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Hazel Blears: The NIMBY minister

Hazel BlearsHazel Blears is the chairman of the Labour Party. The Labour Party have decided, in their wisdom, that cutting the number of hospitals will improve the NHS, since the NHS clearly has too many doctors and nurses. Hazel Blears is, apparently, in agreement. Yet she is protesting against the closure of her local hospital.

How is this anything other than shameless nimbyism? She’s perfectly happy for hospitals to close across the UK, but when it comes to the hospitals in her constituency, they’re all vital. I wonder if, perchance, this has anything to do with the potential to lose her oh-so-precious seat? She should take a leaf from Ruth Kelly’s book, and swap her beloved seat for an altogether safer one, and basically come out and admit that her career is more important that the local people she is supposed to be representing.

Is this the first time we’ve seen a cabinet minister protesting against a decision with which they apparently agree? It’s certainly an odd spectacle. But then, she’s an odd minister. Like many of Blair’s babes (mentioning absolutely no names), more of a huge-flower-on-the-lapel permasmile Blairite automaton than a person.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsAs soon as the title was announced, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows went on pre-order sale at Amazon.co.uk (Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows). And it’s already at Number One in their book chart.

A book, length unknown, content unknown, price unknown, and release date unknown reaches Number One in the chart. Surely this must be a first? Also interesting to see that Amazon are charging £13.99 – oh, how we’ll laugh if JK Rowling outdoes herself and comes out with some oh-so-weighty tome that will cost a good £15.99 at retail… Amazon could lose an awful lot of money!

This post was filed under: Book Club, Media, News and Comment.

Classic Post: Denmark cartoon controversy

There really could be only one final post in this series of classics, given that I’m focussing on those with interesting discussions. The discussion following the publication of Denmark cartoon controversy was the biggest ever on the site – some of the comments are unintelligible rants, but many make interesting reading. Please remember to leave any further comments there, rather than here.

I do hope you enjoyed your Christmas, and (less importantly) this experimental series of classic posts – I hope that it will encourage you to browse the archives more often. Normal service will be resumed shortly!

This post was filed under: Classic Posts.




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