Thursday, 30 April 2009

Today is Mrs A’s birthday, at least it would be if she were still with us, so I thought that I would do something in her honour, thus Justice for Bereaved Relatives of Patients killed by the NHS, because I am one and I am sure there are many more out there in the blogosphere, just think about the Mid Staffs and Gosport Memorial.

The Bloggers Unite site is here.

You don’t need to do much, just display the photo above and write a short blog about your experience of the NHS complaints system, the attitude of the trust management and senior medics.

Or just your impression of the treatment given by the NHS.

If you really want to do more you can send your “story” to me, or even better send it to Alan Johnson the Health Secretary here.

Mrs A was subjected to abysmal surgery by a “Senior” Consultant, who managed to cut her small bowel and did not ensure an adequate blood supply to the large bowel join, which failed, she was Septic on the ward for at least three days before anything was done and ended up in Intensive care on full life support for 23 days, then she was moved 90 miles to another hospital because they “needed the bed” and on her return contracted an MRSA Bacteraemia.

In May a path report was issued stating that she had recurrent cancer, before she left hospital in July this was ignored until the end of August, and tests were done, the diagnosis was not given until November, and this consisted of “your cancer is inoperable” no prognosis or other details were given, in other words I was left to tell her after a phone call from our GP that she was going to die.

The Hospital denied, the Senior Consultant denied, the GMC decided there was no case to answer, the Healthcare Commission denied (the trust had attained foundation status after receiving a “perfect” score from them the same year), at a meeting with the CEO and the Medical Director I was told that “they didn’t know what was wrong” with my wife, after all there was only a Senior Consultant and six other doctors “looking” after her.

My MP of course didn’t want to know, he is close to the Hospital.

It has taken me almost four years to “complete” the complaints procedure, the denials and cover ups have been universal, because nobody cares, the Trust management were protecting their status, the consultant was protecting his career, the GMC were protecting the Consultant and the Healthcare Commission were protecting their decision.

Alan Johnson tells us that the NHS should be open and clear, it is about time he stood up and took responsibility, the arrival of a couple of hundred emails detailing the appalling treatment received by patients may make him think, or at least it will give him something to do for a while.

In memory of “Mrs A” 1951-2005

Angus Dei

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Oh Great-the recession is good for us

Hazel Blears has really lost it: The communities’ secretary will argue the effects of economic crisis can have the "constructive" effect getting people more involved in politics.

BBC NEWS The recession can be a "catalyst for communities to come together", Hazel Blears will say in a speech later.

The communities’ secretary will argue the effects of economic crisis can have the "constructive" effect getting people more involved in politics.

Ms Blears will also say the "democratic recession", involving voter disillusionment, preceded the downturn.

The mistakes of previous recessions, where "distrust" between people grew, must be avoided, she will add.

This is coming from a member of the Government that are ripping us off left right and centre with the “expenses” fiasco, who then says ‘"distrust" between people grew, must be avoided,’

She will add: "We simply cannot allow a recession to mean another generation reliant on benefits, more estates where few adults are in work, and where children live in families where no-one has a normal job.

"Our welfare system must not allow anyone to withdraw from society as the consequence of forced withdrawal from the labour market."

Ms Blears will say: "In some ways the democratic recession started many months before the economic one.

"We'd already seen the collapse of trust in politics, long before the collapse of confidence in the financial system.”

I wonder why?

She also said "I am in no doubt whatsoever that the row over MPs' allowances, and the leaked emails, are as corrosive to our democracy as the row over bankers' bonuses and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Woolworths and so on is corrosive to our economy.

"My hope is that the public's response to the crisis of legitimacy characterising our politics will be as constructive as at the moments of fulcrum in our democratic development: when rejection of the Rotten Boroughs led to the Reform Acts, or when women's demands led to us getting the vote.

"I am optimistic that the long, loud howl of outrage at the state of our politics can find practical expression through positive reform of the political system."

And in order to achieve that, MPs have refused to change the “expenses” system; that really gives me confidence in the Government and politics.

I think we do need a long term settlement for political funding in this country otherwise, you know, politics costs money, and this kind of thing is going to happen again and again” Hazel Blears


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Tuesday, 28 April 2009


BBC NEWS Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.

But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.

Ministers say they estimate the project will cost £2bn to set up, which includes some compensation to the communications industry for the work it may be asked to do.
"Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime," Ms Smith said.

"Advances in communications mean that there are ever more sophisticated ways to communicate and we need to ensure that we keep up with the technology being used by those who seek to do us harm.

"It is essential that the police and other crime fighting agencies have the tools they need to do their job, However to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store."

“Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so - all without a warrant."

Strange that, when the economy was going down the pan the Government stood back and let it happen, but when it comes to our privacy they are willing to go to almost any lengths to snoop on us.

“Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.” William O Douglas


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Sunday, 26 April 2009

I noticed yesterday that “all and sundry” (excuse the ad) were blogging about the Gov and in particular Gordon Brown and the petition to get him to resign, good idea but too little too late, the damage is done.

And even if he did resign, which I doubt very much; who would be his replacement? And how would they get us out of the “Brown” runny stuff, I think the answer is they can’t.

Even if Gord calls an election tomorrow and the Tories get in, what will they do? Here is what Cameron would do-BBC NEWS

“Mr. Cameron told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the chancellor had been "dishonest" about the realities of the economic situation and his growth forecasts, on which the government is basing its public spending plans, were "probably junk".

“Ministers needed to "roll up their sleeves" and get to grips with the task of reducing the growth in public spending now.

"The success or failure of a Conservative government, if one is elected, is going to be whether we deal with this enormous problem that we have," he said.

"It means the whole way the government operates is going to have to change. It means ministers actually being rewarded on the basis of how they can save money rather than spend it."

'Culture change'
Mr. Cameron said the Conservatives had identified three areas in which savings should be made.
Projects such as the ID cards scheme and the Contact Point child protection database should be scrapped, the tax credit system should be scaled back and the pay of the public sector "quangocracy" needed to be tackled.”

He would not be drawn on other potential spending cuts that would be needed if the Tories came to power.

But he said there would have to be a "massive culture change" in the UK as the government strived to get "more for less" out of the public services.

Or in other words he doesn’t know, Mr. Cameron said he opposed the 50p tax rate for those earning more than £150,000 but it would have to take its place "in the queue" of tax changes the Conservatives wanted to make.

London Mayor Boris Johnson and some other Tories have called on the party to scrap the 50p rate but the leadership have said this would not be a priority and they want to focus reducing the tax burden for those on low and middle incomes.

Conservative MP Peter Luff told the Financial Times the 50p tax plan was "a trap" set by Gordon Brown.

Of course he opposes it, he is a Tory and Tories only tax the people that can’t afford it.

And William Hague forever with his finger on the political pulse is about to accuse Gordon Brown of "debasing the coinage of politics" by not holding a referendum on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty.

The shadow foreign secretary will say Labour has squandered voters' trust by not giving them a say on EU reforms.

He will use a speech ahead of European elections to argue this is a betrayal of Labour's manifesto promise of a referendum on the failed constitution.

Ministers say the treaty does not carry the same weight as the constitution. BBC NEWS

Who gives a monkey’s nuts about the European Elections, I haven’t voted in one since they began and I have the sneaking feeling that I am one of the majority.

We are screwed, at least for the next ten years or so and maybe for the next twenty five, we and our children and maybe our grandchildren will be paying off the hundreds of billions “needed” to bail us out.

Brown has screwed us, he should resign, but more importantly he should call an election, and his pension and golden farewell should be taken from him, after all what is good for bankers that didn’t perform should be good for Prime Ministers that lie.

The first rule in keeping secrets is nothing on paper.” Thomas Powers


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico


Wednesday, 22 April 2009


It is finally here, Ali Darling is about to unleash his “saviour plan” for the UK, but we all know what will happen, fags will go up, booze will go up, car tax will go up, petrol has gone up and salaries will go down in “real terms” and most of us will be worse off.

The last few months have exposed the greed and thoughtlessness of this Government; the last year or so has exposed the financial incompetence of this Government, which will not be forgotten at the next election.

Budget day is a day to dread, it will be embarrassing to watch the Chancellor squirm while trying to justify the position he and Gord have put us in, he will squirm trying to explain why we are now so far in debt that our grandchildren will be paying it back.

Ali will throw a few bones to the housing market, and to mortgage holders that are struggling, a few bones to some companies that are watching their business disappearing down the bottomless pit that he dug for us.

But in the end we will pay, the country will stagger on and recovery will come despite the Government, but Ali and Gord will be OK, they have their pensions to look forward to, they can sell their second homes when they are no longer MPs, and until then they will continue to draw their high salaries and expenses while the rest of us have to cut back on essentials just to get by.

"If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side." Orson Scott Card


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Guido Fawkes AKA Paul Staines has been doing the “interview rounds” here are several of his appearances.

Guido and Derek clash

BBC NEWS Blogger Guido on 'Smeargate'

Village People: Guido's world

And here is a “bio” true or not I don’t know, but it makes interesting reading.

Guido Fawkes: the colourful life of the man who brought down Damian McBride - Telegraph

As I said you decide, I have already made my decision.

“Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, harshness, and ignorance; these are the marks of those who are born with demonic qualities.” O Arjuna.”


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Monday, 20 April 2009

Saturday, 18 April 2009


BBC NEWS There is an email doing the rounds in the City, offering an anagram for the phrase "I am Gordon Brown".

The clever boys and girls in the Square Mile have come up with this: "Mad on borrowing", and gives you a sense of what next week's Budget will be about.

Because all the forecasts say that borrowing is about to go through the roof.

The prime minister used to have a rule that Britain's overall debt - Public Sector Net Debt in the jargon - should not exceed 40% of Gross Domestic Product. That has already been abandoned and some estimates say that our Net Debt could rise to nearly 80% of GDP over the coming years.

The other measure of the public finances is what is called Public Sector Net Borrowing - in other words, the difference between what the government takes in through tax revenues and what it spends.

There are two big pressures on Alistair Darling next Wednesday. The first is fear of the markets; the second is fear of the voters.

Fear of the markets means Mr Darling will want to make it crystal clear how he plans to tax more and spend less to bring down the deficit and get public finances back on an even keel.

Fear of the voters means that he will not want to talk too tough in terms of squeezing an already beleaguered electorate by promising further tax rises and cuts to their services, particularly with an election no more than a year away.

In fact, Mr Darling has already announced part of that squeeze in his Pre-Budget Report back in November.

The truth about next Wednesday is that it could be the pivotal moment for Gordon Brown's Government.

Will his Chancellor manage to set out a convincing roadmap out of recession, and be able to afford to do enough to reassure those hardest hit by the downturn? Or will his Tory shadow, George Osborne, be able to make the charge stick that ministers are simply saddling future generations with unsustainable levels of debt?

Whoever wins this argument over the coming months stands a good chance of winning the next election.

Who knows? The Government is in such a mess that I would not be surprised what they come up with.

Anyway back to the anagrams-I have come up with: Nomad Borrowing, Rabid Gown Moron, Drab Owing Moron, Brain Mood Wrong, Goad Inborn Worm, Dam Borrowing No, Onward Big Moron, Darn Booing Worm, Gonna Borrow Dim, and my favourite Nob Adoring Worm.

Have a go it’s very therapeutic.

It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi Berra


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Thursday, 16 April 2009


Gord has gone electric, or at least he wants all of us to, the latest “brainwave” from No10 is to give motorists up to £5,000 to encourage them to buy electric and hybrid cars BBC NEWS

And don’t forget Ali, he is expected to reveal an incentive scheme of £2,000 for motorists to trade old cars in for new ones in next week's Budget.

Several problems there chaps, there are 26 million cars in the UK, less than 0.1% are electric, that means that over 25 million cars will need to be replaced.

The snag with this is: this country doesn’t produce any electric cars, apart from the G-Wiz which is about as attractive as the rear end of an elephant uk-battery-plug-in-electric-cars and the foreign cars that are available are well, about as attractive as the rear end of an elephant.

Another barrier is that to replace our fossil fuel guzzling vehicles we will have to take out credit regardless of the incentives offered, which (and correct me if I am wrong) was the cause of the current recession-too much credit.

A further impediment is the production of electricity, which is mainly fossil fuel generated, because the Gov can’t make its “mind” up regarding methods of production.

And a couple of more snags are;-I can’t afford a new car, and I presume that millions of others can’t either, and what will be the cost to the environment of disposing of over 25 million cars in the UK.

General Motors have a production electric car the Chevy Volt which has a range of only 40 miles per charge and costs £30,000 as well as having a small petrol engine to generate electricity when the batteries are flat, (it kind of defeats the object doesn’t it?)

It is a good idea in principle, but until the technology is there as well as the ability to charge on the go as it were, we are stuck with our smelly gas guzzling cars for a few years yet, and to be honest I am glad, I love my little civic, and like thousands of other drivers do not want to go “green” at least for the foreseeable future.

“Under the rule of the "free market" ideology, we have gone through two decades of an energy crisis without an effective energy policy. Because of an easy and thoughtless reliance on imported oil, we have no adequate policy for the conservation of gasoline and other petroleum products. We have no adequate policy for the development or use of other, less harmful forms of energy. We have no adequate system of public transportation.” Wendell Barry


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico


Wednesday, 15 April 2009


The email “scandal” continues to drag on, OK it was the wrong thing to do, the perpetrator has gone, and we all know this type of thing goes on in every Government, so can we please get back to “proper” politics. BBC NEWS

Things such as the economy and people who can’t afford to eat, and people losing their homes, or struggling to survive because of Gord’s appalling track record.

Things such as the attitude of the Police at the G20 summit BBC NEWS which has resulted in a second Police officer being suspended, or the Purnell “cut benefits “ for alcoholics if they don’t get treatment BBC NEWS

Or the Sharp rise in school suspensions “During the last academic year, 837 pupils had been suspended more than 10 times, according to answers given to the Conservatives by 125 county and London boroughs.”

In 2003-04, the corresponding figure was 310.

Please let’s put the email thing in the bin where it belongs, because although the media are loving it, it is distracting us from the real problems.

“A newspaper is lumber made malleable. It is ink made into words and pictures. It is conceived, born, grows up and dies of old age in a day.” Jim Bishop


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Monday, 13 April 2009


BBC NEWS Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to ensure every young person has done 50 hours of voluntary work by the time they are 19-years-old.

Mr Brown said a promise to bring in compulsory community service would be a part of his next election manifesto.

Under the scheme, the work may include helping charities and is likely to become part of the National Curriculum.

The scheme would be woven into plans to make everyone stay in education or training until the age of 18 by 2011.

Mr Brown told the News of the World newspaper: "It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community, and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain.

He also said "This will build on the platform provided by citizenship classes as they develop in our schools. But because the greater part of what I envisage as community service takes place outside the school day, it will require the close involvement of local community organisations and charities."

Gordon Brown first proposed the idea of a National Youth Service to channel teenagers into voluntary work last year.

It is due to be formally launched in September, and would become compulsory if Labour was re-elected.

Goodish idea Gord, just one snag-do you really think that the people of the UK will re-elect labour?

“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” Freidrich A Hayek


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Saturday, 11 April 2009


Political blogs are fuelling a culture of cynicism about politics, community’s secretary Hazel Blears has claimed. BBC NEWS

Ms Blears also attacked the "deeply unhealthy" number of government jobs given to career politicians with little experience beyond Westminster.

In a speech, she said a new generation of working-class politicians was needed such as Labour's Dennis Skinner and Conservative maverick David Davis.

One blogger suggested political spin was more to blame for voters' cynicism.
In a speech on political disengagement to the Hansard Society Ms Blears, who had a career as a local government solicitor before becoming a politician, complained that some Westminster colleagues live on "planet politics" and lacked real-life experience.

She turned her fire on political "bloggers" - accusing them of fuelling disengagement by focusing on "unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy" and of being written by "people with disdain for the political system and politicians"

“The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes," she said.

But she added: "Unless and until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism."

So it seems that the people of this country are not allowed to be cynical about the “expenses” fiasco, or pessimistic about the bottomless pit our economy has fallen into because it will show distain for the political system and politicians.

Who is living on “planet politics” now Hazel?

“When you say that you agree to a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.” Otto Von Bismarck


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Thursday, 9 April 2009


It’s time to stock up on comfort food, Gordon Brown is promising this month's Budget will plot a "green" route to economic recovery.

BBC NEWS Trials of electric cars, a roadside network of vehicle-charging points and incentives for environmentally friendly carmakers are among planned measures.

Mr Brown told the Independent there was scant room for further fiscal stimulus.

Instead, he said, the Budget on 22 April would be "a job creator, a quality of life improver, and an environment-enhancing measure.”

Mr Brown told the newspaper: "It is not just what we do to give real help to people and business now, but about setting a path for the future as well.

"We always take into account both what we need to do now and what is the best future for the fiscal position," he said.

What a load of old tosh! How many car manufacturers can afford to “trial” electric cars? Road-side charging points-and how much will the electricity cost.

Probably about the same as petrol or diesel, because they have to get the revenue.

The other problem is that how “green” is the electricity going to be when it is produced by coal or gas fired power stations? Unless they attach a wind generator to each “charging station” the damage to the environment will still be the same.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary, Greg Clark said: "Now that the governor of the Bank of England has aborted Gordon Brown's plans for a ruinous new debt-funded fiscal stimulus, the prime minister is desperate for something to say in the forthcoming budget.

"He has clearly alighted on Conservative polices announced by David Cameron in January to turn Britain into a low-carbon economy. These include a national network of charging points for electric vehicles, and a smart meter for every home.

"We hope Gordon Brown will implement our programme for a low-carbon economy in full, but in the past his environmental promises have proved to be hollow."

Last month, Bank of England governor Mervyn King warned against further public borrowing to fund measures to boost the economy while being questioned by MPs from the Treasury Committee.

Simon Hughes, for the Liberal Democrats, said the Budget needed to contain "more than just token gestures towards acknowledging the environmental crisis.”

He said: "This government's record on the environment has been a disaster, with the approval of the third runway at Heathrow and a massive road-building programme."

As usual from Gord’s Gov, half thought out ideas, designed to “spin” us into believing that he cares, when the truth is he doesn’t have a clue, the Government is lost and overwhelmed by disaster after disaster and we are going to be the ones that pay for it.

“It is better to run the risk of being considered indecisive, better to be uncertain and not promise, than to promise and not fulfil.” Oswald Chambers


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Call for action to help UK's poor Oxfam says life for the fifth of the UK's population living in poverty is set to worsen because of the recession.

In a report, Close to Home - UK Poverty and the Economic Downturn, it calls on the government to help the poor.

It contains a six-point rescue plan including reducing taxes for people on low incomes and raising their benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions said people were having a tough time finding work and it was investing £2bn to support those in need.

An Oxfam poll shows just 4% of adults think the government has done enough to help those who have lost their jobs.

The charity says the UK is becoming a nation of "Freds," a concept it has created to sum up the plight of people it says are forgotten, ripped off, excluded and debt-ridden.

The government defines poverty as having an income of 60% or less of the median - on this basis 13.2 million people in the UK live in poverty, 22% of the population.

Antonia Bance, Oxfam's deputy director of UK poverty, said: "We created the Fred concept after speaking to people who have been suffering from the effects of the financial crisis. Bold action needs to be taken by the government to prevent a major rise in poverty here in the UK.

"Now, more than ever, it can't be business as usual in the UK. The government must help people living below the poverty line as well as the growing number at risk of poverty in the Budget on 22 April."

The Department for Work and Pensions said it knew people were having a tough time finding work and was investing £2bn to support those in need.

A spokesman said: "On Monday we brought in extra help for people from day one of unemployment, including professionals, along with a new package of support for jobseekers who have been claiming for six months.

'We have just increased jobseekers' allowance by 6.3%, but it's important to remember this is just one part of a comprehensive safety net that includes help with rent, mortgage interest payments, council tax payments and tax credits for people in need. Further help is also available for parents, carers and those on low income."

Well done Oxfam, the twelve million people “living” in poverty in this country deserve more help, unfortunately, the DWP is only interested in getting them back to work in non existent jobs, and threatening the sick, disabled and unemployed with withdrawal of benefits if they don’t tug the forelock and obey the draconian rules that Purnell has brought in.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” Aristotle


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Just a link today, the interesting bit is the first two downloads (PDF) UK Parliament

Check your MP, I checked mine –Gerald Howarth, who lives I presume in Aldershot, which is 37 miles from the centre of London, about 40 minutes on the train or an hour or so by car, but managed to claim the maximum of £23,083 for:

Cost of staying away from main homeThe Additional Costs Allowance (cost of staying away from main home/ACA) is paid to reimburse Members for necessary costs incurred when staying overnight away from their main home for the purpose of performing parliamentary duties. Inner London Members do not receive this allowance.

2007/08 ACA Maximum of £23,083

And they wonder why people are pissed off with MPs.

Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way; this is not easy.” Aristotle


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Monday, 6 April 2009


BBC NEWS Chancellor Alistair Darling has become the latest minister to be drawn into the row over MPs' second home expenses.

His spokeswoman said he broke no rules by claiming for his Edinburgh home and renting out his London flat while living in 11 Downing Street rent-free.

In Mr Darling's case, he was taxed on the benefit of living in Downing Street and paid council tax there, his spokeswoman said.

"Alistair Darling moved as chancellor into Downing St in 2007 - No 11 Downing Street became his main home - so his Edinburgh home was re-designated as his second home.

"His own London home was rented out to cover costs and this was openly declared in the register of members' interests," she said.

She said he did not claim the maximum allowance for his second home in Edinburgh. Last year he claimed £9,837 of the total £23,083 allowed.

This is about double the old age pension.

Geoff Hoon had a similar arrangement when he was living in a taxpayer-funded Whitehall flat as defence secretary.

Commons leader Harriet Harman said "big changes" in the rules were likely after an independent probe into expenses.

Mr Hoon, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Minister Tony McNulty have all found their second homes expenses scrutinised in recent weeks.

Transport Secretary Mr Hoon has said he broke no rules by claiming second home allowances while living in a taxpayer-funded apartment and renting out his London flat.

Ms Smith has contested newspaper claims that she billed taxpayers £40 for a barbecue in her second home.

She has already apologised for "mistakenly" claiming £10 for adult films her husband watched, and is being investigated after claiming at least £116,000 for her constituency house in Worcestershire.

These “leaders” may not be breaking the “law” but they are certainly pissing off the electorate.

“Rich men without convictions are more dangerous in modern society than poor women without chastity.” George Bernard Shaw


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Saturday, 4 April 2009


A senior British judge has accused the European Court of Human Rights of going beyond its jurisdiction and trying to create a "federal law of Europe".

BBC NEWS Lord Hoffmann, the second most senior Law Lord, said the Strasbourg court had imposed "uniform rules" on states.

The judge said rulings that had gone against domestic decisions were "teaching grandmothers to suck eggs".

He said he supported the European Convention on Human Rights but not the institution that applies the law.

In a lecture to fellow judges, published this week, Lord Hoffmann said the European Court in Strasbourg had been unable to resist the temptation to "aggrandise its jurisdiction" by laying down a "federal law of Europe".

The court should not be allowed to intervene in the detail of domestic law, he said.

Lord Hoffmann - who is due to retire - added that this had led to the court being "overwhelmed" by a growing backlog of 100,000 cases.

The court's president, Jean-Paul Costa, said earlier this year there was a risk of "saturation" unless measures were agreed to reduce the caseload.

The European Court of Human Rights aims to apply and to protect the civil and political rights of the continent's citizens.

The court, set up in 1959 in the French city of Strasbourg, considers cases brought by individuals, organisations and states against the countries bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, which are all European nations except Belarus.

Lord Hoffmann, should retire now, the European Court of Human Rights is a necessity, because of the draconian and slipshod way our “justice” system “works” without the European Human rights Court we would have no chance of challenging the government and certain institutions that deny us our rights.

Mind you the “institution that applies the law” does need looking at.

"We don't know who we are until we see what we can do." Martha grimes


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Friday, 3 April 2009


Darling says some way to go to resolve crisis - Reuters

Chancellor Alistair Darling said on Friday there was still a long way to go in resolving problems in the banking system but that agreement at Thursday's G20 summit had been a "significant step forward."

"I don't think anyone would argue that in every country in the world we've got to the bottom of the problems in the banking system," he told BBC radio.

"That's why, over the last few months I've been preoccupied with trying to resolve these problems, trying to isolate these bad assets, because unless you do that, you reduce the ability of banks to get credit flowing in our economy."

Darling also said unemployment was likely to rise in the coming months.

"I know that over the next few months it is likely that you will see unemployment rising. What I'm very clear about though, is that means we need to make sure we do more."

"In the present circumstances where we're seeing a severe downturn, particularly at the back end of last year and the beginning of this year, unfortunately, people have been and are losing their jobs.

The answer must be to make sure we do everything we can to intervene right from the start to get people into work."

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby)

Surely the answer is to prevent jobs being lost in the first place, instead of propping up the banks.

"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." Mary Kay Ash


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Thursday, 2 April 2009


Every paper, TV news program and Uncle Tom Coblee and all are wittering on about the G20 summit.

I can’t be bothered because it won’t make a blind bit of difference to us, so back to the “expenses” thing.

BBC NEWS Brown agrees to expenses meeting our Gord has actually made a decision, to “meet fellow party leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg to discuss MPs expenses.

But the prime minister said any reforms would still have to wait for the outcome of an independent review.

The review has been speeded up amid public anger about the scale of expenses being claimed by MPs.

But at prime minister's questions Mr Cameron urged swifter action, saying he was fed up with "our politics being driven through the mud".

The Tory leader insisted a transparent system, which restored faith in the political process, was needed, adding: "We can't wait for another review."

Mr Brown said he was happy to meet Mr Cameron and Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg but insisted reforms must await the review by the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life.

"I've asked them to speed-up that review so it's completed as quickly as possible," he told Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron said: "MPs may groan but frankly I'm fed up with our politics being driven through the mud.

"We need a solution that is transparent, costs less than the current arrangements and restores faith in the political process."

'Urgent meeting'

He added: "We cannot wait for another review. This needs to be agreed now.
"So, instead of another review, will you agree to an urgent meeting between the main party leaders so we can sort this out, once and for all?"

Mr Brown replied: "I agree, and have said on many occasions, this whole system has to be reformed and improved.

"I think there is common ground in this House that it brings no repute to MPs if we are continually having to deal with these issues."

So there you are, Gord has made a decision, to talk about talking about it.

Doesn’t it make you proud!

There are a few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.” John Kenneth Galbraith


Angus Dei on all and sundry

NHS Behind the headlines


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

sorry no post today

My internet connection is behaving like an MP today, useful for about ten seconds then useless for four hours.

Hopefully all will be back to normal tommorrow, but I managed to post on All and sundry before it died:)