Sunday, 30 March 2008

I've got a bad feeling about this

Deep cleaning of hospitals throughout England is supposed to be completed in every hospital by Monday - but alas, what a shock, with every target our government sets, this target's not going to be met.

Now I am not going to sit here and say any cleaning of hospitals is a bad idea, beit "deep" or otherwise. Matters of cost and effectiveness are another matter of course (MRSA/CDiff spread from person to person so all it takes is one person to carry one of these infections and...), but the principle of 'the government wants to give our hospitals a damn good scrubbing' is rather agreeable.

But although I don't dislike the policy, it's the politics that worries me.

Gordon Brown is a stupid man. Ben Bradshaw is even worse, but I'm going to go after GB on this one. Announcing, with typical GB pomp and 'love me' grandeur, that all hospitals are going to get a "deep clean" in order to tackle MRSA and CDiff, was a stupid thing to do. The govt made out that this big gesture-policy was the answer to solving the MRSA/CDiff crisis and by announcing it in such a big way have set themselves up to fail.

Every hospital is getting a deep clean. Does GB, his advisers, anyone of use to him not realise that all it will take is ONE SINGLE case of MRSA or CDiff being contracted by a patient within two weeks of the deep clean before the whole problem comes back to haunt him and then that is the big, new, bad story, where yet again Labour are getting fisted on health?

Then, once a month has gone by, if just one hospital has two, three or four cases in that time, then the government are going to get hammered with front pages of our (ridiculous) media proclaiming - "Deep Clean Fails", "Brown in deep sh*t over deep clean" for the new outbreak sweeping through our hospitals. And we all know that, with these infections being as complicated and infectious and politically poisonous as they are, they're always going to come back to bite.
Really, what do you think the chances are that no one throughout the whole of the NHS system in England in the next few weeks will contract MRSA or CDiff and the media won't pounce on it and pound him so hard with editorials and personalised sob stories that he needs hospitalisation?

As a result, Gordo now has two problems. One, his credibility over yet another big, bold, stupid statement is shafted because the perception he gave, that he was going to rid the NHS of disease, was never possible. While never exactly saying it, he dawned the emperor's new matron's outfit and made it seem like he was going to save the day and eradicate them, but what he's effectively done is taken out a massive loan to pay off his massive debts, on an even bigger interest rate.

Unfortunately, Monday, two weeks, a month from now is payday! (and there's no new loan to take out to put off paying the devil).

As a result, Gordon Brown who took the lead role on this policy, is in for a ruddy good kicking for failure. This is reason #1 why he has played bad politics on this front.

The other is that when this 'new outbreak' breaks, public confidence in the NHS and NHS safety is also shot. The last thing this country and this government needs is another NHS crisis story all over the papers, with the PM now having no clue, no credibility and no frsh ideas that anyone will trust (because he f*cked up his last big play).

It worries me that no one around him thought this through when it should've neen so simple to foresee. It worries me that we can't get all the hospitals cleaned, even when there's easily enough time and the money in place. It worries me that yet again, Gordon Brown, in his attempt to look like he's leading the country, has painted over the cracks when we need pollyfilla, not paint.

It worries me that this policy won't get rid of MRSA and CDiff, we're out a fair few £millions and we're no closer to the end goal.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Most office workers don't...

have lunch, apparently.

I'll be honest, usually I don't have time for lunch but if I do, I have a pack of crisps and a chocolate covered snack. Not healthy, nothing spectacular, but that's what I have.
I also, maybe, have a wee look at the bbc news pages.
Occasionally I flick through a few newspapers as well.
Might even do a sudoku.
Smoke a fag.

Gordon Brown freed Nelson Mandela
in his lunch break. I'm almost impressed.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Snouts in the trough

Michael Martin's got a wee secret.

I don't know what it is, but we all know he's got one.

Why is he so, so adamant that we don't get a wee sneaky-peak at his financial-expenditure-adventures? Surely he knows, that we know there's something to know. And when it does come out, the press are going to have a great big bloody carnival. The more fervour he throws behind not letting the truth out, the more and more sordid I'm convinced it is (anyone else reckon he used to be Betty Boothroyd and paid for the op through expenses?). But the big problem is that he is not alone and a large number of MPs are keen to avoid publishing these expense lists.

We all know they have there snouts in the trough, to an extent we accept it as part of having people in power - it's what they do and we don't complain - unless they're really taking the piss. But when he has gagged MPs from even talking about the appeal against releasing these details, of course 'on legal grounds', we know whose been a naughty boy. Just how naughty, Mick?

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Obama loses out

ok, so

Barack Obama is closely linked to some nut-case preacher who seems to want to pick political fights using (let's just call it) inflamatory language.

Hillary Clinton told a lie. Hillary told a lie involving the US military - talk about pissing into the wind when you're allergic to piss! Asking for trouble.
Undoubtedly, that's a big 1 - 0 win to Obama.

Mr Obama has a confirmed 1,621 delegates

Mrs Clinton has a confirmed 1,499 delegates
2 - 0

Hillary's attempts to get Florida's votes acknowledged towards the delegate count was unsuccessful. Poor you.
3 - 0

And because you just don't lie and try and taking credit for anything linked to do with the military in America, especially when no credit is due, that's another 'this-story-won't-just-disappear'-bonus score for Obama.
4 - 0.

And yet, despite my earlier prediction of an Obama triumph, despite all of the above, despite the fact that she makes me think of an angry lesbian who wants to be in charge of a mutha-load of weaponry, I'm changing my mind and predicting a Hillary win. Believe me, I don't want it to happen, but I'm saying, even in the face of that 4 - 0 drubbing recently, I think she'll do it. Despite leaking that they'll go with whoever has the most delegates come convention-time, the super-delegates are going to stick with her because that's what the old boys network does - and we all know she's an old boy.

It's the Land of the Free if you want to go to a baseball game or eat a burger or open a shop.

It's the Land of Who You Know for anything important.

Those who know me know I love to be right. Christ, I hope I'm wrong.

Great Britain - Dare To Be Great

So Gordon Brown has ruled out 'Blair Force One'.

Some might have thought the idea to be a bit tacky, more symbolic than necessary. And maybe they are right. And copying anything George W Bush has is never going to endear you to most of the country. Also, therightstudent offers another good reason for Brown to 'dump' the idea. GB really is taking the 'Not Flash - Just Gordon' mantra to heart. (Gordon, just so you know, we'the people will never see you as 'just the same as us')

But to me, it's just another sign of Britain's self-conscious psyche that tells us 'you're not allowed to be too good in Britain - and if you are, certainly don't mention it to anyone'. The UK is a major player on the world's stage, whether it be militarily, economically, whatever - we are a big deal and one of the big, influential powers.

So why shouldn't we have a big winged statement that, when our head of Government or head of state arrives somewhere, announces that 'we have arrived' and the fact that we are in your country, is a big deal.

Why are we so ashamed of being a big, powerful country (something which means, as a country, we have done well)? Why are we so against celebrating doing well.

In the UK, many people are in favour of taxing the rich between 50-60% on their income, but are not against paying unemployment benefit to lazy neds and drug users who quite simply don't want to work (I'm not including genuine job-seekers or those who genuinely cannot work). If a good-role-model-celebrity becomes ultra famous, the first reaction of the media is to find out all the dirt they can on them, tenuous or not, and set out to topple them, splashing such stories (often unfounded) all over their front pages. And it is these editions with these stories that the British public flock to the shops to read, taking an inner joy that someone good has been shot down.
This is part of British culture.
If someone does well for themselves, we don't celebrate it, we don't focus on their achievements, we just want to drag them back down. Why? Why are we so scared of celebrating our successes?

Richard Branson - admittedly a bit naff - but he is undoubtedly a self-made success story, yet he is one of the most disliked people I can think of. He is well-intentioned generally, hasn't done anything massively scandalously wrong, tries his best, usually reaching his goal, yet he receives an automatic negativity at the mention of his name (e.g Northern Rock).

I just think we should celebrate that we are a damn successful country with a lot of inspirational people and moments in history, yet all we focus on and look for is the opposite. And a big statement like 'that plane' wouldn't be that big a waste of money. It would create a sense of grandeur befitting our nation that we appear so terrified to embrace.