Monday, October 22, 2007

These public sector predators hunt in pairs

MUCH HAS been made of how you can’t fit a cigarette paper between Labour and the Tories. They both nick each other’s policies; they both seek to occupy the middle ground inhabited by Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman.

(The Lib Dems, meanwhile, sack an intelligent, experienced man because he’s got a bald head, a funny name and skinny legs. So much for liberal inclusiveness.)

But there is a significant difference. In fact there’s a huge difference – one that costs us hundreds of millions of pounds a year. Lord Snooty and Wee Gordy Broon might share the same intentions on inheritance tax, education, crime and the stupid policy of pretending to impose so-called green taxes on airlines while knowing all along that it’s the passengers who’ll pick up the bill, but only one of them hands out jobs to hundreds of thousands of recruits to a Turkey Army of civil servants on the basis that they daren’t vote anything but Labour in the next election in case they lose their jobs.

And if you want an example of this self-promoting profligacy, you could do worse than examine the case of Rose Gibb, the chief executive of an NHS trust whose filthy hospitals killed 90 patients before she legged it with a £350,000 pay-off days before the news broke.

Astonishingly, Ms Gibb has previous for skimping on the Dettol. A former nurse, she jumped on the NuLabour-created health service management bandwagon and became operations director in charge of hygiene at Bromley NHS Trust, condemned in 2001 for its dirty wards. From there she moved to North Middlesex Hospital, subsequently named as the worst in the country for MRSA infection, before landing her latest post in Maidstone.

But the story doesn’t stop there. These public sector predators hunt in pairs and Ms Gibb has a partner who is also an NHS suit. Mark Rees was chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust on a £150,000 salary (plus a pension pot of £1 million-plus) before jacking it in days before his missus came unstuck. The trust he ran had debts of £34 million and was one of the 13 worst in the country for financial management. He is also now in line for the same £350,000 pay-off.

And still it rolls on. The couple are being assisted in sorting out their financial settlements by a new union, Managers in Partnership, which represents health service managers – the numbers of whom, by the way, have grown from 4,000 to over 250,000. Nice work if you can get it. And you would be foolish to think that Rose Gibb and Mark Rees won’t soon be back in a senior NHS job. Proven highly-paid ineptitude seems to be no bar to a flourishing career.

So here we have it. An enormous echelon of self-perpetuating pen-pushers, political appointments one and all, who are expected to repay the largesse lavished upon them by voting for Wee Gordy Broon when he finally sums up the bottle to go to the polls. And they will. After all, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

YOU DON’T often see a pack of feral bank managers mugging someone for their mobile phone and wallet on a street corner. You don’t often read about a school governor stabbing a teenage hoodie in the playground. Gangs of drunken accountants doing handbrake turns in stolen cars around council estates are thin on the ground.

Yet these very people – upstanding, middle-aged, middle class pillars of the community – are the latest target for the Nanny State meddlers who scandalously announce that one glass of wine a night “is too much”. One glass? The mind (and liver) boggles.

There are two points to make here. Firstly, this section of society is in full employment and already pays its taxes in full. It then also pays tax on the bottle of Chardonnay it purchases from Tesco Express on the way home. Having coughed up twice, one would expect that free health treatment might reasonably be available for those whose liver subsequently shrivels up like a pickled walnut.

Secondly, when will the great silent majority of this country finally rise up against the Powers That Be who seek to control every aspect of our daily lives? We can’t smoke anymore, we can’t enjoy the food that we want to eat (in York they’re even censoring restaurant menus), and now we can’t even have a single glass of wine after a stressful day without the Booze Police kicking down the front door and carting us off to rehab.

I tell you, the worm will one day turn and there’ll be blood on the streets. And instead of Burmese monks fomenting revolution, it’ll be drunken accountants and knife-wielding school governors.

HERE’S ONE for you: The first cash machine in this country was opened by Barclays Bank in Enfield 40 years ago. But who was the celebrity invited to make the first withdrawal?

It’s the kind of question that might well crop up in your local pub quiz … that’s if your local still has a pub quiz after the latest barmy stealth tax about to be imposed upon us. It appears that “friendly” pubs, i.e. those that hold social events like darts matches, host football teams or stage quiz nights are to have their business rates increased by a considerable degree.

Meanwhile those sticky-carpeted dives where you can buy satellite navigation systems, razor blades and dodgy fags as easily as a pint of rough cider will escape the extra tax.

There seems to be something fundamentally wrong here. The well-run local is the hub of the community, especially now that they’re shutting down our post offices and the vicar has padlocked the church to stop the pikeys running off with the brass candlesticks. So why make it even harder for them to survive? Does nobody care?

I fear not. God only knows what Reg Varney, star of 1967 TV series On The Buses, would have to say about it.


Blogger paul said...

Reg Varney off on the Buses opened the cash machine!

8:52 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...


On a point of order: hasn't our "listen to the people" mealy-mouthed NuLabour "Government" actually frozen the £350K payoff[blood money?] supposedly due to the dreadful Ms Gibb?? God knows, she doesn't deserve a brass farthing - in fact the Kent plod should by rights be considering a charge of corporate manslaughter. Will they? Don't make me laugh - in Gordie Broon's Brave Nu Britain, nobody's responsible for anything are they??

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Al said...

Focussing on people who dare to enjoy a glass or two of Chardonnay rather than the drunken louts who cause mayhem in town centres late at night fits a pattern. There was another example on the TV this morning where cars are being driven at high speed in races or time trials along a windy stretch of road, causing obious and serious risk of death or injury to themselves or others. Local people are up in arms, and even PC Plod appeared on the TV to complain about it (isn't is his job to tackle this problem rather going on TV to moan?). Apparently the police rarely appear to break up these races, but I bet there's a whole gaggle of them nicking motorists who are a coiuple of MPH over the limit on the bypass!

You can also cite the people who have been nicked for using their mobile in their phone whilst parked in a layby with their engine off (technically still "in charge of a motor vehicle" apparently) - yes the police really do hide in bushes round here where they know people stop to make calls or eat their lunch. Meanwhile the idots driving around town with a phone clamped to their ears continue without any fear of prosecution.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Old Bill said...

Members of the Public (who curiously seem to be getting younger every day) using mobile phones whilst parked in a layby with their engine off are no laughing matter. This is an accident waiting to happen and the transgressors should be met with the Full Force of the Law.

5:14 AM  

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