Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

So what exactly did happen to Gordon Brown since he opened the door and walked out of Downing Street with Sarah and his two sons in May this year?

The Guardian interviewed him yesterday and while it wasn’t the most revealing interview – there were many things he just wouldn’t be drawn on – it did reveal he is a man of integrity. He has absolutely no desire to take on a big corporate role, or head of into the financial world as many thought he might, instead he is working diligently for his constituents,  doing the work you’d expect of any other back bench MP. 

Although it’s difficult to really weed out his true feelings from this interview he seems to have taken Labour’s defeat in his stride, but he does feel responsible nonetheless. The full interview, here, is worth a read even though it doesn’t reveal as much as I’d have liked, such as more about his next plans, how he moved on from the election in what must have undoubtedly been a painful period and if he’ll stay on in Westminster beyond the next election. Still the photographs show him to be relaxed and smiling from ear to ear, something we’ve not seen in  a long while.

I was troubled to read today about the effect closing NHS Direct will have on the country.  In a bid to save millions of pounds the Heath Minister is planning to replace the successful NHS Direct with a  cut price version ‘111’ which is manned by call centre staff. In today’s Sunday Mirror a senior nurse exposes the new system and threatens it will be a disaster.

The whistleblower nurse who had worked on a trial revealed that the cost cutting measures led to a culture of incompetence in which, the report alleges, unborn twins may have died because of advice given by 111, Call-takers with just 60 hours of training failed to spot the ­symptoms of life-threatening strokes and epileptic fits and that 111 call takers panicked and sent ambulance staff to non emergencies.

What on earth is the minister thinking allowing the good work and highly efficient and successful NHS direct be phased out and replaced by something which is at best incompetent and at worst out right irresponsible. There are some things which should not be messed about with and this is one of them. Aside from the obvious lack of training these call workers have there is a serious issue that untrained staff have access to millions of patients data.

Earlier in the week I wrote how Panorama exposed leading FIFA officials over allegations of bribery. Whether or not it scupperd our chances of securing the hosting of the 2018 World Cup is irrelevant. First it was right that the journalists exposed the wrong doing when they did. Second, if the allegations are true the body must work hard to restore the faith it has lost, and this, I fear, will take many many years to restore. One suggestion is higher regulation, which I am in favour of and which I made suggestions on in my blog which you can read here.

3 Comments

Filed under Labour Party

3 responses to “Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

  1. While I have never fully agreed with Gordon’s economic philosophy, and indeed his tendency as a non-economist not to see the wood for the trees, you are right to focus on his [relative] integrity.

    The cuts policies of the government are partly based on dogma, and partly by Clegg’s thoroughly non- and anti-Keynesian view that the plight of Greece++ necessitate cuts.

    In this light all highlighting of false economies is a welcome must.

    I note that recently that the Other Taxpayers’ Alliance ( http://www.taxpayersalliance.org/ ) have lauched the following website… http://falseeconomy.org.uk/ .

  2. Daniel Oxley

    Gordon Brown a man of integrity? He broke the promise about a referendum on the Lisbon Constitution.
    He spent his time in the government being little more than a pawn of the EUSSR. He never gave himself any opportunity to exercise any of the traits of good character such as integrity.
    At his funeral when someone gives his EUlogy they should say, if they have any integrity, that he was EUseless.

  3. Gareth Samuel

    I applaud you for giving freely of your views but note that both in this post and the one about Val Shawcross the buzz word is ‘integrity’ as if frequent use of the word gives it meaning. Undoubtedly, Gordon Brown quit with dignity.
    You also seem to attract a small number of Contrary Marys, if I can put it like that. Nevertheless, CMs serve a useful purpose.
    Incidentally, if NHSDirect is to be replaced by a cut-price version whose fault is that?? And how will the call centre staff have access to millions of patient records??