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Psychiatrists heading for relegation in ‘disease prestige’ league table

Posted on 11 June 2009 | 10:06am

I promised an update on my morning with the psychiatrists in Sedgefield, and I really really tried to get it to you yesterday. Don’t blame me. Blame something called Globetrotter Connect on my laptop. Whichever bits of the globe it was connected to, they didn’t include any of the bits where I was trotting and […]

The shrinks await

Posted on 10 June 2009 | 9:06am

Knocking this off very quickly before heading to a conference in the North East to make a speech on mental health. So before too long I will be in a room full of psychiatrists, in Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield. With the BBC leading on a report suggesting real pressure on NHS finances in […]

As Obama fights for healthcare, let’s celebrate the record here

Posted on 9 June 2009 | 12:06pm

My God, is it really fifteen years since Hillary Clinton’s efforts to deliver universal healthcare for Americans were defeated in the US Congress? The same year Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party? A lot has happened in both countries since. And as Barack Obama takes off where the wife of his predecessor but one […]

Anger at BNP seats must be turned into activism

Posted on 8 June 2009 | 2:06pm

There is a tendency for everyone in politics, both politicians and commentators, to make single sweeping judgements based upon what ultimately are a myriad complicated reasons that swing votes one way or another. So for Labour politicians doing the media rounds last night, getting hit hard by the expenses scandal became the most common attempt […]

Can today be as frenzied as Friday?

Posted on 7 June 2009 | 10:06am

There is a downside to political frenzy for the political journalists who feed on it. That is that the higher you crank it up, the harder it is to keep cranking higher. There has barely been a day in recent times in which there has not been a TV talking head saying he/she had never known a day […]

Take heart from a win in Lambeth

Posted on 6 June 2009 | 6:06pm

Staring at the depressing blue map being painted as a result of Thursday’s elections, I thought I would share with you a story that bucked the trend, and which illustrates what a difference strong local campaigning, issues based, can make. The story is of a by-election in Princes ward in Lambeth, where turnout was almost […]

JP is right there was no proper campaign but Tories still weak

Posted on 5 June 2009 | 1:06pm

I might not express myself in exactly the same way as John Prescott, but it is hard to disagree with his assessment on the Go Fourth website that there was a lack of proper campaigning in the run up to yesterday’s elections. I also agree with John that the responsibility for that cannot solely be […]

Do we care more about the NHS or moats?

Posted on 4 June 2009 | 12:06am

I’ll come on to ‘vote Labour’ in a moment, but first …. It’s amazing how quickly your spirits can be restored if you get outside the noise of the Westminster media bubble. I mentioned yesterday I was on my way to a mental health conference in Hull, part of ‘Business Week’ on Humberside. My event […]

Guardian of social justice or attention-seeker?

Posted on 3 June 2009 | 10:06am

Up early and off to Hull for a mental health conference. Having caught the end of Newsnight, I was thinking it would be good for my own mental health if I avoided the papers, but it is impossible to escape the bombardment of the media age when travelling.  Airports are the worst. 24 hour news […]

Who says Britain can’t deliver the best?

Posted on 2 June 2009 | 8:06am

You can have all the factual analysis you want, but sometimes major government decisions have to rely on the instinct of the major figures in the government. Whether or not to go for the Olympics in 2012 was one such decision.  As I record in my diaries (page 657) we were getting all sorts of […]