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.