Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Is Gordon Brown Looking for Sympathy?

I feel the hand of Sarah Brown in her husband's latest confessions. "Darling, the voters liked your Piers Morgan interview because your support rose. Admit you've made mistakes and the same will happen again. Voters are suckers for 'true' confessions." If I was a fly on the wall I should think that's how this latest attempt to lure voters to labour originated.

So this morning we have the Prime Minister admitting he was responsible for the credit crunch and also he should have been tougher with the banks. Tell us something we don't know Gordon. Tell the 10,000 British taxpayers who had to bank offshore because banks wouldn't permit them to have a bank account in the UK if they didn't have a permanent home here. Explain to them why you allowed their bank to go into liquidation when it had a healthy balance.

If he thinks he will gain sympathy for taking responsibility then he's sadly mistaken. There's none in this neck of the woods. I must admit though, it's slightly better than the waffle about it all being the fault of the US.

Yesterday David Cameron launched the Tory manifesto. I haven't read it thoroughly because, like the labour and now libdem manifestos, not much of it applies to Scotland. One part did concern me though and that was the angle that people will be in charge of schools, hospitals etc. I really don't want to see schools run by anyone other than fully qualified teaching professionals and hospitals run by anyone other than fully qualified medical clinicians.

Part of the drop in standards within education has been the amount of power parents have been given in schools. If they have children in the school where they have a position on the board, they cannot be objective in their decisions. The NHS is overloaded by managers who are paper-shufflers when it should be run by those who understand how to deliver quality healthcare. We educate enough teachers, doctors and nurses yet regularly we hear they go abroad because we can't provide them with work.


Uncle Marvo said...

"Hi, I'm Gordon. I rogered you and your country, and I tried to blame someone else, but you weren't fooled. So, OK, I did it. Vote for me, I'll do it again. And again."

Is that the sound of sympathy I hear in the distance?

No, just somebody farting in the canteen. As you were.

Rosie, I don't think Cam is advocating the hospitals being run by plumbers, you know :-)

subrosa said...

No Marvo, he didn't say that in the manifesto but he didn't say who would be running them. I hope the patients don't get the power or they'll end up like the schools.

Mrs Rigby said...

About schools - parents would like to be able to choose the school that they think best suits their children.

The law actually says that parents have to provide the right education for their children
Some parents choose Steiner schools (that others think are weird), some choose lesser private schools that match ability/disability, some choose to home educate and team up with other parents doing the same. All these parents get the results they want, and pay extra for the privilege of making their choice.

The dozens of new 'Academies' are PFI (run by businesses) and not required to follow the national curriculum.

So, really, what's new. The state provides something some parents are happy to use, some opt out and do their own thing - but at the moment those who opt out are also forced, via taxation, to pay into the state system.

Mrs Rigby said...

Oops, as for all the apologies - crocodiles come to mind!

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

They say confession is good for the soul - we can only hope it's disastrous for politics.

subrosa said...

Some years ago now Mrs R, a close friend of mine and a wonderful headteacher, left the school she'd opened and developed. She left unhappy but felt she couldn't continue in her profession owing to the experience of having parents on the school board.

These parents made her life, and her staff's lives, so miserable that, after my friend left, a year later there were none of the original staff in the school.

My friend was fighting against the dumbing down on education and the change in the meaning of primary education for our children.

I have no problem whatsoever for parents choosing other schools than the local comprehensive - or with home schooling - no problem at all.

My concern lies with the influence parents have in state schools. People say the standards don't drop in private schools - do parents have such power there? From my experience the answer's a definite NO.

subrosa said...

So we're into Brown's cleansing then RA? Oh dear, it doesn't get better does it.

William said...

I'd have thought banks were responsible for the banks failing.

Indeed, this is what Gordon also rightly says.

"In the 1990s, the banks. They all came to us and said, ‘Look, we don’t want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation.’ And all the complaints I was getting from people was ‘Look you’re regulating them too much.’

“And actually the truth is that globally and nationally we should have been regulating them more. So I’ve learnt from that.

So you don’t listen to the industry when they say ‘This is good for us.’ You’ve got to talk about the whole public interest."

subrosa said...

He danced to the bankers' tune William, thinking they were labour's buddies.

If he'd had any sense he would have done some research which would have shown regulation needed to be tight considering today's financial systems.

Uncle Marvo said...

"In the 1990s, the banks. They all came to us and said, ‘Look, we don’t want to be regulated, we want to be free of regulation.’ And all the complaints I was getting from people was ‘Look you’re regulating them too much.’

Shows a) a sense of fun, b) a gift for storytelling, c) a fair degree of illiteracy and d) a contempt for the electorate.

Otherwise fair comment.

The rest of it was garbage too.

subrosa said...

Ah but I think Sarah isn't interested in the content Marvo, just the fact that he sounds contrite. The sympathy vote.

William said...

I'm struggling to think which politician was ahead of the game here.

"SNP leader Alex Salmond yesterday hailed RBS and HBOS as 'two major Scottish success stories' and pointed out that they are the UK's largest corporation tax payers."

Searching the newspaper archives, the first time David Cameron mentions 'bank' and 'regulation' is in April 2008. So, not a major issue for him before then.

Brown - like Cameron and his 'proceeds of growth' - did allow himself to be carried away with the gambling excesses of the City of London. The fault ultimately lies with the bankers and if Brown recognises his errors then it hardly marks him out as any different from any other major political figure.

Mrs Rigby said...

"My concern lies with the influence parents have in state schools."

Yes, I see your point, I was looking at it from a different angle.

Dubbieside said...


I think what Cameron means is that they should be run by accountants who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The major fault line running through the NHS was the different levels of management put in place by the Tories.

The main value for NHS managers under both Tory blue version, copied by Tory red version was presentation skills, so we now have hospitals run by people who used to sell Mars Bars.

Lets get back to a NHS run by people who have the first idea about healthcare making the decisions assisted by accountants, who are there to balance the books.

P.S. Your picture of the great leader, can someone please slip the handcuffs on him and take him away, anywhere but North Briton.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

It has been said, "hindsight is the only exact science known to man."

It would seem to be a banal assumption; especially in the case of politicians.

They all wallowed in the magic fountain of monetarism and became inebriated on it - and yes, Salmond included.

But, as they scramble to pass the Buck and hide the welfare they've dished out to the wealthy, they've made damn sure that Buck stops where it costs them least and us most.

Shortly you will gaze in awe as the gap between rich and poor expands its horizons beyond astronomical. How! because they'll be raking in the profits years before we've stopped paying for the borrowing.

As to the power to the people ploys. Notice well how they haven't extended these 'powers' to the recall of parliaments, prime ministers or cabinets.

I would far rather have that facility than parochial vigilantes harassing their local amenities.

But hey, wouldn't that be making too much of a good thing of this democracy caper.

subrosa said...

Sorry I didn't make my point clearer Mrs R. It's been a busy week one way and another and this, I admit, was a hastily typed post.

subrosa said...

Dubbie, do you think a reorganisation of the NHS will ever happen? I doubt it. I think eventually it will collapse then, in England, it can be fully privatised.

Here in Scotland it would be more difficult to privatise because we're nowhere near the level of English privatisation, but we must keep an eye.

Good for you. I was hoping someone would think that about the picture. I did too.

subrosa said...

Good points RA. All the political verbosity is just tinkering at the edges of democracy. The last thing politicians want is for the people to have a say in how the country is run.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Right Rosie. I'm going to be different just for once. I don't know how many clinics you visit, but I visit quite a few for various reasons and I think the NHS in Scotland or at least in Ayrshire is brilliant. However there are FAR TOO MANY NURSES! The clinics are polluted with them and I have never been in one yet and I've been in a lot, that couldn't operate just as efficiently with half the nurses on call. Wards are sometimes different depending on the type.

subrosa said...

Right DL lol. I haven't visited many clinics but the staffing seems about right, although the eye clinic in Ninewells seems to have a surplus of nurses - but that's just an observation from the back seats.

My experience as an in patient has been only at one hospital where I've been in a few wards (shoved around because of lack of beds). Nursing staff always seemed minimal and I didn't think there were nearly enough for the numbers of patients - some seriously ill.

Don't forget though DL, many of these nurses have to fill in all the tick boxes these days, they're not there to help any patients.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

We're just hanging on to the edge of democracy Rosa while its being stealthily pulled from us.

As to the NHS DL, there are 44,660 managers and senior managers in the NHS (I think that only applies south of the border)and doesnt include directors of trusts, quango's etc.

This is far too many chiefs of dubious ability and responsibility - unless we have 22,330 hospitals.

Candidly the NHS,its survival and well being is being besieged from within. Death by managerial sloth and obesity.

subrosa said...

Excellent description RA. Death from within although without they try to make it look efficient.

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