Author Archives: Sid Cumberland

Opinion: It wasn’t in anybody’s manifesto, was it?

I haven’t read the Health and Social Care Bill (soon to be Act). More pages than a Harry Potter novel, and qualified by a thousand amendments, I’m not sure reading it would throw much light on my darkness. However, there are aspects of the bill I am aware of.

I know, for instance, that the NHS Bill was in no one’s manifesto, and I know there wasn’t the slightest hint of its major elements in the coalition agreement. The government has absolutely no mandate for NHS reform at all. It all seemed so clear … and then I made a foolish …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 23 Comments

Opinion: How democratic are doctor politicians?

A group of 240 doctors recently threatened to stand against leading members of the government in the next election, in protest at the NHS Bill (Now the Health and Social Care Act). They are ‘shocked at the failure of the democratic process and the facilitating role played by the Liberal Democrats in the passage of this bill’. They follow the example of Richard Taylor MP, a consultant physician who won his Wyre Forest seat from a junior health minister in 2001, campaigning against the closure of the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 62 Comments

Has our police force been ‘completely transformed’ by the Lawrence case?

Like the summer riots, the Stephen Lawrence case provides us with yet another attitudinal Rorschach test; we screw our eyes up, peer closely, and conclude that what we have seen is just what we expected. At least, that’s my view, after hearing Paul Dacre’s astonishing self-congratulation on Tuesday.

For him, the verdict was ‘a glorious day’ for the Lawrences, the police, British justice, politicians, British newspapers (especially, of course, the Daily Mail, without whose ‘relentless campaigning’ none of this would have happened).

For me, it was a good day; but it was also a reminder of

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSean Hagan 21st Jan - 8:43pm
    @Andrew Houseley - you make an interesting observation about the challenge posed by decentralisation to “mercantile buccaneering capitalism”. Perhaps this helps to explain the obvious...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 8:10pm
    David Raw, I seem to recall the Liberal Party under Jeremy Thorpe did rather well in the February 1974 General election, drawing quite a bit...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 21st Jan - 7:45pm
    @ JoeB, It isn't explained. It's just more assertion. A point that strikes me is that may be that 80% is produced in the private...
  • User AvatarMartin 21st Jan - 7:33pm
    David Raw: Isn't it predictive fingers rather than predictive text? - At least you picked it up. I had the same, sinking heart reaction when...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Jan - 7:20pm
    The last time there was a February election was, I think, in 1974. As now, the Heath Government was in a pickle and ran on...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 21st Jan - 6:56pm
    There is no way that we can control the debate in a General Election, it would be the usual confused mess & we & Brexit...