficit, give airtime to opponents of the bill or transmit detail of these plans to the public. Largely confused and uninformed the full impact has yet to hit them, but when it does expect the Conservatives, Cameron and the Liberal Democrats to be associated with this dreadful legacy for years to come.
    Support the #dropthebill campaign. Sign the petition at:
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.u
     
    Bevan ‘The NHS will last as long as there are folks left with faith to fight for it”
     

  • Rosie

    There are many decisions made by Cameron and Osborne which are so obviously intended to win votes at the next election, or to keep the Tory Right quiet, rather than in the best interests of the country and its citizens. 
    How can these two cunning politicians ignore what is in front of their noses; that Lansley’s plans may bring their whole project crashing down, and send them into political oblivion? How can they keep him in post when he’s obviously not much good at his job?

    I’ve thought for a while now that maybe he knows where the bodies are buried!

  • Gillian C.

    There is very little support out there for Lansley and his so-called reforms.  The majority of medical professionals are dead against it.
    Even Janet Daley has today written a scathing blog post about Lansley, Cameron and the whole unnecessary mess this has turned in to.

    I think it’s only a matter of time before Lansley resigns, maybe to spend more time with his ferrets, or something.

  • Michele

    I don’t actually see how the car crash can be halted.

    LibDem MPs will be able to get away with not voting against what I’m sure many of their constituents would like them to due to the pairing system.

    There are obviously times when an MP from one side could be fairly paired with an MP from the other as the assumption, between Labour and Tory at least, was the reasonably safe one that absences and abstentions would cancel each other out.

    LibDems can also expect to get away with voting ‘Aye’ as they will tell their constituents that all their battling was done while proposals were being drafted anyway and they’ll probably bleat that eventual papers were better than they’d have otherwise been.

    It doesn’t feel as if we’re living in a real democracy any more.

  • Michele

    ” …………..The shape of our plans, the detail of how we’re going to make all
    this work, that really has changed, as a result of this consultation’ (Mirror). ……………….   ”

    In other words they are working around a mad ‘man’.

  • Michele

     I was amused (?) when people who had voted for Obama on the grounds of wanting a health service for all fell away when they realised it would mean they would be compelled to buy insurance.

    Some actually seem to have thought ours was funded by somebody or others’ largesse (bemused smiley) and came free ….. not understood that National Insurance meant (till now) what it is called; we pay and we have enjoyed knowing nobody need be neglected when ill or in pain. 

    How long before some of us start resenting our National Insurance contributions when we no longer have a nationally-standardised service?

  • Matt

    For a compelling argument on why this NHS bill and why now, have a look at Ben Goldacre’s 5 tweet summary…

    http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/what-will-happen-with-the-nhs-bill-in-5-tweet 

  • Anonymous

    AC on 10 o’clock live tomorrow! (wednesday)

    I am a fan of David Mitchell, thought he was funny and intelligent – but when you watch how easily the politicians handle his interviews, it shows you how good Paxman, Humphries, Neil are.

    In AC’s last appearance on there, despite the baying young middle class student leftie audience who are obviously very anti war, Mitchell couldn’t lay a glove on him.

    Only saw one good Mitchell interview when he done Caroline Lucas like a kipper!

  • Michele

     Done and circulated.

    Disappointing that I received the confirmation of having signed before I’d clicked on the link in the email which itself showed ‘Confirmation’ as its Subject and could seem to be just a bounce-test, not something needing a return.  Yadder yadder yadder.

    Halfway to its target already btw :-)

  • Ehtch

    Huw Llewelyn-Davies should commentate the welsh home games on the beeb, in welsh, as he does for S4C at the same time, and give whoever subtitles at the bottom. I am sure there must be some instant software to do it quick time these days, I am sure. Anyway, never mind, you never hear commentary when you are actually there so so what. RHIFFAU AR Y CHWYTH! Cais i Gymru, na beth spon, Cymru yn enill eto.

    Get on google translate you philistaic hearthens if you don’t understand what I just said I did, like, mun.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent article on bank reform from the fascinating Rowenna Davis:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/01/campaign-money-banks-ethical

  • Janiete

    You are right to raise this as it demonstrates a blatant abuse of our democratic parliamentary system; the first being the deliberate denial before the election of any intention to  change the NHS.

    And how it is possible for an MP or Member of the Lords to vote on a policy where they have received funding from interested parties, or have financial interests in the issue themselves?  In Local Government this is classed as corruption.

    In the current spirit of putting right abuses of power, I hope the Labour Party will get issues like this in its sights.
     

  • Anonymous

    Are we agreeing again! That was sort of my point the other day when I was on about “ponzi” schemes. If we don’t have a nationally standardised service then people will be resentful as you say. But lets say all the people, doctors etc are wrong and Lansley magics us a better service at a lower price – does that mean we get lower national insurance? Of course not, because they are using that money for other things, its just a tax now. It is not as Beveridge intended.

    Yes, the American system has none of the advantages of the NHS or the German or Scandi systems – yet it doesn’t even have American advantages either of competition, they can’t even compete across state lines! Its effectively a subsidy to big insurers.

  • Michele

     How on earth can Landsley ‘magic* us a better service at a lower price’ when there is now profit to be funded, even prioritised?

    I haven’t needed to see my GP for three years (seen Practice Nurse for travel injections and blood tests) but am diligent about dental check-ups. 

    Any savings that previous ministers made due to healthy twerps like myself were spent on improvements in other areas, not creamed off for foreign investors.  How can profits being lost to such sharks give us the BEST service that ALL our input has been and will be funding?

    I recently heard an American businessman on radio claiming that the buying power of the NHS meant that it was buying an American-made pacemaker at one-fourteenth of the price that American hospitals paid for it.  The future LHSs will not have that elbow. 

    Practice groups have already started hiring services from the likes of KPMG, having discovered what they’d wrongly presumed about the work of PCTs was easy peasy.  Will KPMG acquire our NHS’s buying power?

    You know fine well that this is only happening because of the 100-seat majority that the LibDems enabled (which the country had not), you know the chance of an earlier election than 2015 is big fat zero and you know this is about breaking up the family silver to sell it off to fatcats that will not even be identifiable

    There is one group that should stop this rot and there are 57 of them and they will do nothing; sealing their future candidacies as Tory MPs.

  • Michele

    Liz Kendall and David Owen both brilliantly against
    during half hour pre-PMQs

    http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/pfsjx/daily-politics–08022012 

    Three of the Gang of Four now overtly against what the pretenders to liberalism and democracy are enabling; I don’t think there’s much need to speculate about how the fourth, the late Roy Jenkins would feel.

  • Anonymous

    Michele I hope you realise that me talking about Lansley magicking us a better service was purely hypothetical in order to make my point about NI?

    There will be no magic coming from Lansley other than perhaps a vanishing act.

    I believe in capitalism, freedom, choice, competition, efficiency and all those things BUT: I have always received a better service from the NHS than I have received from private suppliers of just about anything (not just health). I don’t want Ryanair, Tescos, RBS, Vauxhall or ExxonMobil running the health services.

  • Michele

     Ahhhh, sorry, I’ve read so much from you recently about  your mistrust of minimum wage and your faith in uber capitalism and forcing prices down everywhere including those places that are just starting to pull themselves out of centuries of poverty and etc etc etc that it didn’t cross my mind you were TiC.

  • Anonymous

    You sure this was all me? I have pointed out the cons of minimum wage, as well as recognising it has pros too.

    Have I been writing about putting prices down in places just pulling themselves out of poverty?? I do believe in putting prices down as it happens in such places but don’t remember writing about it! If I was in Africa and wanted to buy a car and some fuel for it… I’d want prices to come down.
    If I was in a worse place… I’d want the price of food to come down.

    I think I make as many points on here from (what is considered a) left wing position as right, for example I am consistently anti-banker.

  • Ehtch

    S4C’s full coverage available on their version of i-player here, Clic, for all those ethustiastically into old european languages, and of our Brit Isle, da iawn yes. The Great Gareth Edwards one of the punters. Available UK only, not only Cymru,
    http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/e_level2.shtml?programme_id=502921786

  • Michele

     The point is that pricing becomes universal.  Trade has to happen all round the world in order for any levelling to happen and while our greediest retailer/s insist on their 5 or more times landed cost for their SP it means someone somewhere is being forced to work for less than subsistence wages, no sick pay, no HP and no CB (let alone no school for their family).  Insisting on cheapness is not allowing for the right priorities.  People being able to do work that’s fulfilling in itself as well as for its pay is where we should be heading, not towards cheap cheap cheap and nasty with no fulfilment anywhere down the line.  Inhale …….   Where is the moral in freight, duty and storage being bigger components of CP and then multiplied by the same rate for SP? …. pop

  • Anonymous

    Words to narrow now to discuss Michele! Pick it up on a later blog!

  • Michele

    ‘Drop the Health Bill’ e-petition is now up to nearly 59,000 from nearly 47,000 on Tuesday night !

    epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670     

    opened by Dr Kailash Chand OBE 

  • Mike Sivier

    The longer this goes on, the more convinced I become that the Health and Social Care Bill is Cameron and Lansley’s vanity project – their attempt to do something historic. It’s a shame their idea of ‘historic’ involves dismantling Britain’s proudest institution.
    I wrote a blog about it here: http://wp.me/p262ZD-3c

  • Michele

    Dr Chand opened his petition almost a month ago, it closes next Thursday. Lansley’s bill looks set to become law at the end of March.“Drop the Health Bill”
    Responsible department: Department of Health
    “Calls on the Government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.”

    Sign this petition

    Number of signatures:   63,204Created by: Dr Kailash Chand OBE Closing: 16/05/2012
    ——————————-

    An example of the misinfo doing the rounds (inspired by pro-private Americans interfering) :
    http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=18682
    someone has posted about an incident that happened in 2001, only 4yrs in to Labour working on what had happened during the preceding 18.

     

  • Michele

    Dr Chand opened his petition almost a month ago, it closes next Thursday. Lansley’s bill looks set to become law at the end of March.“Drop the Health Bill”
    Responsible department: Department of Health
    “Calls on the Government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.”

    Sign this petition

    Number of signatures:   63,204Created by: Dr Kailash Chand OBE Closing: 16/05/2012
    ——————————-

    An example of the misinfo doing the rounds (inspired by pro-private Americans interfering) :
    http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=18682
    someone has posted about an incident that happened in 2001, only 4yrs in to Labour working on what had happened during the preceding 18.

     

  • Patrick Stuart

    Alastair Campbell, you`re a has-been blight on this country, an inveterate lying bully who`s a stranger to truth. The Labour Party you are still pathetically spinning for is composed largely of a bunch of opportunist, untalented unreal people. As a tragic person I`m sure you remember but would prefer co forget once perceptively but chillingly remarked, referring to the New Labour cabinet, “There are many dark actors out there”. The Labour Party was a  20th Century patsy of the Trade Union movement that in its earlier forms may have occasionally done some genuine good but is now bereft of sincerity, talent and imagination, is well past its sell-by date and should be fumigated so that no dangerous strands remain, labelled “Failed Adventurism” and consigned to the dustbin of history. The only thing I like and respect about you, Mr. Campbell is your piping ability. Please just stick to that and your football and spare us all your evil political influence.    

  • Patrick Stuart

    Alastair Campbell, you`re a has-been blight on this country, an inveterate lying bully who`s a stranger to truth. The Labour Party you are still pathetically spinning for is composed largely of a bunch of opportunist, untalented unreal people. As a tragic person I`m sure you remember but would prefer co forget once perceptively but chillingly remarked, referring to the New Labour cabinet, “There are many dark actors out there”. The Labour Party was a  20th Century patsy of the Trade Union movement that in its earlier forms may have occasionally done some genuine good but is now bereft of sincerity, talent and imagination, is well past its sell-by date and should be fumigated so that no dangerous strands remain, labelled “Failed Adventurism” and consigned to the dustbin of history. The only thing I like and respect about you, Mr. Campbell is your piping ability. Please just stick to that and your football and spare us all your evil political influence.    

  • Michele

     

    Can we see your credentials please?

  • Michele

     I need new specs !
    The fifth month isn’t ‘Next Thursday’, cough.

    However, given that the e-petition’s expiry is two months after it will have gone in to law things are still pretty urgent.

  • Michele

    Someone posted recently about admiring the Sham for having set up the e-petitions project (100k signatures meaning an issue has to be timetabled for more discussion).

    Discussion vs its length or likely outcome isn’t necessarily a reason to be optimistic. 
    Should we be cynical about its promise having been tripped up very early on?
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/09/committee_cannot_debate_epetitions_without_more_time/
    Sham = good cop, Timetablers = bad cops

    Dr Chand’s petition has grown by 20k in the past week though :
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670

  • Michele

     

    WOW !!!  The petition’s now grown by 40k since I first saw it via Janiete’s link here.

  • Michele

    There’s something else that seems to being recognised now as a car-crash.  Academy Primaries.
    Programme now on R4 will be on iPlayer from  8.30pm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01by8nr

    Primaries are being made Academy status under Gove with no paper trail at all, they are given no explanations, told over the phone and it happens.

    My neighbour is a Primary teacher with nearly 20yrs experience, her school went ‘academy’ about 6m ago.  They now have six ‘terms’ (as opposed to six halves) and each new ‘term’ there are two half-day sessions that are inspected and assessed (with no mark higher than ‘satisfactory’).  The people doing these assessments are not members of staff there and their own qualifications are not declared. She says the paperwork now is mind-boggling (as well as doubting anyone consults the forms anyway …. giving no feedback if they do).

    The CEO of the particular academies group went on hols to Australia last summer, met someone at a dinner party and appointed her as a teacher at this school.  She has no UK-recognised teaching qualifications and was not interviewed by a board as used to be the case.

    It’s all feeling more and more like thuggery.

  • Michele

    There’s something else that seems to being recognised now as a car-crash.  Academy Primaries.
    Programme now on R4 will be on iPlayer from  8.30pm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01by8nr

    Primaries are being made Academy status under Gove with no paper trail at all, they are given no explanations, told over the phone and it happens.

    My neighbour is a Primary teacher with nearly 20yrs experience, her school went ‘academy’ about 6m ago.  They now have six ‘terms’ (as opposed to six halves) and each new ‘term’ there are two half-day sessions that are inspected and assessed (with no mark higher than ‘satisfactory’).  The people doing these assessments are not members of staff there and their own qualifications are not declared. She says the paperwork now is mind-boggling (as well as doubting anyone consults the forms anyway …. giving no feedback if they do).

    The CEO of the particular academies group went on hols to Australia last summer, met someone at a dinner party and appointed her as a teacher at this school.  She has no UK-recognised teaching qualifications and was not interviewed by a board as used to be the case.

    It’s all feeling more and more like thuggery.

  • Michele

    There’s something else that seems to being recognised now as a car-crash.  Academy Primaries.
    Programme now on R4 will be on iPlayer from  8.30pm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01by8nr

    Primaries are being made Academy status under Gove with no paper trail at all, they are given no explanations, told over the phone and it happens.

    My neighbour is a Primary teacher with nearly 20yrs experience, her school went ‘academy’ about 6m ago.  They now have six ‘terms’ (as opposed to six halves) and each new ‘term’ there are two half-day sessions that are inspected and assessed (with no mark higher than ‘satisfactory’).  The people doing these assessments are not members of staff there and their own qualifications are not declared. She says the paperwork now is mind-boggling (as well as doubting anyone consults the forms anyway …. giving no feedback if they do).

    The CEO of the particular academies group went on hols to Australia last summer, met someone at a dinner party and appointed her as a teacher at this school.  She has no UK-recognised teaching qualifications and was not interviewed by a board as used to be the case.

    It’s all feeling more and more like thuggery.

  • Zoeypier

    I do hope it will be the end of this nasty Government, who have no heart and making severe cuts too fast.  I cannot wait for the day to see them crying and walking out of Number 10 Downing streets,