Sunday, 26 February 2012
The Labour Party seems to have forgotten that they were pro-choice in the NHS and wanted private companies to tender for NHS work. Now they seem to be against it. Obviously they feel that the latest bill is a step too far but I just haven't heard any detail because Labour is too busy scoring points about David Cameron's "no top down reorganisation of the NHS".
Labour don't mind privatising parts of the NHS and this may be a vote winner for them but it is almost certainly a vote winner for the Tories. Both of these parties will tell us that the NHS is free at the point of access and safe in their hands but is it right that private companies can hive off one small section and work it for a profit? So if there are amendments that limit the break up of the NHS workforce I think it is fair to say that they come from the Liberal Democrats. The problem is that this message is not clear. We can only assume that Liberal Democrats are making these amendments because ministers bear collective responsibility and they can’t tell us which bits they don’t like.
It is nice to hear politicians from all parties telling us that the NHS is safe. The trouble is that NHS morale is low and the service cannot be as safe as it was on these grounds alone. Whether the details of the bill are good or not sounds like the basis for a thesis but headlines are made by the general acceptance or rejection by the professional bodies and they are rejecting it.
David Cameron is certainly wrong about the importance of choice within the NHS. He is right about choice if this means that those who can afford it get private treatment but those who seek care within the NHS don't want choice. They want a good local service. They don’t care if the ambulance is private or public. They don’t want to choose between a doctor in the local hospital or one who does a similar job twenty miles away.
You may not be able to tell where Liberal Democrats are able to amend the bill but they were doing the same job in opposition when Labour were busy doing their bit setting up private organisations e.g. the privatisation of the out of hours service for GPs which has been a disaster. The current bill is significantly different from that which was originally proposed, and which would have been a Conservative disaster if the Conservatives had been able to do just whatever they wanted.
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Wednesday, 22 February 2012
I recently signed an e-petition to accelerate the Liberal Democrat proposals to raise the tax-free threshold to £10,000. Not only do I believe in tax cuts for those who are less well off, but I also appreciate that I can participate in this e-petition and affect governmental procedures. You can add your name at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28640
Another e-petition was set up by Anne Williams whose son died at Hillsborough. I would certainly have added my name if I had heard about it, as according to the people around him Kevin died at around 4pm and according to the authorities he died before 3.15pm. Time matters, as does cause of death, because something could have been done to save Kevin's life.
All Hillsborough deaths were recorded as accidental and all deaths occurred before 3.15pm, but why would the authorities get things so wrong on something that mattered so much? The answer is easy. They were covering their backs. They did not want to be held responsible for fatal errors.
The MP for Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram reckons that this cover-up was "literally their get out of jail free card". Evidence is mounting. Today I saw an interview with one of those who carried Kevin's stretcher and I also saw an interview with the policewoman who was with him when he died. I believe them when they tell me he died around 4pm.
We all know that huge errors were made and those who made the decisions will have to live with that responsibility for the rest of their lives. However, to me it is much more serious to organise a conspiracy which leads to three requests for inquests being turned down and to 23 years of frustration.Change the world
Sunday, 19 February 2012
I have never smoked so give me a cigarette and the skill of letting it hang from my mouth would be quite eventful. Multiply that by a hundred if you asked me to light it. Then ask me to drive and the risks increase again. I would have to put the ash somewhere and each time I concentrate on the cigarette I am not thinking about driving.
As for the difficulty policing, it is just as difficult to monitor the use of a mobile phone as it is smoking. There is also no difference between the two if the car is not moving. It is easy to pull over to make a call or to smoke. It is not so easy to have a 'hands-free' cigarette.
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Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Hospitals need to be large to be efficient. Similarly G.P. surgeries have to be larger and share facilities with other surgeries. On-call is apparently cheaper if it is run by another organisation. Services are open to tender because this is apparently more efficient. Private companies come in to take over shortfalls in waiting lists, so surgeons may be brought in from the other side of the world. At another level ancillary services may go to private companies.
Patients want a local service in which they see doctors and nurses that they know. They don't want to explain their symptoms every time they meet another member of staff. They want continuity of care. They want NHS staff to listen to them.
Last week the local A&E only wanted people to turn up if it was absolutely necessary. The bad weather had caused more car accidents and more people to fall. I say local A&E, but there used to be one a lot closer. Another A&E within this area closed too and the one that remained didn't want anyone (my definition of absolute may be different from theirs).
I get the impression that opposition to NHS reforms is based on GPs having more administrative tasks. The opposition is nothing to do with getting a local service from someone who knows you and someone who will listen.
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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Maybe I am wrong and Fabio took the job with his eyes open. Maybe Fabio knew he couldn't name the captain or speak his mind. Let's hope the next manager is able to say what he thinks and manage the whole team.
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P.S. I just posted the blog and this quote came on TV from Fabio's son: "For the time being we are not going to say anything because that is the agreement we have with the FA". It wasn't constructive dismissal then. It was a compromise agreement.
P.P.S. The main article on the news is Fabio's 'resignation'. It seems that he told the Italian press that the FA insulted him and damaged his authority. Now Fabio and his son claim this quote is not true. That's just what would happen with a compromise agreement. I wonder how much this mistake cost the FA!
Ann is looking for the Government to change to a system in which pensioners have to ask for the benefit or only give it to pensioners earning less than £40,000 or £50,000. The problem with the former is that pride comes into play as well as other aspects which make the system unfair. The problem with the latter is that safety nets cause poverty traps.
My impression is that those with earnings of £40.000 are not going to die from the cold but I could be wrong. There may be many who fall into Mr Micawber's misery category. "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery".
Pensioners do die of cold and Ann tells us that inadequate heating contributes to the death of thousands. She doesn't like the idea of millionaires getting the government handouts and neither do I. There may be some millionaires who are miserable according to Mr Micawber but they won't get much sympathy.
There are clearly arguments on all sides of this particular benefit debate. Ann may well be right in supporting a cap on winter heating benefits however I can see more arguments against the cap on all benefits and this is a debate which sounds like it could save the government a lot more money.
Monday, 6 February 2012
If Fabio has been involved with the FA decision to take the captaincy off John Terry then he must have been outvoted. In this case the manager must not have responsibility for naming the captain and that begs the question how much responsibility does he have? I would guess not much. The other scenario is that he was not party to the decision. In this case he is being criticised for expressing his view. If David Davies is right and Fabio can't do this then we have a gagging clause on the England manager.
The news is about John Terry but for me it says we have an England manager who either can't speak his mind or lacks responsibility.
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Sunday, 5 February 2012
If I were in the ferry business it would make sense for me to place my business where it could be accessed by many. I have campaigned for a link road for years, along with the Liberal Democrats who were the lone voice for its support, and they took losses in the council chamber for the sake of supporting the link road. What a pity all those voters who work at Heysham docks did not see this coming as they may have voted to save their jobs.
I don't want to claim the whole support for the link road comes from the Liberal Democrats as there are other elected officials who now support the link road but a vociferous opposition has meant delay upon delay which now looks like causing a further loss of jobs for the Heysham peninsula.
Change the world
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Zebra crossings are much friendlier crossings. Drivers aren't forced to stop but generally do and it is also much quicker for pedestrians who don't get fed up waiting for the lights to change.
I don't normally use sentences with double negatives but as well as Zebra crossings being friendlier you will never have to stop for nobody at them.
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