Sunday, 28 October 2012

BBC Politics on H&F

In the dock: H&F Council pleads innocence
H&F is so full of controversy much of the Sunday Politics programme was all about us today, with two pieces covering the growing scandal over the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Estate which now involves a police investigation and High Court battle along with the proposed closure of all of our hospitals.

On West Ken, the BBC interviewed several residents who gave personal and worrying accounts of the practices the Council first of all denied it was engaged in, and now admits it might have been. Instead of waiting for the police investigation to run its course, our Council has spent large chunks of your cash on its own investigation run by accountants Deloitte. They used this investigation to justify not participating in the programme.

Man in the spotlight: Stephen Cowan
Not so Stephen Cowan, the Labour leader of the Opposition, who appeared in the studio to raise serious questions about the legal issues these practices raised. Although he had to concede that if the Council get through the High Court action they would be able to press ahead regardless.

On hospitals we heard from Dr Mark Spencer of NHS North West London, the bureaucrats wanting to close our hospitals, whos "consultation" was demonstrably biased and one sided, argue that politicians had gotten it all wrong. He used the term "reconfiguration" which sounds nicer than "closure" and said the pesky politicians should jolly well explain to people that the doctors knew best. He couldn't have been more condescending.

The hit list
He was also demonstrably untruthful and disingenuous, responding to presenter Tim Donovan, who incredulously asked him how he could possibly be supporting closures of all hospitals in Ealing and our own borough, an area the size of Leeds, by saying no decisions had been taken - before going on to sing the praises of that self same decision.

Which made the response of Liberal Democrat studio guest Paul Burstow MP, a former Health Minister until the last reshuffle, so amusing. What was lacking in NHS North West London was "credible leadership". Ouch. While Tory Mike Freer MP told those driving the changes to "get down off their high horse" and explain themselves. Kerpow.

Dr Mark Spencer: We know best, plebs
What was most worrying about the Condescendor in Chief Dr Spencer was his claim that all local GPs in the area were supportive of the changes. Is that really the case? I suspect not.

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