My integral role in the Ashes victory

T’is a true story. A case of not a lot of people know that. Geoff Miller went to Chesterfield School where my dad was a PE teacher. As I understand it, Geoff wasn’t the best academically but my dad as PE teacher saw Geoff’s cricket ability.

Anyway, as we know Geoff went on to be a great cricketer for Derbyshire and is now Chief Selector for the England cricket team.

During his days as a County player Geoff came roudn to our house and took my lucky horseshoe that was in the garage and carried it round in his kit bag.

Today we won the ashes…. and now we all know the reason why.

PS – Geoff – I want my lucky horseshoe back!


Now I know where I've been going wrong… It's my looks

So now I know where I’ve been going wrong in selections and elections. I’m not female and I’m not good looking either.

What a complete arse this man must be.

What does the PM think?

Paul Waugh has hit the nail on the head with his blogabout the deafening silence that has emanated from Downing Street following the absurd decision to release the person behind the Lockerbie bombing.

The Scottish Executive have a view. David Cameron has a view. I have a view.

But the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom does not? So just what does the PM think? The decision to release is a disgrace and Gordon Brown’s silence is too!

Bankrupt Britain

Do you think the Chancellor watches those TV adverts for IVA’s where you can restructure your debt and pay what you can afford? Perhaps he should given the latest figures just released!

UK public sector borrowing was £8 billion in July, which is far far worse than analyst predictions of £500 million.
To date in this financial year the UK has already borrowed £49.8 billion, compared with only £15.9 billion at the same point in last financial year.

Their MPs may be spending their time on twitter playing party politics with the NHS, whilst “Rome burns” and our financial situation deteriorates so there may be no money for the NHS! And end to boom and bust Gordon! Remember those words?

Is our educational system failing pupils every time standards increase?

Today there will be thousands of A level students celebrating getting great results in their A levels, but is the fact that grades have improved for 27 years in a row actually serving to fail pupils, or at least give them a false sense of security.

Well what do I mean by that? Firstly if over a quarter of students get top marks, then we will again be faced with stories of disappointed students who get 4 A grades who don’t get into (for example) Oxford. Why won’t they? Well because there will be hundreds of others with the same top marks after a limited number of places. Therefore getting the best marks possible won’t automatically lead to going to the University of choice.

Given the amount of student debt I have long held the view that if at the age of 18 a student knows what they want to do, they may well be better financially choosing a career over Higher Education. I no longer accept the Government’s spin that a degree over your lifetime means you will be better off. Not only do you leave with debts over £20,000, but you forgo at least 3 years salary that you would have earned in  the time you would have been at University.

Then we come to the point of education. Some will say you should learn just for learnings sake, though I have always held the view that I was encouraged to do well at school and study hard so that one day I would get a good job. And therein lies a problem.

Having run a practice area in the field of recruitment I have seen thousands of CV’s. If (as is becoming the case) more and more candidates achieve the top grade possible, then the qualification gets devalued. If I had been tasked to provide 5 candidates for interview yet I had 200 all with the top academic qualification possible, then I would of course have to use other criteria to judge candidate suitability. No obviously that has always been the case. You never judge a candidate on academic qualifications alone, however the A-level is no longer the gold standard of academic attainment, as whether we like it or not, the fact hat so many candidates can achieve the top grade, makes it less and less a useful tool for determining someones academic ability. Its a bit like designer clothes and the premium people pay. They pay a premium as the item is exclusive – not everyone has got one. If everyone could have one, it would cease to be a designer item, and would defacto be worth less to some people. Now the analogy isnt perfect, but if more and more candidates get top grades, their value as a tool of selection falls for employers.

This is no criticism of those taking the exams, but every time grades seemingly improve which does not necessarily equate to an improvement in standards, part of me thinks we are failing our pupils by letting them think it will automatically mean a better job, and bigger salary.

Labour advising private healthcare providers

Let me state from the outset I love Boots. It is one of the finest retailers on the high street, and I regard it as the Nations Chemist.

I worked there for a number of years in a Public Affairs capacity, and my wife worked for them from leaving school for 17 years, so I cannot stress enough what a force for good I think Boots is in the healthcare arena. Of course the likes of John Prescott would have you believe that private involvement in healthcare is bad, even though during his reign as No. 2 to Tony, more and more powers were given to pharmacists. And who do many of them work for.. private organisations, which make profits!

Now isn’t it funny according to this article how the former Secretary of State for Health is using her considerable expertise advising a private sector company involved in primary care, namely Alliance Boots.

The article even alleges that, “Miss Hewitt will also become the “special adviser” to Cinven, one of the world’s biggest private equity companies, which last year paid £1.4billion for Bupa’s UK hospitals.”

Oh dear. John Precott won’t be  happy man.

Update:- I almost forgot. The Prime Minister Tony Blair actually paid a visit to Boots HQ (to talk about healthcare issues) which I played a tiny tiny part in helping to organise. Hmm so you see… private involvement in health not so bad!! I still have the photo of him with the cup of tea I made for him in the Boots mug. I actually still have the mug!

Everybody out at Royal Mail – well not quite

So the CWU is now moaning that Mandy won’t intervene in the latest industrial action. Well you can’t have an arms length relationship on one hand and then want Government meddling on the other can you?

I am however surprised that the CWU doesn’t have more sway over the Labour party given how much money they pump into it. Guys (and gals) if you don’t agree with what Mandy and his (sorry Gordon’s) government is doing, stop handing over millions of your pounds to them. Please do enlighten me why Labour deserve millions of your pounds?

Now I know lots of you posties leaving comments on the wonderful Royal Mail chat agree with me, even though I’m one of your most loved rogues. Go on… admit it…. you agree with a Tory on this one.

Thankfully it seems as though 90% of workers are exactly that workers as opposed to strikers, so my excellent postie will be making his usual delivery round for the foreseeable future.

Labour and THEIR unpatriotic NHS stance

The welovethenhs campaign always struck me as being a little childish. Not because I believe the sentiments of supporting good health provision is, but the way in which the debate was framed.

It was almost as if you either supported the campaign – but if you dared suggest there can always be room for things better then you must be the lowest of the low. The Labour party jumped on this, as they seemed to see it as a good way of bashing the Tories. How dareanyone suggest the processes iin the Health service could be improved. What next – they will propose to eat your first born?

Well the problem with starting that debate in that way is the hypocrisy of it. Certain Tories have been castigated as being unpatriotic for any criticism, not least Roger Helmer MEP who spoke to Tory Radio (see podcast in post below).

I then did a bit of sigging, and what do you know, there are loads of Labour MPs who have signed parliamentary motions urging change in the NHS. Hmmmm double standards me thinks.

So lets take a look at some of the things they have been more than happy to put their name to.

EDM 1509 on the subject of Osteoporosis which wants “healthcare professionals working in primary care to be offered meaningful incentives to find and tret those at high risk of fragility fractures and osteoporosis….” So in essence they want moe time spent spotting the disease and trying to prevent it. A criticism – in that it doesn’t happen now. Any Labour MPs signed? Surely they wouldn’t – it would be unpatriotic.

Or take EDM 1558 tabled by Ronnie Campbell, “That this House is concerned that the postcode lottery on cancer treatment is raising its ugly head again….. and calls on the Government to fund  all cancer treatments, no matter what the cost, to give cancer hope.”

I urge you to go and read that motion. It is clear in its criticism of our health system. Using the logic employed by Labour when pushing the I Love the NHS campaign, they would argue that it is unpatriotic and wrong to criticise. Whilst I still believe EDMs are nothing more than parliamentary graffiti, and there are better ways for an MP to raise an issue, isn’t Ronnie Campbell right to criticise a SYSTEM when it isn’t delivering the best Health outcomes for the public?

Of course he is. It isn’t a criticism of doctors or nurses, it is a criticism that in any bureaucracy, or any business you should always strive to do things better.  If Labour can’t see that, then their blinkered control freakery means they value dogma much higher than the health of the people of this great nation. And that certainly isn’t patriotic”

Exclusive:- Roger Helmer MEP talks to Tory Radio about the NHS

To listen to the podcast click the above player.


Well well well, it appears as though the PM chose not to use the NHS. How very unpatriotic. Do as I say not as I do?