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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Main points from the pre-Easter polling rush

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited March 2013 in General

politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Main points from the pre-Easter polling rush

Just 51% of LAB voters in today’s ComRes poll said they trust the 2 Eds to make the right decisions about the economy. 35% said they didn’t

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 26,227
    Lib Dems recovering, as I predicted back in 2010. Just not on here. ;-)

    It looks like there's something for everyone in this poll.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    Good to see the LDs bouncing off the bottom.

    On the economy, the truth is that voters are not keen on anyone. And rightly so. Labour is offering nothing. Tory policies are not working. It's all rather unimpressive.

    It's against this background that the Scottish independence referendum should be seen. Perhaps a break-up of the Union is the best chance for all of us - it will certainly require major and deep rethinking of the future and about how things should be done in all parts of the current UK.
  • @Southam

    Good time for the Anybody But Them Party.

    Step forward Nigel F.

    Did you listen to the Test Match? Great finish.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    I've just had a literally rude awakening - I switched on BBC24 and couldn't stand another spare room sob story so turned over to ITV - and got the edited highlights of Jeremy Kyle instead.

    Thieving parents, abandoned angry children, lie detector and drug tests plus lots of shouting and storming off the set. All a bit much when I was expecting fluffy bunny TV... :^O
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    The NHS will be in the news for another few days given the HMG formal response to Stafford today, DT story here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9953451/Nurses-to-train-in-basic-care-for-a-year.html

    The ward signs displaying Friends & Family stats are a superb idea - the perfect way to shame anyone who's thinking of slacking off into changing their behaviour.

    “A new chief inspector of hospitals will be appointed to take a “holistic approach” to standards of care.

    But ministers are still understood to be undecided on whether to introduce a legal duty of candour for doctors and nurses. A key recommendation in the Francis report was a legal obligation to blow the whistle on substandard care. Ministers are concerned that it could lead to a “culture of fear”.

    However, as disclosed by The Daily Telegraph, a criminal offence of falsifying official health figures will be introduced. Ministers also want hospitals to publish more detailed information, allowing patients and experts to identify substandard care and treatment.

    David Cameron said yesterday that he wanted the result of new “friends and families” tests – gauging whether staff and patients recommend treatment there – to be displayed in each ward..."
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    Let's see how Messrs Burnham and Johnson respond today - if at all over this...

    "Former Health Secretaries Andy Burnham and Alan Johnson ignored 81 requests [20 from MPs] for a public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust in the two years after it was first warned of poor NHS care, it has emerged....

    The Department of Health was handed three reports raising concerns about the quality of care in some parts of the NHS in 2008. The reports for Lord Darzi, a former health minister, found targets were being met at the expense of patient treatment and identified a culture of fear among staff afraid to raise concerns.

    These documents were only made public in 2010 as a result of a freedom of information request by Policy Exchange, a think-tank. " http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9875660/Mid-Staffs-Labour-Government-ignored-MP-requests-for-public-inquiry-into-deaths.html
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    edited March 2013
    Good time for the Anybody But Them Party.

    Step forward Nigel F.

    Did you listen to the Test Match? Great finish.



    There's nothing like test cricket. No other sporting contest can produce such gut-wrenching, vomit-inducing tension over so long a time frame. What an England escape. Monty's career is in danger of being defined by his batting not his bowling; Prior is on his way to being an all-time great. England still don't look or feel right. Much honesty is needed from the players and management.

    UKIP will always have limited, but important, appeal in a country where Labour and the LDs consistently poll 50% plus. In Scotland they do have a credible alternative. Though I like the Union, if I were a Scot I would be seriously asking myself how independence could really be that much worse than the future the UK currently offers its citizens with the current moribund, uninspiring, miserable and totally detached elites we have in control of things.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    Stephanie Flanders asks a question exactly the wrong way round:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21934564

    Still, she makes some interesting points. She misses the really poor train line between Birmingham and Leeds as well.
  • @Southam

    As a former very bad wicketkeeper batsman, I get a bit annoyed at the lack of credit Matt Prior gets.

    He's turned himself into a top class keeper and has a Test Batting average of 45. That would make him a decent No6 in most Test sides. England should play him in that position and draft in an extra bowler. When Swann, Broad and Bresnan are available, there's no problem with weakening the batting because the so-called tail is virtually non-existent.

    They should also play him in the ODIs. Pah!

    Not sure I'd vote to be a small independent Nation if I were a Scot, but it's their call, and we should certainly respect whatever decision Scots make.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    @antifrank - doesn't that depend on where you live? As most Brits are based outside London, surely Flanders asks the right question. Multicultural, Labour-leaning, Boris-voting London really is not like the rest of the UK, as PBers who claim Labour is dying in the south keep on telling us. A while back I suggested on here that a federal UK of five constituent parts - England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and London - might be worth serious consideration. I was howled down on here. But London really is a different country and for the good of everyone in the UK maybe it should be treated as such.
  • IcarusIcarus Posts: 580
    Woke to a famous England success in the test!
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    @Icarus - I heard earlier that two odd World Records were made as well - IIRC the longest period between getting a run and the longest time at the wicket. Was only half awake so they may not be quite right but an odd game to say the least
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    Plato said:


    The Department of Health was handed three reports raising concerns about the quality of care in some parts of the NHS in 2008. The reports for Lord Darzi, a former health minister, found targets were being met at the expense of patient treatment and identified a culture of fear among staff afraid to raise concerns.

    The reports for Lord Darzi ... for Lord Darzi, a former health minister ...

    Was Lord Darzi a Conservative health minister or a Labour health minister, and would revealing this datum undermine the spin?



  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    @Peter the Punter

    Prior has become a top class keeper and his batting credentials are inarguable. He is up there with Knott now, surely.

    I really can't see what the current UK offers any of us except a vague threat that it might be worse if we tried something else. But when you look at who this country has ended up with as its leaders in politics, business, the public sector and so on, you have to ask whether that threat really exists. The current UK is not fit for purpose. A radical restructuring, maybe even including an EU exit, might provide the shake-up this country (and the EU) desperately needs.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    @DecrepitJohnL - Lord Darzi was a Labour Minister. And was a surgeon.

    Frankly referring to this as *spin* just demeans the appalling *care* these poor people endured.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    Fiona Phillips and another lady on ITV now talking about 30 THOUSAND complaints against care homes in the last year.

    That's simply heart-breaking and appalling. It's nothing to do with who pays your wages but the culture of the place where you work - treating other humans as a lesser form of life because they are old or mentally ill or disabled is just vile and verging on the sadistic.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    If I was 17yrs old - I'd be swooning over the very handsome, and self-effacing young man on ITV now - he's just scooped c£25m for an app his designed when he was researching stuff for his History GCSE...at 15yrs old.

    His very wealthy backers seem to have helped a lot = but crikey - he's won life's jackpot so far!
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    edited March 2013
    @Plato

    It's a loaded story designed to pin the blame for what happened at Stafford on Labour ministers. It's based on figures supplied by the Tories, quotes a Tory MP saying it's Labour's fault, does not mention Darzi was a Labour minister and that the coalition ignored his recommendations, and uses loaded language such as "ignored". In short, it's a piece which pushes a certain political line: Labour negligence and complacency killed NHS patients. It's spin.

  • MikeKMikeK Posts: 9,053
    edited March 2013
    @SouthamObserver: " But London really is a different country and for the good of everyone in the UK maybe it should be treated as such."

    Yep, I'll agree with that, Southam. Let London be a city state -another Singapore - and all the Labour, benefit dependant hinterland, die of asphyxiation.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    @SouthamObserver

    I can't begin to see how you can dismiss deaths as *spin* I really can't - what else can 81 requests for a public inq that weren't acted on any other than ignored since nothing happened and the reports were only unearthed by FOI?

    Really?

    I have zero interest in indulging in yet another of your pin-head dancing micro arguments. MORI have recorded an 8pt jump in concern about the NHS this month - I wonder why.

    It's all Evil Tory Spin by Francis and the relatives of the 1200 who didn't need to die, not to mention all the others who's friends and family aren't with us any more at other NHS Trusts?
  • The Ben Brogan article on Dave is pretty good. Dave is not what he thought he was, not what I thought he was. He seems to have no instinct for what needs to be done - but rather prefers to play the messaging game as Blair did. We have wasted 3 years. The Tories will lose the GE in 2015 and the UK will have another horrific financial crisis as the spending ramps up - but this time with Ed n Ed at the helm. :-(

    We may start recovering, from a dramatically reduced living standard, in about 2018, under a new Tory PM. Maybe.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    Plato said:

    @SouthamObserver

    I can't begin to see how you can dismiss deaths as *spin* I really can't

    Of course the deaths are appalling and of course their use by the Conservative Party, the Daily Telegraph and, for that matter, your good self are spin.
  • Mick_PorkMick_Pork Posts: 6,530

    @Plato

    It's a loaded story designed to pin the blame for what happened at Stafford on Labour ministers.

    Does it mention the fact that the Blairite foundation hospital reforms (that Lansley's inept reforms then expanded on) were directly implicated by the Francis Inquiry into Stafford?
    If not then it's hardly a balanced report.

    Though lest we forget "serial labour voters" trying to refute *spin* after talking about how they "couldn't stand another spare room sob story" are beyond ridiculous. But no less amusing for it. ;^)
  • TGOHFTGOHF Posts: 21,633
    Wait no enthusiasm for Labour ? The elephant in the "nailed on" room....
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    Not surprising that the Lib Dem figures have been improving. They've been slowly but inexorably separating themselves from the Tories. Even Danny Alexander didn't seem joined at the hip to Osborne during the budget and the days of Clegg snuggling up to Cameron at PMQ's are long gone.

    At last they're being well advised. The future might yet be Orange.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724

    Plato said:

    @SouthamObserver

    I can't begin to see how you can dismiss deaths as *spin* I really can't

    Of course the deaths are appalling and of course their use by the Conservative Party, the Daily Telegraph and, for that matter, your good self are spin.
    There are times to make a partisan point and a time not to - these are one of them. I'm not - you are.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    edited March 2013
    @Plato

    I have not dismissed the deaths. That you accuse me of doing so reveals much about your true agenda. But let's be clear: the deaths at Stafford and the suffering of patients, as well as their families, was grotesque. And if it happened elsewhere the same is true for those places and people too. The spin is in seeking to blame Labour, which is clearly what this Telegraph report and certain Tory sympathisers and MPs are intent on doing.

    It's good to see concerns over the NHS increasing. And despite all the spin, it is pretty clear which party the voters trust more.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    @MikeK

    The big flaw with your plan from your perspective is that the multicultural, booming, city state of London would vote Labour.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    Mick_Pork said:

    @Plato

    It's a loaded story designed to pin the blame for what happened at Stafford on Labour ministers.

    Though lest we forget "serial labour voters" trying to refute *spin* after talking about how they "couldn't stand another spare room sob story" are beyond ridiculous. But no less amusing for it. ;^)
    I just find this vile. People died. It was covered up. 81 calls for a PInq were rejected - and now the PInq that was granted has found hundreds and hundreds of legitimate complaints and up to 1200 people who died before their time.

    I hold the organisation responsible, those who ran it and those who set up the systems to account for what they did or didn't do. It's clearly very inconvenient for some to accept that their sacred NHS cow failed in the most appalling fashion. And that the Labour Party could have had anything to do with ignoring this grotesque tragedy.

    Knock yourselves out by making snippy self-congratulatory points about my voting record. I'm concerned about the victims and want to make sure it never happens again.

  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    Mick_Pork said:



    Does it mention the fact that the Blairite foundation hospital reforms (that Lansley's inept reforms then expanded on) were directly implicated by the Francis Inquiry into Stafford?

    The Blairites are Cameroons, and the Cameroons are Blairites.



  • Mick_PorkMick_Pork Posts: 6,530
    Patrick said:

    Dave is not what he thought he was, not what I thought he was.

    He's precisely what I thought he was when he crushed David Davis with his Blairite conference speech to win the leadership of the tory party. An out of touch second rate Blair impersonator.

    The tory party got exactly what it voted for. An heir to Blair yet one who was laughably bad at public relations and never looked very bright when it came to tactics or policy. But for all the incompetence Cammie's legacy will likely be as toxic as his peculiar insistence on putting chums before party like with Osbrowne.

    Come the next tory leadership election one thing will dominate it thanks to Dave. Europe.

    Will the tory party continue to give a cast iron pledge for an IN/OUT referendum ? Even if it does will the BOOers and eurosceptics eventually win the battle to decide the tory party and it's leadership should officially campaign to stay out? Whoever the next tory leader may be they'll have to convince their MPs and activists where they stand on Europe and that will be no easy task.

  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787
    @DecrepitJohnL

    So "the deaths are appalling" but commenting on it is "spin".

    Hhhhhmmm ....
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2013
    I agree with Patrick's prognosis: we've had sub-standard leaders in the UK since 1960 - with one exception.
    The rest have managed their party and politics with varying degrees of competence, but have managed 'serial decline' in the UK throughout that period.
    Any, if not quite all, 'growth' over that time was bought through debt and population growth, whilst the infrastructure of the nation slowly declined - relatively until 1995ish, and absolutely since then.

    Hunt was on the radio yesterday seeking to promote the 'tough on health tourists' line. Fair enough. His example was a London Hospital (forgive me, I forget which) that had a nearly new A&E Dept, designed for 65,000 cases a year and which was now dealing with 120,000 pa cases and so was overloaded.

    He was blaming 'external to UK' demand for part of that increase. I'd say it was yet another monumental failure by the planners to anticipate and cope with demand: it's clear the CORRECT figure for cases which should have been catered for is 150,000 pa, to allow for future population growth - roughly 250% more than the current (c 2000-2005?) planned numbers.

    And there won't be any new A&E provision there for what - another 20-30 years?

    We've done that, virtually without exception, in every single case where Govt has designed and built something since WW2 - yet Victorians planned for the future - look at London's sewers, every city's parks and open spaces etc.

    Yet our Green Belt, M-ways, water, electricity, gas, roads, airports, houses, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, town centres etc are all characterised by having 'improvements' which are cheaply built and pitifully inadequate for current demands, let alone for 2050 and a population of 80+ million.

    This is yet another area where the private sector makes (generally) successful decisions - and adapts and responds to demand quickly - whilst the State is moribund, incompetent, incapable - and serves the public truly appallingly badly.

    Switch 25% of all Welfare payments into infrastructure improvements and in a couple of decades we'd have a world-class environment in which to live and work. Dammit, the Chinese build better roads in Africa that we do in Surrey!
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548

    @Plato

    I have not dismissed the deaths. That you accuse me of doing so reveals much about your true agenda. But let's be clear: the deaths at Stafford and the suffering of patients, as well as their families, was grotesque. And if it happened elsewhere the same is true for those places and people too. The spin is in seeking to blame Labour, which is clearly what this Telegraph report and certain Tory sympathisers and MPs are intent on doing.

    It's good to see concerns over the NHS increasing. And despite all the spin, it is pretty clear which party the voters trust more.

    It was the target culture, top down management and desire to become foundation trust that were directly behind the Stafford hospital scandal. These were Labour party policy and a succession of Labour health ministers were in charge and ignored the warnings, because it was politically expedient to do so.

    Since 2010 not much has changed. The target culture continues to compromise care, and the professionalism of doctors and nurses continues to be eroded. While i have some major reservations about the new changes, the CCGs are at least asking questions about clinical issues.

    I really worry about the future of healthcare in this country, in both NHS and in private sector where scandals have also occurred.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 40,283
    edited March 2013
    @Tim

    I suspect that they want to try out the new, improved system on a franchise without a sitting incumbent. It is certainly simpler that way and will hopefully show up any flaws before they face up to incumbents.

    10 of the 16 franchises up for grabs by 2015. I don't think this is going to include the west coast at all where the existing franchise will be extended again. Ministers will be nervous of falling foul of Branson's publicity machine.
  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787
    @AN1

    "I agree with Patrick's prognosis: we've had sub-standard leaders in the UK since 1960 - with one exception."

    Well quite .... It took a Scottish noble like Alec Douglas Home to show the way .... there a lesson to be learnt there ....

    Cough ....
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    edited March 2013
    @JackW

    Seeking to pin the deaths on Labour ministers, as the Telegraph, Plato and certain Tory MPs are attempting to do, is spin. They wanted the Francis Report to blame Burnham and/or his predecessors, it didn't and so they have to take the reins; that's politics, I suppose. There cannot be enough comment on how appalling and grotesque what happened at Stafford (and potentially elsewhere) was, as well as discussion as to what needs to be done to prevent it happening again.
  • nigel4englandnigel4england Posts: 4,800
    Of course the deaths are appalling and of course their use by the Conservative Party, the Daily Telegraph and, for that matter, your good self are spin

    What a disgusting insinuation.

    The NHS is the Labour sacred cow, and these hugely preventable tragedies happened on Labour's watch. The sheer scale of this is awful and Burnham and Johnson should be brought to book for their failure to act, in fact their wilful negligence is possibly a criminal offence. Burnham did a fantastic job for the Hillsborough victims but his career will be undone over this.

    The real spin of course has been that the NHS is only safe with Labour, shocking lies I'm afraid as these terrible statistics prove. I hate tribal politics and Labour supporters on here would get a lot more respect if instead of sickly describing 1,200 deaths as spin, they admitted gross errors were made.

    The more we read about the culture of gagging whistleblowers, hiding the truth, burying the bad news etc the more it becomes apparent how Common Purpose is firmly entrenched in the NHS, and how much worse off the NHS is for allowing it to happen.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724

    Of course the deaths are appalling and of course their use by the Conservative Party, the Daily Telegraph and, for that matter, your good self are spin

    What a disgusting insinuation.

    ...Burnham did a fantastic job for the Hillsborough victims but his career will be undone over this.

    The real spin of course has been that the NHS is only safe with Labour, shocking lies I'm afraid as these terrible statistics prove. I hate tribal politics and Labour supporters on here would get a lot more respect if instead of sickly describing 1,200 deaths as spin, they admitted gross errors were made.

    Yup. I find it really odd that Labourites are ignoring the actual issue - 1200 dead people should be alive and trying to blame *Tories* = that very elastic definition that covers anyone who isn't pro-Labour now for spin.

    Yuck. How warped.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    AN1 said:



    We've done that, virtually without exception, in every single case where Govt has designed and built something since WW2 - yet Victorians planned for the future - look at London's sewers, every city's parks and open spaces etc.

    Yet our Green Belt, M-ways, water, electricity, gas, roads, airports, houses, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, town centres etc are all characterised by having 'improvements' which are cheaply built and pitifully inadequate for current demands, let alone for 2050 and a population of 80+ million.

    This is yet another area where the private sector makes (generally) successful decisions - and adapts and responds to demand quickly - whilst the State is moribund, incompetent, incapable - and serves the public truly appallingly badly.

    Look again at your examples. Half of them are in the private sector. And the Victorians you praise were, by and large, in the public sector.

    A better distinction might, although here I could be wrong since this has just occurred to me and I have done no research, is that pre-war planning and building tended to be local, and post-war national. Maybe planning should be returned from Whitehall to the provinces and municipalities.

  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    "There cannot be enough comment on how appalling and grotesque what happened at Stafford (and potentially elsewhere) was, as well as discussion as to what needs to be done to prevent it happening again."

    IIRC BenM says that there was only one extra death at Stafford.

    The NHS cultists have their 'denier' faction.

  • redcliffe62redcliffe62 Posts: 342
    JackW said:

    @AN1

    "I agree with Patrick's prognosis: we've had sub-standard leaders in the UK since 1960 - with one exception."

    Well quite .... It took a Scottish noble like Alec Douglas Home to show the way .... there a lesson to be learnt there ....

    Cough ....

    Oh dear Jack W, you do talk tosh sometimes.

    The man who promised better devolution if Scots stupidly voted No, and even though they voted Yes they got zilcho, absolutely nothing for 20 years. He did succeed in getting all the oil revenues to Wastemonster so to that extent he looked after Wastemonster and its lackeys well.
    Same thing will happen again if the proles fall for the waffle. Ruth Davidson in denial, after her "line in the sand" last year she is out there now being told to spin, so promising wonderfully lovely things as yet unknown if Scots vote No, but once bitten by a Tory who lied for self gain in 1979 then Scots will be twice shy. Wait for the advertising on that subject!

  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    @foxinsox

    I agree. An appalling management is what caused Stafford. Put bad managers within a target down culture and you are going to get tragedy when life and death is at stake. That Labour did not realise this until far too late in the day is absolutely something they should be held responsible for. And Labour should accept that. If the Telegraph, Plato et al were saying this I would have no arguments. But they are not - they want to spin things so that they can lay the deaths and the suffering directly at Labour's door.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946

    @nigelforengland. "The real spin of course has been that the NHS is only safe with Labour, shocking lies I'm afraid as these terrible statistics prove."

    It might even be true but it's bad politics. Labour have and always have had a big lead on the NHS. The more the public's attention is drawn to the NHS as a concern the more it is to Labour's advantage. It's a basic rule of advertising that the market leader always benefits disproportionately.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    " The organisations, which take charge of commissioning NHS services from next week, should ensure that patients get ''equivalent levels of access'' to treatments for mental health problems as for physical health problems.

    The ''long-standing and continuing'' lack of parity between mental and physical health is ''inequitable and socially unjust'', according to a new report by the College.

    ''Much has been done to improve mental health in the last 10 years but it still does not receive the same attention as physical health, and the consequences can be serious,'' said Professor Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    ''People with severe mental illness have a reduced life expectancy of 15 to 20 years yet the majority of reasons for this are avoidable. Achieving parity of esteem for mental health is everybody's business and responsibility. "

    For anyone who's familiar with NHS care for the mentally ill will be very familiar with this. A friend of mine who was very depressed as a result of workplace stress was told to wait 5 months to get access to CBT from a local charity - they were unable to function day to day and in an appalling mess.

    Their GP had no idea the referral he made was so crap until told otherwise - who knows how many others he'd referred who'd never said - there was no NHS provision to deal with it hence his recommendation. This was a year ago so things may have improved, but I doubt it.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2013
    Indeed - a much under-rated PM, who lost narrowly to Wilson Mk 1 (Blair = Wilson2, Cameron, Wilson3) in large part due to a one-off shipment of imported diamonds which grossly distorted the balance of payments numbers released just before the 1963 GE and which undermined the Con Party's reputation for economic competence.

    In 1960, UK aviation and space technology was world-leading. By 1970, it was second-class, at best.

  • Mick_PorkMick_Pork Posts: 6,530
    edited March 2013
    Plato said:



    I just find this vile.

    As vile as the sudden conversion to the merits of whistle blowers and victims by those with an axe to grind over the NHS? That's the thing about inept public relations, it simply doesn't wash or pass the smell test.

    Stafford is an obscenity but we've had a public inquiry into it (and we all know how certain PB tories scoff at the idea of public inquiries) which has not minced it's words.
    Stafford Hospital report: At a glance

    More than a year after it finishing sitting, the final report of the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal has been published.

    It is long. It runs to three volumes and contains nearly 1,800 pages. The executive summary alone is more than 100 pages long.

    And there are a total of 290 recommendations. But what does it actually have to say?
    The hospital's board should take ultimate responsibility

    The report is clear - fault lies with the board at the time.

    It was the board which took the decision to pursue a cost-cutting drive to achieve foundation trust status and it was the board which refused to listen to the complaints of patients and - at times - staff.

    The report said it "failed to appreciate the enormity of what was happening and reacted too slowly, if at all".
    But it does not stop there

    Responsibility, the inquiry said, goes right through the health service.

    For that matter private eye was highlighting all the silencing of whistleblowing and the glaring faults within the reforms many, many years before certain PB tories jumped on the bandwagon because they have a tea party like partisan aversion to the NHS. Those who opposed the Blairite reforms were also notably not listened to, by new labour or the tories.

    Stafford didn't happen because we have an NHS. It happened because the NHS was presided over by ministers who were fools, a PM who put triangulation and tactics above sound policy and a bureaucracy which put targets and reform for reform's sake above everything else.

    That fostered a corrosive culture in some places where patients were the ones who suffered and died. That hardly destroys the idea of an NHS, no matter how much the tea party tories would like it to, but it does mean that anyone posturing on the NHS from now on better have more to offer than blind faith in market style reforms to solve everything. Since the much needed action to ensure it doesn't happen again self-evidently needs to focus like a laser on making absolutely certain staff are properly trained in care, rather than putting targets and foundation status above all else.




  • Ladbrokes are currently offering some pretty sexy odds on the LibDems making a strong recovery in terms of maintaining or even improving on their current number of MPs at the next General Election:

    51 - 60 ......................10/1
    61 - 70 ......................20/1
    71 or more seats ......10/1
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    edited March 2013
    Ed West in the Telegraph explains the basis of Cameroon thought:


    " Many Conservatives have put their faith in a low-wage, high-churn economy based on the twin get-the-rich-richer-quick-schemes of mass immigration and property inflation. Both of these policies continue to lead to ever expanding inequality levels, static or even declining spending power towards the bottom of society, and shifting sands for those struggling in the middle. Personally, that's not a society I feel very comfortable living in. "


    Cameron supports these two policies which transfer wealth to upper middle class metropolitans.


    Like many insecure people in this group he resents the proles.


    But he has discovered that without working class support Conservative governments can't get elected.


    So we have his increasingly desperate attempts to win votes from the wwc by 'all talk but no action' pronouncements on immigration which are counter productive.


    With other attempts to win the support of middle class leftists by supporting whatever is the latest 'progressive' cause - overseas aid, green energy, plebibition, gay marriage.


    Both strategies are of course dismal failures.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    Roger said:


    @nigelforengland. "The real spin of course has been that the NHS is only safe with Labour, shocking lies I'm afraid as these terrible statistics prove."

    It might even be true but it's bad politics. Labour have and always have had a big lead on the NHS. The more the public's attention is drawn to the NHS as a concern the more it is to Labour's advantage. It's a basic rule of advertising that the market leader always benefits disproportionately.

    I follow politics fairly closely and work in the NHS, yet I do not know what Labour policy on the NHS is. In large part I think that the Labour party itself doesn't know what its policy on the NHS is to be.

    Any lead on this is potentially like Labours lead on other issues, as solid as the morning mist. The only question is whether the morning mist clears before or after 2015.

    I think health policy of the major parties is as bad as each other, indeed it is hard to put a cigarette paper between them on NHS policy.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    AN1 said:


    In 1960, UK aviation and space technology was world-leading. By 1970, it was second-class, at best.

    In 1969, our teacher took us briefly outside, better to watch a test flight of Concorde.

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,370
    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Putney, won't the Lib Dems lose much in Scotland? Even if they stand still elsewhere that'd put them below 50 MPs, right?
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    ** The edit function doesn't seem to work for **

    Ed West in the Telegraph explains the basis of Cameroon thought:

    " Many Conservatives have put their faith in a low-wage, high-churn economy based on the twin get-the-rich-richer-quick-schemes of mass immigration and property inflation. Both of these policies continue to lead to ever expanding inequality levels, static or even declining spending power towards the bottom of society, and shifting sands for those struggling in the middle. Personally, that's not a society I feel very comfortable living in. "

    Cameron supports these two policies which transfer wealth to upper middle class metropolitans.

    Like many insecure people in this group he resents the proles.

    But he has discovered that without working class support Conservative governments can't get elected.

    So we have his increasingly desperate attempts to win votes from the wwc by 'all talk but no action' pronouncements on immigration which are counter productive.

    With other attempts to win the support of middle class leftists by supporting whatever is the latest 'progressive' cause - overseas aid, green energy, plebibition, gay marriage.

    Both strategies are of course dismal failures.
  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787

    @JackW

    Seeking to pin the deaths on Labour ministers, as the Telegraph, Plato and certain Tory MPs are attempting to do, is spin. They wanted the Francis Report to blame Burnham and/or his predecessors, it didn't and so they have to take the reins; that's politics, I suppose. There cannot be enough comment on how appalling and grotesque what happened at Stafford (and potentially elsewhere) was, as well as discussion as to what needs to be done to prevent it happening again.

    I'm of the view that the refusal of the Francis Report to "blame" was a serious misjudgement, appearing to consider a fudge more appropriate.

    Put simply patients died because of staff, management and political failings and the refusal to name the culprits only serves to breed further mistrust in the NHS and politicians.

  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 68,520
    Eocnomy very high, bad news for Labour, Immigration high, bad news for both LAB & CON (& good for kipper I'd imagine)
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    Mick_Pork said:

    Plato said:



    I just find this vile.

    As vile as the sudden conversion to the merits of whistle blowers and victims by those with an axe to grind over the NHS? That's the thing about inept public relations, it simply doesn't wash or pass the smell test.

    Stafford is an obscenity but we've had a public inquiry into (and we all know how certain PB tories scoff at the idea of public inquiries) which has not minced it's words.
    Stafford Hospital report: At a glance

    More than a year after it finishing sitting, the final report of the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal has been published.

    It is long. It runs to three volumes and contains nearly 1,800 pages. The executive summary alone is more than 100 pages long.

    And there are a total of 290 recommendations. But what does it actually have to say?
    The hospital's board should take ultimate responsibility

    The report is clear - fault lies with the board at the time.

    It was the board which took the decision to pursue a cost-cutting drive to achieve foundation trust status and it was the board which refused to listen to the complaints of patients and - at times - staff.

    The report said it "failed to appreciate the enormity of what was happening and reacted too slowly, if at all".
    But it does not stop there

    Responsibility, the inquiry said, goes right through the health service.

    For that matter private eye was highlighting all the silencing of whistleblowing and the glaring faults within the reforms many, many years before certain PB tories jumped on the bandwagon because they have a tea party like partisan aversion to the NHS. Those who opposed the Blairite reforms were also notably not listened to, by new labour or the tories.

    Stafford didn't happen because we have an NHS. It happened because the NHS was presided over by ministers who were fools, a PM who put triangulation and tactics above sound policy and a bureaucracy which put targets and reform for reform's sake above everything else.

    That fostered a corrosive culture in some places where patients were the ones who suffered and died. That hardly destroys the idea of an NHS, no matter how much the tea party tories would like it to, but it does mean that anyone posturing on the NHS from now on better have more to offer than blind faith in market style reforms to solve everything since they need to focus like a laser on making certain staff are properly trained in care.






    The policy of privatisation, use of market forces and targets was Labour party policy from Alan Milburns time onwards. Labour is directly responsible for the changes that led to Stafford. Labour approved the apoointments to the Stafford board. The tories have merely carried on Labour policy with minor additions of their own.Stafford was not unique, indeed it is the tip of the iceberg.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2013

    In 1969, our teacher took us briefly outside, better to watch a test flight of Concorde.



    That was with the French! Harrier was the only remaining UK-only world-beater. Why? Because Wilson forced the aviation companies to amalgamate into 1 for military, 1 for commercial jets, thus ending competition.
    As soon as competition goes, complacency sets in and costs rise. There HAS to be a real drive to innovate or die, before serious progress is made - anywhere. That's why a State 'picking winners' is such insanity: pick 10, 20, 50 and let them fight it out to be the best - fine. Govt picks 1 or 2? Forget it - hence 00's of 747s (still) and only 16 Concordes (now, none)

    I was once on a hill-top on the Bristol Channel and saw Concorde flying into Filton BELOW me - epic!
    And it used to rattle the windows in my house each evening as it flew way, way overhead en route to LHR (I assume, sonic boom remains from a little earlier: you could look up on a clear day and see the unmistakable shape almost directly above (though VERY high) when the windows rattled)
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    JackW said:

    @JackW

    I'm of the view that the refusal of the Francis Report to "blame" was a serious misjudgement, appearing to consider a fudge more appropriate.

    Put simply patients died because of staff, management and political failings and the refusal to name the culprits only serves to breed further mistrust in the NHS and politicians.

    Indeed so Jack.

    The contrast between the near total lack of action against the culprits of Stafford to the hyperactivity of the plods and politicians on another issue is revealing.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,932

    A while back I suggested on here that a federal UK of five constituent parts - England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and London - might be worth serious consideration. I was howled down on here. But London really is a different country and for the good of everyone in the UK maybe it should be treated as such.

    England (ex London) would be too big a component - population along would be somewhere around 50-55m out of 70m (rough estimate).

    Split England into Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria as well as London and you may be on to something...

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,370
    Mr. Charles, splitting up England is not something I would ever support, nor is removing London from it as a separate entity.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    @JackW
    I'm of the view that the refusal of the Francis Report to "blame" was a serious misjudgement, appearing to consider a fudge more appropriate.

    Put simply patients died because of staff, management and political failings and the refusal to name the culprits only serves to breed further mistrust in the NHS and politicians.

    I agree - I'm not in favour of scapegoating - but these aren't scapegoats, they are the people in charge or who did it. They stand rightly accused and should be brought to book for it.
  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787
    edited March 2013
    @redcliffe62

    You wretched pleb !! .... attacking a Scottish noble is a capital offence on PB and you are sentenced to be taken from this place to a place of lawful internet exile and there at ConHome you will be hanged by your own petard until you are Ukippered.

    .........................................................

    @AN1

    Indeed so.

    D-H also hold a couple of interesting Prime Ministerial records. He was the last peer, for five days, to be PM and also the last PM to not be a member of either House of Parliament :

    18 Oct - Earl of Home becomes PM
    23 Oct - Disclaims peerages.
    7 Nov - Wins the Kinross and West Perthshire by-election,
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,932
    JackW said:

    @DecrepitJohnL

    So "the deaths are appalling" but commenting on it is "spin".

    Hhhhhmmm ....

    JackW it's fine to comment so long as you don't try to figure out whose fault it was (unless it was the Tories, because it's always okay to kick the Tories, because they are baby-eating monsters)
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    @another_richard

    I know you've a very low opinion of the police and the Establishment at dealing with transgressions - hopefully this will cheer you up

    "The deputy chief constable of a scandal-hit police force has been sacked for gross misconduct and could now be forced to repay his £40,000 salary after misusing public funds.

    Derek Bonnard was sacked from his role at Cleveland Police force by an independent panel after six counts of gross misconduct against the officer were upheld. Mr Bonnard had been suspended from duty while disciplinary proceedings were carried out.

    In a catalogue of misconduct, Mr Bonnard was found to have deliberately obstructed a criminal investigation into corruption in the force, misused public funds as well as a force credit card, accepted inappropriate hospitality and acted improperly in a redundancy matter.

    The former officer also cost the taxpayer more than £5,000 when he hired a vehicle 'inappropriately' and crashed it into a canopy at Cleveland Police headquarters in Middlesborough.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299015/Derek-Bonnard-Deputy-chief-constable-sacked-gross-misconduct-misuse-funds-forced-repay-40-000-salary.html#ixzz2OdFnIjLV

  • Mick_PorkMick_Pork Posts: 6,530
    edited March 2013
    JackW said:

    I'm of the view that the refusal of the Francis Report to "blame" was a serious misjudgement, appearing to consider a fudge more appropriate

    It probably was but Francis also had to take into consideration various private actions being taken against some of those implicated as well as the way the bureaucracy is structured to prevent those at the top in management from ever having the hammer fall on them easily.

    Which isn't to say Francis shouldn't have named names, it could have, but since some of those named are still very much a feature of both the NHS top management and politics it would have required a bit more bravery since the resulting fallout would have got party political extremely quickly.

    I'm inclined to think Francis wanted his recommendations implemented rather than start a full scale battle over the blame. The cross party consensus usually required to implement such big and much needed change made him more circumspect than I would consider wise.
    However, we shall see in time just how effective his stance was as when we see how many of his proposals get implemented or not.

    If he studiously tried to avoid a political blame game and then still gets nothing much out of it, which fails to satisify the victims and their relatives, he won't have done himself or the NHS any good at all.



  • MonksfieldMonksfield Posts: 1,939
    Charles said:



    Split England into Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria as well as London and you may be on to something...

    Charles, I'm not too sure that Yorkshire will like being labelled Northumbria!
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    AN1 said:


    As soon as competition goes, complacency sets in and costs rise. There HAS to be a real drive to innovate or die, before serious progress is made - anywhere. That's why a State 'picking winners' is such insanity: pick 10, 20, 50 and let them fight it out to be the best - fine. Govt picks 1 or 2? Forget it - hence 00's of 747s (still) and only 16 Concordes (now, none)

    I was once on a hill-top on the Bristol Channel and saw Concorde flying into Filton BELOW me - epic!
    And it used to rattle the windows in my house each evening as it flew way, way overhead en route to LHR (I assume, sonic boom remains from a little earlier: you could look up on a clear day and see the unmistakable shape almost directly above (though VERY high) when the windows rattled)

    I used to work in Hammersmith, under the flight path to Heathrow, so planes coming into land flew overhead every couple of minutes, yet people still stopped to look up at Concorde.

    But building airliners is an expensive business, and Boeing is helped by military research contracts that are not at all disguised subsidies from the American government. Britain never really recovered from the Comet crashes, which were due, iirc, to the windows being the wrong shape.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    "Split England into Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria as well as London and you may be on to something"

    Balkanisation of England into ridiculous grouplets.

    While Southam's suggestion has some merit, your's is moronic.

    But the complete lack of action by the Cameroons on the English democratic deficit is yet another example of their metropolitan mindset.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    edited March 2013
    AN1 said:


    That was with the French! Harrier was the only remaining UK-only world-beater.

    Not quite; the Hawker-Siddeley/BAe Hawk has ruled-the-roost for almost forty-years.* Add the EAP/Typhoon, an aircraft whose 'company' is domiciled in Germany but whose development/sales are solely led by BAe and we might have another contender.**

    Apart from that your analysis of defence-consolidation is correct.*** The only fly-in-the-ointment with it is the fact that aerospace consolidation began in the 'Fifties....

    * Advanced-trainer, light-fighter, LIFT.
    ** Canada and Denmark are re-opening their Lightning-II procurements with the Tiffy looking the favourite alternate.
    *** Labour have recently connived to destroy whats left of our major ship-building industry by forcing it into BAe hands.
  • LucyJonesLucyJones Posts: 646

    ** With other attempts to win the support of middle class leftists by supporting whatever is the latest 'progressive' cause - overseas aid, green energy, plebibition, gay marriage.

    Sorry to show my ignorance, but "plebibition"? What's that?

  • Mick_PorkMick_Pork Posts: 6,530

    The policy of privatisation, use of market forces and targets was Labour party policy from Alan Milburns time onwards.

    Not quite. It was a core new labour 'triangulation' strategy and was one of those reforms that Blair spoke of as having regretted not doing more of and earlier. Had it not been Milburn it would have been someone else, which isn't to excuse his 'contribution' of course, but Blair was pushing for it from the word go.

  • @DecrepitJohnL:

    I agree: Govt picked a single market when backing Concorde: they were hopelessly wrong, though the design and technology were world-class (500 more miles range would have helped!).

    Comet's windows were, indeed, the cause of the metal fatigue which led to the crashes: we had a number of smallish planes which did OK in the 1960's, but the REAL donkey was the Brabazon. Another Govt picks a winner monumental failure.

    As was making Heathrow London's main airport.

    Governments cannot help themselves - they are utterly incapable of picking a winner, let alone doing so consistently and at minimal cost. Their role SHOULD be to set a commercial environment in which many compete, without favour, until a clear winner emerges, THEN it MIGHT be OK for the Govt to back it. Sometimes. For a limited time.

    The EU, by its very nature, seeks to do the precise opposite - impose uniformity - which is why it's fundamentally flawed and doomed, ultimately, to impoverish anyone involved in it (company, individual, nation) by suffocating innovation and new entrants to any emerging market: higher costs benefit no-one, and regulations COST - at every possible level.
  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787
    Kinross and West Perthshire had some history in electing Scottish aristos.

    The seat was held for the Unionist cause by the Duchess of Atholl from 1923-38. She resigned the seat in 1938 to force a by-election, standing as an Independent in protest against Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. She lost by around 1,300 in a two way contest with a Unionist candidate.
  • FinancierFinancier Posts: 3,916
    Welsh Bacc may be worse for university performance - study.

    University students who studied the Welsh Baccalaureate are less likely to get higher degrees than those who took A-levels, a report suggests.

    The Bacc was introduced about a decade ago to offer a more rounded education.

    Researchers at Cardiff University found students were 15% less likely to achieve a first or 2:1 degree.

    The Welsh government said the Bacc will be more rigorous from September 2015, and it will address many findings in the report, which it commissioned.

    The Welsh Bacc brings together traditional qualifications like GCSEs and A-levels with the Bacc "core," comprised of a range of modules including team enterprise activities, community participation and Wales' place in Europe and the world.

    There are currently over 78,000 learners registered on Welsh Baccalaureate courses studying at more than 250 schools and other institutions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-21935983

    More lack of focus from Welsh Labour!
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,528
    "In 1969, our teacher took us briefly outside, better to watch a test flight of Concorde."

    And in October 2003, I took everybody up on the roof of our London office to watch the last three Concorde flights come in over the city on their way to Heathrow.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,624

    Mr. Putney, won't the Lib Dems lose much in Scotland? Even if they stand still elsewhere that'd put them below 50 MPs, right?

    Right, it's hard to see them not losing at least _some_ seats to Lab - potentially quite a few. So then the question is what it would take for the LibDems to make some gains to offset them.

    A strong UKIP performance maybe, assuming that would pull more from Con than LD?
  • MillsyMillsy Posts: 900

    Ed West in the Telegraph explains the basis of Cameroon thought ...

    A good antidote to those that just look at the bottom line.
  • MonksfieldMonksfield Posts: 1,939
    Re: Stafford. I see clear parallels with the part of the public service where I work.

    The problem is less one of politics than one of systems management. When I started work we had a relatively small delivery body with a clear purpose. Nearly everybody had a defined frontline role and got on with it with the minimum of fuss. Corporate planning was minimal but effective and managers knew and understood the work their teams delivered.

    This has all changed. After several mergers and constant change, which we are told by both Labour and the Coalition is desirable and good, we have a much less efficient and much less effective delivery body that is over dependent on systems, where management is seen as an interchangeable skill, a deskilled and demoralised workforce who serve the process rather than the outcome, and a huge wedge of middle managers who oversee process and systems management and who effectively contribute little to frontline outcomes.

    There are two main drivers in this:

    The government belief that bigger is more efficient. There may be some truth in this in certain specialised areas where shared services may work but at an organisational level, my experience is that bigger just results in more confusion.

    Technology. This has been sold as an incontrovertible good and in some ways it has made our lives easy. But it has also been a huge driver in weak management, tying people up in endless teleconferences and email trails, enabling poor quality training and a (target) culture of business management that is needlessly hands on and controlling. It is overused and as a result it is all too easy for frontline staff to feel disempowered.


  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    Financier said:

    ...and Wales' place in Europe and the world.

    Did not the EU once leave Wales off of one of it's maps? Sums-up the country though (apart from Rugby-Union obviously)....


  • Mr. Putney, won't the Lib Dems lose much in Scotland? Even if they stand still elsewhere that'd put them below 50 MPs, right?

    Morris - you are right of course and that's why the odds appear generous compared with the status quo.
    But we are over two years from a General Election and there's therefore sufficient time for minds to be concentrated and for Labour to lose significant support when voters stop to consider who got us into this mess in the first place.
    Eastleigh shows us how well the LibDems support holds up in Southern England and as things stand I'd fancy them to win 30+ seats, but overall I expect their prospects to improve rather than to deteriorate in the lead up to the GE, just as it did last time, but particularly with their decoupling from the coalition probably late next year.
    Probably they will win fewer than 50 seats, but those are cracking odds from Ladbrokes for those who believe otherwise.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    Lucy

    Plebibition = mimimum alcohol pricing
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    Charles

    No offence meant to you by calling your idea 'moronic' but really is ridiculous.

    What England lacks is a strong 'voice' acting on its behalf in the way Scotland and Wales have.

    It certainly doesn't need an extra bunch of little voices competing against each other.

    In any case there is no support for English balkanisation as Labour found in the North-East Assembly referendum.

  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,879
    "The government belief that bigger is more efficient. There may be some truth in this in certain specialised areas where shared services may work but at an organisational level, my experience is that bigger just results in more confusion.

    Technology. This has been sold as an incontrovertible good and in some ways it has made our lives easy. But it has also been a huge driver in weak management, tying people up in endless teleconferences and email trails, enabling poor quality training and a (target) culture of business management that is needlessly hands on and controlling. It is overused and as a result it is all too easy for frontline staff to feel disempowered."

    But these two processes do allow the creation of endless middle management non-jobs.


  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    @monksfield

    a very perceptive analysis of what has gone wrong in both NHS and wider public services.
  • BobajobBobajob Posts: 1,536

    Financier said:

    ...and Wales' place in Europe and the world.

    Did not the EU once leave Wales off of one of it's maps? Sums-up the country though (apart from Rugby-Union obviously)....
    Why does it "sum the country up"? You do talk some utter crap.
  • SocratesSocrates Posts: 10,322
    tim said:

    "Pupils from state schools and ethnic minority groups need higher A-level results than those from private schools to get into Britain's top universities, says a study out today."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/top-universities-really-are-biased-in-favour-of-private-school-pupils-8549126.html


    I'm not surprised. A-Level results are not the be-all and end-all and private schools are much better at teaching all roundedness. We need to do a lot more to improve communication skills and personal drive in the state sector.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    Bobajob said:

    Why does it "sum the country up"? You do talk some utter crap.

    You are aware that Wales' GVA is below 70% and it relies upon £billions of transfers from Westminster (a.k.a. English tax-payers)? As much as I would wish for Wales to be an independent nation in reality it is little more than a minor English county.

    Devolution has appeared to have made a poor situation worse: Education has been identified as a failure (to be resolved in 2015) and the Welsh NHS seems to becoming worse. As I know you are London-based Labour supporter this is a situation which a) does not effect you directly, and b) would applaud if it ensured a Labour majority in the House-of-Commons.

    As for crap....

    :mirror-cracked:
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 68,520

    Charles said:

    A while back I suggested on here that a federal UK of five constituent parts - England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and London - might be worth serious consideration. I was howled down on here. But London really is a different country and for the good of everyone in the UK maybe it should be treated as such.

    England (ex London) would be too big a component - population along would be somewhere around 50-55m out of 70m (rough estimate).

    Split England into Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria as well as London and you may be on to something...

    No. I live up north, its relaxed here and lots of lovely hills. But I know where the country's bread is buttered.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    edited March 2013
    tim said:

    "Pupils from state schools and ethnic minority groups need higher A-level results than those from private schools to get into Britain's top universities, says a study out today."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/top-universities-really-are-biased-in-favour-of-private-school-pupils-8549126.html


    I think they call that the "David Miliband Effect". Sad; not everyone can have a principled Marxist father....
    tim said:

    @Socrates
    Hardly.

    They are better at expensively coaching children of lower ability to go to university.

    That is what people pay for.

    More bolleaux Wee-Timmy. Children of immigrants - such as oneself - actively chose not to go to Oxbridge. This has been identified in the study. [I blame all those p**fs in 'Brideshead Revisited' for putting me of (not that I ever watched it)...!]

  • SocratesSocrates Posts: 10,322
    Balkanisation of England is a crazy idea that is completely out of touch with the English people. Maybe if you come from the Midlands London might seem like a different country, but it certainly doesn't if you grew up in the home counties, where very large numbers commute in for work, and where large numbers of Londoners move out to in their 30s. It would be utterly absurd for London to have a different education system, a separate healthcare system etc.

    What we need is just to give the other conurbations of England the same, very successful governance structure of London. Mayors with control over larger metropolitan areas with large electorates would mean prominent champions that can force through the reforms these cities need, without people whinging that it's being forced upon them from London. It would also mean there would be Northern voices that would be a major part of the national debate.
  • TGOHFTGOHF Posts: 21,633
    When does the beer price cut come in ? I know its petty but still...
  • O/T

    Hands up anyone who believes Amanda Knox will return to Italy to face a retrial for the murder of Meredith Kerchner.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    tim said:

    MikeSmithson
    Just 20% tell YouGov that CON has best policies on NHS =ing the low point since coalition was formed



    Here's why

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2EmVGowCk

    But what are Labours policies on the NHS? Last I heard they were planning to keep the Lansley changes in place. I am happy to be enlightened if you know differrently.

    The fact that Labour leads on the NHS with exactly the same policy doesnt say much for voters knowledge.
  • SocratesSocrates Posts: 10,322
    tim said:



    "Pupils from comprehensive schools are likely to do better at university than children educated at private or grammar schools with similar A-level results, according to research carried out for the government and published today"

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/03/state-school-pupils-university

    Again, only if the only measure of "do better" is your formal degree result. Now, as I got a First, I'd love that to be the only thing that matters, but my experience in the working world since has taught me that's only a small part of it.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    tim said:

    @Fluffy

    Wales had its wave of immigration long ago, London has the massive advanmntage economically and educationally of recent large scale immigration.

    Correlation, causation, yahdie-yahdie-dah. Stop conflating facts with opinion. One only has to remember a relatively recent - few months ago - survey on London by 'The Economist' to know and understand how London has dominated the United Kingdom historically.

    Whether this is the result of migrations or central policy is up for debate. What is not for debate is the awful mess that the Welsh Assembly appears to be making. [One doubts things are any better in Norn' Iron either.]

  • SocratesSocrates Posts: 10,322
    Do those people that think we should stop having interviews for university think employers also shouldn't interview, out of interest?
  • BenMBenM Posts: 1,795
    Gove's low ratings on education are no surprise.

    No one believes the flannel put up by Tories and his propaganda outlets.

    A return to failed 50s idea of education scares parents stiff and rightly so.
  • SocratesSocrates Posts: 10,322

    O/T

    Hands up anyone who believes Amanda Knox will return to Italy to face a retrial for the murder of Meredith Kerchner.

    Hands up anyone who believes an alleged murder in Italy six years ago deserves to get headline coverage on the BBC and other news media? We've had plenty of far worse crimes in the UK that hardly register.
  • SlackbladderSlackbladder Posts: 8,811
    tim said:

    @Socrates

    Does anyone say interviews should be stopped?
    I think the point is that the university admissions process doesn't reflect the academic ability of the applicant, nor is a good predictor of how well they will do at university, but is more likely to reflect expensive coaching.
    Which shouldn't come as a surprise,if it didn't buy an advantage no one would pay for it.
    It'd be like Lance Armstrong spending a million dollars on homeopathic medicine, pointless.

    Depends if you think that university places are based only on academic ability.
This discussion has been closed.