Monday, September 27, 2004

 

Proxy confessions.

Where on earth would we be without the Dutch? I have no idea. First of all they create the pioneering ISP xs4all, then they create this website will change your life.

Why don't you make sure your MP's name is on the internet using this or if you know your elected representative has been misbehaving you confess on thier behalf before they have enough time to announce that they're going to spend some time with thier family.

Just keep refreshing the confession page till you find something appropriate.


Monday, September 20, 2004

 

Britain reducing military forces in Iraq?

Well this is surprising. 24 hours after the PM says we're now fighting a new war in Iraq The Observer says the UK is going to reduce it's fighting force by a third when the troops routine rotation occurs in October.


Friday, September 10, 2004

 

Thought for the day.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

 

Favicon madness.

The Frank Dobson photo I stolen aquired from Fax Your MP (top left) as a favicon makes 'Our Frank' look a tad too much like a hamster. Mind you only those using Internet Explorer 5 or Mozilla Firefox will be able to see it. Will do something to rectify it in the next few days.

The favicon remark hopefully gives me just enough of a tenuous excuse to exhibit the latest t-shirt from Mark Perryman's Philosophy Football that I found on Cll Bob Pipers blog (via) UK political blog aggregator.
Cllr Bob comments: 'The man is on £4 million a year!'

I wouldn't go that far Bob. If my memory serves me right Philosophy Football had a £70K turnover about 5 years ago. Not bad for the CPGB's former Marketing Director of the loss-making Marxism Today.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

 

A visit from Bulwell Community Toy Library.

A delegation from Nottingham's Bulwell Community Toy Library (BCTL) visited Frank Dobson and patron cum local MP Graham Allen at the House of Commons. The delegation consisted of parent/volunteer committee members to commemorate the 25th anniversary of BCTL which:

'...has grown to be a shining example of good practice throughout the UK and is recognised in the government's National Play Review, headed by former Health Minister Frank Dobson...'
(Source: Hucknall Today.)


Friday, August 13, 2004

 

NHS reforms hit.

Seeing that yesterday's item was on Foundation Hospitals I really should include this Guardian item from July 20th:

NHS reforms hit as elite hospitals are downgraded.

'...Alan Milburn, the former health secretary and architect of the foundation policy, planned for a first wave of more than 30 independent NHS trusts to be set up this year. But 10 of the hospitals he named failed to make the grade and two of the 20 that did are at risk of demotion.
Frank Dobson, Mr Milburn's predecessor and a critic of the foundation policy, said: "Those of us who were doubtful asked what would happen to trusts that fell by the wayside as it was eminently predictable they would...'


 

UK Political Blogs aggregator.

Just in case you missed it in the comments below, Julian Bond has very kindly put this blog on the UK Political Blogs aggregator.
Very handy. Thanks very much Julian.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

 

Poisoned Chalice(s).

Camden New Journal: on our local hospital UCLH which has recently achieved Foundation Hospital Status.

UCLH Chief Executive Robert Naylor is interviewed in an item titled Hospital faces challenge of move to £422m centre:

'...he says the controversial political battle over foundation hospitals, which pitted him against the unions and former Health Secretary Frank Dobson, the Holborn and St Pancras MP, is nothing compared with the test of moving to a new £422 million hospital campus in Euston Road from next year...
...the move to foundation status, designed to free the hospital from Whitehall bureaucracy and increase local democratic control, was a fraught one. Critics argued that neighbouring hospitals would suffer as a consequence, a charge that Mr Naylor dismisses.
He said: “Frank Dobson kept saying we would pay our staff more and that that would damage the NHS, but it hasn’t happened yet and it’s not going to. “It wouldn’t be in our interest because all the patients would then come to us, and we’re not ready to deal with them.
“But I understand Frank Dobson’s arguments and have great respect for him, as I know he does for us. He has his opinions and as an MP that is his right...”

Chances are that in the medium term Foundation Hospitals will drive most of it's employees wages further down.

Some background.
One of the main reasons for Labour winning the 1997 General Election was that the public had lost faith in the Tories ability to deliver on public services. Gordon Brown decided to continue with the same budgetary model that the Tories had for New Labour's first three years in power.
Dobson was given one of the most critical posts in Government -especially a Labour one- Minister of Health. Yet he was given no extra money to sort out the mess that the Conservatives had left them. In effect his hands were tied.
He was then cajoled by Tony Blair into another no-win situation of becoming the official Labour candidate for London Mayor against Ken Livingstone.

NB: Parliament is in recess till September 7th so things are fairly quiet.


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