John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Monday, October 29, 2007
  Secret Jailing Story from Sunday Mercury
The link is about a secret jailing in Nottingham.
 
Saturday, October 27, 2007
  Kittens and Breast Cancer
A few more pictures
IMG_1873
Mummy (of the kittens) is tired.
IMG_1872
The babysitter (is actually only 6 months old)
IMG_1862
More babysitting (actually about a week ago - kittens grow quickly)
IMG_1870
Lord and Lady Mayor plus two members of the leaders office at the coffee morning for breast cancer. It is difficult to fully comprehend James North's attention to detail. A pink tie and pink braces are visible, but he does also have pink socks.
 
  Daily Mail story on David Southall
Following Rachel Pullen's story being public I have been contacted by more people who are being messed about by the system.

In essence the "experts" generally avoid being held to account. The story in the Daily Mail continues another of those examples.
 
Friday, October 26, 2007
  Rachel Pullen's Story in Nottingham
The link is to the Nottingham Evening Post which today carries the story of how Rachel Pullen was prevented from objecting to the adoption of her daughter.
 
  Election results: Thursday 25th October 2007.
Cumbria CC, Penrith East
LD Patricia Bell 800 (59.8; +14.7), Con 380 (28.4; -2.20), Ind 123 (9.2; +3.6), Green 34 (2.5; +2.5), [Lab (0.0; -18.7)].
Majority 420. Turnout 29.7%. Ld hold. Last fought 2005.

Great Yarmouth DC, Nelson
Lab 329 (42.5; +0.1), Ind 257 (33.2; +33.2), LD Nick Dyer 96 (12.4; +12.4), Ind 49 (6.3; +6.3), Green 43 (5.6; -1.8), [National Front ( 0.0; -22.9)], [Con (0.0; -27.3)].
Majority 72. Turnout not known. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Harlow DC, Little Parndon and Hare Street
Lab 794 (52.6; +3.4), Con 598 (39.6; +0.5), LD Nick Macy 117 (7.8; -4.0).
Majority 196. Turnout 28.4%. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Harlow DC, Toddbrook
Con 728 (45.2; +5.4), Lab 713 (44.3; +3.3), Respect 102 (6.3; -6.6), LD Julian Watkiss 67 (4.2; -2.1).
Majority 15. Turnout not known. Con gain from Lab. Last fought 2007.

North Devon DC, Witheridge
Con 448 (58.5; -0.2), LD Kate Palmer 318 (41.5; +0.2).
Majority 130. Turnout 42%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Penwith DC, Gwinear, Gwithian and Hayle East
Con 493 (57.7; +4.6), Ind 192 (22.5; +22.5), Lab 170 (19.9; +19.9), [LD (0.0; -46.9)].
Majority 301. Turnout 27.1%. Con hold. Last fought 2006.

Sefton MBC, Manor
Con 922 (40.5; -7.6), LD John Gibson 769 (33.8; +13.4), Lab 419 (18.4; -13.1), BNP 94 (4.1; +4.1), UKIP 71 (3.1; +3.1).
Majority 153. Thurnout 22.8%. Con gain from Lab. Last fought 2007.

Waltham Abbey TC, Waltham Abbey Honey Lane
Con 299 (30.4), BNP 281 (28.5), LD Christine Akers 274 (27.8), Lab 131 (13.3).
Majority 18. Turnout 21.5%. Con hold.

Wrexham UA, Stansty
Lab 370 (50.3; +28.8), LD Bruce Roberts 271 (36.8; -21.9), Con 50 (6.8; +6.8), PC 45 (6.1; +6.1), [Forward Wales (0.0; -19.8)].
Majority 99. Turnout 43.6%. Lab gain from Ind. Last fought 2004.
 
  Jailing in Nottingham
I am trying to get details, but it appears that someone was jailed for 20 months for talking to his grandson in Nottingham this morning.
 
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
  Red Boxes on BBC Website
The BBC are looking at the failure of the government to answer questions. (and hte cost of red boxes)
 
  Evidence, Law and Medicine
The link is to a summary from the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine's levels of Evidence (from May 2001).

This looks at the question of how reliable evidence is. Much of the "evidence" in the courts is from the lowest level (5) of certainty viz:

"Expert opinion without explicit critical appraisal, or based upon physiology, bench research or "first principles"."
 
  Rachel Pullen's Petition
The link is to a petition in the House of Commons tabled last night.

This raises a number of interesting question as to how capacity is determined and who should be allowed to determine capacity.

If you have a number of parties to a court case it appears to me as wrong that one party should be able to pay someone to give an opinion which strikes out the capacity of another party.

I am also quite unhappy in the way that CAFCASS obtain opinions that the opinions of children that are "gillick competent" are invalid and strike out the children's capacity to express a view.

The official solicitor issue (see Hansard) is not one that will go away.
 
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
  UK Government and Renewables in Europe
What I found interesting from Herr Fell yesterday was that the UK government is actually lobbying to prevent the Germans from encouraging renewable electricity generation.

He also explained how the MPs had to fight the government to force through legislation to achieve what is being done in Germany. I presume it will be the same here.
 
Monday, October 22, 2007
  German Predictions on Oil Supply
The link is to the story in "The Guardian" about energy supplies. I am scheduled to meet the German MP behind this later today.

I will comment about the details in the report when I have read it. In essence, however, the thesis is valid. The minor details as to precisely the rate of decline and date of peak are not so important.

What matters is that peak is "about now" - within this or the next parliament.(making reasonable assumptions as the normal length of a parliament.)

Most importantly (as has been mentioned previously on this weblog) other primary sources such as U235 (with a reasonable energy cost of extraction) face peak as well.
 
Saturday, October 20, 2007
  Hospitals, journalists and political theory
An advantage journalists have in dealing with the media is that they understand how journalists think. Hence either Chris or Nick is likely to do a good job as far as Public Relations go.

The problem, however, is that the conventional wisdom within the media as to "what should be done" is:
a) Not necessarily something that will achieve the objective.
b) Not necessarily something politically popular.

A good example for this is the debate about "Healthcare acquired infection". It is possible to change the management of hospitals to prioritise hygiene. However, this would probably mean inter alia taking the cleaning contracts "in-house".

This does not fit the conventional wisdom of the chattering classes. It sounds a bit luddite and traditional. On the other hand it would work and would be politically popular.

I, however, am not a moderniser. I am happy to be described as a progressive. However, I do not believe in change for changes sake - modernisation.
 
Friday, October 19, 2007
  Leadership Interview 18 Doughty Street
Its a bit late now and even it was a bit late then, but my leadership candidature was discussed on 18 Doughty Street on Wednesday night. Here it is.
 
  Election Results: Thursday 18th October 2007.
Basingstoke and Deane DC, Whitchurch
LD Eric Dunlop 858 (52.8; -5.6), Con 709 (43.6; +2.0), Lab 58 (3.6; +3.6).
Majority 149. Turnout 42.5%. LD hold. Last fought 2007.

Congleton BC, Sandbach West
Con 445 (45.1; +3.6), LD Patrick Darnes 382 (38.7; -3.1), Lab 160 (16.2; -0.5).
Majority 63. Turnout 19.2%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Ellesmere Port and Neston DC, Rossmore
Lab 504 (54.4; -4.0), Con 325 (35.1; -6.5), English Democrats 60 (6.5; +6.5), LD Graham Handley 38 (4.1; +4.1).
Majority 179. Turnout 20.0%. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Meltham TC
Ind 819 (53.9), Con 394 (25.9), LD Graham Colledge 307 (20.2).
Majority 425. Turnout 24.1%. Ind hold.

South Derbyshire DC, Church Gresley
Lab 639 (43.8; -23.0), BNP 516 (35.4; +35.4), Con 304 (20.8; -12.4).
Majority 123. Turnout not available. Lab hold. Last fought 2007.

Wellingborough DC, Croyland
Con 698 (52.6; -7.3), Lab 448 (33.8; -6.3), Ind 125 (9.4; +9.4), Green 55 (4.1; +4.1).
Majority 250. Turnout 25.4%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Wigan MBC, Wigan Central
Con 1013 (48.2; +3.9), Lab 827 (39.3; +6.2), Community Action 262 (12.5; +5.6), [BNP (0.0; -6.3)], [LD (0.0; -9.5)].
Majority 186. Turnout 22.8%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.
 
Thursday, October 18, 2007
  Leadership Election
It is quite clear that I will not be a candidate in the Leadership Election. I will, however, not decide for now who I will support and I will announce that in the future when I have discussed matters with the other candidates and colleagues in Birmingham.
 
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
  Parliamentary Question 17th October 2007
Health: University Hospital of North Staffordshire: Research

Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies were undertaken at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire involving children from overseas in the 1990s.

A:The information requested is not centrally held by the Department. The NHS West Midlands strategic health authority reports that University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust has recently written to the hon. Member following a similar request under the Freedom of Information Act.
Dawn Primarolo (Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health)
 
  Parliamentary
 
  Nominations and the Leadership Election
During the last Leadership election I found that the rules permitted nominators to sign more than one paper. The rules have, however, since been changed.

I do have one person other than myself willing to sign my own paper. However, I can see that there is going to be a challenge getting nominated.

It is, however, important to have a debate about the party's direction. The two front runners don't really have any political strategy differences.

Getting the 200 signatures from constituenties, however, is relatively straightforward.
 
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
  Position Statement for Leadership Election
It surprised me just as much as anyone else when Ming resigned yesterday. We must thank Ming for the way in which he brought stability and improved the professionalism of the party although we still have further to go.

Unsurprisingly I am interested in putting myself forward for Party Leader. I am writing this note as a “position statement”. The reason I wish to stand is to be able to argue, and potentially implement, a particular strategy for the party.

The first point I will make is that we as a party must retain our system of involving party members in the determination of policy direction. I do not think all the detail should go through such a process. However, I do believe that anyone wishing to lead should first persuade the party and then persuade the country.

However, anyone wishing to lead has a responsibility to put forward the basis of the direction in which they wish to take the party.

The first question that is asked is about the Left/Right Axis. This demonstrates a oversimplification of politics. Politics is multi dimensional. One of the dimensions (which predominates the left-right axis), is whether a party stands in the interests of the poorer and weaker members of society or whether the party is moreso standing in the interests of the rich. Historically the party has been the champion of the economically weak without being in the pockets of the Trades Unions. This position has been rightly described as centrist. It would be wrong for the party to move away from this position. We must champion the interests of those struggling to cope – now a wide swathe of society.

Under New Labour life has become nastier for many people. Crime, financial troubles and debt make life unpleasant for people and quality of life has deteriorated. We should clearly argue for quality of life and away from a numerical perspective. The Treasury has argued that policy should be determined by valuing options financially. We should argue for people to have the power to determine their own situation based on an assessment of quality of life. This is, in fact, another dimension of politics where we can stand alone against Labour and Conservatives.

A third dimension in which we can create a distinction between our approach and that of the other parties is that of Deontology vs Consequentialism. Consequentialism, where the ends justify the means, has developed a stronger hold in the UK in recent years. On issues such as BAE and the Natwest 3 we should continue to argue that things should be done the right way (Deontology). Colleagues will be aware of some of my work in Public Family Law where Consequentialism holds sway and hundreds of people are imprisoned in secret every year. We should, however, review our approach to ensure a consistency here. Strict liability offences where there is no mens rea do cause difficulties from this perspective and how that operates to affect people should be thought through. We must also stick by our manifesto commitment to offer a referendum on the European Reform Treaty.

We do, however, need to reflect this in ensuring greater accountability in politics. That means that we should be looking to make sure that ministers actually answer questions. The UK is governed in a way that is like looking in the mirror at the car crash that happened a couple of years ago in the hope of not having a crash today. Unless we can get accountable government that will never change. We, therefore, should commit ourselves to not being part of any coalition government in the event that parliament is balanced. That will deliver a movement of power to parliament from the Executive.

A fourth dimension relates to international politics. The adventurism in Iraq arose from an acceptance of the ideas of Neocolonialism. We should stand against this. That does not mean that we should not trumpet the ideals of Liberal Democracy. However, we must resist the arrogance of neocolonialism and the assumption that military force will achieve lasting political change. That will involve the recognition that the strategy in Afghanistan is flawed and needs to change to a less military solution. We can easily win the war, but winning the peace becomes harder with every Afghani death.

The Environmental Strategy of the party remains a good one. I think we have got the green taxes strategy right. Personally I feel that “peak oil” will be an issue of developing importance that will need to be addressed by all parties. However, on this practical dimension I think we have the right direction.

We must not move away from localism. That does mean not trying to impose central policymaking on local council groups as some have been tempted to do. That is a recipe for disaster. The leadership needs to work more closely with our local government and devolution groups.

The above paragraphs relate to a political strategy and a political positioning. That positioning is not only the correct one, but also one that can be electorally popular. We do, however, need to persuade the electors that our political strategy is right.

We must make sure in our campaigning in parliament that we are talking about things that matter to the British People. Hospital Infection, Crime, Education and quality of life are all things that matter. We need, however, to aim to set the agenda as well as get into an agenda set by others. Frequently we have been too timid in not taking the risk of aiming to set the agenda. We do need to be professional about identifying the issues that concern people and making our position clear.

Everyone has been surprised by Ming’s resignation. The timetable set for a replacement in my view is too short. I have written this note as part of my soundings to find out what support exists for the above political thesis.

I am one of the few Members of Parliament who have the practical experience of having successfully led a political group from opposition to a position of power (in Birmingham). On issues of diversity I have delivered. As far as extra parliamentary considerations are concerned I am almost certainly the only successful entrepreneur in the parliamentary party that is also a member of a Trades Union. I will be taking soundings following this position statement.
 
Sunday, October 14, 2007
  Pauline Goodwin's story in the Independent on Sunday
The link is to Pauline's story in the Independent. Note the behaviour of the social workers. The Police would not harrass people in this way. I cannot understand why this behaviour is permitted from Social Workers.
 
Saturday, October 13, 2007
  Kitten Pictures
I like kitten pictures. Here are a few:
mobile
cables
gingerfeeds
 
  Solicitors in the Family Division EDM
Signatures continue to mount for EDM 2021 (which I tabled before the recess). This EDM (see link for current position) says:
That this House notes the comments of a senior social worker that meetings have been held during which solicitors acting for parents have discussed how to undermine the cases of their clients; further notes that there are many odd cases in which solicitors fail to oppose care proceedings or accept that the section 31 threshold has been met notwithstanding the opposition of their clients; recognises that reporting and obtaining the investigation of such behaviour outwith parliamentary proceedings remains a contempt of court for hon. Members; and asks the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to review the implementation of the new solicitors' code of conduct and how this relates to conflicts of interest in the Family Court.

Let me highlight part of this:
solicitors acting for parents have discussed how to undermine the cases of their clients
 
Friday, October 12, 2007
  Election Results: Thursday 11th October 2007.
Horsham DC, Holbrook West
LD Belinda Walters 602 (43.9; +11.1), Con 554 (40.4; -6.5), BNP 163 (11.9;
+11.9), Lab 52 (3.8; +0.2), [Ind (0.0; -16.6)].
Majority 48. Turnout 32.2%. LD gain from Con. Last fought 2007.

Chippenham TC, Pewsham
LD Mark Packard 493 (58.8), Con 346 (41.2).
Majority 147. Turnout 19.5%. LD gain from Con.
 
  Dr Rant "It's the bed occupancy stupid"
The link is to Dr Rant's post about hospital acquired infection. In that he effectively supports my arguments in my EDM about HAI. - see earlier this week.
 
Thursday, October 11, 2007
  Family Justice System: Petition
John Hemming:

I have an example of egregious behaviour by the family justice system to present.

The petition states:

The Petition of a British Citizen

Declares that a Local Authority has recently told a mother that she will not be allowed contact with her adopted child if she continues to protest outside the Family Court.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the government to legislate to prevent Local Authorities from using control over contact with their children to prevent parents from protesting about the unfairness of the Family Justice System in England and Wales.

And the Petitioner remains, etc.
 
  Two amendments and an EDM
This week I have tabled two amendments. One to the Criminal Justice Bill to deal with street racing and another to the Legal Services Bill to assist membership organisations such as the Medical Protection Society.

I have also tabled an EDM on hospital acquired infections.
HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTION
That this House recognises the trauma caused to patients and families by hospital-acquired infection such as MRSA and C Difficile; believes that there are examples the UK can learn from in other countries such as the Netherlands; recognises that this involves having sufficient beds to keep some empty and isolate infected patients from others; recognises that having medical staff travel in their work clothes also gives a risk of infection; requests that the tendency to blame patients for the spread of infection is resisted; and calls for an urgent review as to whether reductions in bed numbers and planning for 100 per cent. bed occupancy and other cost saving measures are resulting in increased risk of hospital-acquired infection.
 
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  Martyn Smith and Ray Holtom
With Martyn's recent death and Ray's last week I think some comments are warranted.

Martyn and his wife Sadie have been the leading lights of West Bromwich Liberals since I have been involved in politics (1970s). Martyn was also ran the West Birmingham CHC for many years.

In the County Council elections many years ago they won two of the three seats in the West Bromwich East Parliamentary Seat. Sadly Martyn did not, however, convert that into winning the Parliamentary Seat itself.

Martyn was a hard worker for the Liberal/Lib Dem Cause in the black country. It is sad to hear of Martyn's death.

Ray Holtom was a Lib Dem Councillor who joined us in Birmingham from Labour. I first got to know him at the Trinity Centre which used to support the harder to manage end of the roofless sector. Ray always backed the powerless against the powerful and it is sad to hear of his passing.
 
  Egregious - is it "parliamentary language"
There is a process for agreeing the words in parliamentary petitions. The words in petitions are not supposed to be intemperate. I have been told, but not had it confirmed, that egregious is too intemperate to appear in a parliamentary petition.

Merriam-Webster's definition
Main Entry: egre·gious
Pronunciation: i-'grE-j&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin egregius, from e- + greg-, grex herd -- more at GREGARIOUS
1 archaic : DISTINGUISHED
2 : CONSPICUOUS; especially : conspicuously bad : FLAGRANT
- egre·gious·ly adverb
- egre·gious·ness noun

The word is becoming less obscure.
 
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
  If it quacks - It's a duck!
The European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons has concluded that:
The EU treaty is 'substantially equivalent' to the EU Constitution.

On that basis a referendum is due. I have, to be fair, taken this position for some time.
 
Sunday, October 07, 2007
  Court Procedures and technology
We have now identified the best technological solution for handling the issue of efficiently and cost effectively advising on the completion of forms for court and court bundles the the court of appeal.

There can be a lot of work collating things properly for the court of appeal. However, proper use of technology and software means that a good job can be done and the software is not expensive.
 
  Bottler Brown - the Lib Dem Video
An impressive Youtube video. (particularly as it was only done in the last less than 24 hours).
 
Saturday, October 06, 2007
  Has Brown Bottled it?
Labour cannot pretend that they were not planning on a potential General Election. Obviously they would wait until they have full information and a sort of dry run election during the conferences does give a better steer. The postal strikes do not help.

However, we now believe that Brown has bottled it. We are waiting for the annoucement.
 
  MSbP - does exist
The link is to a criminal prosecution (that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I would believe to be safe) for FII or MSbP. FII is a better description of the situation as it is Fabricating an Illness (by proxy).

One of the problems with the debate about MSbP (and also SBS and CML) is that it does exist. The question is how one can identify when it is the case. It is not suffiicent to say

a) If the doctors cannot work out what an illness is caused by ... and
b) If the child is separated from the parents it recovers. (aka a parentectomy).

That this is "proof" of FII.

The evidence we have from recent deaths of children is that the systems we use for determining the truth of these issues fail and to some extent end up as random results.

What I find is that parents who get angry with the system generally lose. That does not mean, however, that the parents are bad parents.

If you ignore the corruption in the system (which is a minority) the majority is affected by wrong process and wrong decisionmaking.
 
Friday, October 05, 2007
  STV Scottish by-election detail
I like the full information rather than just the summary already posted. Here is the detail of the Scottish by-election

Argyll and Bute UA, Helensburgh and Lomond South
LD Andrew Nisbet was elected at stage four.
The percentage poll was 37.4% and the quota was 1060.

1st Round
LD 642
Con 627
Ind 493
SNP 356
(SNP eliminated)

Round 2 (with SNP votes redistributed)
LD 752 (+110)
Con 684 (+57)
Ind 606 (+113)
(Ind eliminated)

Round 3 (with Ind votes redistributed)
LD 1014 (+262)
Con 839 (+155)
(Con eliminated)

Result: LD win.
 
  Essex adoption case
The text here is from the Essex Enquirer which is available on the web, but only as a PDF which is quite difficult to negotiate. What it demonstrates is the court deciding that a child should be adopted after it had been confirmed that the parents were good enough parents for a newer child. This is one of the things that happens that I really do not think is right.

Inept Social Services have written to a mother of five telling
her she is a good parent – despite taking four of her children away
for adoption. The 33-year-old was told she could keep her fifth child just days before a four-year court battle with Essex County Council ended with her fourth child released for adoption.
On Friday, the judge also took the unusual step of insisting the
Brentwood woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, be
given regular access to the fourth child when he was re-homed.
But on 21 September social services wrote to the woman,who
is in a “committed” relationship, stating “no further action” would
be taken against a fifth youngster born since the initial proceedings
started because their parenting is “good enough”.
The letter concluded:
“Integration with [the child] is good and he was appropriately
dressed and is regularly fed. Suggest no further action at this
time as parenting is good enough.” Three of the children
were successfully released for adoption in 2005 after the county
council first took action to remove all four in 2003.
The mother called the council officials dealing with the case
“hypocrites” with “too much power to ruin lives”.
She told The Enquirer:“I’m angry they can do this – it shows that
children are being taken away from parents who don’t deserve
to lose them. “And they shouldn’t the power to do that. They said I was a good
parent and went on to take my child away anyway.” Her ward councillor Barry
Aspinell demanded an investigation into Essex County Council’s procedures and
particularly the social worker involved in the case. “These people have gone
through absolute hell for four years and I’m so angry that things like this are being allowed to happen in my town,” he said.
“They’ve clearly said her parenting skills are OK and there’s no problem with her youngest child.” But he praised the court’s “major” decision to grant the
mother access to one of the children in his adoptive home. Eric Pickles, Tory MP for
Brentwood, said: “If this lady would like to get in touch with me
then I will be happy to do my best to try and help her.”
A spokesman for Essex County Council was unavailable for comment as The Enquirer went to print.
 
  Quarter of households 'unable to afford their own homes'
The story (on 24 dash) underlines one aspect of the problems in housing today. It is worth me just linking to this story and not commenting for the moment (because I am too busy).
 
  Election Results: Thursday 4th October 2007.
Argyll and Bute UA, Helensburgh and Lomond South
LD Andrew Nisbet was elected at stage four.
The percentage poll was 37.4% and the quota was 1060.
LD gain from Ind. Last fought 2007.

Hambleton DC, Northallerton Broomfield
Con elected unopposed.
Con hold. Last fought 2007.

Leicestershire CC, Shepshed
Lab 1217 (30.2; -12.7), Con 1074 (26.6; -10.2), LD John Popley 933 (23.1;
+2.8), BNP 807 (20.0; +20.0).
Majority 143. Turnout 37.3%. Lab hold. Last fought 2005.

Windsor and Maidenhead UA, Datchet
Con 799 (63.8; -8.6), LD Tim O'Flynn 352 (28.1; +12.0), Ind 102 (8.1; +8.1),
[Lab (0.0; -11.5)].
Majority 447. Turnout 35.8%. Con hold. Last fought 2007.


Not that these say anything particularly.
 
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
  The Regional Spatial Strategy
The link is to a story in the Birmingham post. I will comment on this at a later stage.
 
  Peak Oil in The Guardian
This issue is gradually moving from the sidelines into the mainstream. That to some extent is inevitable.

It is quite simple really:

In a conflict between the laws of physics and the laws of economics physics wins every time.

Perhaps I would say that with a degree in Physics. However, I am right.
 
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
  Hygiene and MRSA
MRSA and C difficile are only two of a number of infections that can be caught in hospital.

Gordon Brown talked about a "deep clean" once a year. To some extent that should demonstrate his disqualification for the role he is in. He proposes as a solution something that basically would have no effect.

I have linked to the BritMeds a collection of blog entries by people in the medical profession. Note that they generally support a return to providing facilities and clean clothing for medics to change into. The shortage of empty beds also has an effect relating specifically to MRSA.

for example This brings us back to the over stretched NHS front line and the shrinking number of beds available, as this has rather significant knock on effects on our ability to 'isolate high risk groups' and to 'isolate carriers'. Most people working on the front line will tell you that it is routine in many hospitals for known MRSA carriers to be nursed in open wards with patients who are known not to be MRSA carriers, it is therefore no wonder that MRSA is not being contained in the UK. The excessive pressure to move patients from ward to ward far too quickly without infection control being respected is arguably the biggest reason for MRSA's success in the UK, and the government continues to make this situation worse with more and more targets.

see also
Who took away the ready provision of clean white coats? Surely contaminated clothes should stay in the hospital and be washed there and not taken out into the community? And who forced doctors to do safari ward rounds trekking from ward to ward because there was never enough flexibility to accommodate patients on the right ward? And who shoehorned extra beds into already crowded wards? And who is responsible for there being too few side rooms so that patently infectious cases cannot be easily isolated? And who is responsible for Dr Davey having to change in the toilet and wearing his suit trousers while dealing with faeces? And who is responsible for beds occupancy being so high that many beds have more than one occupant in 24 hours? If you were looking for a way to spread infection you couldn't find a better one. Skimping and cost cutting is costing us and our patients dear.
 
Monday, October 01, 2007
  November Election - Automated Calls
Labour, it appears, have started doing automated phone calls. This, where a computer phones people, is of dubious legality. It shows they are preparing for a November Election.

At the same time we have the complications that people may not actually be registered to vote even though they have recently filled in the electoral registration form.

Then again the situation is better than it used to be for autumn elections where there weren't rolling registers. That means that people would have to vote where they were previously.

All in all I would not expect the AEA's concerns to have any effect on Labour's decisionmaking.
 

Click Here for access to higher resolution versions of the photos The license for use allows use of the photos by media as long as they are attributed.

better brent chart

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12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 / 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 / 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 / 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 / 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 / 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 / 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 / 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 / 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 / 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 / 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 / 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 / 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 / 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 / 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 / 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 / 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 / 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 / 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 / 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 / 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 / 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 / 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 / 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 / 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 / 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 / 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 / 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 / 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 / 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 / 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 / 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 / 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 / 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 / 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 / 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 / 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 / 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 / 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 / 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 / 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 / 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 / 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 / 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 / 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 / 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 / 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 / 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 / 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 / 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 / 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 / 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 / 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 / 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 / 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 / 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 / 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 / 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 / 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 / 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 / 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 / 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 / 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 / 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 / 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 / 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 / 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 / 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 / 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 / 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 / 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 / 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 / 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 / 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 / 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 / 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 / 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 / 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 / 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 / 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 / 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 / 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 / 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 / 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 / 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 / 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 / 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 / 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 / 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 / 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 / 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 / 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 /


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