Simon Carr: Save us from fafferati telling those who know what to do what to do

Share
Related Topics

Lunch was at the think tank Civitas where Lord Maurice Glasman, the originator of "Blue Labour", gave a superb exposition of what some call "Daily Mail socialism". I'd gone to scoff, having read the e-book from his "Oxford conferences". I'd been misled by Ed Miliband's endorsement and Stewart Wood's description of "the centrality of life beyond the bottom line".

Nor had I realised Glasman has Hayek in his bloodstream. When the Parliamentary Labour Party realise how tasty his philosophy is, they'll eat him alive. I mean there'll be nothing left of him. One of his enemy targets is that wide conspiracy of over-educated, self-soaping professionals "who don't know what to do telling people who do know what to do what to do."

Having come fresh from the Health Select Committee listening to 90 minutes of the Care Quality Commission, this had a particular resonance. Dame Jo Williams (greeted as "Jo" by the chair) and Amanda Sherlock were two top-level members of the fafferati that regulate and inspect the quality of healthcare in this country.

Their chief executive – and I can feel my chest tightening as I type the words – is Cynthia Bower, the quangocrat who ran the health authority responsible for the Mid Staffs hospital debacle, where hundreds needlessly died. She was criticised for taking the hospital's assurances at face value, without sufficient scrutiny. They're great lesson-learners – so they say. It was only a lack of prosecution talent on the committee that let them get away with saying it. Rosie Cooper – bless her – was so overcome with what she was trying to say, she took too long to say it and then got lost in the saying.

The nub of it was: "The information you act on is provided by the hospitals themselves." And she noted – without mentioning Ms Bowers – that Mid-Staffs during the period of carnage got "20 out 25 for 'privacy and dignity' and 9 out of 10 for 'governance'."

"We have learned a great deal," the committee was told earnestly. "But the very people filling in the forms are, by virtue of their illness, the ones least likely to be able to tell you the truth!"

The risk-evaluation system used is "as powerful as any set of statistics in existence", the committee was firmly told.

So what about dementia patients being put to bed at 3.30 in the afternoon because each patient takes half an hour and there aren't the staff to start later, Andrew George asked?

Dame Jo said carefully: "The evidence you have put forward – we'll have to take that away and look at it."

But it's not exactly news, is it?

Rosie gasped for everyone on the committee: "When this is televised, you'll find families screaming at the TV."

And no one will hear them, she didn't add.





React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Dom Joly owns a pig. That thinks it's a dog.  

I'll bow out. Let Wilbur, the pig that thinks it's a dog, bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Forget charging by the page - with books, heart matters more than heft

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'