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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Listing

For the second time in a week - I'd better be careful this doesn't become a habit - I find myself writing about the MP for Leicester West.

It's bad enough when other politicians attack you and even worse when members of the Question Time audience demand that you resign "for the sake of humanity". But when a computerised encyclopaedia starts having a go at you, it may be time to throw in the towel. Some quotes from Wiki: Patricia Hewitt (they may be have been changed by the time you read this, of course, but they are all there as of this morning):

Initially a Conservative - her first husband was the son of a Conservative MP - she moved to the left... Joining the Labour Party in the 1970s, she was initially a follower of Tony Benn.

She was appointed as the press secretary to the Leader of the Opposition Neil Kinnock. She had sent a letter to Kinnock lobbying for the role. She sent an identical letter to Kinnock's opponent in the leadership election, Roy Hattersley.

In 2003 she was cleared of vote-rigging during the local council elections.

Patricia Hewitt sparked controversy on 15 April 2005 when the MG Rover Group collapsed. She announced live on TV that the directors of MG Rover had called in the receivers when in fact they had not, but later finally handed over assets to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It's been the best year ever for the NHSIn April 2006, Patricia Hewitt claimed that the NHS had had "its best year ever", citing waiting times for hospital treatment. However, this came as thousands of jobs were being cut across the country as a number of NHS trusts attempted to cope with budget deficits. At the Royal College of Nursing 2006 conference, Hewitt was heckled and booed by health workers.

In January 2007, Patricia Hewitt criticised the pay of GPs which she alleged had increased to an average of £106,000 per annum due to the contract New Labour insisted on implementing in 2004. She tried to direct attention away from NHS deficits by pointing the finger at doctors who had done nothing more than meet the performance related targets the Government had set for them.

Of late Patricia Hewitt has been criticised as being "one of the worst Health Secretaries to ever hold the title in Britain". This is mainly attributable to the current fiasco surrounding the implementation of the so-called "Modernising Medical Careers" and its associated on-line Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) for appointing jobs to junior doctors. As a result it is predicted that over 13,000 junior doctors may be unemployed by August 2007. The MTAS system is currently under investigation by the Department of Health for being highly flawed and inappropriate.

On 17 March 2007 over 12,000 doctors marched in London to object to... MTAS... the largest such march in the history of the medical profession. At that march David Cameron... stated that there are people in parliament who have described Hewitt as the "worst Health Secretary in the history of the NHS" - this was met with rapturous applause. At a simultaneous rally in Glasgow, calls for Patricia Hewitt's resignation by Graeme Eunson of the Scottish Junior Doctors Committee provoked some of the biggest cheers of the day.

On 12 April 2007, independent newspaper "Hospital Doctor" reported a poll that officially confirmed Patricia Hewitt as the "Worst Ever" Health Secretary. The report stated that only 3% of respondents thought she was the best Health Secretary, even when compared with the last three Labour Health Secretaries. On the 28th April 2007, more health workers called for Hewitt to stand down as Health Secretary following what they described as a "shambolic" reform of medical training on her behalf.

Amid growing discontent amongst front line health workers in the NHS, a junior doctor started a 10 Downing Street petition calling upon the Prime Minister to sack Patricia Hewitt - that attracted over 3900 signatories, including a large proportion of frontline NHS staff. A recent survey showed less than 20% of workers for the Department of Health were satisfied with the way it was managed by Hewitt.

It now seems very likely that Patricia Hewitt will be removed from her post at the Department of Health with a predicted cabinet shake-up by the in-comming Prime Minister Gordon Brown. All those NHS employees, especially junior doctors, will be devastated to see her leave.

I'm very pleased to see that the article on Patricia bears the banner: "The neutrality of this article or section is disputed." Quite right too. I mean, it can't all be true, can it?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've read somewhere she is the richest MP in parliament. Where did she get her money from?

Luke Akehurst said...

She's just an ordinary working girl, typical of today's New Labour membership. Her dad was Sir Lenox Hewitt, a leading civil servant in the Australian Prime Minister's Office and subsequently chairman of Qantas.

She received an ordinary education, just like the average Hackney resident - Canberra Girls' Grammar School, the Australian National University, Newnham College Cambridge and Nuffield College Oxford. So, just two more Masters degrees than me.

And husband number one was the son of a Conservative MP, so once again just an ordinary working class chap.

I expect she earned her money working in Primark.

Alexandrina Victoria von Wettin, née Hanover said...

Primark? That's odd. I heard they had lots of medical vacancies.

Luke Akehurst said...

No, I wasn't suggesting that Patricia had been anywhere near a job connected with health. I would have thought that was obvious to even the most stupid observer. I meant taking the security tags out of Primark sweatshirts and multi-packs of socks.

Probably in The Narrow Way, as this offers an opportunity to nip out to the Pipe-Chandler Al Fresco Dining Lawns at lunchtime for a plate of venison medallions with foie gras and truffle jus, washed down with a nice glass or two of 1970 Château Margaux. There might even be time for a quick flutter with Corals.