Category Archives: Public Services

Health, education, local services and public services generally

The remarkable politcal success of Michael Gove

Shortly before the British General Election in 2010 a headteacher at a local school told me: “Well, however is the new Education Secretary cannot be worse then Ed Balls.” Mr Balls, now Shadow Chancellor, was then Labour’s Education Secretary. He … Continue reading

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Is there a case for complementary medicine on the NHS?

Last weekend there was outrage from The Daily Mail that Prince Charles had being lobbying government ministers to give more space for complementary medicine on the NHS. This provoked a piece on the BBC Today programme (at 0833) on Saturday morning. … Continue reading

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The NHS crisis: while politicians look the other way, what should we do?

The NHS is deep in a long term crisis. Last Thursday NHS England published a “call to action” outlining the emerging crisis. This attracted a day or so of news coverage, focusing mainly on a £30 billion funding gap. But there … Continue reading

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Will Labour let the Tories win the 2015 election?

Margaret Thatcher’s death on Monday has distracted attention at rather an interesting moment in British politics. There is a vigorous debate about how Labour should fight the next General Election, which should be in 2015 (one of the very few … Continue reading

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The NHS: how the accountants are hiding dubious policies

The NHS is quite high up the news agenda these days. From the media there seem to be two big issues: culture and privatisation. The mainly right-wing press say that much of the NHS lacks a caring culture and this … Continue reading

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As aqua fades, should the Lib Dems drop Helvetica?

Today British political commentators are absorbed by the 2013 Budget. I don’t believe in the value instant comment, and my commentary on the 2012 Budget proved way off the mark anyway. So I will talk about graphic design instead. In the … Continue reading

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London’s schools: awkward facts for both left and right

Last Friday I attended and seminar for school headteachers and chairs of governors addressed by Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, the body that inspects English schools. It was convened by the London Borough of Lambeth, for whom I am … Continue reading

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The dark side of evidence-based policy

Speaking at a Lib Dem conference in the Coalition’s earlier days Linda Jack, a Lib Dem activist, called for a commitment to “evidence-based policy”.  She was interrupted by strong applause from the floor.  Ms Jack is a feisty activist, but … Continue reading

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My heart attack

Last Monday, three days ago now, I lay, conscious, on an operating table at St George’s hospital, Tooting.  A tube had been inserted into my artery in the right arm at the wrist, through which dyes and then wires were inserted.  … Continue reading

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Why healthcare may grow to 50% of GDP and still be affordable

I can’t over-emphasise how important the concepts in this article in last week’s Economist are: An incurable disease, and I would urge my readers to try and get to grips with it.  If you want to understand how our economy … Continue reading

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