The Liar Patricia Hewitt is Booed off stage

grokit23

God mintsmak
The title says it all, article is from here: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,,1762303,00.html

"Catcalls, barracking and laughter force Hewitt to abandon speech

· Delegates give health secretary 'dose of reality'
· Top civil servant blames Reid for NHS distrust

John Carvel, social affairs editor
Thursday April 27, 2006
The Guardian


Patricia Hewitt endured 50 minutes of catcalls, barracking and derisive laughter yesterday as she addressed the annual congress of the Royal College of Nursing. Almost 2,000 delegates in Bournemouth did not permit her to finish a prepared speech in which she battled, against persistent interruptions, to defend the government's record of increased investment in the NHS.

They shrieked in disbelief when she asserted that most trusts were not in financial difficulty, and started a slow handclap when she suggested that nurses could reorganise their rotas to make better use of permanent staff. The hostility continued when she repeated the government's boasts about record investment in new hospital building and bumper pay rises. After doggedly fielding a succession of hostile questions from nurses, she walked off to a deafening chorus of protest. Delegates chanted the slogan that will be paraded through London at a march to parliament on May 11 - "Keep nurses working, keep patients safe" - until long after she had left the stage.

Article continues

It was the most strident display of opposition in the college's 90-year history, and contrasted with the quiet contempt for her speech to the public service union Unison in Gateshead on Monday.

Beverly Malone, the college's general secretary, said: "The goal was to make sure our members were heard. They are hurting out there, making life and death decisions when under-resourced and understaffed. The RCN has warned the government that when it comes to nurses' goodwill, they're skating on thin ice. The secretary of state saw for herself just how quickly that ice is melting."

Ms Hewitt cut short her prepared speech when the conference chairman responded to increasing impatience among delegates and asked her to stop.

Questions followed, led by Les Miles, an advanced neonatal practitioner from South Tyneside hospital, who asked how she could justify the understaffing he experienced, with one qualified nurse and one auxiliary having to care for 14 premature babies. It was the first of a number of questions that Ms Hewitt tried to answer while delegates chanted "yes or no" as they stamped their disapproval.

Before leaving, the health secretary said: "I know you are angry with me. You disapprove of some of the answers I have given ... But the more nurses are involved in the difficult decisions that have to be made, the better."

A source close to her said later she was annoyed at not being allowed to finish her speech, and described the reception she received as a political stunt. But Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said: "She is being held to account for her gross mismanagement and incompetence. It is intolerable arrogance that she is still denying the reality."

Her speech came after more NHS job losses were announced. Norfolk and Norwich University hospital said up to 450 jobs would go over the next 12 months to tackle a £14.8m shortfall. And Western General hospital in Weston-super-Mare said it was closing 56 beds and cutting 60 jobs to deal with a £6m overspend.

In an outspoken interview, one of Ms Hewitt's top civil servants admitted that the NHS had lost confidence in the leadership of the Department of Health. Andrew Foster, the department's workforce director, blamed John Reid, Ms Hewitt's predecessor as health secretary, for a breakdown of trust. He told the Health Service Journal: "When John Reid came in we produced a series of major policy changes without consulting people ... We produced a series of documents... and just sprung them on an unsuspecting NHS in 2004-05. It's not surprising that they didn't feel the same level of ownership."

Mr Foster was speaking on the eve of his retirement to take up a more lowly job as the human resources director of a hospital trust. He denied he was forced out after being blamed for increasing the NHS deficit by negotiating inflationary pay rises for doctors, nurses and other staff.

Mr Foster said morale in the NHS was beginning to improve since Sir Ian Carruthers took over in March as interim chief executive, but "there is a long way yet to go to build up a coalition of hearts and minds behind that reform programme". He added: "It's been almost tangible over the last 15 months, the growing sense of dislocation between the NHS and the DH and a growing lack of confidence in the leadership of the department."


:ibiggrin:
 

jamez_23

Blah
I saw her squirming on the telebox last night. I think the nurses made themselves heard very well. A shame she is dismissing it all as a 'political stunt', she being a political cu ...... :rolleyes:
 

Monkey Do

#1 Internet Toughguy
Have you noticed the Government seem to be really struggling to find anyone they can send on the usual morning media rounds that hasn't had a load of shit this week...

Hewitt? Best not.
Prescott? Ummm...
Clarke? (can you believe he's resorted to that classic scapegoat of the incompetent "Well it was all the bloody IT departments fault"

Oh fuckit...just send them Hutton, he's fairly clean this week.
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
Yeah noticed that, they're really suffering a bit at the moment, which is their own fault. I have no sympathy whatsoever for them, let them suffer and get torn to pieces by the press and the public. Having just watched V For Vendetta last night I'm more than in the mood for a bit of revolution meself.
 

ChrisCabbage

Forum Member
Was a tad insensitive shall we say to tell a crowd of people that it's been the best year yet, when a fair number of NHS staff have just recently lost their jobs (with more to follow).

I believe the Tories had similar reform ideas in mind (notice how relatively quiet they're keeping over this specific issue) - correct me if I'm wrong.
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
Purusha said:
Was a tad insensitive shall we say to tell a crowd of people that it's been the best year yet, when a fair number of NHS staff have just recently lost their jobs (with more to follow).

Especially when those there know full well that the only way it's been the best year yet is in killing off what's left of the NHS.
 

Dragongurl

zooming blue
Saw this in the news......what a laugh!! She was blubbering and spluttering trying to explain herself!

Now exlpain to me, all the ministers fall under Tony Blairs administration right? If he is voted out in the coming elections, do they go out with him??
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
As long as another Labour government isn't voted in, then yes. If another Labour government is voted in then some of them might stay after the reshuffle.
 

JPsychodelicacy

Studio Elf
Of course, let's face it, the alternative is worse... :Sad:

DG - Labour has traditionally been the party on the NHS's side. The Tories would love nothing more than a healthcare system like the American one, based on ability to pay.

J.
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
JPsychodelicacy said:
Of course, let's face it, the alternative is worse... :Sad:

DG - Labour has traditionally been the party on the NHS's side. The Tories would love nothing more than a healthcare system like the American one, based on ability to pay.

J.

Let's not forget though that there is effectively no difference whatsoever between the current "New" Labour party policies and those of the old Conservative party when it comes to health. Both seem to be dedicated to the eradication of the NHS as we know it, both want to replace it mostly with a private healthcare system.
 

JPsychodelicacy

Studio Elf
Actually I'd dispute that. The Blair faction does seem wedded a slightly lighter version of the Thatcher ideal, with accountants monitoring anything and everything, and burning up a lot of resource just paying themselves and hiring more managers. The Labour Party itself hasn't quite followed Blair down that road just yet.

J.
 

grokit23

God mintsmak
That would be why I put "New" Labour Joe. That the rank and file in the Labour party generally disagree with it, I'd not argue about, unfortunately those rank and file members voted for Blair and his cronies and their blatantly Tory policies to be put in power in the first place. How were they to know they were voting for Satan, no idea tbh, but you'd think they might have noticed after he started turning his back on everything he had previously said and Labour has always stood for well before the first term was up.

Let's also not forget that as well as bringing in fresh legions of accountants and managers they've been instrumental in the massive rise in PFI projects, which as far as I can see are all about lining the pockets of private companies off our taxes, whilst at the same time ensuring the future bankruptcy of Health Trusts such that they can all be easily ridiculed as inefficient to soften the blow, then bought out for next to nothing and turned private.

Until the Labour party wakes up and does something about their current leadership, then I've got to keep seeing them in the same way as it's their leaders who're running the show, sorry.
 

ChrisCabbage

Forum Member
JPsychodelicacy said:
Of course, let's face it, the alternative is worse... :Sad:

That's the sad part. The main reason New Labour have done so well up 'til now is that a lot of people shudder at the thought of the Conservatives getting back into office.

In fact, that was a line used by Labour in the last general election wasn't it? "Vote for us or you get Michael Howard"!
 

tortoise

Psy-Judy
JPsychodelicacy said:
Of course, let's face it, the alternative is worse... :Sad:

DG - Labour has traditionally been the party on the NHS's side. The Tories would love nothing more than a healthcare system like the American one, based on ability to pay.

J.

Labour has traditionally been a lot of things, however the Labour party of today bears no relation whatsoever to the ACTUAL Labour party, the one we last saw under John Smith. They are a bunch of opportunistic chancers and one of the most corrupt governments we've ever seen in this country. Right now, I don't think the alternative is worse to be honest. The problem arises when one party stays in power for too long and gets arrogant and complacent. I think the Tories would probably be ok for one stint in office, then vote them out again when Labour's been taken down a peg or two.
 

Monkey Do

#1 Internet Toughguy
tortoise said:
I think the Tories would probably be ok for one stint in office, then vote them out again when Labour's been taken down a peg or two.

I've always said once a government get a third term in office you are in trouble.

I also think the biggest argument against democracy is that the same people who vote for our government are the exact same people who make people like Jade Goody into a celebrity.

Which probably indicates that anything I say can be disregarded.
 

Biggins

Cake Or Death
Monkey Do said:
Have you noticed the Government seem to be really struggling to find anyone they can send on the usual morning media rounds that hasn't had a load of shit this week...

Clarke? (can you believe he's resorted to that classic scapegoat of the incompetent
.

didnt he go on paxman after he admitted to fucking up though??

(i'm not defending him btw, he's clearly incompitant (like my english language), and should resign (as they all should)) but you dont see many cabinet ministers messing up like that then going on newsnight...maybe he likes it rough though
 

JPsychodelicacy

Studio Elf
tortoise said:
I think the Tories would probably be ok for one stint in office, then vote them out again when Labour's been taken down a peg or two.
That's what the a lot of the supporters of the Democrats in the US thought in 2000 - the same ones who are finding themselves an illness away from poverty as the Republicans gutted job protections and diverted an obscene percentage of money to the top 1% of those who already had loads. The other problem with Thatcher/Reaganite "f**k-everyone-but-me" right-wing nutjobs is that once in power they will bend or break every rule that they accuse the left of breaking just to stay in power (until recently, when the hubris started kicking in they were talking about the Republican Party remaining dominant for two decades or more...). You think things have got authoritarian under Blair? The guy's an amateur when it comes to suppression when compared to the real old pros like Michael Howard (lest we forget, the architect of the 1994 Criminal Justice Act that made what we do so hard).

Cameron, like Dubya, is just a marketing gimmick, a friendly face stuck on the festering slimeball of a Tory Party that has not changed one iota since the 1980s.

The simple fact is that the Daily Mail contingent continue to be bellicose enough to convince the right wing of Labour that the British public want draconian laws such as these. I'm sorry, but I'll continue to vote Labour all the way until such time as the Lib Dems are the second party. Then we might actually see some progression.

Plus, for all his dour appearance, Gordon Brown's been a bloody excellent Chancellor and is a genuine inheritor of John Smith's legacy. I'm more than willing to give him a term to turn things around.

J.
 

Monkey Do

#1 Internet Toughguy
Biggins said:
didnt he go on paxman after he admitted to fucking up though??

Only because everyone knows full well that these days you don't need to worry about going on Paxman as he'll be too busy interrupting you for you to actually say anything anyway. Just line up a bunch of standard sentence openers and wait for him to yell at you, call you a lying cunt and change the question right from under you. Repeat.
 
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