Beeston in YOUR Hands; The NHS in Soub’s.

A Happy New Year to you all, and if the year continues as its started then we’re in for a very interesting time.

First up, I best draw your attention to a Very Important Thing. I often get asked what Beeston will look like post-development: not just the tram-works, but the massive overhaul of the Square too. I only know what’s in the public domain, or when I get leaked something. Problem with leaks is that they are never on demand and normally come with vested interest. So I explain the best I can, subject to what I’ve heard up till then.

All ambiguity of what we may have foist upon us over the next few months and years will be laid asunder on Friday, 4th January. Between 10.30am – 5pm Beeston Library will play host to the plans before they are submitted to the appropriate bodies. It’s pretty vital you get down there then, and have a look; if you don ‘t like what you see then you’ll be against the clock to raise concerns.

This public consultation is a statutory requirement, and any views on this draft proposal need to be heard asap. It seems to have been publicised very lightly; it was only a fluke I got to hear about it. Developers prefer to let things slip through without objection, so it’s no surprise, I suppose. However, if you have concerns for the future of this town, and the direction it’s heading, I urge you to attend.

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Those of you stuck in last night, due to either rampant hangover or misguided resolution, may have switched over to University Challenge, where as it’s Christmas semi-famous alumni are rock up to represent their alma-maters. Lo, behold, last night Birmingham’s Captain was our own Dear Leader, who bought her always welcome semi-sneer to the small screen. Rather strangely, she neglected to mention this high-profile appearance in the email news-shot she circulated earlier in the day. Baffling, and not at all connected to the trouncing her team received from UEA (featuring the wonderful Charlie Higson). Weird that.

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She did however talk at length about the economy, and how due to

‘the continuing crisis in the Eurozone and the varying difficulties in the world economy mean we have not made all the progress we had hoped for’

This seems to be the default line now: blame external pressures, not us. Which is a horrendously hypocritical line when you think about the last two years, whereby the sole reason we were in the midst of a financial crisis was ‘the inheritance left to us by the last government’. Surely that crisis was caused by the, errr, largest, most wide-spread credit crunch and market-crash ever recorded? Maybe that played a part? Nah, it was benefit claimants, NHS overspends and DEFINITELY NOT ANYTHING ELSE. Definitely not. Nope, it was YOU, parasite. How dare you think that libraries, schools and healthcare were rights? The bankers, the tax- avoiders, the scum bucket hedge-funders and private-equity asset-strippers ARE TOTALLY INNOCENT. To prove it, Hector Sants, head of the FSA at the time of the crash and a devotee to light-touch regulation, gets a Knighthood; nurses, teachers and any other public sector worker can look forward to pay-freezes and pink-slips. Just so it’s clear.

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The economy is far from Soubz top priority now. I can’t see a move to the Treasury for her anytime soon, but I wouldn’t rule out a directly vertical move. Her boss right now is walking grin-goon and toy-troll look-a-like Jeremy Hunt, a chap so prone to idiotic disaster even a moment of amateur campanology nearly ended in manslaughter. I doubt he’ll last the full run, reshuffle or no reshuffle, as his brief is well above his pay grade and more dirt relating to impropriety with the SKY bid is bound to surface soon. This could see Soubz on the ascent once again, and directly in charge of the NHS and it’s unwelcome reforms/disintegration.

Over December, paper’s relating to Special Cabinet Meeting were released under the 30-year rule. One of the most shocking revelations was Thatcher and co debating a radical change in healthcare. The following is from these releases, and relate to a report commissioned by a think-tank and discussed at length:

“It is therefore worth considering aiming over a period to end the state provision of healthcare for the bulk of the population, so that medical facilities would be privately owned and run, and those seeking healthcare would be required to pay for it”

Woah. It may be worth remembering that earlier that year, Thatcher had appeared at the Tory Party Conference in Brighton and, in her leadership speech, vowed that the NHS was ‘Safe with us’.

Conservative Party Conference, Brighton 1982, by Paul Brason, 1982-1985 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Which uncannily rings down the ages, and is heard tinkling out of the copywriter and spin-doctors pen on this famous poster. Remember it?

Oh, one of the author’s of the aforementioned report presented to the 1982 Cabinet? Gordon Wasserman, who now is ennobled as Lord Wasserman and David Cameron’s current advisor on crime and policing. Quelle surprise.

Can we save a lot of bother and Polly Toynbee columns by cutting to the chase here? Anna Soubry, David Cameron and all Tories will never be comfortable with anything that smacks of collectivism. The NHS, the welfare state, the BBC, and everything else that WE own, and own as a society,  rather than have to buy or rent off some vulgar kleptocrat is utterly non-U. Anathema to their ideals and innate, difficult to repress snobbery. There is no moderation, no Third Way, no la nouvelle politique.

So expect the frequency to only increase of the unedifying sight of Soubry defending the NHS with her gob while gutting it with her signing- pen. Happy 2013.

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12 thoughts on “Beeston in YOUR Hands; The NHS in Soub’s.

  1. I would love to see the plans for the Square etc, but will still be at work at 5pm. There should be more opportunities for people to see the plans as not everyone would be able to seem them in such a limited timeframe. Any idea if they will be on line though Broxtowe Council’s website?

  2. tamar Feast says:

    Goodo Gooldy. But you passed on the opportunity to refer to it as Hunt’s ‘bell end debacle’ or some such similar. Never mind.

  3. Brian Rowe says:

    That had to be the worst perfomance on University Challenge since James McAvoy in ‘Starter For Ten’.

  4. Murray says:

    How can displaying the plans for 8 hours during a working day be passed as public consultation?

  5. David says:

    Very scant consultation going on here. I too will miss out as I have work commitments.

  6. Carole Wall says:

    I couldn’t go either as I was at work…. where can we see the detailed plans, please?

  7. Clint Eastwood says:

    Interesting article. Can anyone inform me how much money the Government has cut from the NHS budget?

    • Mike says:

      The NHS annual budget of about £100bn is being held constant, roughly. With costs rising by £20bn over the 5-year term, this is an annual cut of about 4%. Under the previous Government, the annual budget increased by about 4-5%. In theory, these are efficiency improvements; in practice, real cuts. Nothing of this magnitude has been attempted before (they say). Simultaneously, the NHS is going through a massive (and my guess: extremely expensive) restructuring.
      (The caveat: I know absolutely nothing about any of this and spent just 10 minutes web surfing to find an answer. So anyone else, such as His Lordship, jump in.)

  8. Mike says:

    I searched the Guardian website for “nhs budget cuts”, etc, and compiled the comment from several recent articles. (The same numbers crop up.) Here’s a background article (which I didn’t see) and here’s a search for NHS Cuts. There’s also sections on NHS reforms, other public service cuts, etc, etc. Sadly, I don’t know of any nice summaries and the information can be conflicting. Just like the real world.

  9. FreddyMash says:

    The most hilarious part is that many, maybe all, sections, of the NHS (operating as business units) will be asked by this government to hand back savings to central government. There is no science to these hand backs, simply % figures touted that round up nicely.
    Then at year end when nothing useful has been done with the handed back savings it’s offered back to some of the same business units who went through real pain to find them. Recreating central budget management skills we hoped were a thing of the past but sadly not.
    So government come back asking “what can you with this money we have got”?
    To which ‘they’ reply (or would like to) “well we did have serious plans for it as you know. But now, well either it’s too late to put to good use, or we can blow it on anything that can be bought quickly”.
    You the tax payer and you the patient both suffer the consequences of this central medaling. Centrally they choose to lay blame within the business units and at the door of nurses, doctors an managers.

    In a week when standards of care has been headline news it’s important to understand that this constant medaling and an the inability to manage a long term plan might, just might, demotivate some staff and detract health professionals away from a focus on standards. Can you imagine the numerous government auditors saying “don’t worry it’s fine you failed to hand back the big reduction we requested this year, after all I know you have been busy managing your staff and, patients and improving your standards”

    Just a thought………….

  10. FreddyMash says:

    In her latest update Anna reminds us all that this government is spending more on the NHS than the last. Well this as you might expect is a play on numbers that politicians love to do. The correct discussion might better be, do the Various NHS business units have enough money to deliver the services that they have provided previously to the public (answer No). Are these business units being asked to hand back significant sums of money (answer yes).
    Possibly the best thing to check is how many of these business units are considered at financial risk by the governments very own auditors (quite a lot).

    So in light of this it might not the best time to spend millions setting up a new scheme Mr Cameron thinks is the best idea ever, asking patients “would you recommend your NHS trust” to your friends and family. NHS professionals and academics alike have universally dismissed this as money wasting nonsense. Of you don’t like your GP practice or hospital just tell them.

    Of course I could just be one of those NHS scare mongers that are talked about. Well if the truth scares us, then ok I will go with that label but I am certainly not making it up.

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