Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Saturday 3 September 2011

In praise of Janice Turner

In case you haven't seen it, Janice Turner takes Nadine Dorries apart in The Times today.
Who does Dorries think she is - Sarah Palin?  Actually, I suspect she does. But, like Palin, she is stupid and irrational as well as being ideologically vicious and dangerous.
Janice Turner explains how offensive the Dorries slur on Marie Stopes and BPAS is. Though the anti-abortion lobby has aways treated them as if they were an incarnation of evil.
What is unusual about this former nurse's attitude to abortion is that the leaders of the antis have, for as long as I can remember, tended to be men. Abortion so clearly benefits women that it is hard to find any willing to go public with opposition.
Nadine Dorries isn't scared, though. She is on a mission to do everything she can to get abortion banned so the country can return to the awful situation before the Act to legalise it. She wants the age limit reduced - then reduced and reduced and reduced again. She wants, by preventing Marie Stopes and the BPAS from giving advice and assistance, to give control to anti-abortion organisations. Anything, in fact, that will make abortion harder to the point of impossibile.
I never believed that the anti-abortionists would ever give up.  The fight against them is going to have to go on and on. Which is why Janice Turner's piece today is so welcome and so important.

Thursday 1 September 2011

Doing the NHS to a Crisp

To ask the chicken and egg question: Which comes first with bureaucrats and politicians - do they learn to love fiddling because of the job they do or are they that way inclined and so become bureaucrats or politicians?
Today it is Lord Crisp who is at it. He wants to close hospitals to make the NHS better. That is like wanting to pull down houses so fewer people are homeless.
Yes it is sensible to help more patients to be treated in their homes but there are, as Lord Crisp should know, having been in charge of the NHS, that a huge number - running into hundreds of thousands if not millions a year - need hospital treatment.
If hospitals are closed, where will they get it?  Miles away to hospitals that are over-stretched, where staff are hassled and stressed, waiting lists longer and treatment inadequate.
One of the great lies peddled by the Tories and much of the media is that the NHS is in a terrible state. On the contrary, with a few awful exceptions, it is a magnificent service and vastly improved on its condition of a decade ago.
What it - and those who work in it and those who use it - need is money and support. Not another reorganisation aimed purely at saving money.