Friday, 29 July 2011

Letter 30: Public Service Reform, rich pickings for a carpetbagger

As I said in the letter, I have concerns about opening up public services to the level of reform that Mr Cameron aspires to, not least because it has been championed by Steve Hilton. And I see that Castlebeck is in the news again...

Carpetbagger: an outsider who seeks power or success presumptuously, "after the Civil War the carpetbaggers from the North tried to take over the South."
Opportunist, self-seeker - a person who places expediency over principle. 
Cherry-pick: to choose or take the best or most profitable of(a number of things), especially for one's own benefit or gain.
(Collins English Dictionary)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Letter 29: Alongside Hackgate, can you hear the homeless timebomb ticking?

Here's another one that seems to have been sidelined due to the News International story: homelessness. Many people will have cheered on Friday afternoon when it was (quietly) announced that due to time constraints and concerns of Peers, the Welfare Reform Bill wil have its second hearing in the Lords postponed until the autumn. This followed division at the heart of Government: a leaked letter from the office of Eric Pickles outlining concerns about welfare reforms earlier on this month. Though a delay and legal challenges are welcome, the most vulnerable can't wait till the autumn to address the homelessness issue. We need to do something NOW. The recklessness and false economy of the Coalition's short term financial strategy has caused one frustrated charity chief to speak out. In practical terms that even the most heartless can accept, he makes a very good point that as consequence of cuts, the financial burden to the tax payer is likely to increase: the problem is simply pushed on from the charities to expensive crisis provision in hospitals and the criminal justice system. If this happens and the Local Government Ombudsman is as good as her word, Dave and Nick will wish they'd also paid more attention.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Letter 28: Beyond Hackgate, bad news still needs to be unearthed

Have you seen this before? Selective attention has been at play these past two weeks as the grubby NI/Met/politician expose has writhed before us. Fascinating though it is, other important issues are passing us by. Just two of these are fuel poverty and a tax grab u turn. Call me cynical but I think both British Gas and George took the opportunity to share this information while our eyes were on the power ball...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Letter 27: Wriggling with a can of worms

Dave nailed it for me at Friday's press conference when he said: 
"When (cough) the scandal hits and the truth is plain to see, there are two choices: you can downplay it and not accept the problem is deep, or you can accept the seriousness of the situation and deal with it. I want to deal with it. These inquiries, I believe, give us a chance for a fresh start and I want to take it.... For people watching this scandal unfold, there is something very disturbing about what they see. Just think of who they put their trust in: the police to protect them, the politicians to represent them and the press to inform them. And all of them have been let down. So when the inquiries are over and the questions asked and the truth found out, I want a Police that's proved itself beyond reproach, a political system that people think is on their side and a press that is, yes, free and vigorous, that investigates and entertains, that holds those in power to account..."
Good-o. That means you think it's time for transparency from everyone then, Prime Minister?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Letter 26: NHS, redundancies and ramifications

Let's not forget that even though we are all revolted by the News of the World story at the moment (as is right and proper) and glued to the television or radio, the Coalition is carrying on with its reforms and big social experiment. So, yesterday Earl Howe received a birthday card to celebrate the 63rd birthday of the NHS and Dave will receive this tomorrow:

If you are also interested in finding out the answers to these questions, Dave's address is 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Happy Birthday NHS - 63 today!!

I'm sure I wasn't the only one to get an email from the TUC about this last week. Having read a few articles that made it clear the NHS still faces privatisation by the back door and the consultation period failed to address some very important issues I was inspired to make and post a birthday card last night to Earl Howe, who is Government spokesperson on health for the Lords. If we all contact them, the Lords and Ladies will have to listen too....

It's our NHS, let's all fight to save it.