Patsy Burstow and the next great NHS betrayal

Patsy n A person regarded as open to victimisation or manipulation; a person upon whom the blame for something falls. Burstow n A patsy. It seems a familiar story: The Tories plan legislation that is clearly no good at all – in this case, a legal clause to allow the closure of successful hospitals to prop up failing NHS trusts (Clause 119 of the Care Bill). The Liberal Democrats object and threaten to rebel. The Tories then offer concessions to make it seem less likely that this will happen and the…

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Life and death issues – Labour’s living wage v another Tory weapons junket

It’s a matter of priorities. On the left hand, we have the Labour Party, campaigning strongly for the so-called “living wage” – an earnings level for British workers that will provide enough for them to look after their families, heat their homes, feed their kids, care for their elderly relatives and plan for the future (as Ed Miliband was set to say at a speech today). On the right hand, we have Conservative leader (and comedy Prime Minister) David Cameron, off on a junket to the Middle East in a bid to…

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Public sector – good/private sector – bad

Many of you may be aware that I live in a large county called Powys, that has a small population. This means that the amount of money the local authority receives from central government and local taxation is always stretched very thin, in order to provide the services required across – what is it? – 6,000 square miles. Given that context, it should come as no surprise at all that some of the information I have been receiving about the way that money is being spent has raised concern. It…

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