Tuesday, 3 January 2012

"Political leadership": bias lurks in Healthcare Challenges letter

Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph carried a letter with 63 signatories laying out the breaking-points in the NHS and care services. The key phrase, picked up by news bulletins, was: "We have a duty to change this – but it requires political leadership".

True, but any health-workers of a certain vintage can tell you that these systems didn’t suddenly break down in May 2010. (For example, Wendy Whittle, testifying to the inquiry into the massacre at Stafford General Hospital, started by detailing how members of the Health Trust’s Patient and Public Involvement Forum were forbidden to discuss MRSA until the 2005 general election.) What’s different now is that the rolling disaster is too big to hide; but looking at some of the letter’s signatories is rewarding.

signatory: not politically biased?At 61 of 63 is John Hannet of the USDAW union, whose house magazine last year accused the English Defence League of helping the BNP stir up racism. [Check out the EDL's mission statement here] Two places behind is Brendan Barber of the TUC, whose aims are advancement of a hard-left agenda when Labour is in power and régime-change when it isn’t. The Fabian Society 9no 25), on the other hand, is committed to achieving Socialism by a slower attrition.signatory: not politically biased?

Of the three Crossbench Peers represented, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton isn’t just a disability campaigner but also a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and would therefore help foreign criminals stay here because they’ve bought a cat, and former social-worker Molly Meacher chose as her title Baroness Meacher of Spitalfields, which is an area in Tower Hamlets – ‘nuff said.

The letter makes some salient points, but lays many years’ failings at the feet of people who haven’t been in charge for two; and I have to ask whether all the non-political signatories saw the letter in its final form when they signed.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

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