Coffee House

Where’s the outrage?

9 February 2013

There’s normally no shortage of outrage in our politics. In Britain today, we specialise in working ourselves into a bate. This is what makes the lack of outrage at what happened at Mid Staffs all the more peculiar.

If the government had received a report detailing such appalling behaviour in any institution other than an NHS hospital and responded so meekly, there would have been a series of angry front pages denouncing Whitehall complacency. The government is considering changing the law of the land because of what happened at the care home Winterbourne View, which was appalling but nowhere near as serious as what happened at Mid Staffs.


But when it comes to the NHS, we all suspend our critical faculties. We take the attitude that because its motives are good, we should go easy on its failing.

In the Telegraph today, Charles Moore has written a thought-provoking piece daring to say some of the things about the NHS that our politicians leaders are too scared to. It is, as Charles says, remarkable that Sir David Nicholson remains in place. Indeed, I understand that one minister pushed for Nicholson to be sacked. The minister argued that if accountability meant anything in the public sector, Nicholson should go.

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  • Petra Thompson

    My friends in the SWP don’t protest against the way in which the NHS fails the people. No, they just advise their friends and family “don’t go into hospital in February or August, when the junior doctors switch jobs, because that’s when the risk is greatest”. More often than not, my friends in the SWP opt for private medicine.

  • Remittance Man

    Where’s the outrage? Exactly the same place most journos are putting their outrage about Lars Hedegaard – in the dustbin.


    Because they cannot bring themselves to highlight the failings of a sacred cow. Whether it’s Islamic fundamentalism, the NHS or a racial minority, once something has received the blessing of the left, it cannot be criticised. Ever. It is as infallible as the Pope.

  • yarnesfromhorsham

    The views of the BBC are a given. However the politicians do not have the bottle to take on the NHS unions so there is bound to be more money thrown at the problem

  • Tim Reed

    So – we get a long and detailed inquiry, a vociferous and persistent campaign from ‘hacked off’ luvvies and furious left-wing MPs, along with prolonged media attention that seemed to last for years in response to the phone hacking scandal…in which nobody was physically harmed.

    But – not a peep from the same professionally outraged protectors of the public good when a hospital kills hundreds of patients. Were this a private hospital or clinic…well…

    “Protecting the most vulnerable members of society’.

    It’s a phrase we hear so often from the bleeding-hearts of the left. I guess the sick and frail patients who were left to die weren’t the right kind of vulnerable. They present a problem for that most sacred of state institutions and its dogmatic defenders. The Mid Staffs horror is the almost inevitable result of an unhealthy and unwavering worship of a health care provider, to the extent that any criticism or suggestion of reform is met with cries of ‘heresy’ from the faithful.

    Where’s Andy Burnham?…with his #welovetheNHS brand of emotive, juvenile politics.

    It’s a public service, not a bloody boy band. Twit.

  • Corbus

    Is it because the NHS has been broadly failing through both the main parties’ administrations? Is it because to criticise an institution whose failure is endemic is to make a government vulnerable to more failures as it tries to remedy. Like education through the noughties, the tinkering, clipboard mentality and league tables, ironically, cause an industry to take its eye off the shop floor. Good management happens in the close company of your workforce and not behind a computer and in a boardroom, worrying only about reporting upwards.

    The NHS has reached a stage where the loss of confidence in itself has become so critical that like a stalling aircraft in a night storm, it is becoming chaotic, error strewn and disoriented. And the instruments are flashing like crazy to pull up as the ground nears. No one wants to take charge now.

    While having some of the world’s best facilities, our public healthcare service seems to have lost touch with the idea that dedication must be at its heart. And I would say that the great majority of doctors and nurses are dedicated. But I just wonder how you train people to care. Maybe you can’t, unless catastrophic failure will directly impact its perpetrator. When it comes to healthcare, from the consultant to the hospital porter to the ward cleaner, each is in a sense a pilot, and that means everyone can crash the plane and kill.

  • David B

    The NHS is a religion and it can do what it likes and the defenders of the faith will forgive it. Unfortunately we know the religion needs to be broken and the NHS needs to be looked with a cold hard hart

  • In2minds

    “Where’s the outrage”? –

    Well outside the Westminster bubble we are furious. The media likes to
    prattle on about the ‘wonderful’ NHS however, ordinary folk are not
    so easily fooled. But it’s not just the NHS.

    If we say Mid Staffs killed 300 patients per year and we add half as
    much again for what other hospitals do. Then include the 30 or so
    people who die in police custody each year that’s 480 lives a year.

    Even Harold Shipman could ony manage 250 in his entire career and, so far
    only he has gone to prison. The state is lethal!

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think it is a mistake, and a typical lefty mistake actually, to blame wickedness on anIsm rather than wicked pople. It is essentially the Eichman defence.

  • HooksLaw

    There is no outrage from the opposition because it is their fault. The government cannot take their eye off the ball, they have to get on and work with the NHS. Does it need another upheaval?

    And of course there is no outrage from the lefty intelligentsia.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Yeah where’s Bryant, Watson and Prescott? Where’s Rusbriger, Toynbee and White and outraged the Islington plague?No speeches from Miliband condemning ‘Immoral Bureaucracy’?

    It just goes to show when ordinary people are involved and their deaths occur on Labour’s watch, Labour couldn’t give a damn except to protect their own arses, their flunkies and those of the Trade Unions. Labour are truly verminous. Hundreds dead on Labour’s watch!

    As for Cameron? Hundreds are dead in what is tantamount to ‘institutional manslaughter’ and he is willing to sweep it under the carpet in another exercise of bureaucratic ineptitude.

    ‘Weak, Weak, Weak’

  • anyfool

    There is no seething outrage because the usual false outrage is always parroted by the left, what we have is fatalistic acceptance of vile behavior by the public sector because regardless of the rubbish about the NHS being the envy of the world, you know in your heart of hearts the NHS has always been rubbish.

    The vile sanctimonious behaviour by the selfish creatures working in the NHS will continue because useless unthinking voters in this sewer of a country believe any rubbish the Labour Party, The Unions and the blessed BBC indoctrinate them with, look to yourselves if you really want to pin the blame on anyone.

  • Archimedes

    There is no outrage because no one has dared to suggest an alternative to the NHS. Everyone agrees that it is less than ideal, but outrage is the byproduct of a cause, and seeing as though there is no cause, there will be no outrage expressed because there is nothing it could yield other than a dismantling of the NHS with nothing to replace it.

    Everyone treats this as a peculiar attachment to the NHS, but it is actually a peculiar lack of ideas.

    • Daniel Maris

      Archimedes – you are free to outline your alternative.

      • Archimedes


        The slow decline in the housing market is a problem in the UK. Domestic demand is not going to return as long people are watching their wealth, which is mostly in housing, decline in a drawn out manner. Nor is it sustainable for house prices to rise substantially. It would also be a disaster if house prices collapsed. There needs to be a diversification into other assets, because the problem in the UK economy is not income, it’s wealth.

        Where reform of the NHS is concerned, people worry that any reform would only lead to them losing the security that the NHS provides. Obviously the sensible route forward is to follow something like the Dutch system, with government subsidised health insurance policies, but that still leaves the NHS in government hands. It would sensible to privatise the NHS with shares being given to the electorate, with the primary aim of encouraging share ownership. Of course, the NHS would have to broken up first, in order to keep share holders linked to the hospitals that operate in their region and encourage competition. Provided that the amount of shares allocated to the electorate were substantial enough, this would give them the security of knowing that ultimately they hold the keys on the new system that develops. Any debates about reforms that have to be made would then happen at a very local level. If there were profits, then the proceeds would be spread among the shareholders, so people would be less scared that the system would become a capitalist monster seeking only to generate a profit – they would have a direct say on whether or not the focus has shifted too much to profits, and being both patients and shareholders they would be best placed to judge that, having a stake in the benefits of each course of action. It could be structured in a way similar to that of the John Lewis partnership with shares held by the people that the hospital serves, and also by the employees. That would mean that it is not only the current generation that benefits from the privatisation.

        • LB


          The root cause of the mess in the UK’s NHS is that regulator, insurer and supplier are one and the same. The conflicts of interest are so large, nothing will change.

          The government should be the regulator, and no more. Neither supplier or insurer.

          Then for those with no money, they go onto welfare that gives them enough money for insurance. Insurance should be compulsorily.

          For high risk patients, such as diabetics, those on dialysis, they get to be insured at the standard rate, but shared out between insurers in proportion to their share of the market. So each insurer knows they won’t get all the bad risks, and the insuree knows they can always get insurance.

          • Archimedes

            Other than your last paragraph, I don’t disagree. The Dutch system subsidises the insurance policies based on income. It’s compulsory to have an insurance policy, and they are provided by the private sector.

            As for your last paragraph, that is exactly what private insurance does – it shares the risk among the holders of it’s insurance products.

            • LB

              I think you’ve missed the subtle point.

              You can have an insurance system where the insurer can refuse to insure high risk patients. End result, you end up with the uninsurable.

              So a system where the insurer can refuse to insure people, but if that is the case, the state will pick an insurer out of the hat, according to market share, and then the insurer has to insure them for the standard cost.

              It’s an important point. The insured will always get insured. The insurance co won’t get all the bad risks. Since insurer and supplier are separated, there is no medical issues.

              Now with the NHS, post code lottery is one example. The insurer decides not to supply the medical need. Hence insurer shouldn’t be supplier.

              If the insurer and regulator are combined, then you get a push not to pay out compensation for errors, such as the NHS.

              If the supplier and regulator are combined, then they act in the interest of the supplier, to the detriment of the patient. eg. Notes going missing, gaming the regulation system such as tribunals. No representation for the complainant, but someone from the union, trained, on the other side.

              • Archimedes

                OK. Your solution would manipulate the market though. It would be better for the state to provide it’s own insurance policy in cases where an individual was unable to get insurance in the market. The policy provided by the state would have to be priced on a risk basis, meaning policies issued by this body would be priced highly. Anyone given insurance by it would have their policy subsidised at a higher level, but also in line with any means testing. The wealthy would still have to pay for their insurance; there would be no incentive for anyone that did not need a policy with the state provider to take one out, so only those refused in the market would; it would leave the market open to competition if any provider thought they could provide policies for high risk individuals at a profitable rate; and the dual competition between a state provider and the market, or the threat of market competition, would ensure that the price mechanism remained functional.

                • LB

                  So are we going to have state super markets for the unemployed? It would be better for the state, apparently.

                  If there is universal coverage, then you don’t need to have pricing on a risk basis, just that any insurer gets a fair share of the bad risks.

                  Perhaps if you read what I wrote, rather than assuming some US based solution.

                  If you want to know who has this solution, its the Swiss. Works rather well there.

                  So come on, should we have food subsidies?

                  40,000 a year killed by the NHS. How about some compensation for the victims and their families (lots are maimed too).

                  What are we going to say? A million a head? 40 bn a year.

                • Archimedes

                  There is no need to have state super markets for the unemployed, because there is a level of competition, and diversity of choice, already present that allows Tesco to offer Tesco value beans to those that can’t afford Heinz.

                  The whole point of competition in insurance is to allow risks to be moved around. If you smoke, and I say this as a smoker, then you should pay a higher insurance premium, not burden others with the cost of your habit. If you want to smoke, then you should be prepared to pay a higher premium, and not banned from smoking because of the cost burden you lay on other people. Insurance has to be allowed to discriminate, and that means an allocation of risk that suits the provider – not a fair allocation of risk.

                • LB

                  But the risks aren’t smoking, the risks are with a patient who already has cancer, or diabeties, or needs dialysis.

                  So if you need dialysis, at the end of the year your insurance runs out. Now the risk of you needing dialysis next year is going to be a racing certainty in most cases. Who pays for the risk? How does the insurer move the risk to someone else?

                  Hence the need for standard cost for the basic service, plus the refusal mechanism so the insurer gets a fair share of the bad risks.

                  Then for those without the money, its whatever mechanism you decide to fund welfare.

                  It also makes it clear. It’s not 60 quid a week, its all of your costs get laid on the table. I suspect those paying would be horrified at just how much they end up paying in welfare. Make it transparent.

                • Archimedes

                  The point is that standard pricing would manipulate the costs for those that have made lifestyle choices. It would be price fixing imposed at a political level, which would drive democratic demand for further manipulation of the price, and more democratic demand for intolerance of people that choose to have unhealthy habits.

                  Kirsty Wark would no doubt open up a Newsnight investigation with her odd accent “…but why are insurance premiums so high? An investigation by Newsnight has shown that high levels of alcohol consumption make up a third of the cost of insurance premiums. We’ll be speaking to the minister responsible, and also a left-wing nut job who will help us prove the point that the state must intervene…”

                • Archimedes

                  Also, Switzerland is a very disciplined country. It would be a mistake to presume that what works there would work in Britain: you rarely meet a Swiss idealist.

                • LB

                  And the NHS’s is killing 40,000 a year, maiming lots more.

                  What makes you think the NHS is working?

                • Archimedes

                  Not sure I follow you – I don’t think the NHS is working, thus the debate.

                • LB

                  Just pointing out that the health system in Switzerland works. The NHS in the UK is a disaster.

                  Pretty strong evidence to move to the Swiss system.

                  The problem is with 40,000 deaths a year because of mistakes, negligence and murder, you’re going to have to jail a considerable percentage of the NHS workers. Contrast 600 murders a year, with 40,000 killings in the NHS.

                  So I suspect if they want to fix it, they need a truth and reconciliation set up like South Africa. If they don’t they will be sunk under law suits.

                  I know of one, a friend who ran a hedge fund. Killed a week after giving birth. That one’s going through the legal system now. 10 million is close to the eventual payout. Loss of earnings, child support, loss of wife, loss of mother, …

                • Archimedes

                  No. There’s pretty strong evidence to move away from the NHS, not to move to the Swiss system.

                • LB

                  I agree on the NHS. It’s crap. 40,000 needless deaths a year compared to 1,900 on the roads.


                  1,900 deaths cost 15-32 bn

                  NHS is costing the UK at least 315 bn on the same measure.

                  It’s doing more harm than good.

                  So why the Swiss system? Because it works. Compare the cost and the outcomes, against the NHS, and its in a different league.

                  Unless you’ve got a better system to propose, it’s the best of breed. Universal coverage, better outcomes, better quality of care plus the split between regulator, supplier and insurer that’s essential. It’s the major reason for the quality.

          • HooksLaw

            And when costs rise so does insurance. Where is the incentive for suppliers to cut costs? The german system is suffering from inflation such that people struggle to pay the top ups that give them better care.

            There are virtues in other systems but you are being naive to think it would be so easy peasy to change ours.

            • LB

              And Can you tell us what the increase in costs has been in the NHS over the last 15 years?

              Quality hasn’t gone up, because they are killing 40,000 a year (BMJ).

              Costs have rocketed.

              So what’s the deal with insurance being bad because the costs have gone up, but the costs of the NHS have rocketed. Are you going to say now that’s a good thing?

              • HooksLaw

                All health costs have gone up all over the world.
                The deal with insurance is you have to pay it directly. You may be able to afford it but I am not sure I can.

                To say quality has not gone up is a lie. It has. Lying about the NHS is no way to solve its problems. And to say 40,000 have been killed is just a politically motivated groundless extrapolation (and I think we would all like to see the link).

                I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater and to expound sweeping generalisations like tearing up the NHS is crass.

                • Andy

                  Well we know of 1200 deaths at Stafford Hospital. So what you going to do about it ? When are we going to see some nurses and doctors in the dock charged with manslaughter or murder ?????

                  And remember that’s just one hospital, so maybe 40000 deaths is not ‘politically motivated groundless extrapolation; it might be fact.

    • LB

      Well, the NHS has done a good job. Scare everyone that the alternative is evil. The US or Victorian system.

      However as people move around, and the truth is out, they will discover they have been shafted by the state, financially and killed off too.

      • HooksLaw

        Personally I do not wish to move to a system of insurance like in say France. (The French health service is in deficit BTW)
        Shortly to be retired, then how would that work for me?

        Think of the millions who would have their entire health care thrown up in the air.
        Does anyone think there are votes in this? The NHS cannot be changed by diktat – it needs consensus. the recent reforms are a good step in bringing the running of it closer to the patient.

        • LB

          And the NHS? In deficit? It depends on whether or not the are going to pay their pensions.

          Remember, there’s a difference between a “fully funded scheme”, and a scheme that “Should be fully funded”.

          But nice try at a scare tactic. I’ll repeat, I’m not say anything a replacement not having universal coverage.

          I’m saying I don’t want a 40,000 a year killer NHS.

          However, if you want it, there’s a hospital in Stafford and Birmingham that might be suitable.

          • HooksLaw

            its not a question of money or systems that ‘kills’ people in the NHS – its the common decency and interest (or lack of it) in some of the staff. My wife works for the NHS, not as a medic or nurse) and she works her nuts off and at times makes herself ill she works so hard.

            I am involved with an NHS committee and know how dedicated many in the NHS are.
            Its not a system its the people – and probably the trade unions.

            i am not scaring anybody – just pointing out the real situation in the real world.

            The NHS is not in deficit – it works to its budget. Most govt depts work within their budgets. We have a deficit because those budgets are too high. The NHS is going through a 20 billion cost reduction exercise.

    • John McClane

      You mean there’s no alternative within the NHS to being left in your own $hit & drinking water from a vase?

      I think there is. Making sure people actually do the jobs they’re paid for.

      • Archimedes

        Right. I’m not sure if you think that that is a deviation from the topic, seeing as though the topic is that the NHS is institutionally flawed when it comes to getting people to do the jobs they’re paid for.

        • John McClane

          The topic is, I believe, where’s the outrage?

          • Archimedes

            Yes, implying why is there no outrage when people did not do their jobs properly, implying that the NHS is institutionally flawed when it comes to…

      • HooksLaw

        Correct. Its not rocket science, just total lack of interest from staff.

  • realfish

    Outrage is usually the property of and orchestrated by the left, amplified through the megaphone of their activist friends in the BBC and the Guardian. Lefties are in a state of perpetual outrage, determined to be offended by something or other, anything in fact as long as it can be blamed on Tories. If their outrage can be pinned on Thatcher, that’s even better.
    Anything that reflects favourably on the right, or where the left gets it wrong, is usually met with silence. Witness Newsnight’s (non) pursuit of Andy Burnham over his role in the Stafford failings, or their aggressive interview, in lieu, with a Tory health minister…or their silence when the Mitchell ‘plebgate’ allegations fell flat on their face…or the extensive coverage and analysis that Newsnight failed to give on Cameron’s EU budget agreement last night.

    • telemachus

      You cannot pin those slurs on a BBC run by an ex Tory Chairman
      Remember leopards do not change spots

      • David Lindsay

        Anyone who is not Loony Right is not a proper Tory, don’t you know? Even if he used to be Chairman of the Conservative Party.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I’m surprised at someone with your intellect making common cause with a pernicious trolling loon like telemachus. Does Fat Pang really “run” the BBC? Don’t think so.

      • Magnolia

        Lord Patten is a crossbencher.

      • Petra Thompson

        As Hayek pointed out (in “Why I am not a Conservative”), the liberal-left agenda will dominate. Even Thatcher had clearly not read Hayek properly. Conservativism is just a way of slowing down the relentless slide to socialism (and the inevitable serfdom that entails).

        If you had described the current Conservative Party to a Labour voter of the 1950s, they’d think they had died and gone to socialist heaven.

  • Cutla

    The BBC is most likely waiting for Labour to give it a hint. Labour need only produce a meaningless slogan or demanded a public inquiry we will be in the midst of 24/7 coverage by the BBC.

    • Span Ows

      Absolutely right. In fact the online website, that drags anti-Conservative stories for days and weeks on end had cleansed all mention of this scandal WITHIN 24 hours! News, UK News, England News, Politics and Health pages all scoured of any mention. This scandal that and caused the DEATH of thousands and it means nothing because it was under Labour’s watch. Even in the day they did have links to the news there was NO Labour, New Labour, Frank Dobson, Alan Milburn, John Reid, Patricia Hewitt, Alan Johnson and Andy Burnham (all Secretary of State for Health between 1997 and 2010. No mention of Blair or Brown either). Disgraceful and obvious bias by omission.

      • Cutla

        I often feel as if I’m being paranoid when I think such things but then time after time over the years you see the same pattern. The most recent and extreme example in my opinion can be found by looking at the amount of coverage the phone hacking scandal received. Then compare that to how the BBC covers this most recent NHS story, the Jimmy Savile scandal or the “Neathergate” non story.

        Whether it is intentional or not the BBC definitely has a left wing bias running through it.

        • Daniel Maris

          You’re saying the BBC’s coverage was not mirrored on Sky or in the newspapers?

          And as for coverage of the Stafford Scandal, they devoted most of Any Answers to it this afternoon.

          The problem with this scandal is that there are few victims around to talk about it.

          • Cutla

            I don’t believe Sky can mirror BBC coverage due to the sheer size of the BBC. National radio stations to appeal to every demographic, national and local TV news shows as well as one of the largest news websites out there. No other organisation can match it.

            I accept your point but I’m still left feeling uneasy about the BBC.

            • Daniel Maris

              Sky are at perfect liberty to set up local TV stations and the Evening Standard, a private sector (albeit owned by a Russian oligarch) outfit, has just won a bid to set up a London TV station which I think will be a great success.

              I don’t doubt there is lefty-liberal bias at the BBC but sometimes it goes with the grain of the public’s views and on this occasion, in relation to the NHS it most certainly does.

          • Framer

            But nobody was allowed to suggest it is essentially about public sectorism and its inevitable decline into demarcation disputation and jobsworthism.
            Because the BBC is itself statist, not that you would be ever allowed to say that.

            • Daniel Maris

              Nonsense. The reason that doesn’t get a look in is because no one of substance – no Conservative or UKIP or other politician – is making that case.

              It’s highly implausible in any case. What is the model you are advocating? The USA? They have horrendous health problems and outcomes there.

              • Framer

                First diagnose the disease.
                Then you can decide on the cure.
                It could be making staff easier to sack and a huge reduction in local trade union power and/or less academic training for nurses.
                Statism will eventually bring the economy to its knees, the public sector pension (Ponzi) liabilities alone have that ability.

        • HooksLaw

          The BBC is institutionally left wing.

  • AvaH40

    Labour are more vocal about horses than humans!!

    • HooksLaw

      In making his ‘apology’ Milband made it sound like it was a fictional labour party in power, certainly not one where he was a minister.

      • Colonel Mustard

        That it what he and they excel at, distancing themselves from any responsibility from previous Labour governments as though they never existed, never worked for and within those regimes. It is really quite disgusting when compared to the way the Tories are always treated.

  • dr spyn

    More people died in Staffordshire NHS than died from eating horseburgers. There is something profoundly rotten in the state health service.

    • Daniel Maris

      You can’t possibly know that yet.

      • dr spyn

        est,.number was 1200 deaths in Staffordshire.

        • huktra

          Charles Moore makes many interesting points:
          Patient centred health care leadership.
          Regularly Available information
          What on earth do all these things mean?

          • dr spyn

            Leadership with a stress upon duty of care. Centralised commands from Cameron won’t be the answer.

            • Common Purpose

              The failure we are seeing here from both ministers and the media is the need to want others to take it on.
              Both in organizations and in society, we have become far too good at delegating everything to the great “they.” This can be politicians. Or “the people upstairs.” Or “the experts.” Sometimes, it’s just someone – anyone – else. What we don’t realize is that, sometimes, there is no “they.” It’s “us.” Or even “me.” It has almost gone so far that, when you do stand up, you are seen as acting illegitimately, unless you are a politician, the boss, or a professional carrying the relevant institu- tional or departmental brief. Jude Kelly is Artistic Director at the South Bank Centre in London. She says: “We cannot wait to be given legitimacy. We need to legitimize ourselves.
              At every level we need to exercise leadership
              The ministers, the NHS managers, the doctors and the nurses.
              With that leadership will come healing.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Absolute tripe. We don’t want leadership beyond authority in pursuit of a soviet socialist style state from a secretive organisation backed by Moscow gold and bent on creating an unaccountable and self-serving champagne socialist elite. That was the problem that led to Mid-Staffs and is not the solution. No more propaganda from the telemachus cell please.

          • HooksLaw

            The govt will have to produce a bill to enact the reports recommendations. That has to take a certain finite amount of time.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Nobody has dies from eating horseburgers as far as I know. Frankly, anyone who feeds their children cheap burgers has no care for them. It’s not the horse in them that’s the problem, it’s the mechanically recovered meat.

  • John_Page

    Petition calling for Nicholson to go

  • telemachus

    On the question of anger it comes form the Top
    The Prime Minister was not angry and had no solutions
    The Secretary of State was not man enough to put his head over the parapet and when he wrote today about the Police he demonstrated his profound ignorance of procedures
    He does not need to get angry to sack Nicholson which is something he could do

    • HooksLaw

      The PM was angry – to pretend otherwise is pathetic. Your miserable efforts get worse. Trade unionists are the ones who mistreated patients.

  • John_Page

    Charles Moore:

    political calculation, reinforced by the close relationship between Sir
    David and the omnipresent Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, is that
    only Sir David can exercise the financial control and manipulation of
    waiting times required to prevent the NHS exploding politically at the next

    • telemachus

      I am impressed by the truth of this
      Nicholson if honourable would fall on his sword
      Haywood covered himself with glory over Mitchell
      We will not keep either in 2015

      • John McClane

        It’s Heywood.

  • Colonel Mustard

    There would only be outrage if it could be pinned on the Tories. Then we’d never hear the last of it and you could float a battleship on the sanctimony.

    • telemachus

      The organisation of health services in Stafford was that set up by Virginia Bottomley and Stephen Dorrell.

      • Colonel Mustard

        It evidences my point perfectly that you would try to drag them into the frame. They were not running health services in Stafford from 1997-2010 when all this unlawful killing for which no-one has been prosecuted happened, on Labour’s watch, under a former communist CEO.

        • telemachus

          The regime of 1997 was set up by Stephen Dorrell
          His department appointed the managers who the current Tory minister fails to blame and sack

          • Colonel Mustard

            Mid Staffordshire was given NHS Foundation Trust status in 2008. NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority which manages it was established in 2006 following a merger. Nicholson headed this Authority between 2005 and 2006 and had helped Mid-Staffs CEO Martin Yeates get his position, despite the fact that he had no managerial training. Martin Yeates was in charge from 2004 to 2009 and responsible for the regime.

            So your comment is the usual dissembling telemachus Labour tripe.

            • John McClane

              Martin Yeates has done a runner from the job he got after Mid_Staffs.


              He’s probably living off the £400,000 he got from Mid-Staffs.

            • telemachus

              Why cannot you folks understand
              The regime of nepotistic SHA appointments of CEO’s was set up by the Tories
              The Ministers were powerless to influence this
              In trying to set up autonomous foundation Trusts not in thrall to this nepotistic regime the government of the time was trying to rein back the stupidities of the Tory regime
              You just will not allow that the rightist government before 1997 got it wrong.
              Nor will you allow that the weak pleased-with-himself Hunt is doing nothing to get a grip

              • HooksLaw

                Utterly infantile stuff. A wonderful demonstration of the thick blinkered mind.

              • sarah_13

                Disgraceful. Always nothing to do with labour. As a comment below remarks individual doctors, nurses and managers are responsible and the unions who protect their members positions irrespective of their actions are also responsible along with the government of the time.

              • Colonel Mustard

                We understand only too well.

                • dalai guevara

                  You have not been factually incorrect in your statements above, but

                  Do we understand that this is a left right right wrong issue?
                  Do we understand that Socialists kill people, Conservatives don’t?
                  When my/your GP supports Labour, should I/you be worried?

                  How come you can now construe the connection between political affilliation and valuing the obsession of meeting targets over patient lives? Surely, there must have also been ‘Tory minds’ colluding with sticking to orders, keeping their gobs shut and effing carrying on?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “You have not been factually incorrect in your statements above, but…”

                  Delightful obfuscation where you might have just said “You are correct” and left it at that. As to your questions, Butcombe Man nails it:-

                  “Whenever UK public services break down, as they so often do nowadays, I look for mindless-zombie-so called Common Purpose graduates and/or Guardianistas.”

                  I have little time for any politicians but view Labour and UK socialism as worse than most.

                • dalai guevara

                  No, sir – your statements might not be incorrect, but you are not correct. You have yet to prove that the obsessive compulsive targeting is a lefty trait.
                  And, not Butcombe Man as well – the world is not changing, Common Purpose/Guardianistas have always existed, you have just begun to notice, and perhaps have never held a membership in one of London’s distinguished social clubs.

                  What we are experiencing in Britain is the ‘work’ of too many mother’s boys who are not up to the job.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Tripe. I did not set out to prove that obsessive compulsive desire to meet targets is a lefty trait just as I have not set out to prove your obsessive compulsive tendency is to re-write other peoples comments in new forms so that you can then disagree with them. That is indeed a lefty trait which can be observed on any forum.

                  To misquote a famous doctor re Common Purpose/Guardianistas (who have undoubtedly become more pernicious and aggressive since 1997) – “It’s socialism, Jim, but not as we know it.”

                  The main lefty trait is always thinking they know best even when they don’t.

                • dalai guevara

                  Your top comment recommends making this a party political issue. Do you deny that?
                  But the issue here is the obsessive compulsive belief in meeting targets. Will you deny that?

                  As stated before, I am not disagreeing with you on the details of your elaborations, but when you give this a party political dimension it is you who is making something up that does not belong there. It clouds the validity of your argument.

                  It’s the black white left right right wrong stuff that is tripe, and you know it.

              • kyalami

                “The Ministers were powerless to influence this”. Then why didn’t they have the grace to resign and refuse to take ministerial salaries and perks?

        • LB

          Since the BMJ put the number of deaths where the NHS does something that bumps off the patient at 40,000 a year, I suspect the lack of prison space is a problem. They would have to convert a few hospitals to prisons.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        What a disgusting group of people you are. 1200 people died unlawfully because of indolent and callous doctors, nurses and managers and you people try to pin it on the Tories. These doctors and nurses should be identified and fired and if appropriate, they should face prison sentences. You people are utterly insensitive to human suffering and seek only to apportion blame to the Tories however tenuous and ridiculous the connection.

        • LB

          That’s one hospital. Now scale it up.

          The BMJ put the number killed across the UK at 40,000 a year.

        • Paddy

          Nicholas chuzzlewit: I have been banging on about this for at least 18 months.

          And, Andy Burnham can stand there and say he is proud of Labour’s record on the NHS.

          He, and Alan Johnson should be in the dock.

          Has anyone heard the telephone conversation in Feb 2010 on BBC news between Andy Burnham and Julie Bailey .. where he didn’t know he was being recorded in which Julie Bailey pleaded for a Public Inquiry. At the same time Julie Bailey released information showing how Burnham signed off the Trust application:

          February 25, 2010 · 12:17 pm


          In an exclusive interview with The Slog this afternoon, Julie Bailey the Head of
          campaigning site Cure the NHS blew the lid off The Big Secret behind Andy Burnham’s refusal to hold a public enquiry: as Junior Health Minister in June 2007, Baily claims, Burnham signed off Stafford’s third-stage process of elevation to Foundation Trust Status.
          For some reason, if he did do this, Burnham signed off stage three of the four-stage process despite the hospital having FOUR high-alerts for negligence against its name.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Keep “banging away” Paddy. It is only when ordinary citizens make enough noise and clamour for change that the anachronistic, self-serving, bureaucratic shambles which passes for a health service will receive honest scrutiny and we can only hope, change which makes the patients sovereign.

      • HooksLaw

        Pathetic and desperate stuff.
        The organisation that Staffs were running to was created by Labour. Foundation trusts were announced by Milburn in 2002 and thats why Staffs were cutting corners.

      • Ron Todd

        A nurse should be able to clean or give a drink to a dying patient who ever set up the organisatiuon.

        • telemachus

          Not if the ward has 30 similar patients and there are just 2 of them to cope
          This is a management failure

      • kyalami

        And, miraculously, Brown and Balls were nowhere to be seen. They get all the credit for improvements in the NHS and none of the blame for the scandals. My word, you do work hard, TeleTubby.

        • telemachus

          The truth is difficult for some to comprehend

          • kyalami

            Indeed, you do seem to struggle with it. Do try to keep up.

    • Adrian Drummond

      Very good.

    • Span Ows

      Exactly! anti-Conservative stories last for weeks on the BBC website but WITHIN 24 hours the News, UK News, England News, Politics and Health pages all scoured of any mention. not a single mention of Labour nor any member.

    • David Lindsay

      This was Thatcherism in action, extended to the NHS (though only in England), which she herself never did. Such was Blairism. And such is Blairism, continued by the old monster’s Heir. Though only in England.

      Still, good to see that the overt campaign to destroy the NHS in favour of (doubtless tax-subsidised) private provision for the Tories and patchy, if existent, “charity” for everyone else has got absolutely nowhere.

      • HooksLaw

        What a gobshite comment. You are a stinking low life to blame utter callous incompetence of NHS staff(working to meet politically motivated labour targets) on Thatcher. You utter thick pr!ck of a nasty piece of puss.

        • David Lindsay

          As I said, she herself never applied her principles to the NHS. That took Blair, and now the Heir to Blair. But the principles themselves do come, if not from her (no one ever accused her, any more than Blair or his Heir, of original thought), then certainly through her. That is why the braying of you jackals against the NHS as such over all of this has fallen on deaf ears.

        • Paddy

          HooksLaw: They always blame Margaret Thatcher when they are desperate to avoid blame.

          The Tories should get down and dirty and blame Labour….. like they would do if situation was reversed.

          The Tories seem to think it’s beneath them. But they should go for the jugular.

        • Maidmarrion

          You a non reader?
          Re read the comment ,you will note that Thatcherism is blamed – not Mrs T ,she is exonerated Blair is blamed.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Sorry, what is Thatcherism divorced from the divine Margaret? Ismism is a very lefty thing.

      • Nkaplan

        Mr Lindsay suffers from some incredible derangement that leads him to blame all of the world’s ills on Margret Thatcher. It is almost as if he imagines her as some God-like figure, omnipotent and omniscient and hence ultimately responsible for everything that ever occurs, at least in so far as those things reflect badly on those involved.

        • David Lindsay

          God-like is how she sold herself, and how her devotees still see her. In fact, the whole thesis behind New Labour, that she had changed British society irreversibly, turns out to have been dross, with Cameron having restored the working-class self-identification of three fifths of the population, with another two and a half years of such growth in consciousness still to go.

          • Fergus Pickering

            But this self-identification is balls. Nearly all that is good in Britain comes from the middle class. You are a good chap, aren’t you Lindsay, and as middle-class as they come. .

      • ButcombeMan

        An extraordinarily silly observation.

        Whenever UK public services break down, as they so often do nowadays, I look for mindless-zombie-so called Common Purpose graduates and/or Guardianistas.

        They are not hard to find in this affair..

    • Andy

      Too true.

    • Nkaplan

      Completely correct.

      Did you see the audience question that the BBC selected on Question Time on this topic. It was something like ‘does the report on Mid-Staffs show the dangers of the government’s austerity plans for the NHS?’

      Out of all the questions that must have been put on this topic how is it that the BBC managed to pick the one that: (a) links a problem which occurred when spending on the NHS was increasing at its fastest rate in history to non-existent ‘austerity’ in the ring-fenced NHS? and (b) implicates the current government for a problem that happened under the last?

      As you say it is only if this problem can be connected to the wicked conservatives and their wicked austerity that anyone is prepared to discsuss this problem.

      • Framer

        The BBC chooses the agenda in most matters, certainly for the critical first five days, and being statists, NHS failure will not be run for more than a couple of days.
        Move on please.

      • Maidmarrion

        Not to mention that health is devolved to Scotland and we have our own measures in place to combat MRSA/C-dif and bad management – which made that question irrelevant in Scotland – but then much of what is put forward by the BBC and the media in general is not only irrelevant in Scotland but much of the rest of the UK.

      • ButcombeMan

        The BBC needs a very serious cull, a chopping of budget, activities, channels and influence.

        The Guardianistas of the BBC need to feel the fear of unemployment and unemployability that most of the rest of the nation feels.

        The BBC has become fat and lazy, on an extorted tax (the licence fee). It reduces what should be serious public interest debate to polarised shouting matches where it picks the side able to shout loudest. Worse, some BBC commentators join in the shouting and the fictions & manipulations.

        The BBC helps many of its over paid employees corruptly evade income tax and offend against IR34.

        Fat Pang is a complacent disgrace, the BBC’s incompetence is his incompetence, the BBCs bad management and financial excess is his bad management and financial excess, the BBC’s bias in favour of leftish “causes”, including Europe, is his bias.

        (Continued Page 94)

      • Colonel Mustard

        I did see it. And I thought it an incredibly contrived question even for the BBC. But the SNP panellist took the biscuit by announcing that he didn’t think austerity was to blame for Mid-Staffs. More conjuring and acrobatics by the lefty panellists on that programme than the Chinese State Circus.

    • Fergus Pickering

      That is so right, Colonel. In fact I have heard the whole thing pinned on Margaret Thatcher. Of course Labour can always blame Tony Blair too, since he is no longer one of them but a Tory in disguise. Labour have no past, apart from the sainted government of 1945 which did no wrong, apart from killing people through sheer incompetence in 1947 of course That was a miner wot done it.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Spot on Colonel! Have you noticed how, for the left, History begins in 1979 and what preceded it was a land of milk and honey with employment for all, economic nirvana on every corner, a constructive Union movement and disease and poverty were just words in a dictionary. Britain pre 1979 was indeed a land fit for Goldilocks. Then along came this reincarnation of Satan in the shape of Margaret Thatcher and this fairytale world was cast aunder.

      Those of us who lived through the 60s and 70s remember things a little differently with Denis Healy skidding to a halt on his way to Heathrow, stopping only long enough to pick up his begging bowl and the telephone number of the IMF. Britain seemed to be in an irreversible and terminal decline.

      Today, the left has lost all of the economic and social arguments save for a brief flirtation with the erstatz realism of Tony Blair. It now spends its time screaming slogans and defying logic from an intellectual prison of its own making. The walls of that prison are made of sanctimony, arrogance, delusion, a blind and irreconcilable hatred of alternative opinions and simple stupidity. The trouble is they promise a return to that fairytale land before 1979 and without any pain or suffering on the journey. They shout it very very loudly.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I have indeed noticed that. And I also pre-date their orchestrated brainwashing of the younger generation, living through the eras they now seek to misrepresent. The rot set in with the Soviet sleepers and Stalinists who infested the post-war Labour government, people like Cripps, and then provided a bulwark to Wilson via the unions. The generation that supported North Vietnamese communist aggression is now well entrenched and bleeding taxpayer funded millions. Nasty pieces of work each and every one, personified by Harmon.

        Bolshevism has always been the disease crippling England and most of it has been imported. Within every socialist loudmouth bleating about caring and sharing beats the black heart of a bolshevik who thinks the utopian end is justified by any means.

  • telemachus

    Charles Moore tries to equate Stafford with Tesco which therefore negates his subsequent points
    He then goes on to equate lack of Chritian caring with one patient mocked for having a palm cross
    This is a microcosm of society at large with all it’s foibles and failings not a profit making supermarket

    • John McClane

      The NHS is ‘a microcosm of society at large with all it’s [sic] foibles and failings’?

      No, it’s not. It has a responsibility to those it is supposed to look after and those who pay for it.

      I simply don’t understand how nurses could walk past patients left in their own $hit and do nothing.

      I simply don’t understand how they could deprive patients of water to the extent that patients were forced to drink from vases.

      I simply don’t understand why nobody, from Burnham down, is not currently under arrest for corporate manslaughter.

      • telemachus

        I agree that the management of the hospital failed to ensure standards
        In as much I would like to see all still in NHS management axed
        Nicholson first
        This is something Spineless Hunt can actually do

        • John McClane

          I didn’t say that ‘the management of the hospital failed to ensure standards’.

          There are individuals who carry the responsibility for 1,200 premature or unnecessary deaths. They caused distress to families and friends. They are nurses, doctors, managers. They are paid by us.

          There are organisations that have oversight of these people. The RCS (“committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care”), the Nursing & Midwifery council (“make the care of people their first concern, treating them as individuals and respecting their dignity”), NHS management locally, NHS management nationally. There is the UNISON rep who advised a potential whistle-blower ‘to keep her head down’.

          Individuals and organisations who or which are currently avoiding their culpability. With the connivance of Cameron, Milliband and Burnham.

          As Hunt says, we need a police enquiry. There are individuals who can be charged, prosecuted and convicted.

          • telemachus

            I have read elsewhere that the largest number of doctors ever have been referred from Stafford to the GMC and the GMC have not found indictable fault
            This suggests to me that the fault is the management and the environment.
            So this brings us back to Nicholson and his management charges

            • Andy

              Suggests to me that there are quite a few murderers running around one of your precious NHS Hospitals. Why do you want to cover up murder ??

              • Colonel Mustard

                Because the finger points at Labour and Labour runs through telemachus like a name through a stick of rock. He and his fellow travellers will do anything to avoid accepting responsibility or blame. With Labour it is always someone else’s fault. They are a dysfunctional, obscene, criminal gang.

            • HooksLaw

              You are easily suggestible. It suggest to me the GMC might be covering things up.

        • HooksLaw

          Nurses are the ones who did the mismanagement.

        • Andy

          John said ‘I simply don’t understand how nurses could walk past patients left in their own $hit and do nothing.’ He went on, ‘I simply don’t understand how they could deprive patients of water to the extent that patients were forced to drink from vases.’

          It isn’t a question of ‘management’ of the hospital doing this or that. It is the disgraceful attitude and callous indifference of the STAFF. It runs through the NHS like Blackpool rock. Whenever I hear this bullshit about how wonderful Nurses, doctors and NHS staff are I immediately want to throw up. I have experienced their ‘wonderful caring’ at first hand with a 92 year old who was confused, frail and nearly blind. Their indifference towards her was disgraceful. You wont be surprised to hear they got ‘wont for’ about it. Half the problems with the NHS are down to the staff and that is because it is heavily unionised and no one is in charge.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Absolutely agree. I have seen similar things. It is idle nurses who think the unpleasant duties of caring for patients are beneath them where it goes horribly wrong. When patients cannot fend for themselves then ignoring their care so they die of thirst is simply manslaughter – it is unlawful killing. And those responsible should be prosecuted for it. If the police and CPS can create a great fat file over a silly Australian hoax and arrest gaga 80 year olds in SWAT team dawn raids for pinching girl’s bottoms 40 years ago then they ought to be prepared to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the unlawful killings of 1,200 sick and helpless victims at Mid-Staffs. Any other response from them and their fellow travellers, following all the other Labour-initiated and socialist bleated enquiries over wrong doings that never end, is obscene and criminal in itself.

          • Fergus Pickering

            But would the staff be any better under another system. Are the staff more caring in America, in Germany, in France?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Agreed. There should be prosecutions.

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