Potholed Devon

The Daily Mail reported the story, pushed by Stuart Hughes, that volunteers are being trained to filll potholes in their local areas.

The most popular comment on the story (131 likes) on the Daily Mail’s website reads:

Cash strapped, yet they have the funds to pay their senior officers over £145,000 a year.”


Labour, progressive alliance and proportional representation

“… Building a progressive alliance is inextricably linked to campaigning for proportional representation. As traditional party allegiances fragment, and Labour looks increasingly less likely to win a majority, some on the left are keen to give voters a plural, “radical alternative” to vote for – without the hindrance of First Past the Post.

A lot of Corbyn supporters who I have spoken to since his first election – mainly young people who haven’t been party members before – see the Corbyn phenomenon as the required disruptive force to change the structure of British politics. Rather than a choice between a right-wing party, and what they see as a Labour party with diluted values, they want a left-wing force that doesn’t have to compromise.

This is backed up by polling. YouGov found that a majority of Corbyn voters within the Labour selectorate are in favour of Labour working with the Greens (91 per cent), the SNP (73 per cent) and Plaid Cymru (71 per cent) in government, and 46 per cent would be happy to go into coalition with the Lib Dems.


Nominative determinism and 22 MEPs who need to resign

How ironic (as Owl is sure many people will point out) that
the UKIP MEP who allegedly got into an altercation with another UKIP MEP (Stephen Woolfe tipped as yet another potential leader) is called Mike Hookem!

But also how shocking that these people – who have got what they want and despise the EU – should still be around the European Parliament, sponging off it.

On his website, Hookem says that he joined the party because he was committed to showing his constituents “what a corrupt and dictatorial system the European Union is and how many of the decisions taken by faceless, unelected bureaucrats, directly affect them”. As far as we know he has not complained about being paid by them.

Our UKIP MEP is William, Earl of Dartmouth, hardly short of a bob or two.

There are TWENTY TWO of them costing us millions of pounds a year which could better go to our NHS! AND their salaries have gone up 15% as they are paid in EUROS!

(Nominative determinism is the theory that a person’s name has some influence over what they do with their life).

Local Government Association on Fracking

“… Responding to the decision, Judith Blake, the LGA’s environment spokesperson, said it should be for local communities to decide, through their locally democratic planning systems, whether to host fracking operations in their areas.

“Ensuring communities feel safe is important. Any company that applies for a fracking licence must assure residents through their council that environment and safety concerns can and will be adequately addressed before planning permission is considered,” she said.

“People living near fracking sites, who are most affected by them, have a right to be heard. Local planning procedure exists for a reason – to ensure a thorough and detailed consultation with those communities.”

Lancashire County Council highlighted this was one of the biggest planning applications ever put before any council, with tens of thousands of responses and substantial amounts of technical detail.

Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services Marcus Johnstone said authority’s development control committee carefully considered many hours of evidence both for and against the proposal.

“A local council, made up of councillors democratically elected by local people, and charged with serving their interests, is exactly the right body to make decisions on local matters. It is clear that the government supports the development of a shale gas industry, but I would ask them to do more to address the concerns of local communities and the councillors who represent them by supporting the best environmental controls,” he stated.”


Our MP busy with his new Middle East job


Syria: what does the future hold?

Monday, 17 October 2016
18:00 – 19:00

Chaired by:
The Rt Hon Sir Hugo Swire MP KCMG

The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP
Sir Jeremy Greenstock KCMG
Michael Stephens, Research Fellow, RUSI

The event will provide an opportunity to discuss future scenarios in Syria following the breakdown of the Geneva agreement reached between Russia and the United States.

When is a hospital not a hospital?

Can we nail the belief, shared by MP Hugo Swire, that “no hospitals are going to close” in the Lack-of-Success Regime’s plans for East Devon.

When you take away ALL the hospital beds from a hospital you are left with a so-called “health hub” which takes out-patient appointments and, if you are lucky, some minor procedures. It is NOT a hospital.

If, during one of those minor procedures, you suffer a serious problem and need to be an in-patient or need to receive emergency care, you will be transferred to a REAL hospital – if you can find one.

Maybe the next step is to designate residential homes as “low impact hospitals” and nursing homes as “satellite hospitals”. After all, polytechnics became universities overnight, so anything is possible.

What happens when you allow creeping privatisation in the NHS

“A widow is suing an ambulance trust after it dispatched a private ambulance whose crew failed to identify that her husband was having a heart attack.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust uncovered a series of failures and has apologised to Kim Page for the death of her husband Gary.

It described the leader of the crew as “complacent” for not heeding the concerns of a more junior colleague.

A coroner last month found “serious failings” in Mr Page’s

The episode has shone a spotlight on the greater use of private ambulances in attending emergency calls.
Mrs Page is taking civil action against East of England Ambulance Service and Private Ambulance Service Ltd for damages.

East of England Ambulance trust dispatched a team at the second highest level. Because they were busy, they sent a private ambulance team – a regular occurrence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The team from Private Ambulance Service Limited didn’t have a paramedic on board. The most senior member of the crew was an emergency technician called Lauren de la Haye. She received her qualification certificate a few days before, although she had practised as an emergency medic under supervision for several years.

Mrs Page remembers Ms de la Haye saying: “It is definitely not your heart, you are definitely not having a heart attack. “I wish all my patients were like you sitting here talking to me.”

…”Then she said, ‘We can take you to the hospital but you will have a 10-hour wait.’ “She said that three times, as if it were unnecessary for him to go.” Still in pain, and without his reading glasses, Mr Page signed a document that Ms de la Haye presented saying that he agreed not to go to hospital.

The crew left. Mrs Page says the medics did not advise them what to do if the symptoms continued.

… He died 10 hours after his symptoms started, and was just minutes away from a specialist heart unit at Basildon University Hospital.

An inquest heard the root cause of Gary Page’s death was Lauren de la Haye’s failure to identify an evolving heart attack, and her not contacting the clinical advice line for further support, even when prompted to do so by a more junior colleague. …”