Governance of Britain


The NHS received increased funding (£70 bn in 2007) comparable to that for education. At the same time it was subjected to a regime of targets, notably on waiting times. These have improved, but at a dire cost to the humanitarian ethic of the service and to patient care.  Recently revealed reports by independent consultants, delivered in 2008 but suppressed by the Government, claim that the new GP and consultant contracts have simultaneously enriched and demoralised doctors, causing loss of volition work and encouraging them to work to rule.  Managers fear the consequences of not meeting expectations from above far more than failure to meet the needs of patients and families. The result has been widespread patient neglect, particularly at Basildon, South Staffs and Maidstone hospitals where hundreds of deaths resulted from non-observance of basic hygiene standards.  Wasteful re-structuring, pointless new structures and chaotic lines of responsibility were also identified. The quality and integrity of NHS performance data was considered suspect. Administration costs rose from 7% to 18% of the NHS budget.


One of Labour’s most vaunted ‘achievements’ is the Human Rights Act. This Act has generated a whole industry of lawyers, quangos and activists who have successfully persuaded the courts not to deport terrorist suspects, or to intern them, or to keep them under house arrests or to freeze their assets. The resultant increased burden on the security services increases the risk of new terrorist atrocities and may indeed have contributed to their failure to anticipate the 2005 London bombings. Jack Straw himself once complained that the Act was perceived as a Charter for criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants. We have found no case in which any ordinary citizen going about his lawful business has benefited from the Act’s existence; and the ‘perception’ mentioned by Straw therefore, seems 100% accurate. Labour has also neglected to expand prison capacity despite the rise in population and over-crowded urban conditions which generate crime. The resultant prison over-crowding and the effects of the Human Rights Act have induced the authorities to release dangerous criminals well before the end of their sentences, with predictable results. Between 2007 and 2009, criminals on probation committed 121 murders, 44 manslaughters, 103 rapes and 80 kidnappings. Meanwhile, police efficiency has been inhibited by the imposition of stultifying bureaucratic procedures and a system of targets which, in the words of one Chief Constable, “get in the way of officers doing their jobs and tackling issues that mattered to local people.” Labour have tended to answer such charges by producing figures allegedly showing falls in crime. However, their past misuse of official statistics in this and other fields, means that little or no credibility can be attached to such statements.


Labour’s energy policy in the face of climate change has veered between dithering inaction and eccentricity. Faced with the growing possibility of the lights going out in 2017, Labour has delayed the decision to replace our ageing nuclear power stations (which will not now be ready in time) and has signed Britain up to the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.  Unless a derogation is sought now from this directive, 9 coal-fired stations will be closed down on emissions grounds by 2015.  Together with the scheduled closures of 5 nuclear power stations by 2016, this will remove nearly a quarter of Britain’s already stretched electricity generating capacity.  In the recent cold spells in January and February industry was subject to cuts at the times of peak demand.  They have placed their faith in a vast programme of windmill-building whose cost effectiveness is entirely uncertain. However, having trumpeted the opportunities for British business from new, green technologies, they stood by whilst Britain’s only windmill factory was closed by its foreign owner and the skilled labour force dispersed. All machinery for the programme will therefore be imported.  On the environment front, Labour has indulged in much international grandstanding over climate change.  Domestically, however, it has done very little apart from  degrading our refuse collection service to a level far below that of our continental neighbours and imposing bureaucratic and expensive procedures on house sales.  Decisions which it has taken or envisages such as the third Heathrow runway and further rural building, including on the Green Belt, will actually increase the UK’s carbon footprint. (The Heathrow runway is estimated, by some ecologists, to increase UK emissions by as much as the total produced by Kenya!). Labour’s “green’ credentials merit no credibility, either at home or abroad.


Immigration into the UK has continued virtually unchecked throughout Labour’s period of office. As a result England is now the most densely populated country in Europe, with a population forecast to rise to 70 million by 2030, almost all of the rise from now on being due to immigration. As a result, the Government is now proposing to cover large areas of the rural South East and East Anglia with huge housing estates, against the wishes of their inhabitants. This policy has been justified primarily by the now discredited economic benefits* deriving from immigrant labour. However, a former No 10 aide has revealed that T Blair’s policy staff also covertly promoted immigration as a means of increasing ‘diversity’ and extending multiculturalism.  It is strange indeed that an administration which disliked the British character and culture to the point of trying to destroy them should have won three successive elections!


There are numerous other instances symptomatic of the dysfunctional society in which we live. If you resist a violent intruder who has broken into your own home, you are likely to be prosecuted unless you have first calculated what constitutes disproportionate force. (By the time you have done this, of course, you may well have been murdered). If you have handicapped children and are tormented by local thugs, the police will not respond to your complaints unless you finally decide to commit suicide; even then, their main reaction will be to place a police guard on your tormentors in case outraged vigilantes try to avenge you.  If you confront them in the street instead, do not prod a thug in the chest, even if you are an old lady with a zimmer; you will be prosecuted for assault and obtain a criminal record. If a thug calls you an ‘effing German cow’, that’s OK, but if you tell your Scottish neighbour to go back to Scotland once too often, you will be sent to jail. Don’t complain to your local authority about a planned march in your town; you may be accused of committing a ‘hate crime’. If you fall into a pond or down a disused mineshaft, don’t expect the emergency services to rescue you; Health and Safety forbid will forbid the rescuers to do this.  They will be disciplined if they try. Remember, if you wish to have even fleeting contact with schoolchildren, the Government regards you as a paedophile unless proved otherwise – at a cost to you of £65. All these are genuine cases and there are many more that could be cited.  Ministers appear largely impervious to the Stasi-like consequences of the culture of government which they themselves have created.

* See for instance “The Economic Effects of Immigration” by S F Bush on our Immigration Page.

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