Calling all lefties – get a grip

18th March, 2012 12:35 pm

Before I start this article, I you haven’t really read my posts much, you may not leave a comment calling me a tribal flag waving Labour floozy. Because I have earned a big old badge that says “When Labour is wrong I will scream about it even louder you.”

So now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s also take it as read that Iraq, PFI, and civil liberties did not go awfully well, OK?

But I’ve read some comments so ridiculous lately, I have to wonder if these people are still living on the same planet as me.

Example 1 : “All that money Labour spent on the NHS went on lightbulbs, pot plants and new carpets”

Huh? Do you REALLY think that, or did the Telegraph tell you to?

The money paid for nurses and doctors and midwives and MRI scanners and getting waiting lists to an all time low and a 2 week cancer guarantee and improved it’s approval rating from the 40%s to the 80%s and made it the most efficient health service in the world. And equitable!! – did you know that? We have the most equitable health service in the world totally unrelated to ability to pay.

All of those things improved my life. 
Example 2 : “Labour didn’t save for a rainy day. They overspent before the crash, running the highest deficit of all time. Our debt got out of control. 
Simply put, none of this is true. What’s more I have absolutely no idea how Osborne et al get away with it. None. Take a little wander around this site. Ask what the IMF think, compare Labour’s debt/deficit record with the previous Thatcher government (it was better on every count). The Tories backed Labour’s plans right up until 2008. Since the coalition came to power, growth has plummeted, unemployment has gone up, welfare bills have risen, debt has gone up, inflation has raged, our credit rating is in jeopardy. I am utterly mystified. Every single indicator has worsened.

Now, it was far from a perfect world, but during the first 10 years of the Labour government, crime fell by 40% NHS waiting times came down from 18 months to 18 weeks, unemployment was kept low, inflation was kept low, growth was good, a million pensioners were lifted out of poverty with measures such as pension credit, winter fuel payments and free TV licenses. We had more police on the streets, more nurses and doctors on our wards and 200,000 teaching assistants in out classrooms. Labour introduced free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds for the first time. We got Sure Start centres and a minimum wage. We got a strengthened Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), Human Rights legislation (HRA) and Equality laws. We got a peace agreement in Northern Ireland and devolution for Wales and Scotland. Then there was a credit crunch. Led by subprime lending in the US
Since the coalition came to power, Crime has risen, NHS waiting times have risen, A&E waits are longer, there are fewer nurses and fewer midwives. Unemployment has risen, inflation has soared and growth has plummeted. Women are facing 3/4 of all the cuts, disabled people are facing a drop in income that may leave them unable to buy food, people on 43k will lose their child benefit. Frontline police numbers have fallen by some 5,000, legal aid is under threat and training for teaching assistants has been stopped. Sure Start centres are closing, the minimum wage has been frozen for young people, we might as well throw the DDA in the bin and the Conservatives want to scrap the Human Rights Act and homelessness is rising alarmingly – even here in affluent Sussex. There’s still a credit crunch.
Now, all of that can be proven. You can argue separate points that you don’t like so much, but just as an overview, I’m mystified.
How do the Tories do this? What’s more how on earth have they persuaded Liberal Democrats to back them? That this is the right path? I mean you don’t have to like Labour even a little bit to have a peek at the US economy following 18 months of Lab/Brown style stimulus and compare it with ours. (Theirs is heading for 3% annualised growth, ours is heading for negative numbers and another recession)
Is it our media? Is it some kind of airborne thought control? A drug they are dripping into the water causing amnesia and the ability to think the exact opposite of the truth? Is it apathy? Is it boredom? I just can’t fathom it.
I don’t like the current Labour position on welfare, I’m almost constantly head-desking whenever they issue a press statement, I do realise they set a lot of these “reforms” up and I worry about the possibility of an election any time soon – they clearly couldn’t run drinkies-in-the-proverbial right now, but on the whole – on the whole – get a grip lefties. 

Start defending our record. Accept the bits we got wrong and move on, but for goodness sake, anyone claiming “They’re all the same/Triangulation/They’re worse than the Tories/I’ll never vote Labour again” might want to ask themselves just how long they’d like to keep this cabinet of millionaires.
And just how much we’re going to allow them to get wrong before we unite and fight.

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  • Dave Postles

    Sue, good to hear from you as usual.  In The Independent today is a letter from 240 doctors who intend to  sponsor candidates at the 2015 election against the LibDem incumbents and against selected Tories (based on the likelihood of winning the seats in the latter case).  I hope we can all support them.  Clive Peedel is the lead of the group and I hope that the group will gain wider publicity.  At last there is a hope, if only on a single issue.

    • AlanGiles
    • G Kearns

      Many years ago I wrote a letter to Tribune Magazine advocating the formation of a new political party with the specific aim of protecting our public services from cut-backs and privatisation.  It would be called simply The Public Service Party and would have candidates drawn from amongst our doctors, teachers, nurses and other public servants disullusioned with the, then, New Labour gov’t.  The situation is now much worse so best of  luck to those who choose to fight.  One thing though; why only Tory seats?  The Lib-Dems and the Blairites are just as much a threat to public services as anyone else!

      • treborc

         That would then be an English party, because Scotland Wales are not involved to a degree with the NHS reforms, although we have our own to reforms to worry about

      • GuyM

        Something that would only split the Labour vote as the Tories would carry on voting Tory rather obviously.

        Therefore I can only wish you good luck in starting it.

        • G Kearns

          I’m rather hoping that such a party would’nt  just split the Labour vote but capture it completely along with most Lib-Dem votes and even some moderate Tory ones. If  nothing else it might remind the Labour leadership – no laughing please!- of where they should be; that is, solidly behind our wonderful public servants.

          • GuyM

            Tory voters will invariably vote on the economy.

            Very few will vote for national governance simply on a “protect the public sector” slate especially not Tory voters.

            If the economy picks up for 2015 then a few doctors standing will be neither here nor there.

            As it is I suspect those GPs involved at Labour 5th columnists anyway and will likely be outed as such.

          • Dave Postles

             No, they are not GPs and they are not Labour.  Their campaign started against Labour’s introduction of private resources into the NHS.  They are not politically aligned.

          • GuyM

            and standing on a platform of protecting public sector spending….

            so tell me how many Tory voters, who supported a party in 2010 with a manifesto explicity calling for public spending cuts, are going to vote in 2015 for the direct opposite view held by a strnage selection of independent whoevers?

          • Dave Postles

             @ GuyM
            Nowhere have I suggested that Tories would vote for the doctors.  You are jumping to conclusions as usual.  I am referring to those who do not usually turn out to vote.  I made that quite clear.
            Richard Taylor – Wyre Forest – ring any bells?

          • GuyM

            So hte Tory vote will hold firm and their votes will come from dissafected Labour and LibDem voters?

            So that means as I said it splits the left vote?

            Bring it on.

          • Dave Postles

             No, it will have the same effect as so-called ‘strategic’ voting, but more importantly people who have never voted will have an incentive to vote because they have something tangible to lose.  The Tories in marginal seats will be vulnerable.  Still, there you go.  No point in arguing with you.  You seem to think that I am a socialist and a Labour voter.  The only reason that I contribute here is to try to persuade Labour to change its New Labour hues so that it can be a successful party for the people of my background – the working class that you despise. 

            Here’s a syllogism for the New Labourites as a bit of fun:

            GuyM is a self-confessed Tory;
            GuyM would vote for Blairism (as you have said);
            Therefore Blairism is Toryism.

            The weekend is over, so I academic research to do.

      • Dave Postles

         Basically, they will stand against all LiBDems but also against Tories with marginal majorities – as I understand it.

    • GuyM

      Excellent idea to split the anti Coalition vote….

      • Dave Postles

        What a stupid comment.  They will only be standing in seats where the representation is currently Tory or LiBDem with marginal majorities, but with little chance of Labour representation.  It would not affect the return of Labour or other leftish MPs.  The doctor/GPs would be much more likely to align on issues with a progressive grouping.  They support the ‘public service’ ethos.    

        • GuyM

          So excellent idea to split the anti coalition vote.

          Tory voters will vote Tory no matter what  in the main. A “NHS Party” will largely take votes from Labour and some LibDems.

          So either you’ll get no change at all, or you’ll get more secure Tory Mps and maybe one or two cases of southern seats returning Tory rather than LibDem?

          All excellent, go for it.

          • Dave Postles

             Radically over-optimistic.  Where health is concerned, single-issue candidates seem to have a decent chance.  It will galvanize the non-voters to come to the polls.  The optimum scenario for the Tories would be that they hold their current seats, but lose LibDem support.  The less optimistic scenario would be that they lose some seats.  The Tories will also not only be blamed for the confusion about the NHS, but also the closure of some local hospitals (which happens to whichever party is in power).

          • GuyM

            Tory voters stopping voting for a Tory government and not voting on economic issues, instead going for loads of single issue candidates who can’t offer any indication of other policy areas and who are largely left wing?

            If in 2010 Tory voters voted for a party committed to reduce the deficit and culling the size of the state what on earth makes you think Tory voters will vote for the direct opposite on single issue candidates next time out?

            Hilarious analysis.

          • Dave Postles

             @ GuyM
            Complete rubbish.  I did not suggest that Tories would vote for the doctors.  What I said was that it would galvanize those who do not usually bother to vote.  You really must learn to concentrate. 

          • GuyM

            If you think a few GPs will galvanise dissafected Labour voters better than Labour then that is a sad comment on the state of Labour.

            And do you really think taking lapsed Labour voters only will win many seats?

            This group will end up as a protest group about the similar impact as UKIP, except this time on the Labour and LibDem vote base.

          • Dave Postles

             Please read again.  They will only stand against Tories in marginal seats.  It is not about disaffected Labour voters.  It is about people who don’t vote making the effort to vote. 

          • Amber Star

            Polling shows that doctors are more trusted than politicians. Don’t kid yourself that it will split the anti-coalition vote – there’s nothing to stop Labour pulling our candidate & backing the Medic, if s/he looks like having more chance of winning. supporting the Medics would get Labour a lot of votes/ kudos in surrounding seats. You may think Miliband is a ‘loser’ – but he can do electoral math a lot better than anybody in the Coalition can.

          • GuyM

            I can’t see any chance of Labour pulling loads of candidates in a General Election, you really think Labour HQ will go for that?

            Doctors are trusted to be Doctors, not to be politicians. As soon as they set up and get asked what would you do about tax, welfare, industry, transport, environment, foreign affairs, defence… then what will they say?

            Ummm…. errrr….

            Tories will not vote for Labour wolves in sheeps clothing, wait and see.

  • treborc

    Labour has to offer a diffident view now, the people have rejected new labour and they rejected Brown for what ever reasons. So labour now has to look forward if it keeps telling us about what we did in the past it will just be seen as living in the past with nothing to offer for the future.

    Labour is now in opposition yet still cannot believe it, the people did not mean to vote it out, yet it did, and did not help that so many in labour were found to be cheats of expenses.

    But in the end it what labour offers for the future which will make people vote for them, not the past

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    “Labour didn’t save for a rainy day. They overspent before the crash, running the highest deficit of all time…”

    Fact.  The deficit in 2009/10, the last year of the last Labour Government was £99 billion even excluding the amounts set aside for the financial crash.  It has never in our history been higher.  And they had been overspending since 2001/02, relentlessly.  Try looking at the Office for National Statistics, not an amateur little website that has 6 factual errors merely on its’ front page.

    I am staggered that someone appears to have their head so far stuck in the sand that you have not noticed that for the entire first decade of the current century, Gordon Brown grossly overspent national income, to a final level that no other Chancellor has ever done.  It is risible for you to seek to deny that.

    Whether the debt is out of control or not is a separate debate, and our control is largely dictated by international interest rates which are currently very low.  If the markets decide we are a poor risk, then the rates will go up and the debt really will be out of control.  If you were not able to notice the degree of reckless over-expenditure in the UK in last decade, you may also not be able to see that Greece is discovering this the hard way.

    • suey2y

      That is absolute rot. Frankly it’s dangerous that people like you keep peddling such nonsense. 

      • Bill Lockhart

        You’ve clearly never even heard of the expression “structural deficit”, let alone understood it.

        • Dave Postles

           There’s nothing ‘structural’ about it.  It’s a figment.  Increase taxes and it’s gone – poof.

          • James3010

             seriously? or are you being sarcastic? do you not understand the difference between the deficit and the national debt? do you and Sue not remember  Darling saying loud and clear before the 2010 election that he would make cuts deeper than any the Thatcher Govt. made? Who will pay these taxes or are Labour going back to the days of Dennis Healy and “squeeze the rich until the pips squeak”? how well did that work out?

          • Dave Postles

            I understand perfectly the difference between the deficit and the public sector debt.  You seem not to understand the meaning of national debt.  The composition of the national debt is dominated by private sector debt: business debt and bank debt.  The personal debt is largely secured by collateral (houses); the public sector debt is secured on assets.  The banks have effectively unsecured investments outside the UK which are constantly being marked down to market. 
            We have lived with much higher rates of direct taxation and it is currently historically low.  There is a large gap between the standard rate and 40% level.  There is an even larger expanse in the 40% level.
            My point, however, was that the so-called ‘structural’ deficit is a fiction of some economists.  It is not ‘structural’ at all, but depends entirely on political whim.

          • James3010

             Dave, from wiki
             “Government debt (also known as public debt, national debt)[1][2] is the debt owed by a central government”
            National debt is accepted as the definition above by all sources i know and your definition is dubious at least. However that aside the structural deficit is not a political whim and to believe   it is, is wrong as is the idea that we can simply tax more to eliminate it.  You are correct that at times in the past levels of taxation have been higher but  actual tax revenue went down hence my mention of Healy. Which leads me to ask a question, when did it become morally acceptable for anyone to pay 6/10 or more of what they earn to the state? If your labour benefits not you first and foremost but the state are you a latter day serf working for the modern day lord of the manor ? I thought those on the left were against servitude.

          • derek

            God you don’t afv tart it up, so the 158 Bn to pay for the mess Osborne has created is something you welcome?

          • Dave Postles

            Derek: actually, it is now estimated that, because of lower growth prospects in the next year (i.e. no one expecting it to meet the OBR prediction), another additional £45bn may be borrowed over the term.  No doubt Osborne will trumpet a lower-than-expected borrowing requirement for 2011-12 whilst concealing the £158bn+£45bn borrowing over the term.  He’s also had contingent returns from arrangements made by Labour – like £2bn repaid from the bad bank of Northern Rock which is actually making profits.

          • derek

            Shocking and deplorable and James3010 has the audacity too question you Dave on the real economic argument. 

          • James3010

             really derek? difference of opinion and open debate are vital to an open society, what is “Shocking and deplorable” is the mindset that allows for no questioning and debate ever.

          • derek

            Distortion and innuendo James?

            I see nothing wrong with the counter challenge to your posts?

          • Dave Postles

             I took it that he was referring to the additional £45bn across the term – that would seem to be pretty clear.

          • Dave Postles

             1 They’re not paying 60% of what they earn.  50% is the marginal rate above £150k.  There are personal allowances also and legitimate expenses. 
            2 It’s not a ‘structural’ deficit.  If you don’t eliminate it by raising taxation, it can be narrowed by growth.  It is a figment of the imagination of some right-wing economists.
            3 The ones who are subject to the corvee are those in the private sector (and now the public sector) whose wages are constantly being cut by their employers.
            4 If you pay your taxes, you receive benefits provided by the state; you do not pay them for no return.  (In any case, there were elements of reciprocity in peasant-lord relationships as Paul Halsall will no doubt explain – not much, but something to sweeten the pill and suggest a rhetoric of mutual obligation).
            5 O.k., so call it the national debt, if you will, but the total debt of this country is dominated by the liabilities of businesses and banks.  Then there are the debts of local government within the public debt. 
            6 Your accusation that I do not know the difference between debt and deficit was inaccurate. 
            7 The rates of direct taxation between the 1970s and the second decade of the 21st century are not comparable.  I was paying in the 70s a standard rate of 35%.  There is plenty of room for tax hikes.

          • James3010

             1) 50% Income tax 9% nominal national insurance which is just another form  income tax. But you have not answered its moral case i note.
            2) from fact check I often see fact check  quoted when Labour wish to mock some of the coalitions more dubious claims (quite rightly)
            3) I agree in part, in private industry if you cannot produce a good or service at a price which a customer will buy you go bust, this is why many have accepted wage cuts myself included and the same should always apply to the public sector a lower wage is better than no job.
            4) i presume you are a believer in the mantra of universal benefits. i am not and we will not i think agree on this.
            5) You are moving goalposts to suit your point and not answering the question and you know it.
            6) i did not accuse i asked “do you not understand the difference between the deficit and the national debt?”
            7) you make a statement but do not back it up. Taxation direct and indirect are already high across all levels of the social strata and i do not know of any economy that has ever taxed its way to health.

          • derek

            And do you know of any economy that’s cut it’s way to success?

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

             The USA is doing it right now. Local government spending is being decimated.

          • derek

            Employment has grew in America for the past 10 months?

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            Not true.

          • derek

            ah, so! cutting isn’t   successful?  

          • James3010

            Philip Snowden labour chancellor in the then national govt. 1931, look it up.

          • derek

            LoL! do you really wont to quote anyone associated with Ramsay McDonald? that was hard lip rashnessJames.

          • Dave Postles

             Oh dear.
            1 I answered this point.  It only enters into the equation after the first £150k.  So it does not deduct 60% of their salary.
            2 Only right-wing economists consider the notion of a ‘structural’ deficit.  Krugman, Reich, Blanchflower etc dismiss the notion.
            3 In many cases, the depression of wages is to increase margins, especially, paradoxically, with high-value goods and services.  I responded elsewhere about public sector jobs.  My (admittedly gratuitous) advice would be to unionise and fight for your standard of living.  Please don’t enter the politics of envy and drag others down.
            4 I have not mentioned universal benefits.
            5 ‘You are moving goalposts to suit your point and not answering the question and you know it.’  Which goalposts have I moved?  A little politeness would not go amiss in any case.
            6  ‘seriously? or are you being sarcastic? do you not understand the difference between the deficit and the national debt?’ Do I need to comment further?  In any case, debt was irrelevant since we were addressing ‘structural’ deficit, so you introduced that canard.
            7 Taxation is not high across all strata.  If you had worked and paid tax as long as I have (I assume you haven’t, but I guess that is presumptuous) you would know that it is historically low.  You introduced the comparison with the 1970s and Healy.  The comparison does not hold.  I was paying 35% standard rate of tax then – standard rate, not some higher-earning rate.  Life was a lot nicer too – people were nice, not money-grubbing bastards who are never satisfied with what they have (and I’m not referring to you).
            I’ve made my case.  That’s it.  I simply do not agree with your ideas.

          • GuyM

            As I suspect you’ll find this week, he 50% tax rate has brought  in very little.

            Treasury research I read indicates the flex point seems to be somewhere in the mid 40% range as to when it gets to a level worthwhile to avoid.

            Quite what other taxes you think yoo can raise that would do no damage I don’t know, care to share your insight?

          • Dave Postles

             Personally, I don’t consider £1.3bn ‘very little’.  If Osborne can dispense with £1bn+ for the rich, it really is rubbing the salt into the wounds of the poor.

          • GuyM

            If it is £1.3 billion. Rumour has it that it is going to be much much less.

          • Dave Postles

            You are out of date, mate.

          • GuyM

            I suspect not, but let’s wait and see until Wednesday.

            Either way taxing people more than 50% is morally wrong in my mind.

            People work for themselves then the state, not the other way around.

          • Dave Postles

             ‘Actually on the news this week it was speculated that Treasury research
            has the 50% rate generaing a 100 million or so, way below estimate. I
            guess we’ll see this week.’
            It won’t be that figure, that’s for sure.

          • Alexwilliamz

            But who’s figures will we see?

          • Alexwilliamz

            Just as well they don’t, directly at least.

          • Dave Postles

             You must have a short memory, because I have rehearsed those taxes before at your request.  FYI, I have mentioned them below.  I would not rescind the 50% tax because it is estimated to collect £1.3bn-ish even with the avoidance.  That’s a heck of a lot of money to be returning to the rich.  Second, there are wide gaps in the existing tax rates, which need interstitial progressive rates.  Thirdly, I am being taxed at too low a level: increase my tax – up to 26p in the £ if you wish (at the moment, I just give that money to charities).  Finally, the raising of the tax allowance to £10k apparently benefits middle-income families with two salaries more than the poorest, so ditch that and let’s have some proper transitional credits and benefits rather than the effective removal of credits and benefits before this supposed ‘universal credit’ is introduced.

          • GuyM

            Actually on the news this week it was speculated that Treasury research has the 50% rate generaing a 100 million or so, way below estimate. I guess we’ll see this week.

            Just because you have a lot of disposbale does not mean others have the same.

            Given the state of dispoable household incomes, a 6% raise in the basic rate would likely mean somewhere between a 30% to 60% immediate hit in discretionary household spend (based upon a 20% to 10% level of net income being available).

            That would crush any recovery stone dead, so great thinking.

            And of course your a admin heavy idea of a tax/benefit hand out merry-go-round is just some socialist nightmare.

            But you really should press for Labour to argue for an immediate rise in the basic rate from 20% to 26%, have them oppose the threshold rise to £10,000 and the like and see how you do polling wise.

          • Dave Postles

             It was speculated that it raised hundreds of millions earlier in the week, but today the newspapers are reporting that it is ‘less than £1.3bn’. 

          • derek

            And more than enough to cover those drastic cuts to the welfare system.

          • Dave Postles

            1   I’m not concerned with polling or Labour – just justice and economic recovery (something which is missing so far). 
            2 Last time, you agreed with raising the personal allowance to £10k.  I’ve changed my mind because the IFS and NIESR reckon that it would benefit middle-income families with two salaries most, but little for the lowest paid.  IFS and NIESR reckon credits are a more effective way of assisting the lowest paid.  The problem is that credits are being removed and people suffering in the transitional period before the supposed miracle-cure of the ‘universal benefit’.
            3 There is no recovery.  State intervention is necessary.
            4 I am for the mixed economy with an effective public sector.  If that is your idea of socialism, then you need more education in political philosophy.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        I’m not sure what you claim is nonsense.  The Office for National Statistics figures?  Or the fact that market interest rates dictate the price we pay for taking on new debt to fund additional deficit spending, and hence affordability?

    • Tipsilon

      Do you even believe that yourself? The deficits that were being run before the economic crisis were the same size or smaller than those run by the previous Conservative government! Look at this graph: It’s no great shock that the deficits suddenly rocketed up when the crisis hit, tax receipts fell and expenditure on things like Jobseekers Allowance suddenly shot up because of all the people who lost their jobs.

      Honestly, try thinking for yourself rather than just repeating Tory talking points.

      Sue: this is an example of someone who is probably not a lefty.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        There are no excuses for any party to run a deficit, especially in times of boom.

        It does not matter to me that previous tories ran deficits, or promised to match spending plans.  I don’t care whether Labour’s were bigger than the tories’ (they were).  They are all idiots.  It is like you support two lunatics in the asylum who are happily agreeing with each other while competing to do something fatal to our national economy.

        The fact is that since 2001 we have been running enormous deficits, and that is calamitous.  Sue thinks we’ve been making a national profit all of those years.  It is binary.

        Sue’s 2nd example is completely ridiculous, economically illiterate, and the fact that she arrives back into the discussion to deny the deficits ever existed is further proof that while she has undoubted passion and a particular case to argue, she should stick with what she knows about, rather than make herself look stupid.  As she did with her last disastrous foray into fairy land with a made up story of a soldier suffering PTSD (the grisly details of her mental dancing around and changing her tale and then falling silent having been proved to be a liar on her own blog are available for all to see).

        Now she’s making up stuff about a matter of very public record, which is not in doubt, and then coming back to claim that she is right and everyone else is wrong.  Laughable.

        It’s actually tragic, because she’s got a great case to make in terms of disability provision, benefits and natural justice.  If she stuck with that, we’d all cheer for her.  When she starts making up ridiculous stories about things she knows nothing about, then she’s lost.

        • Tipsilon

          I respectfully suggest you may want to reconsider telling people that they’re being ‘economically illiterate’ while you’re  saying things like “there are no excuses for any party to run a deficit”. 

          • mikestallard

            I just do not understand this last comment. Are you a sort of lesser Keynesian? If so, then that argument is getting pretty thin nowadays, I understand.

        • Alexwilliamz

          Depends what the ‘deficit’ is run up against I suppose. Also boom does not garuntee that emergency demands on public purse do not happen. I wonder how much our foreign policy and wars cost us? Something that the Tories have never questioned. Perhaps if we had not got involved in land wars in the middle east a massive chunk of this deficit would not have happened?

        • John Ruddy

          In 18 years of Tory Government, they ran a surplus in only 2 of them.
          Labour, in 13 years, ran a surplus in 3.
          Now, which of those two is economically illiterate?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Both of them.  I have an equal opportunity approach to despising deficit spending.

            Less extreme viewpoints than mine would observe that there were more years of recession in the tories’ last government than Labour had, so for those who believe the Keynes mumbo-jumbo there may be an excuse.  But I don’t believe in the Keynes mumbo-jumbo, so I am happy to conclude that they are all economically flawed.

      • GuyM

        The last Labour government chucked money about life confetti just before 2010 in order to try and buy the election, knowing full well they couldn’t carry on post election (something Darling made quite clear).

    • Tweet4Labour

       If you try looking at ONS stats a bit harder and you’ll see that average national debt as % of GDP was LOWER under Blair/Brown than it was under Thatcher/Major.

      The difference is we spent it on schools and hospitals and the Tories spent it on tax cuts and unemployment. But then under Labour we had the longest period of economic growth in UK history so we could afford it.

      The comparison you make between the Greek and UK economies makes me feel really embarassed for you. Clearly you haven’t checked % debt to GDP figures for both. When we left office we were in no way like Greece infact our debt to GDP ratio was less than Germany.

      Also if you are right and we have been spending money like a fish gets through water then why aren’t our gilt interest rates higher? But that’s not the case is it.

      Further you mention that government expenditure was too much. Again you are wrong. Fact even AFTER the most traumatic economic events of the last 70 years government expenditure as % of GDP  was around that of ’74/’82 period. For the rest of our period in office before the crash from 1997-2008 expenditure was less than 40% of GDP a feat that even Thatcher didn’t achieve until 1987.

      So you are wrong about debt and you are wrong about government expenditure are you actually right about ANYTHING? Maybe but it’s not looking good!

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        @ Tweet4Labour,

        you will find my comment was about deficit, not debt.  Which makes the rest of your rant rather pointless.

        Don’t tell me you are one of the halfwits who does not understand the difference?

        • Tweet4Labour

          So this was about the deficit?

          “Whether the debt is out of control or not is a separate debate, and our
          control is largely dictated by international interest rates which are
          currently very low.  If the markets decide we are a poor risk, then the
          rates will go up and the debt really will be out of control.  If you
          were not able to notice the degree of reckless over-expenditure in the
          UK in last decade, you may also not be able to see that Greece is
          discovering this the hard way.”

          For the record I do understand the difference between debt and deficit.

          YOU obviously don’t understand the deficit because you put the deficit down to overexpenditure when infact alot of it was due to lower tax revenues and higher benefit costs which happen during a recession.

          Also I note that you don’t dispute any of the factual points I made.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            @ Tweet4Labour,

            my points were made in respect of 2 points that Sue made, firstly about the deficit, which it seems that we can all agree on that she was staring at the moon.  I deliberately excluded her quote on debt so that it would not be collided with the debate on deficit.

            On the debt, my point is simple.  It is undeniable that at points in our history we have had higher debt (as % of GDP), but those proponents of “it’s all right” (among whom is a man I respect who is a CLP secretary in Cheshire but who has not yet joined this thread) won’t publicly admit is that it is only alright with the current low interest rates.  Bananas for apples, the judgement works.  But apples for apples, it does not.

          • Alexwilliamz


      • AnotherOldBoy

        You ignore the fact that when Mr Brown followed Mr Blair out of Downing Street, government borroiwng was set to be at an unprecendented level for years to come, so that the national debt as a percentage of GDP was and is set to rise to unprecedented levels in peacetime.  The fact that Labour were kicked out by the electorate before the full consequences of their gross mismanagement fell upon this unhappy country should not disguise the extent of the mess they made of the public finances.

        In short, it is just silly to look at the position in May 2010 and suggest that Labour’s conduct in government had no consequences beyond then.

    • Amber Star

       If you were not able to notice the degree of reckless over-expenditure in the UK in last decade, you may also not be able to see that Greece is discovering this the hard way.

      Jaime, if you knew as much about finance as you seem to know about ankle fractures, you would not compare the UK to Greece. The UK has ‘effortlessly’ QE’d it’s way to owning around 35% of its own public debt. This solution was not available to the Greeks. So you can thank Gordon Brown & Ed Balls for the UK not being anything remotely like Greece.

      Actually, if I was the chancellor, I’d convert that 35% into 100 year – or even perpetual rolling bonds – to lock in all that cash from the ‘magic money tree’. Gosh! That’s exactly what Osborne plans to do.

      So here’s to another round of Osborne’s QE, from the magic money tree which Tory supporters say doesn’t exist! If the Tories keep this up the UK will own > 50% of itself, in perpetual bonds, held on our behalf by the BoE; & which need never be repaid. Won’t that be nice?

      • Amber Star

        I’m not really replying to myself… note to Ed Balls – when Labour is elected, cancel those frick’n bonds (yes, even if they are perpetual) or the next bunch of Tories will privatise the BoE & make the tax-payer fork out real money for them!

    • Alexwilliamz

      Groundhog day.

  • Robert_Crosby

    I totally agree, Sue.  I will happily defend our record… I was doing it with some Tory idiot the other day who claimed that Labour should not criticise Gove’s twisted and corrupt academies policy “because Labour started it” – which is, of course, garbage!

    The problem I find is that while many of us at Party meetings ARE prepared to defend Labour’s record – and Gordon Brown – there are uber-Blairites whose mental state is that we should remain in some kind of paralysis and accept the landscape as mapped out by the Tory-LD coalition.  Yes, we need economic credibility but if Miliband and the Shadow Cabinet accept the narrative that “everything Labour did or does in office is wrong”, then we have no chance of winning again.

  • ItstheMamboSon

    Yes Labour are infinitely preferable to the Tories, but when the Conservatives claim that their privatizations and reforms of public services are a ‘continuation’ of what Blair et al started, they are basically right. The Labour leadership need to repudiate that ideology, commit themselves to a meaningful social democracy and actually start making the arguments for socialism again if they want to win back support from the left.

    Oh and you forgot two other rather big issues that may have antagonised those dinosaurs amongst us who still believe in the dreaded S word.

    Iraq and Afghanistan. 

    The slaughter of tens of thousands of Iraqis, and Tony Blair’s criminal complicity in that slaughter is a pretty big issue, wouldn’t you agree?

    • AlanGiles

      I agree. We cannot and should not ever forget that Brown allowed Purnell to implement Freud – and did so AFTER Freud decamped to the Tories.. And of course Lansley is taking the path first taken by Milburn. 

      • treborc

        OK labour did brilliant in the past, if you vote us back in me will do the same again , but the past is gone the two leaders of the past are gone, so it’s not going to help.

        we need a future not a past.

        And the Tories will not sit and allow the middle class to slip toward the labour party, the Tories will be pulling out all the stops to get the middle class to vote Tory.

        Labour has to have direction tell us where your going, no good telling me the wars were right, or the ten pence tax fiasco was a mistake, or child tax credits were good, because we are now living in a different world

        • suey2y

          This is exactly what’s wrong. 

          EVERYTHING in my post above is not about the past, it’s about whether, in Government, Labour improved the country of not and therefore, whether they will again if re-elected. 

          It’s about whether, fundamentally, they were a progressive party of social justice or a regressive one of social injustice as we have now. 

          • treborc

            “Another Brown Envelope arrived today. It’s clearly marked from the
            Department. My neighbours might have seen, but I think I got it in time.
            It told me I cost too much. They’re stopping my money next month. I am a Useless Eater. What will become of me?

            They “assessed” me.
            Forced me to strip, made me touch my toes. It hurt, pain ripping
            through me. He never looked at me, said the pain didn’t matter. He asked
            if I ever watched the TV. I didn’t know how to answer? Was this a new
            trick? There have been so many. I nodded. He spat the question again
            “Answer me please”. I said I did. The room was small, airless, cameras
            watched from every angle, moving as I tried to move. Grills at the
            windows. Grills at the doors. One time, I had to climb a flight of stairs. When I couldn’t they stopped my money.
            Well Sue you wrote that lot, it’s all true now tell me who put that in, was it the Liberals, Tories,Labour, yes it was labour.

            Now then looking back, while labour is looking back the Tories are looking forward on how they can steal labour middle class today the Tories said we will help the poorest and the middle class, if they do then where is labour going, who is it’s target voter .

            Looking back is great for history it will do little to gain labour anything.

            Oh by the way I had my medical last week, same thing as you. I will find out in six weeks time.

    • suey2y

      No, I mentioned Iraq in the first paragraph 😉

      • ItstheMamboSon

        Cheeky, but you didn’t really discuss them, and they are central to why so many people fell out of love with Labour……

  • GuyM

    The NHS in places is fantastic, no argument there.

    In other places (too many other places) it is horrible, dirty wards, uncaring staff and poor clinical care that kills a lot of people each year.

    I shall give you one example of the treatment my wife had for a broken ankle.

    She stepped in a pothole and heard a clear snap in her ankle, whih balooned in size almost immediately.

    On arrival at A&E she had a few tests and was told by a nurse it wasn’t broken and she should go home, take anti-inflammatories and rest. I insisted it was x-ray’d despite strong protestations by the nurse and one of her colleagues. When the results came back we were told it was broken and it was well we had insisted on the x-ray.

    The follownig week when we returned to have the hard cast put on, the consultant came to see us, told us it was all ok and she could go home with no cast and rest the sprain. We told him it was broken and he insisted it wasn’t. After a bit of incredulity from me he agreed to “take another look at the x-ray”.

    He came back a few minutes later and admitted it was quite a nasty break and it needed a hard cast for a few months. I don’t believe he had actually even looked at the x-ray in the first place.

    I’d be interested to see what Jaime has to say about all this.

    You on the left say how wonderful the NHS is etc. and then you get this sort of experience (and I can describe 3 or 4 more like it) when you just wonder what the hell your taxes are funding.

    My local hospital is in crises, has a terrible low rating, endless complaints about patient care and the CEO has left under a cloud. Local ambulance staff have told us to always insist being taken to a different A&E in the future.

    All the fault of the Tories? The fault of NHS changes that havent even come through yet? 13 years of Labour government not relevant?

    Or is it the case that in far too many instances the NHS is horribly managed, run and staffed in terms of patient outcomes?

    • treborc

       I waited for nine  hours for treatment, then got sent home with two broken legs and a broken back, that of course was 1990 and it was under a Tory government who had used  cuts to try and kill off the NHS.

      I had the MRSA from a labour party which told the NHS to use private firms to clean wards which they failed to do.

      My local hospital took out the wrong kidney of a man who then died even  though we later on heard the nurse tell the consultant he was  taking out the wrong one, he shot off back to India, then we had the doctor who could not speak or write  English giving a patient a 300 mgs of morphine and she was  rushed off to another hospital and given English lessons.

      We all know that  the NHs makes mistakes  many of them simple because doctors and nurses are rushed because people turn up with a cold or flue or drunk or on drugs.

      Still I think the NHS is bloody great.

      Still rather turn up for treatment then have to spend an hour trying to prove i have private insurance.

      Since you earn a good living I’m  shocked you have not taken out insurance to  cover your family, after all you hate anything Labour or socialist

      • GuyM

        I am insured and once the initial A&E and casts were sorted we were covered under private health for physio etc.

        But as so many point out A&E is NHS and is a bit of a lottery, not depedent on post code or funding, just in terms of service. The two A&E hospitals near me, one is excellent, one as discussed is terrible. That’s not location, not funding, not NHS reforms, not political involvement… simply one is very bad in too many areas.

        • treborc

          Always a reason for a bad hospital in my area it’s due to drink and drug and bed blocking by the elderly.

          Poor leadership within the NHS is normally the biggest problem, but in the end would private insurance make things better I doubt it.

          • GuyM

            The local hospital with the bad rep has a record of poor care, disinterested nurses, patients left with no food and water, bad levels of cleaning and a maternity ward subject to endless horror stories in the local media.

            A lot of that will be down to staff, plus mangement oversight.

            The myth Labour peddle is always it’s the fault of “management”, not least as they aren’t their Union members.

            If a nurse is uncaring, doesn’t respond to calls for assistence, when food and water isn’t provided etc. that’s NHS staff at fault primarily. Yet Labour dare not ever say so.

            My experience of private hospitals is that they are cleaner and the staff more polite at times. When you are directly paying for something you strangely find your rights more easy to enforce, odd that isn’t it?

          • AlanGiles

            My experience of private hospitals is that they are cleaner and the staff more polite at times. When you are directly paying for something you strangely find your rights more easy to enforce”

            I am sick to death of your ailments and your wife’s ailments, BUT – private hospitals are run on entirely different lines to NHS hospitals. They have control of who will be admitted and when. An overworked ward is not going to find itself with three or four admissions from A & E when they have only one bed free. A lot of the treatment will be elective (i.e. non-urgent)  surgery, and if my local BUPA hospital is anything to go by, in Brentwood Essex, it seems to advertise “beauty” treatments  and lard-reduction surgery.

            They will by and large control how many admissions there will be tomorrow and the rest of the week, whereas the local NHS hospital can have no idea whatsoever. “Events, dear boy, events” – road accidents, emergencies of all sorts. 

          • treborc

             By the look of it so will the NHS under the Tories, it’s that which makes profits not treatment of illness.

          • treborc

            But then it’s for management to put that right surely

          • Dave Postles

            Disinterested nurses?  Why shouldn’t they be?  That sounds like a professional attitude to me.

          • GuyM

            I think you mistake clinical distance with disinterest.

            Unless you are admitting public health care workers don’t care about patient interests?

            Same as public IT workers and students etc. maybe?

          • Dave Postles

            Nope: disinterested = impartial.
            Bot caring about patients’ interests would be uninterested.
            Anyone who uses disinterested in the sense of lack of interest is wrong, whatever online dictionaries might say.

          • Dave Postles

            Make that ‘Not caring’

        • Amber Star

          What, you mean that your private health insurance doesn’t cover you for accidents, emergencies, pregnancy, contraception, chronic illness, major illnesses like cancer, organ transplants & expensive drugs which the private sector can’t write an NHS prescription for?

          Oh well, just so long as your piles & varicose veins are doing okay, let’s not worry about the rest of it…

          • GuyM

            covers one hell of a lot of issues, well worth the money

    • suey2y

      Mate, you are telling someone who has spent at least a month of every year in hospital since she was a child. Not someone with one anecdote to share.

      Of COURSE the NHS needs reform and improvement, but these are the wrong reforms. It’s not difficult to understand. 

      I promise you, if I had a time machine, I’d take you to an Addenbrookes hospital ward circa 1995 and one in 2007 – the difference was like a parallel universe. 

      So don’t tell me, from your comfy sofa, that reform is needed because someone’s great-aunt-whotsit didn’t get her blancmange on time. 

      Staff and patients alike know that the NHS needs reform and if politicians would just leave it alone for more than a year or so, they might just be able to get on and make it run a little more smoothly. 

      • GuyM

        That’s the sort of reply I’d expect.

        Standard “only Labour may discuss the NHS” comments

        The main problems can be solved only by chucking money at them.

        Vested interest NHS unions are concerned in members interests not NHS performance, yet Labour defers to them.

        I’m surprised some on the left haven’t suggested only NHS treatment for those with a party membership card.

        It’s why when I look at jobs the first criteria on benefits is private health cover.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Your wife’s experience sounds dreadful, but I am not able to explain why it happened.  It is not standard procedure to have a nurse examine a complaint of a broken bone.  It is also standard procedure to call for a X-Ray if a doctor believes there is a chance of a fracture.

      The tissue inflammation may have masked the site break.  Normally you can tell through manipulation and listening for any grating if the fibula or talus is fractured, but the tibia is less easy to tell.  If the patient kicks you in the face by reflex when you are listening for grating, it is normally a good sign of local pain, and that “there’s an issue”.

      The normal procedure for something like this would be for the charge nurse to triage, a house officer to perform the initial manipulation, and if suspicious of fracture to prescribe painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs and arrange for immediate X-ray.  On receipt of the X-ray the house officer would normally seek confirmation of diagnosis from the Registrar or Consultant, and then send the patient to the MAU for casting the next day.  In MAU blood pressure would be monitored hourly for the first 12 hours to ensure there was no internal bleeding.  There is an amount of hanging around for the patient, particularly if the injury is sustained after hours, but there’s only a few things that need to be done before casting, and that normally takes 24 hours.  Apart from anything else, anti-inflammatories need to take effect so that casting is efficient.  There’s no point casting a joint that is grossly inflamed.I am unsure as to why a wait of a week before a cast was applied.  There are some decisions to be made before selection of which type of cast is most appropriate, but those tend to be templated and reviewed and approved within 24 hours at the most, assuming there is no need for internal splinting or further investigation or imaging, which casts will make difficult.  For a simple fracture of the ankle with no internal damage to the anterior tibial artery I would not expect a delay of more than 24 hours before casting.

      There is also an NHS complaint procedure, but in the first instance the Medical Director (or similar title) at your hospital would be the one I would approach first, rather than send an email into “the system”.

      • GuyM

        It was a break on the “wrong” side as the ankle twisted inwards rather than outwards. It broke off a fair sized piece of bone which was floating and the outside ankle plus instep and arch went near black and swollen very quickly.

        The charge nurse did triage but for some reason concluded it was a sprain and wanted to leave it at that. That’s the first thing I found surprising as I had expected to be referred upwards to aone of the onduty doctors.

        We ended up with a inital light cast for a week as it was swollen and were asked to come back for the hard cast (on the basis if the swelling was down), which is when all communication seemd to go and the consultant didn’t even look at the x-ray it seems.

        I’ve had complaints to the NHS before, including one to my GP surgery where bad diagnosis almost cost me a large part of lung function. The problem was only picked up by a private consultant who had me into hospital there and then as  he described it as one of the worst cases he’d seen that year.

        My GP practice went into internal review over the mistakes.

        So on one occasion only my bloody minded insistence got my wife looked after and on the other only my private health care saved me significant permanent lung damage. The NHS as I said is great in places, but the level of care at times is shocking and how staff get away with things like the two above is beyond me.

        The Labour party insistence that no one may ever be critical about the NHS other than themselves means everyone runs scared to discuss it warts and all, much like the immigration debate was highjacked for years by some on the left ready to scream “bigot” and “racist”.

        • AlanGiles

          I think we should rename Labour List “Guy’s List”, since every day we have to endure the tittle-tattle of his daily doings – his fearful encounters with the NHS, his salvation thanks to his private health insurance, his great superiority.

          The man is so self-obsessed perhaps we should all leave and let him take it over as a blog, with occasional guest appearance from Jaime.

          It’s “Diary Of A Nobody” for the 21st century – the new Mr. Pooter.

          • GuyM

            I’m having a useful conversation with a well trained Doctor, your involvement isn’t needed. Go and bother someone else Alan.

          • AlanGiles

            Patronising as ever. This site is NOT intended to be for your private medical problems or to discuss your lifestyle. If you wish to  consult Jaime professionaly why not ask Mark for his contact details, to save you boring the rest of us.

            But again Guy you prove the point – everything HAS to be about you, doesn’t it?

            You must be a very insecure little man, and your loud mouthed bravado is all part of your act.

          • GuyM

            The site is set up to allow conversation and debate.

            My conversation with Jaime hurts no one, damages no one and everyone including you is able to decide whether to read posts or not.

            In terms of personal points, read through the thread and see how many post personal reflections:

            and me

            so far.

            I take it you are now the forum police and will be taking issue with any personal reflections on any threads?

            You are looking ever more bizarre Alan.

          • AlanGiles

            I just feel you need to be reminded Guy that not everyone is interested in your dismal little life, and certainly not interested in your medical mishaps, but, as I say, you seem to be somebody who really cannot resist talking about themselves – you carry self-obsession to new heights. 

            I just hope you never acquire a hernia, because no doubt you will then want to discuss your choice of a truss with Jaime 🙂

            But do witter on, I am sure your mind-numbing medical complaints can be edited out at a later date.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Trusses.  GP crap, and you can be sure that a recommendation for Brand X over Brand Y can be followed through in terms of donations to the GP’s accounts.

          • GuyM

            I had a hernia thanks, at the time I was training to pass a RCB for Sandhurst entry.

            Painful thing it was, especially as it was a year or two before keyhole surgery was brought in for it.

          • AlanGiles

            Really? How very interesting. You must tell us about your 
            premenstrual tension
            some time – but not now – I have to go out.
            I hope unburdening yourself like you do has helped your neurosis.

          • GuyM

            Sorry, been hospitalised twice in around 40 years.

            Hernia and lung damage… nothing else apart from the odd A&E visit due to contract sport for 20 years.

            Again can I ask if you really do ahve trouble stopping yourself reading my posts and replying? Is it some sort of neurosis you have?

            I can see you sitting there, steam coming out your ears… GuyM….has posted….. must not read….. must not reply…….. can’t stop myself…….arrrgghhh

            Either that or would you mind showing me your badge mr forum policeman?

          • Amber Star

            This whole thread made me LOL.

          • GuyM

            One other little point, I work on the presumption you are able to see “GuyM” at the top of the post and chose not to read it.

            Or do you also have trouble with the channel button and off switch for TV programmes you don’t like?

            I presume you write into the BBC and Sky etc. complaining that you’ve seen enough of programme X etc.

          • derek

            Are you a relative of Pinochet?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I’m just beginning to wonder if I should set up a “24/7 Emergency Opinion A&E Website”.  It may represent my main chance in life to make £200 million and sell it to Google, having outsourced everything to some clear-headed but poorly paid young doctors in Senegal or somewhere very cheap.

            On second thoughts, no.  Not up my street.

            But I don’t mind chatting with Guy. I do support the spreading of information. In this case, Guy and I have narrowed down the original focus of his concern (which I am sure is well-founded) to 2 questions: nurse truing, and consultant engagement. With that having been done, should Guy choose he may now make a much more focussed intervention to his local hospital.

          • AlanGiles

            Reading Guy’s tale(s) of woe reminded me of the story of the man who turned up at his GP’s surgery every week, with a different complaint.

            After a few months the GP is getting a little weary of the regular visits and said to the patient “I begin to feel you are suffering from hypochondria”

            To which the patient replies “Oh no, doctor, don’t tell me I’ve caught that as well!”  🙂

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            My old man told me that in his student days at Glasgow University medical college (mid 1950s) that some notes were marked up as “PP”, or “Pendulum Plumbii”, which I’m sure you have enough Latin to understand.

            Doctors can be pretty creative when it comes to jokes on patients’ notes.  However to be serious, while I fully accept that in some cases death is unavoidable and you can see it in a patient’s eyes, relatives need to be introduced gracefully to the calamity that is about to hit their family.  There’s never any excuse for jokes or cryptic acronyms like “DNR”.  The Doctor has to have some cojones and look the relatives in the eye as he or she impart bad but undeniable news.

          • derek

            I’m beginning to wonder what type of Frankenstein story, we’ve let loose on our NHS, We give you a home, a well paid job and in return you want to choke the life out of our NHS.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas


            No one gave me a home, I have bought my house like everyone else with a mortgage.

            You also appear in a quite racist way to suggest that I am a visitor to these shores, to be appointed or sent packing at the behest of an Edinburgh benefit claimant.  I remind you, I am British by birth.  This is the land of my forefathers, and I work for our country’s people.

            As for the well-paying job, I applied for it.  No one “gave” it to me.  I went through 4 interviews and a clinical panel, as you would expect.  

            Do I want to choke the life out of my employer?  An employer whose fundamental values I agree with?  Not based on 17 years of working for my employer, I would suggest.

            On the other hand, there is also the possibility that you have not got the faintest idea about what you are talking, and in addition are a rather nasty-minded person with a desire to belittle others.  Thinking about it, that could be a near 100% possibility.

          • derek

            Don;t try and lecture me sonny! your crass suggestion are ill founded and irresponsible tripe, your on the edge of complete write off, a bin lid bashing squealer who wouldn’t recognise a percentage scale if bit you right in the nose. Now can you say something  more  constructive and relevant?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I’ll not be lectured to by you, and that will be the end of our discourse.  I hope your life is successful.

          • derek

            Me too? it’s pretty dire with this mob in power.

          • “Guy’s List” or Hypochondria Corner.

          • GuyM

            A fracture to my wife’s ankle a couple of years ago.

            You can’t have it both ways Dave, either the NHS is overworked and stressed with real cases else the UK public are all largely hypo’s making up fractures and illnesses.

            But I guess silly immature insults to attack non beleivers is in keeping with left wing behaviours.

          • This is a blog, not a consulting room.

          • GuyM

            It’s a forum, not limited by size nor limited by content.

            Do you find it impossible to avoid a thread line or comment from a poster?

            Is your brain unable to control your eye movement? Perhaps you should ask Jaime about your problem?

          • Dave Postles

             Yes, it is limited by content.  The constitution describes it as for ‘Labour-minded people’.  It is a special-interest forum.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

             No actually, it doesn’t. Maybe you shoul check your facts, the link is in the top right corner.

            Whoops eh?

          • Dave Postles

             Mea culpa, then.  The constitution has been changed.  It was for ‘Labour-minded’ people. It still apparently would exclude you two who are not interested in the success of centre-left policies and politics – in fact, quite the reverse and thus deleterious to the objective of the forum.

          • GuyM

            Actually it says nothing about “success”, it says “open debate”.

            Since proscribing opposing views is not “open debate”, I’d say your ship has sunk without trace Dave.

          • GuyM

            and yet the site management and moderators seem to take a different view?

            maybe you should set a web page up yourself and enforce those rules yourself as LL doesn’t seem to agree with you?

          • Dave Postles


          • Dave Postles
          • Dave Postles

             bugger keep hitting the comma not the full stop:


          • Dave Postles

             ‘and yet the site management and moderators seem to take a different view?’
            You don’t know that; the moderator might be asleep, out, or not reading all the comments.  That seems to fit your usual presumptuousness.

          • GuyM

            as I’ve seen all sorts of off topic threads running through debates including some peronally nasty ones directed at Jaime where people imply he’s not medically qualified, can I politely suggest you are talking out of your backside once again?

          • I wish it was Dave, because it seems to have been largely abandoned and there appears to be no moderation of the posts, given the effective takeover by hostile voices.
            That’s certainly why I don’t post much these days. I’m not interested in debating with those who have opposing ideologies

          • Agreed, Alan. Have a look at this thread. Full of Guy’s right wing ramblings, Jaimes right-wing ramblings… wonder so many of us who are actually members of the Labour party and would appreciate a reasonable discussion with Labour minded people don’t bother posting anything substantial here. It needs proper monitoring and moderation, in my view.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Now you have supplied some more detail I have more understanding.

          A break on the “outside” would normally be to the talus (the flat bone on the top of your foot, before the toes), and I would expect the smaller toes to exhibit haematoma (bruising) fairly rapidly, probably within the hour.  A break to the “inside” would normally have some features of compressive fracture and exhibit haematoma to the upper part of the inside ankle, as the vein in that part of the body travels behind the internal ball of the ankle and in parallel with the Achilles’ tendon.  The “inside” fracture would also explain the rapid haematoma to arch and instep.  So it looks like your wife had a compressive fracture of the fibula, or at least that would be my suspicion.

          Why the nurse thought a sprain was more likely than fracture is a matter for her Consultant to try to work out.  Sprains do not exhibit haematomae. It is one of the classic signs for fracture.  You’ve got me thinking.  Tomorrow I’m going to ask one of my more junior nurses to tell me what she knows about sprains and fractures:  hopefully she’ll give me chapter and verse on differentiating them, but if not then I’ve got some internal teaching to do.

          I can understand the light cast for a week.  A fracture of the fibula will typically cause inflammation on the inside calf muscle up to around the knee.  Given such a large area of inflammation, the standard dosage of anti-inflammatories will take a few days to take proper effect.  In that case (which is fairly rare), I can understand the decision to delay hard casting. It is better to administer lower quantities of anti-inflammatories over a longer period than a raised dosage over a short period, particularly for children and women of child bearing age.  A light cast would normally be the solution.  Was it applied with a raised leg?  I find it poor when nurses apply light casts without considering bone placement and gravity.

          • GuyM

            The break was actually near the ankle done itself, the toes themselves hardly discoloured, with the ankle area, onstep and arch going dark very quickly.

            The soft cast was to allow the swelling to reduce as you say, with anti-inflammatories as well. My wife is a pharmacist (research for a while before staffing the Royal Society and now at a big multi national again so she found the whole thing slightly interesting in a detached way).

            The light cast was applied with the leg raised, as was the hard cast the week later so they got that right.

            I had no problem with the week wait, it seemed totaly logical to allow swelling to go and then review once more. In fact once the treatment was agreed it was carried out perfectly.

            The problem was the inital reluctance to xray and the consultant’s negligence in checking the xray. I wonder how a little old lady too timid to have pressed on either occasion would have managed.

          • derek

            What, your going to ask a junior nurse what a fracture is?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I think I know Derek.  The question is more about establishing what the nurses know, which should be and I expect to be “a lot”.  I’m trying to baseline something, a little niggle that Guy raised and I want to prod to make sure it is sound.  I’m sure it is, but I want to check.

            Don’t you want nurses in your local A&E (Royal Infirmary I take it – I taught a course there once, lovely place, and we had a post-course party at the Oyster Bar in the New Town) to be somewhat on top of the game when your grandchild arrives with a greenstick fracture?

            I hope your hangover has now cleared.  Must have felt vicious this morning.

          • derek

            Hangover? and a spanish inquisition of the nurses! Odd ball, and if you taught at the A&E RI, I’ll demand a refund. 

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            So, how much did you pay, before we settle the refund?  Looking back at my diary, I taught a Monday to Thursday course from 6th-9th March 2006.  Cambridgeshire NHS charged £2,800 for my services, and I received an additional £1,920 gross, plus expenses (very nice in the Caledonian Hotel, with on one night a concert from the band Runrig in the hotel cellar bar).

            The topic of the course was “Management of Internal Bleeding Post Traumatic Impact”, which might sound a bit boring to you, but which is quite necessary for those who get hit by heavy or fast moving objects, or even slow down quite rapidly in a traffic accident, and who then turn up in A&E.

            Anyway, if I have somehow over-charged for my services, please provide some proof and we’ll settle a refund.

          • derek

            I wouldn’t think a blood sucking fanged bloke like you to pass any imagination up.

            We’ll check the account later? on those dates, I wonder what name we’ll find? Jolly good too.

            Obviously you wouldn’t have understood a word runrig sang, I ask Donny about that?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I do wonder Derek whether you have ever made a positive contribution to this site, or if you merely sit in Edinburgh waiting for a comment to then vent bile upon it?  In this discussion, I wonder how you feel that Guy’s wife should have been treated?

          • derek

            With a  diligent professional manner and assessment. commonly known as NHS practice!

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Just a thought.  Why are you so virulently abusive to people you don’t know?  Can’t you slightly calm down, and instead of addressing people as bloodsuckers, actually sensibly discuss the points they raise?  You appear to be very angry and aggressive.

          • derek

            If we’re profiling? why are you so anti NHS and why do you attack all things that relate to labour?

          • GuyM

            Just asked my wife and she reminded me it was the triage Sister who did the inital review.

            Maybe she was rushed, not feeling well or some sort of problem who knows. But it did surprise me.

            Never mind it was in the past and a learning experience for all.

  • Bill Lockhart

    “Since the coalition came to power, Crime has risen”

    No, it hasn’t.

    “Latest figures show that overall crime, as measured by the BCS, has shown no change between the 2009/10 and 2010/11 surveys (the apparent 1% increase was not statistically significant), following a statistically significant fall of nine per cent between 2008/09 and 2009/10 surveys. Police recorded crime figures for 2010/11 have fallen by four per cent since the previous year, a smaller decrease than for 2009/10 (when there was a year-on-year decrease of 8%).”

    If you’re going to invent stuff, make it stuff no-one can check.

  • Winston_from_the_Ministry

    It’s all a bit desperate and questionable isn’t it? 

  • JoeDM

    “All that money Labour spent on the NHS went on lightbulbs, pot plants and new carpets”

    £12 BILLION was wasted on an NHS IT system which never worked.  Now that’s what I call a waste of money !!!!!!!

    • GuyM

      Yep and having worked on it and then receive a letter from the CEO of the programme threatening me with legal action if I criticised it in public ever again I can confirm it was a disaster in concept, disaster in planning, disaster in implementation and disaster when it was shut down.

      • Alexwilliamz

        Absolute example of too many people’s understanding (or rather lack of) IT and technology in the boardrooms and civil service offices. There seemed to be a failure to realise that you would need to first redesign how certain things were done before you could then create a system to process it. The fact that every little organisation had its own systems, software etc, should have been a flag. However I would criticise the private companies involved, for not coming clean after the first couple of months when it would have been obvious that the whole scheme was impossible without a radical rethink of how the NHS operated its processes. But then my experience of IT companies is that the sales and management bods know very little about IT themselves, promise the earth, agree that every request can be incorporated then expect the engineers to some how make it all work. At the same time distracting them by dragging them into pointless meetings and reorganising and restructuring teams etc.

        • Dave Postles

           iSoft – just about went belly up until bought by CSC.

        • GuyM

          Yep there was a horrible lack of sufficient process mapping and system/process convergence prior to trying to implement technology.

          Plus the entire programme seemed to run on a badly managed DSDM framework with NHS and programme managers often changing their mind.

          Agile gets out of control when the the client side is ineffective and if agile gets out of control then so do costs and delivery slips and scope creep spreads.

          As to the IT consultancies, there was a degree of milking the government whilst knowing full well some things would never work out. I’d suggest they also used it as a glorified R&D framework for technology and staff development as well.

          Your comment on sales and management in IT firms is spot on.. it’s why the CRM boom in the 1995 to 2005 period under-delivered to the extent Gartner reported a 60% programme failure rate to deliver to an acceptable level.

          Many BI implementations are now doing the same thing.

          • Amber Star

            OMG, you’ve just agreed with somebody who said exactly the same as I did. That the private IT consultants sold something they couldn’t deliver then lied to keep the money rolling.

            Except when I said it, according to you it was a “Totally stupid comment from someone who doesn’t understand a thing about IT or data systems.”

            You are LOL funny, GUYM, you really are.

          • GuyM

            Nope, I’ve agreed that the private IT companies were part responsible. As I’ve said elsewhere culpability lies between 3 groups:

            1 Government/Civil Service

            2 NHS

            3 Certain IT Consultancies

            Note I say “certain” IT consultancies, due to the fact parts of NPfIT did indeed deliver by the end (if horribly late and over budget).

            PACS for instance is very succesfull and Choose and Book seems to be improving.

            I took and take issue with you due to the usual rant you started off with, blaming all woes solely on the IT providers and making comments that implied you thought the whole thing would have been a doddle but for them.

            Government blew billions on a programme based upon their own desire to look good. Labour had a fixation with large database projects. The proposed ID Card scheme, Childrens Database and National Spine are 3 such examples.

            Labour ministers who were technically weak spending vast sums of money because they were wow’d by the prospect of photo oppurtunites.

            The IT industry was saying for years that parts of the programme were totally illfounded and yet government would not listen.

            I briefed my MP, who came back to me to tell me Labour were refusing to listen and regarded all criticism as political designed to make them look bad.

            You waded into review of the biggest civil IT programme ever attempted with little or no infrmation, no first hand experience and no real technical background.

            You might be a very gifted trained accountant for all I know, but you are not a technical programme manager and as such you really ought to not jump to dumb conclusions based solely on your desire to blame groups that politically you don’t like.

            I’ve never worked in a private sector blue chip where steering committees are much more than financial tick box exercises, they certainly don’t infuence outcomes even when running Agile programmes and projects.

            But you will no doubt go on about how it would have all been fine without misselling, which it wouldn’t have been in the slightest.

    • Amber Star

      £12 BILLION was wasted on an NHS IT system which never worked.  Now that’s what I call a waste of money !!!!!!!
      Yep, that’s what happens when you involve the PRIVATE SECTOR in the NHS!!!! They charge a fortune & DON’T deliver what they promised!!!!!
      And my comment trumps your’s because I’ve used more capital letters + more exclamation marks than you did.

      • GuyM

        Totally stupid comment from someone who doesnt understand a thing about IT or data systems.

        You could have had every public sector IT bod in the UK working on connecting for health and certain aspects of it were not possible without disastrous side issues.

        Do explain how one massive NHS database linking all GPs, Hospitals, Physios, Pharmacies, Outpatients and every other touchpoint across the whole country and managed in real time with hundreds of thousands of people given patient record access was going to work?

        Come on Amber, let me into your in depth IT architecture system knowledge, explain all the security issues, the data degredation, the duplication, the fragmentation….. tell m ehow the hell it was going to work?

        Throw in the fact consortia of GP surgeries had their own purchasing of IT hardware and software and disparate legacy systems and do let me know how you enforce a technological standard across every IT touchpoint in the NHS and then maintain the damn thing?

        Or to put it politely and politically here’s what they said when they shut it down:

        “the review reported the National Programme for IT has not and cannot deliver to its original intent….

        it is no longer appropriate for a centralised authority to make decisions on behalf of local organisations”


        now ask yourself who decided to try in the first place?

        then direct yourself at the private sector IT industry who were saying for years it was never going to work….

        after that maybe book yourself into basic IT network infrastructure and relational database theory courses

        • Chris Cook


          Good – because well-informed and reasonably objective – comment. On a more constructive note, how would you set about introducing networked, decentralised and patient-centric systems for the NHS?

          I’m interested in the approach that Mydex are taking in relation to personal data.

          • Dave Postles

             Large datasets
            The Indian government is investing £19bn (I think that’s the correct amount) in a national database for all its citizens, because so few of them have proper identification of any kine.

          • Dave Postles

             Make that ‘kind’.

          • GuyM

            another white elephant that won’t properly deliver

            plus it’s one thing basing demographic analysis or access to state benefits on the sytems, another basing life and death clinical decisions on it.

            commercial organisations regard 90% plus data quality as a fantastic result…. now you think about that in clinical terms, one in ten parts of your records may not pass muster.

            and you think one large unweildy national system imposed downwards will cut it IT wise or clinically?

          • Dave Postles

             It was a piece of information for Chris Cook about large datasets, not about clinical records management.  You just jump to conclusions not intended.

          • treborc

             Or pay tax, I suspect it’s more about tax then knowing whom is who.

          • GuyM

            1 Standardise the technical base i.e adopt a standard OS, DB, coding and similar technologies.

            2 Don’t pick obscure bits of software in that first point, common software and the like mean less reliance on consultancies and a wider potential employe base.

            3 Enforce that technology standard through contracts with GP surgeries etc.

            4 Then leave local structures (PCT, SHA, consortia… I couldnt say off hte top of my head) to innovate within the technology frameworks and share best practice.

            5 run local databases (spines) and maybe at best transfer limited records to a central DB that acts as a reference rather than operational system.

            6 Innovate on things like Choose and Book and PACS, which can run in trusts independently, but don’t try and impose centrally controlled all encompassing systems.

            7 Last point for now, have tough security structures and monitoring. Don’t just “trust” NHS staff with patient records.

            I could go on with some thought…. but a lot of it isn’t rocket science.

            NPfIT was arrogance of technology and politicians trying to act godlike and crashing badly.

          • Chris Cook


            Good solid common-sense stuff.

            Just in passing.

            1/Does MUMPS survive in the NHS? 

            2/ Have you ever come across  sentences and if so, what did you reckon?

          • GuyM

            In answer:

            1 MUMPS

            Yes I think it does, but most probably only in small legacy systems now (I maybe wrong).

            NPfIT never really looked at it or the VistA solution that is built upon it for a central records system, largely because they were fixated with a top down imposed technical standard – the Spine.

            As I understand it (looking on the webpage of the group pushing VistA ni the NHS) some are now trying to get it looked at post the NPfIt failure.

            There are two major problems though on this:

            a) Does the NHS have the appetite to go from one extreme – centrally mandated technology solutions which failed, straight to the other extreme of an individual trust free for all with open source technology.

            Maybe it does, but I suspect fingers have been burnt with IT spend for a few years. My experience of organisations that have suffered bad IT implementations is that they are adverse to new costly programme in a sort of inverse relationship timewise to the horror of the failed work.

            If this holds for the NHS I’d have thought it might be a few years before any major change is looked at.

            2 Only ever heard of sentences briefly through conversations with Thompson Reuters about equity price and LME spot price provision into a variety of legacy databases.

            I took a look and it seems to be one of many options to create external joins between relational databases and so remove the costly options of warehouse or mart builds in some cases.

            A num ber of tools do this, one of which being the popular Business Objects Analytics which can allow a number of systems to be linked through the semantic layer it creates (the Universe) as a user friendly QL query tool.

            The difference though with something like Business Objects is that is also creates virtual OLAPs and as such allows the standard slice and dice and drill an OLAP in say Cognos provides.

            Sentences seems to be a basic tool to link and query relational databases, but not provide the next step in terms of Analytic function.

            Further something like Sentences need database literate IT staff who understand the relational structures of the databases htey are joining and the logical links they create.

            A Business Objects type solution provides a non IT bod with a safe environment to query and extract.

            However for lower cost options where central query and extract options are sufficient I’ve worked with similar tools. Lexis Nexis for instance had a similar bit of software that my Database Manager was able to use.

            Hope those answers were ok, cheers.

          • GuyM

            One additional point about Sentences is it may be of good use to a DBA team in terms of visualising complex sets of RDBs, all depends on what is needed as always.

        • Amber Star

          You’re accusing the wrong girl of being a ‘know nothing’, I’m afraid. My X is a top-rated programmer (I’ve ‘wasted’ more of my weekends helping him test bl**dy software than I care to count) & my brother is an Oracle database expert who works for one of the world’s leading electronics/ defence corporations. And I myself am a finance ‘expert’ (as much as anybody can be, at any rate) who has been on steering comittees for IT projects as well as managing the budgets of several more & also managing the implementation of financial software: Both off-the-shelf (with mods) & bespoke deals.

          If I see another “IT network infrastructure & relational database theory” course, I’ll be running it – & explaining the impact on finances of the various decision points when managing an MI project.

          • Dave Postles

             Good for you.  That’s very impressive. 

          • GuyM

            My reply removed again for some reason.

            It’s not impressive from an IT point of view.

            A finance department member of a steering committe is standard but means nothing in terms of technical understanding.

            However it does show the problem in the private sector of accounts departments thinking they best know how to control everything and not just the finances.

            You are qualified to comment from an IT perspective on NPfIT, Amber really isn’t.

          • Dave Postles

             I was referring to  her achievements.  I am not qualified at all to comment.  I am not an IT person.  I was an academic historian (well, still am as a retired person).  I have no hesitation in congratulating people on their achievements.  I am impressed by what she has achieved in her career.  In the old days, in my research, we used to use Soundex, though.

          • Dave Postles

             Re-the Soundex – not, of course, suggesting that that would be appropriate for any medical records system.  It was just another off-the-cuff remark going back to the days of DBase II/III/III+ in my research when you had to use Boolean logic from the command line.

          • Amber Star

            Hi Dave, if you meant it, then thank you. And I will exempt you from my comment about ‘arrogant IT geeks’. I think  it takes a team to run a project. Really good IT chaps, who are willing to listen to people from other disciplines, are hard to find.

          • Dave Postles

             Amber – see below.

          • GuyM

            So you couldn’t answer a single point then?
            Testing software or being a programmer does not make anyone able to build a England wide relational database structure that covers every single patient or health worker touch point.
            I’ll ask again
            “explain all the security issues, the data degredation, the duplication, the fragmentation….. tell me how the hell it was going to work”

            In my last multi national programme implementation I had a load of programmers, a couple of testers and assorted BAs, DAs, DBAs and PMs working for me plus one very good system architect.

            You did some testing and you x is a programmer, whoopy f’ing do.

            Explain how you’d manage a distributed system supprtig every patient touch point in the country over a fragmented technological base?

            Or shall I give you a few practical questions….

            1 When access to the big super duper database goes down, just as patient A goes into the operating theatre, what do you do?

            Do you run a real time replicated localised database?

            If so how do you manage issues of hierarchy of data records and how often is the merge purge run?

            2 Supposing patient B gives a pharmacist notice he is allergic to aspirin, but on emergency access to the hospital his records don’t cover that allergy, but through user error it indicate an allergy to penecillin?

            Do you take the hospital record as master or the pharmacy? Or maybe the latest record? And when do you merge them and how?

            3 Say patient C goes to his local A&E and can’t remember his NHS number, gives his details and the health staff member gets his name slightly wrong and has multiple records that might match… what does he or she do?

            4 Each night do you have all records on the entire spine merged? If so what matching criteria do you run and how do you deal with those too close to call either way?

            Then do you cascade all the way down changes immediately or do you wait for some form of system verification… a double check and if so how?

            5 What happens if a data merge goes down to one data hub… how much time do you need to take a system off line to roll back data loads and reprocess and what fallbacks do you provide for hub users?

            and on and on and on…..

            the classic example in the trials of the centralised database was off a nurse in AA being marked as an alcoholic and having that record cascade down and up through the distributed systems. It was then a nightmare to ensure things were rolled back.

            and on and on and on…….

            It was a disaster waiting to happen, the industry said so and kept on saying so.

            I sat as a senior consultant in the Royal College of Surgeons on a London Cluster strategy day…. I ended up banging my head on the table (a huge one with 30 of us around) in sheer frustration at the hapless state the programme was in.

            Do you know what the main finding of the strategy day was?

            ….. that they needed a strategy… that was the published result sent out in minutes etc. at the end…. the strategy day concluded they needed a strategy. I still have the text message from an incredulous manager after that happened

            So I’ll ask once again…. tell me what the hell you know about massive database system implementations across organisations like the NHS? As I know a hell of a lot having implemented a drug and patient data system for a global pharma across North America and Western Europe.

            Running some UAT for your ex doesnt cut it Amber, it really really doesn’t.

          • Amber Star

             When access to the big super duper database goes down, just as patient A goes into the operating theatre, what do you do?Do you run a real time replicated localised database?
            You use the manual copy of the records which the SOP would make it mandatory to print & check 24 hours prior to any surgery.

            You are just typical of IT ‘geeks’ everywhere, you always forget that no IT systems work without manual processes & – ahem – people trained to use them sensibly. You think IT can do everything on its own. It can’t. And using NHS staff seconded to to the IT team, instead of giving carte blanche to private sector consultants, would have prevented most of the stupidity which surrounded this botched system.

          • GuyM

            You print out records 24 hours prior and you have no record of drugs taken and still in the system prior to operation.

            Any clinician would tell you what nonsense what you just suggested is and my wife, who used to run a hospital pharmacy function, will laugh her head of at this when I tell her.

            You say I think IT can do everything on it’s own, which is hilarious as my criticism of the programme and why it eventually failed is it CAN’T do everything on it’s own.

            NHS staff were seconded to teams, I worked with many of them. But secondments do not facilitate wider engagement nor do they solve technical problems themselves.

            You didn’t work anywhere near NPfIT, you are a finance professional with little or no technical or programme knowledge and you are in direct opposition to most of the criticism directed at the programme that was proved correct and the independent review which closed it down and backed my vewis from years before.

            As to being an “IT geek” I’m nothing of the sort, I started in finance and marketing departments before moving to a niche between commercial/organisational departments and IT.

            You come across as the worst example of the arrogant individual from accounts who thinks he/she is always right in areas of non expertise simply because you hold the purse strings.

            You are making a fool of yourself on an issue that is not open to specualtion as it has already failed and been investigated and matches what my criticism is.

            Of course if you as an accountant have a greater understanding than all those technical experts, the independent review, the IT industry leaders, the national press and programme staff who have commented then I salute you for your omnipotence.

            Alternatively you are digging a bigger hole for yourself after getting into an argument on a subject you know next to nothing about.

            You call me a “IT geek”…. shall we call you a “bean counter”?

          • Amber Star

            Call me a bean-counter, if you like.  Your discrimination is showing because Alex Williamz just made exactly the points which I made i.e. the Private Sector providers lied to get the contracts & keep them going long after they should have owned up & said they couldn’t do the job. And you agreed with him.

            It’s you who is changing the questions & saying: “My wife (with private medical insurance) would laugh at you.” Are you presenting this as a supposedly reasoned response? LOL.

            My sister, who is a nurse, will confirm that patient records which are stored electronically are printed & reviewed 24 hours prior to scheduled surgeries – with all additional data being added manually then entered into the local database.

            The procedure is slightly different for emergency surgeries, obviously.

            So you asked the questions, I answered; you had a wee rant but that doesn’t make me wrong.

            And regarding me thinking I know it all; no such thing… I just have a huge pool of experts who give me information & advice, which I listen to.

          • AlanGiles

            You come across as the worst example of the arrogant individual”

            PRICELESS!. You just don’t get irony, do you, Guy?. For you to call anybody else “arrogant”… words fail me.

            Rest assured, old chap, your claim to the title of the most arrogant contributor to LL will forever by uncontested.

            You are the world’s foremost expert in everything. I am surprised you don’t set yourself up as a consultant and go and live in the West Country.

            Then you could have a practice in Bath. Perhaps you do already as part of your self-love regime 🙂

          • treborc

             Sorry but my son is already an IT expert in bath who runs his own company, he would I think find it hard to work with some people

          • Amber Star

            2 Supposing patient B gives a pharmacist notice he is allergic to aspirin, but on emergency access to the hospital his records don’t cover that allergy, but through user error it indicate an allergy to penecillin?
            Do you take the hospital record as master or the pharmacy? Or maybe the latest record? And when do you merge them and how?
            What a f*ckwitted question!? You can’t use an IT implementation to correct “user error” in an database. Or was this a ‘trick’ question?

            The whole point of a single database is that the master records are either:
            Created using all the available data then ‘audited’ afterwards, by e.g. GP/ Patient verification – so this chap would be allegic to both asprin & penicillen until the database is edited; or
            Created using e.g. always use the hospital records. The patient is then allegic to one or other (depending which is chosen as the core records) until the database is audited. Either way, the data needs to be audited.

            As it stands, without the super-duper database, his records are wrong anyway & either way he’s in danger until they are corrected. You can’t fix that without somebody who knows auditing the data. (i.e. a health worker speaking with the patient &/or his GP).

            Do you really want more answers to your either stupid or ‘trick’ questions 3-5? Because you are just looking more like an arrogant, IT nerd with every question you ask.

          • Amber Star

            3 Say patient C goes to his local A&E and can’t remember his NHS number, gives his details and the health staff member gets his name slightly wrong and has multiple records that might match… what does he or she do?
            Oh FFS – you really are having a laugh. She follows her training & re-inputs his name/ address/ DOB. If she still doesn’t get a match, she moves to the next level – generally: What is the address of your GP surgery or the name of one of your GPs? This generally narrows it down to a checkable amount of data which she can search through until she finds the person’s record.

            What do you think NHS staff do now, if they can’t find a patient’s file in the current database or manual filing system? They have a process which they follow. If NHS staff had been properly involved in the IT project, instead of it being outsourced to ‘consultants’ who like nothing better than having ‘strategy’ meetings, it would have been much more likely to work. Which was my point.

            Anyway, I am tired of your dumb questions (answers to 2 & 1 are below). Questions 4 & 5 are probably even stupider – put them up another time when I’m more in the mood to LOL & I’ll answer them then.

          • GuyM

            I think you misunderstand how data entry works or how a system reacts.

            If a patient says Jimmie Johnson as his name, have you any idea of the variety of spellings that get entered into a system?

            You are also presuming that a someone checking the system is sitting next to the patient, whereas we are talking about record entry, not normally the work of hospital Doctor.

            Currently hospitals are still quite reliant on face to face checks and patient information by referral. The criticism of totally difitising records is that it provides a degree of authority on a record that might lead to less verbal verification.

            It was a key conern about how the spine would work in practice, to the extent PDAs at the time were suggested for clinicians. This of course ignored time/motion analysis as was found with Chose and Book initially.

            As to NHS staff being properly involved, they weren’t and if you look back through comments on the programme one key criticism of clinical staff was they weren’t being engaged with.

            Part of this was due to no central staff list for communications being held to the extent that in London Cluster for example a list of SHA and PCT directors had to be manually created via minutes of board meetings. Nothing was held for staff further down.

            When London Cluster launched it’s website it had a little over 60 unique visitors in 4 months (from web analytics), of whom over half were programme staff. No one knew it was there because there was no way to get the news across properly.

            You really need to stop assuming things about NPfIT when you have no idea about the programme.

          • Amber Star

            You just changed the specifications of the question, Guy. A few minutes ago, the chap had walked into A&E, given his name to the staff etc.
            You’ll always have the last word, if you ‘move the goal-post’. Isn’t that what you IT chaps always complain about: The client changing the specs.?
            I answered the question, correctly as it happens or you wouldn’t have had to change it.

          • AlanGiles

             I had a load of programmers, a couple of testers and assorted BAs, DAs, DBAs and PMs working for me ”

            The last two words….”FOR ME”

            Every damn thing comes down to you. It is, as ever,  all about you. LL only exists for you to embark on daily ego trips. Or to rehearse your medical problems.

            You are a God, Guy and really we don’t deserve to have you here, when you could be off solving the problems of world hunger, bringing peace to the Middle East and finding a cure for the common cold.

            You spend your time associating with the proletariat on LL who you frequently say you despise, when you could be off accepting the Nobel Prize.

            That is – of course – if you are who and what you say you are. I still think you are “Fred” from Stoke Newington and you are writing games for your old ZX Spectrum that you have under the bed, Walter Mitty like, the old Sinclair becomes a national mainframe. Wide awake, you can make your most fantastic dreams come true.

            It gets quite embarrassing being a gooseberry in this love affair you are conducting with yourself.

          • GuyM

            Alan thinks too himself:

            “Ahhhh GuyM post…. must resist…. must resist….. ahhh can’t”

            Once might think you have a fixation with replying to my posts, maybe you should seek medical help?

          • AlanGiles

            You did that “joke” yesterday, Guy. It wasn’t exactly a rib-tickler then. Never mind, keep trying. Perhaps you could buy yourself a sense of humour.

          • GuyM

            Alan thinks to himself:

            “ahhh GuyM post… must resist… must resist.. ahhh can’t”

            One might think you have a fixation with replying to my posts, maybe you should seek medical help?

    • Conrad

      This was a disaster of PFI, it wasn’t inefficient state bureaucracy, it was a company that peddled of for years over-budget with no understand of what the people who would actually use it needed.

  • JoeDM

    On what planet has the author been on since 1997?

    This whole article is utterly delusional.

    • Amber Star

      On what planet has the author been on since 1997?—————————-A planet which is far, far away from the millionaire, jet-set, trust-fund, tax avoidance, cocooned existence of the current cabinet. It’s called planet UK, where most of the 99% live. Why in god’s name many of them vote for the policies of the 1% is beyond Sue & I. We think they might be “delusional” but are usually too polite to use that word.

    • John Ruddy

      Everything Sue has said is verifiable fact. Indepenently checked. Only in Maily Telegraph world do the Colonel Blimps of the world think its all gone downhill since 1997.

      • treborc

        Fine no problem but if you go to Sue’s site look back a bit she attacked labour very often over the new medical DLA, now she has changed her mind because the Tories are carrying on with labour welfare reforms.

        Did she think the Tories would not.

      • Bill Lockhart

        Apart from crime rising, which it hasn’t.

  • Tipsilon

    Who are these ‘lefties’ to whose comments you claim to refer?

    I’ve never heard anyone on the left make a criticism of the NHS in the way you suggest they have, nor have I heard them repeat what is a right-wing talking point on the deficit. I agree with you that these things sound like comments I would expect in The Telegraph – so why do you attribute them to ‘lefties’? It’s the left of the party which has been making the case against too much reduction in spending.

    Everyone in our party should be defending our record, and it’s terrible that more hasn’t been done to defend our economic record in particular.   I’m afraid in trotting out what seems to be a regularly-occurring line from the right of the party – that there’s nothing the left likes better than to make damaging criticisms –  your post just reads as a bizarre and rather unconvincing attempt to smear the left.

  • Pingback: What does “getting a grip” mean for us lefties? »


    Details here: 

  • mikestallard

    Just thrashing stats round actually doesn’t get you anywhere really. Come on, admit just perhaps one or two of them are fiddled and “adapted” to suit political needs – by both sides. In my own field, education, I was there when the GCSE figures were adapted. I am sure other people too have their stories.

    Here are some real challenges which nobody of any party seems to be facing up to:
    1. The fact that 80% of our legislation (according to Angela Merkel et al) is dictated from Berlaymont. Our own civil service works very hard to gold plate it before putting it into practice. Politicians just nod it through and get onto more important matters. Like guessing what the budget will be.
    2. We have very little industry of any sort and are a trillion pounds in debt. That massive amount dwarfs the debt after the first world war and even the second world war. The current government seems to be actually increasing this debt and doing little or nothing about the deficit.
    3. The United Kingdom is breaking up and nobody seems to care. This will affect Labour more than the tories because Scotland is a Labour heartland whereas the south of the country really is pretty blue.

    Let us look to the future and ask – do we really think this is inevitable? Blaming past mistakes will get us nowhere – stats or no stats.

    • Peter Barnard

      @ Mike Stallard,
      “It’s a fact that 80 per cent of our legislation (according to Angela Merkel et al) is dictated from Berlaymont” (it wasn’t Angela Merkel, by the way – it was the German Federal Department of Justice that an estimated 80% of German laws or regulations from 1998 to 2006 originated in the EU).
      Mythology. See House of Commons Research Paper 10/62. On the face page :
      “In the UK data suggest that from 1997 to 2009 6.8% of primary legislation (Statutes) and 14.1% of secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) had a role in implementing EU obligations, although the degree of involvement varied from passing reference to explicit implementation.”
      On page 23 :
      “Based on data from the UK Statute Law database, from 1980 to the end of 2009, out of 1,302 UK Acts between 1980 and 2009 (excluding those later repealed), 186 Acts or 14.3% incorporated a degree of EU influence. The breakdown was as follows:
      55 made passing reference to EU obligations.
      96 implemented one or more EU laws but not as the main elements of the law.
      17 implemented three or more EU measures.
      18 implemented EU obligations as the main purpose of the Act.”

      • mikestallard

        Let’s cut to the chase shall we.

        Are you saying that virtually none of our legislation is dictated from Berlaymont? Are you actually maintaining that the EU Commission has little or no influence on our civil service or that its directives, regulations and advice are very few in number?

        I could quote Christopher Booker or Marta Andreasen or the evidence from several MPs at you.

        But what’s the point?

        • Peter Barnard

          @ Mike Stallard,

          What I am saying that the authoritative, impartial and respected  House of Commons Library Research staff have researched and estimated the amount of UK legislation resulting from EU influence, and it’s a damned sight less than the mythological “80 per cent” that is thrown about as “fact” – as you did in your first comment.

          Go and read the HCRP 10/62.

  • Dave Postles

    Update from ‘Keep Our NHS Public’

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I won’t correspond further with Derek.  He’s simply too representative of the unelectability of one wing of the Labour Party for my brain to deal with.  I’ll also be quite happy not to deal with the insanely gratuitous level of abuse that he feels happy to post.

    • derek

      Whooopi, I gave the Doc a tanking! stupid is as stupid does Jaime?

  • With all due respect Sue, Labour broke the NHS from the inside and prepared it  for this. And the only addition the tories gave us was Lansley’s Top Down reform. Anyone who tells you Labour are trying to save the NHS is lying or misled. Labour are managing a message portraying them as such, but like most of the Labour positions this year it is just a message. They are happy to have you and the people you know be structurally invisible to debate even though they are the ONLY party who claim to represent you and there position is fairly clear. I know you can’t let go the fact that you believe in them Sue, but at some point reality has to come into play.

    • AlanGiles

      Lisa, I have to say I think you are right. I don’t dislike Andy Burnham, but on the Any Questions programme a few weeks ago, he made the point that he himself was sympathetic to private involvement in the NHS, and had helped facilitate it (but not so much as Milburn and Pat Hewitt, who, like Lansley, tried to serve two masters – “advising” private healthcare companies concurrently with holding down the job of Health Secretary – Ms Hewitt now has interests in BUPA and Boots). Is Andy’s objections more to do with the fact that the coalition is carrying them out and not New Labour?

      Are some of the top of Labour really so sincere as grass roots supporters?. When you consider Ed Miliband pleaded illness to get out of attending a rally and meeting doctors on March 10th, and instead was enjoying a football match in rude health – it makes you wonder.

      I recall another measure, met with outrage by Blair & co in 1995. This was when Mrs Gillian Shepherd, Employment minister in the Major government introduced JobSeekers Allowance. Blair was on the radio saying how unfair and unjust it was, and vowed to abolish it when entering office. Instead at the urging of the likes of Mad Frankie Field, they made JSA even more draconian. Then again, in 1996 Blair was going to reverse Major’s rail privatisation…… 

      For many years, the New Labourites have paid lip service to fighting injustice, but seem very reluctant to get their hands dirty. In 1974 Harold Wilson (I’ll upset William by mentioning him again, but I’ll take the risk) set up the National Enterprise Board to support, foster and assist British industry. In March 2012 Ed Miliband’s idea of supporting British industry is to put “Made In England” labels on the things we assemble. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

      I can understand Sue and many others who face appalling injustice because they have the bad luck to be ill or unemployed,  wanting to believe Labour will rediscover it’s purpose and conscience,but with many of the ghastly old waxworks of the Blair years still hovering around “advising” neophyte ministers (and even in the Shadow Cabinet) I do not have their faith or confidence.

  • You will not get the Labour Party you want by pretending this lot are it.

  • Dave Postles

    @ GuyM
    ‘as I’ve seen all sorts of off topic threads running through debates
    including some peronally nasty ones directed at Jaime where people imply
    he’s not medically qualified, can I politely suggest you are talking
    out of your backside once again?’
    … which merely suggests that the moderator is not reading the comments; otherwise, I feel sure that he would have stepped in. 

    • derek

      , I guess I do have a lot of anger over the idea that individuals should negotiate their own contracts, it would become the ultimate rule of the jungle syndrome, a bit like those unthoughtful vacuum sales reps in the eighties, who had no other skill than bullying people into buying their product .

      Personal relate pay deals often reward those who can talk at length and have the ability to crap on others, while the quiet hard working unassuming employee become the victim of a misrepresenting system.

      I find the whole suggestion horrid and ignorant, the idea that someone can heap false praise upon themselves just to gain more money than their fellow colleague is something that can’t be policed correctly.

      It’s often those who bragg about their self worth that turn out to be the most worthless and shy workers.

      Are we all to believe that A&E  doctors who receive the most pay are the best, so any other Doctors receiving less would be judged as sub-medical assessors?   

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        “I guess I do have a lot of anger over the idea that individuals should negotiate their own contracts”

        What on earth is wrong with that?  I’d get very annoyed that someone was trying to negotiate my contract for me.  There is no one on God’s earth who can possibly put themselves in my mind, and I trust no one on God’s earth to look after my interests better than myself.

        God did not create me to have some heavy breathing union functionary with poor education to try to represent me.  I bow my neck to no one.  I stand on my own feet.

      • GuyM

        Shock news Derek…..

        The whole of the private sector works on individual contracts, individual reviews and appraisals and individual pay awards and promotions.

        • derek

          Not so Guy, I was was part of the negotiating team for the Packaging Fire Board Agreement within the private sector. We usually meet annually in Northhampton.

          • GuyM

            Then you were part of the tiny minority who don’t.

            In 15 years across so many companies not one has had a fixed policy of collective agreement.

            I want my pay to relate to my performance, not be negotiated for me along with thousands of others.

  • Dave Postles

     @ GuyM
    ‘Although we are a broad umbrella organisation seeking to draw together
    the many views and factions of the progressive spectrum, we also believe
    that progressive ends – such as a robust and resolute welfare state,
    social and educational equality and a fully funded National Health
    Service, free to all at the point of delivery – can only ultimately be
    achieved through the continued electoral success of the Labour Party.’
    How do you fit into that remit, other than to defeat the objective?

    • GuyM

      What LL believes itself is up to LL, it explicity says it runs an open debating about centre left issues……open debate means all comers Dave, no one is proscribed.

      • Dave Postles

         The two paragraphs should be taken as complementary.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Did anyone ever get to prove Sue’s contention about the deficit?  It seems ludicrous to me, but the thread got so tight that I can’t read any more on my screen.

    Actually, what would be useful is for Sue to put some argument into the public domain to support her thesis on the deficit.  Real facts and figure, not a link to a website hosted by someone calling him/her self “I’mAllRightJack”, which has 6 factual errors on the front page?  Perhaps a link to the ONS?

  • Jeff_Harvey

    The humane left is dead as far as the spectacularly unworthy leadership of the Labour Party goes. You can see evidence of the left’s demise everywhere in Labour’s shabby threadbare policy agenda.

    For instance grinning Liam Byrne not only approves of the Coalition’s national benefits cap but wants to take it even further and introduce regional benefits caps across the country. At first you might imagine that it might be a good idea to relate benefits received to local costs of living in various areas so that people living in expensive areas could get more benefits, if they needed them in order to survive, than the cap recently introduced by the Conservatives and their partners. Not so! Byrne is NOT trying to give benefit claimants in affluent areas like London and the South East MORE money than the current benefits cap of £26,000 per year set by the Coalition, that little imp Liam wants LOWER benefits caps introduced for the regions in order to to take money AWAY from claimants who live in poorer areas of the United Kingdom, who will be largely unaffected by the current Tory cap, in order to make life as difficult for benefit claimants living in poorer areas as those in richer areas in order to “encourage” such people into jobs.

    Iain Duncan Smith’s benefit cap will undoubtedly make life very difficult if not impossible for claimants living in London and around. Liam Byrne’s regional benefits cap would extend this misery to EVERY benefit claimant everywhere in every corner of the nation. No one could simply up sticks and move to a cheaper area in order to try to suffer less. The pain and misery of London would be felt, universally, by ALL of the poorest in society wherever they happen to live.

    As I say the humane left is dead in the upper echelons of what passes for the Labour Party.

  • AnotherOldBoy

    Oh dear!  Ms Marsh has entirely missed the point about government spending.

    One of the bar charts on the site to which she refers us shows that under the Conservative Government of 1979-1997 national debt as a percentage of GDP fell from about 45% in 1979 to below 30% in the late 80s and early 90s.  This meant that when the recession of the early 90s hit and government spending and borrowing rose, it did so from a low base so that, as the economy emerged from rcecessionl, the national debt was about 42% of GDP.

    Contrast that with the Labour government which followed.  Another bar chart on the same site shows that in the early years national debt fell as a percentage of GDP.  This was because the incoming government pledged to follow the spending policies of its predecessor for the first two years.  The downwards trend continuted until 2002, but was then reversed.  In years of growth, public spending as a perecentage of GDP rose from just below 30% of GDP to over 40% of GDP in 2006 and 2007. 

    This involved a government and a country living beyond their means.  This meant that when it turned out that the utterly brilliant Mr Brown discovered that he had not ablished “boom and bust”, government spending and borrowing were already high.  The recession meant that tax revenue fell and demands on government spending rose.  And, by way of contrast to the early 90s, the government was already spending more than it recevied.

    The result was the vast amount of borrowing that was needed up to the last general election and – despite some measures to reduce spending – will be needed up to and beyodn the next.

    It is kind of Ms Marsh to remind us how utterly irresponsible, short-sighted and daft the last Labour government was.

    And Ms Marsh is no better on the NHS.

    As for the NHS, of course not all the extra money went on lightbulbs, pot plants and carpets.  Much of it went on new layers of management or paying GPs a lot more for doing a lot less.  Some of it did result in better treatment for patients.  But not as much as should have been the case.

  • madasafish

    Anyone who writes “ 
     Since the coalition came to power, growth has plummeted, unemployment has gone up, welfare bills have risen, debt has gone up, inflation has raged, our credit rating is in jeopardy. I am utterly mystified. Every single indicator has worsened.

    clearly just “happened ” to forget the 2008  recession where growth fell for 3 quarters of 2008 and one quarter of 2009 so UK GDP was at 2005 levels. (Check the Guardian ”
    UK GDP since 1948″  which shows it as factual).

    Having thus printed a huge lie about GDP… we can safely take the rest of the artcile as unworthy of serious thought.

    Anyone who writes deliberate lies is not worth  arguing over.

  • Ianr Stewart

    Sadly, none of this matters. Are you stupid enough not to see what is happening? Are you al so comfortable tat you really do not care what is actually happening o the working classes? We have been robbed every way possible by he rich. New Labour were willing accomplices. As a Labourite Socialist, this makes me mad.

  • Patricia Shepherd

    This is what everyone needs to be telling people,and as Sue said,it is all verifiable.


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