Thursday, 26 June 2008

This is Britain under Gordon Brown

A Gurkha awarded the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy was at the forefront of a demonstration today to promote the rights of more than 2,000 of the soldiers to stay in Britain.

Tul Bahadur Pun VC, 87, a Second World War veteran who is now in a wheelchair, delivered a boardful of medals, including an MBE, to Downing Street in protest over the treatment of Gurkha soldiers.

A London hospital refused to treat him for his heart condition, claiming he owed thousands of pounds in unpaid medical bills.

 Gurkha Regimental Sergeant Major Pun Tulbahadur

Disgust: Gurkha Regimental Sergeant Major Pun Tulbahadur returns his medals to Downing Street

He was told he had no right to free care by a revenue enforcer at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Mr Pun, one of just 10 living VC holders in the UK, was close to tears and forced to leave after being told he also owed thousands of pounds because he had 'misled' the hospital over his immigration status.

The Gurkha, who lives on just £135 a week, was ejected this week on the anniversary of winning his VC in Burma on June 23 1944.

He had attended the Isleworth hospital's cardiology department for an urgent follow-up appointment and has been on lifesaving heart drugs for 10 months.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Choose and Lose

So Choose and Book, the massively expensive and hopelessly cumbersome booking system Widely called Choose and lose by GPs) is now recognized as a failure.

This is what the Chief Executive of the NHS David Nicholson said today:

NHS chief executive David Nicholson last night said that use of Choose and Book remains disappointingly low but has become a fact of life in the NHS.

Answering MPs' questions about Choose and Book use at the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee hearing on the NHS IT programme, Nicholson said: “Utilisation of the system is not as great as we would have imagined at this stage.”

Originally the DH anticipated 39m appointments via Choose and Book by 2008, the actual figure is closer to 6m. A number of targets have been missed, including for 90% of referrals for first outpatient appointments to be made through Choose and Book by March 2007.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

And these are our masters!

What sort of democracy do we have when politicians behave like this?

A Labour MP has been cautioned for causing criminal damage to a van as he dashed to board a bus.

Rob Marris, the MP for Wolverhampton South West, caused £350 damage when he climbed over the bonnet of the parked white van.

Initially he denied the offence, but admitted his guilt to police before he was due to appear at Coventry magistrates' court. The 53-year-old, a trained solicitor and son of a magistrate, accepted a conditional caution, which does not count as a criminal conviction.

Mr Marris has also been ordered to write a letter of apology to the van's owner, and to pay for repairs to the vehicle's bon

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Gordon Brown and Huxley Pig

Gordon Brown is a great reader, and with a young family I hope that he finds time to read to them.

If he does, he may seek find some useful advice in his present political predicament.

I quote from that hero of children's literature Huxley Pig"

When in trouble,
When in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

I am sure Huxley's advice will stand him in good stead.