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Amid all the wedding excitement, I hope Ed Miliband sees Howard Stoate’s piece in The Guardian

Posted on 29 April 2011 | 8:04am

I know Ed Miliband has other things to do today, what with being, unlike TB and GB, at the wedding … (I’m loving Huw Edwards getting excited about the dress) … but I do hope he sees the response by Howard Stoate to David Cameron’s ‘calm down dear’ moment.

Stoate, a qualified GP, is the former Labour MP whose support for the NHS reforms Cameron prayed in aid at PMQs on Wednesday. His piece in The Guardian exposes the full extent to which his remarks had been taken out of context by the ‘entirely misleading’ Prime Minister.

Clearly part of the government’s ‘Lansley pause’ fightback strategy is for the government to seek to build support within the professions, where thus far there seems to be precious little. But that cause is harmed when the PM tries to cite evidence of such support which falls apart at the slightest of scrutiny.

As I said yesterday, the patronising gibe at Angela Eagle was less important than the reasons why he was in the state of mind to make it. He is worried about these reforms, and has every reason to be so.

There are always plenty of options for the Opposition leader when PMQs comes around. But what the professionals really think of the NHS reforms is a rich seam, and Howard Stoate has added to it today.

  • Olli Issakainen

    David Cameron is all too often inaccurate at PMQs. And on economy he is especially economical with truth blaming Labour for everything.
    But as IFS has stated, Britain´s public finances were in better shape before the financial crisis than under John Major. (I just saw Major arriving at the wedding.)
    Both the debt and deficit were lower, so it is time to stop this “all Labour´s fault” mantra which, of course, is part of the Tories´ political strategy. Official ONS, Treasury and OECD statistics tell the truth about the economy.
    Scotland´s First Minister Alex Salmond said on Question Time that the NHS is facing destruction in England because of privatisation. (Now I spotted Boris Johnson.)
    Even though public support for Scottish independence in only 30%, I am 99.99% certain that Scotland will soon become independent.
    As an Anglophile, I am hugely interested in the royalty. (William Hague arrives, Ed Miliband too – now Nick Clegg and George Osborne.) The Royal Wedding is live on TV here in Finland. (David Cameron arrives.)

  • Robert

    Like millions of others I will be flying the flag today for our royal couple and wish them well.

    The same flag that flew at half mast when my parents died – one last month and one last May.

    The same flag that flew at half mast when Diana died – that’s why it’s looking so very tatty now.

    The etiquette (twisted logic, actually) that prevented Buckingham Palace lowering the sovereign’s standard in 1997 when Diana died was as alien to the British people then as is their twisted etiquette refusing to invite TB and GB to the wedding today.

    Silly, really.

  • Gilliebc

    Re: The Wedding. Kate/Catherine looked beautiful, as we knew she would.
    Loved the dress. A very pretty wedding all in all. A pleasant way to spend a Friday morning, watching the toffs strutting their stuff. Personally, I didn’t feel the same sense of excitment that surrounded Charles and Diana’s wedding almost 30 years ago. But, maybe that’s because I’m older and hopefully a little bit wiser know. I’m certainly better informed now and sadly this has also made me a lot more cynical! watching all the “little plebs.” (no offence intended) being allowed to wave at the “important” people, doesn’t sit easily with me any more. Never the less I wish the young newlyweds well and hope they will be very happy together.
    Harry seemed to be getting on rather well with the chief bridesmaid! (Kate’s sister) don’t know whether or not she is “spoken for” but, maybe watch this space?

  • Gilliebc

    Forgot to say in my previous post, of course Tony Blair should have been invited to the wedding. He was PM for 10 years! There was some speculation yesterday evening on a news channel, I think, can’t remember which one that William was annoyed about something TB had written about him, in his book.
    But whatever the reason was, it was very bad form and will not be forgotten.

  • Gilliebc

    Apart from the content of your post OI which I wholeheartedly agree with. I really liked the way it was written i.e. with one eye on the telly watching the guests arrive and giving them a mention in your post. Great stuff.

  • Anonymous

    “…will not be forgotten” indeed and what exactly do you plan to do about the snub? I assume that if you’re married or have been that you had a say in who was invited?
    Don’t let a wedding get in the way of a good conspiracy theory!

  • Richard

    “Dr Stoate, who wishes to carry on in his job as a GP, says calls for MPs to give up outside work has left him with no choice but to resign.

    The Labour MP who was elected in 1997 said: “It is clear from the tenor of recent debates in the Commons and from the position taken by senior figures within the Parliamentary Labour Party with regard to the outside work of MPs that this position is no longer tenable. ”
    28/7/09 – News Shopper Dartford

    Google it Al, and reconsider your posting.

    So a Labour MP with a 706 majority stood down 10 months before the last election………um, rats leaving sinking ships in favour of gravy trains?

    Stoate’s original letter is ceratinly setting Bexley as a model for the rest of the country. Re-read it.

  • Guest

    Stoate, “a qualified GP”. What other sort of GP is there – idiot!

  • Quinney

    Ally, considering that TB probably saved the monarchy after Diana’s death in helping them to communicate with the public, what are your views on TB and GB not being invited?
    Is it the Palace or is it Cameron being vindictive?

  • Quinney

    re the fly past today for the wedding, can we only afford the BoB flight and two Typhoons plus two Tornados when our future King gets wed? Are defence cuts that bad? When Labour was in power we had the largest ever fly over in 2008;

    and in 2002 we had Concorde and the Red Arrows;

  • Gilliebc

    I didn’t think my post was ambiguous in any way. But, to clarify just for you “Victor” I do not plan to do anything about it. When I said it will not be forgotten I simply meant in the grand scheme of things.
    As for “conspiracy theory” no of course not. I repeat Tony Blair was our PM for 10 years. He was publicly snubbed by the Royal Family. It could set a precident with consequences in the future. That is not a good thing.
    It was a wrong and petty decision on the part of the Royal Family who do not compare in any shape or form with decisions made be ordinary people on who or who not they invite to their weddings. There is no comparison.
    The Royal Family should have done the right thing in respect of a former long-serving PM. They invited foreign “dignatories” and (some iffy) celebs.
    It’s not about who they “wanted” there it’s about who should have been there. The Royal Family are supposed to be above such pettiness and if you don’t know this “Victor” then you certainly don’t know how the system works.

  • Gilliebc

    There’s only one idiot on this page and that’s you Guest/coward.

  • Gilliebc

    OMG I’ve just discovered “Guest” is in fact Richard. My previous comment still stands, with knobs on!

  • Dave Simons

    As John Ball and Wat Tyler discovered to their cost in 1381, the monarchy has never been politically neutral, although in fairness to the very young Richard II it was the surrounding opportunist creeps and toadies who did all the dirty work in putting down that peasants’ revolt. More recently Edward VIII was hardly being politically neutral when he flirted with the Nazis and would probably have facilitated an invasion if he’d not abdicated. The present ‘county family’, which the current New Statesman aptly calls ‘The Firm’, has shown itself to be talented in one thing alone – self-preservation. But then I suppose that when money’s no object you can afford to buy up some first-rate marketing and PR people to dupe the public. And of course charity rather than the sword is the big weapon they use nowadays to keep themselves secure. Throw in the occasional walkabout and what more is needed?
    In AC’s diaries there is mention of an incident where Diana Spencer visited the Hackney home of a former Blackburn lad who I was at college with, and she helped with the dishes! It must have been a liberating experience for her, and I wish that liberating experience on the rest of the Royals. I think they should be liberated from the institution of monarchy and allowed to lead normal lives instead of all this carnival of undeserved sycophancy.
    Which, incidentally Gillie, I avoided yesterday by crossing the Peak District and visiting Jodrell Bank, with its new, recently-opened visitor centre on the beautiful Cheshire Plain. I managed to forget the proximity of George Osborne’s upmarket constituency of Tatton and concentrate only the sheer awesomeness of life on this little ball in space. There were lots of visitors too – young and old – which shows that there really are other Englands than the totalitarian one described by our grovelling media.

  • Anonymous

    I agree Gillie, he wasn’t the only iffy celeb not to be asked, they also snubbed good old Gordon. You make it sound like the Home Office should decide on the guest list……

  • Simon

    I think perhaps it was Cherie who wasn’t wanted. Fair enough, all things considered.

  • Ianjames82

    Outrageous that TB and GB were not invited. If Cameron influenced this, it is further evidence of his growing insecurity. When he took office he displayed some necessary (given his tenuous personal mandate to lead the nation) humility, but recently that has gone out of the window and we’re beginning to see the real DC. Whether he’s asserting publicly that he IS the PM and thereby personally gives us all permission to have street parties, blocking GB from taking new positions of influence, patronising shadow ministers Bullingdon Club style, or not allowing TB or GB to attend a wedding, it all seems pretty symptomatic of an insecure narcissist sensing his grip loosening.

  • Anonymous

    Gillie my answer seemed to get lost in the blogosphere so, I’ll rekey it just for you!
    You’re correct of course, there were other iffy people left out as well as TB, good old Gordon to name just one. I get the impression that perhaps you would have preferred the guest list to be drawn up by the Home Office and Foreign Office without reference to the family…..

  • Ehtch

    My favorite RAF photo, due to a bit of farming being involved too. The tractor is called a Fergie bach, in Wales, and the aircraft is called an English Electric Lightning, having some, ahem!, terminal problems after trying to land.

    Genuine picture from the 1960’s, I should know, was shown it several times as an avionics technician in the RAF in the 1980’s.

  • Quinney

    Thanks for that. There’s still an English Electric Lightning outside the BAE factory at Samlesbury in Lancashire and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is now officially the Lightning II

  • Richard

    “….I’ve just discovered “Guest” is in fact Richard……”, and you must be a tabloid journalist, wide of the mark as usual. Please do not hesitate to apologise, Gillie.

  • Nicky

    Royal weddings are, I suppose, a symbol of national unity – and yet I couldn’t help but feel that the absence of TB and GB undermined that to a regrettably large extent. (Apparently their non-invitations were not decided by William and Kate, although they had a say in who of their personal acquaintances were invited.) I did feel that this snub really undid the genuine efforts of the Queen over her long reign to stay non-partisan. According to the Guardian, the blame lay with ‘courtier lunacy’. It felt like a snub to Labour itself and its supporters, as if the only role of the ‘plebs’ was to be forelock-tugging peasants cheering on their betters. Like Gillie, I felt struck by how differently I felt about this wedding, compared to the genuine high and sense of involvement I remember feeling about Charles and Diana’s wedding back in 1981.

    I can’t escape the disturbing feeling that our ConDem overlords have decided to try and re-run the 80s and think that a feel-good royal wedding is just what we need to distract us from the horrendous damage they’re doing to the UK. They really do think we’re that thick and gullible. We’re not.

  • Gilliebc

    Such a very interesting post Dave. I vaguely remember learning about the peasants’ revolt at school, but didn’t quite grasp its significance at that time. I do now though! As for Edward V111, I do wonder if his abdication was more about his Nazi afiliations than it was ever about the American woman Wallis Simpson. Quite handy really her coming on the scene at that time. For everyone. As for the Royals and charity. Well they can fool some people, some of the time etc. The sustainable prince! I was about to write lol, but there is nothing funny about it. Regarding the late Diana, I don’t understand that someone like her that came from the “top drawer” as they say, was so naive and lacking in knowledge about the way things are currently run. Poor young woman. Yesterday as I watched the Middletons riding in a carriage with Charles and Camilla, I thought how “untidy” things would have been for them yesterday if Diana was still alive! That college mate of your’s that Diana called in on, I expect he was a little bit chuffed, hopefully without being sycophantic. If Diana had wanted a more normal life, then she didn’t marry the right bloke.
    Glad you enjoyed your day in the Peak District. I was hoping you would write about it and you have and then some. There is nothing like the great outdoors for putting things into perspective. You are right about the media Dave, both here and the USA they are controlled to such an extent that the public is being brainwashed and controlled like never before and the really frightening thing is that the majority of people are totally unaware of it. In fact most of them seem to lap it up. They are going to be in for a big shock in the not too distant future, assuming of course that it even registors with most of them.

  • Gilliebc

    Good post Nicky. I was glad to hear it wasn’t just me feeling less than enchanted.

  • Gilliebc

    Richard, I saw that comment on your Disqus page last night, before it was transferred to “Guest”
    However I do genuinely apologise for “outing” you. I should have exercised more self-restraint. It must be Karma for you being so rude and “hostile” (your word) to me the other day for no good reason. For which I didn’t expect or get a hint of an apology.

  • Anonymous

    Blogger Dan McCurry was listening to the BBC radio’s World Today on Friday, and heard Coleen Harris (former PR manager to Prince William, Henry and Charles) say something very illuminating:

    When asked how many of those 1,900 guests does she think were invited by the couple themselves, she replied, “I think that several hundred were personal guests, close family, close friends, and some others that they wanted to acknowledge. William’s charities are represented, alongside members of his household. For Kate, people from her local village. But they also have to take into account that it is a public event, so they took advice from government and invited heads of mission and some other dignitaries as well.”

    Ms Harris’s background would suggest that she knows her stuff extremely well and how these things operate. Meanwhile, Downing Street have so far been pretending to be surprised about the Blair/Brown snub, letting it look as if it’s the Royals themselves to blame. I would imagine the Queen will not be impressed about this when she sees Dave for their regular meeting on Wednesday evening.

  • Burnellfamily

    MODERATOR- Could you please approach this person to inform them that I did not post the comment calling AC an idiot.

  • Ehtch

    The pilot survived by the way, thanks to the usual Martin-Baker company ejection seat – a marvellous british company they were, they even designed a piston fighter at the end of WWII that was even better than the Spitfire, but the jet engine came along.

    And the Fergie bach tractor driver is still in shock, after all these years.

  • Ehtch

    Further to my above/below, the Martin-Baker MB5, a heck of a piston powered aircraft, from 1944,

  • SG

    Spot on !, TB is one thing but his repulsive wife, would anyone seriously want her at their wedding ?