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Perhaps the first sensible thing Alex Salmond has said in years!

I'd like to see Cameron go for the ridicule strategy here. Just ignore the PM or ask him six straight questions:

When are you leaving?
Why not go now?
When are you leaving?
Why not go now?
When are you leaving?
Why not go now?

That was one of the best PMQs I've ever seen. For those who have any doubts about Blair's standing in the Labour Party, watch the question from Kate Hoey - unbelievable.

DC did well today. Bliar is dead in the water, even his own side gave him a cuffing, NuLab have misjudged the mood if they think pushing DC into a more Eurosceptic stance will hurt him, very much the opposite. The social chapter lay-up didnt exactly inspire fear did it?

Yep, have to agree- DC did rather well today. I still think he regrets his 'no punch and judy politics' remark! A bit more attack from DC is entirely necessary. probably saving it for Brown!

Glad to see DC mixing it a little with a more gladatorial style, one hopes that Brown comes in for a withering attack in the post Yates/Blair months. Perhaps then, once the current PM is sat at home writing his memoirs we can all look back on this era (rather less than fondly) as we sit around the parlour table playing Sleazy Snap!

I think Tony Wright's question is worth a mention. Why did the governemnt pay GP's more to do less and why are they having to pay them even more to get them to do the same as before.(or something like that).

The question from Kate Hoey wasn't that surprising.

after all, minister Tessa Jowell has already publicy opposed the axing of the Maudsley clinic

does anyone know if Jowell is standing again? - I like to think we could beat her given the battering her reputation has taken in the last 18 months

Let me clarify andrew. The Govt under Milburn started contract negotiations with GPs - it was very hard to recruit GPs. >60% students at Medical Schools are not women thanks to the Flowers Report.

Women tend to have babies and then work part-time, so many do not provide full-GP services or do call-outs. Many women do not like visiting blocks of flats at 2am to attend a call and risk being attacked to steal prescription pads or drugs.

So there is a high proportion of women GPs with family commitments. Then there is a Working Hours Directive.

The increasing workload on GPs - dealing with drug addicts, dealing with mental health issues (Care in the Community) and the increasing number of old people especially women >75 is placing an increased workload on GPs.

The average GP should have 1600 patients - some have 3500.

In inner cities there are lots of one-man oractices with GPs who came from Pakistan in the 1960s - many want to retire. The attractions of providing 24 hour cover in inner city areas with ethnic minorities are non-existent so there are whole areas where GPs cannot be recruited.

The first contract Milburn tried to ram down GP throats was rejected in a ballot and the BMA negotiators vilified by the doctors who had them removed.

There was a move for GPs to resign en-masse from the NHS and go private following the dentists route. The Govt panicked since it needs GPs for its reconfigured Health Service trying to reduce hospital visitations.

The Govt did not realise just how much work they were getting from GPs cheaply...just as they under-estimated how much unpaid overtime Hospital Consultants were doing.

Once the Govt decided it wanted to price each function of the GP with points for innoculations, and each item in the catalogue was priced.

The Doctors met the targets and were paid for meeting performance targets. They have to develop career plans for receptionists, attend training courses, and cope with a large influx of patients from abroad.

Those doctors who own a pharmacy or a nursing home do very well financially. Others do alright but could still earn better as accountants or as bankers.

The real problem is that with the average age of GPs around 50 there are lots wanting to retire before the NHS pension scheme finds it cannot pay out.

The other issue is Out of Hours...those doctors who continue to do it find the National Insurance and Superannuation make it more attractive to foreign doctors than British GPs to perform the service.

In 1990 Kenneth Clark imposed a Contract on doctors whoch led to a shortage of GPs who found the job unrewarded. He imposed one on Dentists which the Treasury found too expensive so revised it. The Dentists started to leave the NHS and go private.

One thing you may as well get used to is that GPs will be private and outside the NHS completely - both Norwich Union and Boots and some Us providers want to buy up GP practices and I think the Dept of Health is ready to privatise this area.

Germany has introduced User Fees for visits to the doctor and I fully expect fees to be introduced for GP services in the near future.

not women = Now women

Tactically , it might be more appropriate not to push Blair too much just yet . Ridicule him , cast aspersions on his character ( not difficult ) , criticise his policies but don't go in for the kill -just yet .
Blair is of the type who will hang on forever - his self regard is his great protection . He just cannot conceive of himself being wrong and anyone who criticises him must be , by definition , in the wrong .

His days are coming to an end . A miserable , corrupt , back stabbing , struggling , desperate and degrading while to go yet .

once blair has gone and brown finally steps in, theres no way brown will be able to withstand camerons attacks

Nick Assinder at the BBC scores it a Cameron win (I think).This is possibly the first time since Cameron became leader.

Doesn't the RSPCA have a view of the battering that St Toni of B-Liar has been taking over the last few months.
Such abuse is surely illegal.
Surely better to take a humane killer and have done with Toni, loyal though he is, he's become unreliable amd incontinent. Same with Gordo, he's looking a bit rocky these days with Smith Institutitis, a rare form of fiscal disease, perhaps he should be terminated sharpish before the pain spreads.
DC needs to keep plugging away, but the Cons need to get more air time for the opinions and views to be wider disseminated.
The Indie poll shows that people are just apathetic to the politics, and they must be made aware of the results of their apathy, which will be a continuation of Blair/Brown and the corruption and sleaze. Just because Toni steps down it doesn't end, Gordo has the Smith Institute hanging over him like Damocles and as for the rest of those nannyish tossers, wouldn't trust them with a picnic in the park.

Tony Blair is going so I don't see that calling for him to go will make much difference, by his own agenda he stands down as Labour leader by the turn of July and as Prime Minister by the turn of September. If he resigned as Prime Minister now then presumably John Prescott would be interim Prime Minister, when they go no one will care that people were calling for them to resign in their final months so it's all pretty pointless.

Surely the thing to focus on is scandal, to really damage Labour it's not Blair's resignation that is needed, it is his public crucifixion and discrediting to the point of imprisonment and perhaps suicide.

YAA: If he resigned as Prime Minister now then presumably John Prescott would be interim Prime Minister,

Among people trying to hold onto their job this is known, I believe, as the "Spiro Agnew Defence".

Thought you might be interested.
According to a leaked document, and yet to be fully confirmed by vcotes (Though the Try positions are I am told secure)

European Parliament Committee Chairmanships.
Neil Parish, Chairman Agriculture Committee
Philip Bradbourn, 1st Vice Chairman Civil Liberties
Timothy Kirkhope, 4th Vice Chairman, Constitutional Affairs.

And tuppenyworth

So the Kirkhope Cabal clean up. Timmy and two of his whips get the jobs.
Parish's will be a poisoned chalice allowing opponents to blame him for the train wreck that is the CAP. He may be Chairman, but even when he is wearing his Eurosceptic hat (not common these days but it does happen, see his piece on the forum) there will be nothing he can do to stop the awful stuff that will go through in his name.
Bradbourn. Oh boy the painful sense of irony that will be felt by Tory Parliamentary assistants since 1999 will be palpable.
Kirkhope. 4th Vice Chairman. The towering heights of nonsense to put on a business card. The job was invented this year as a sop to the new enlargement countries because they wanted titles, so Timmy has got himself a title.

I agree totally with what Jake says @ 13.37.

re Mr Browne , this one still has life in it

'No impropriety' over Brown flat sale

Gordon Brown: Bought the one-bedroom flat in 1992

The chartered surveyors who sold Chancellor Gordon Brown his Westminster flat in 1992 have said there was no impropriety over the sale.

Tuckerman Chartered Surveyors said the property in Great Smith Street, minutes away from Parliament, had been sold for £130,000 to the chancellor in October 1992, after being originally put up for sale for £163,000.

The one-bedroom flat had previously been owned by one of the failed companies owned by Robert Maxwell.

Mr Brown has denied any impropriety over the purchase but the Tories have called for a full inquiry into the deal.

'Independent inquiry'

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Heathcoat-Amory said : "The price is of secondary consideration.

"The main point is that Gordon Brown lives in a flat bought from the receivers of a failed Maxwell company at the same time that the Maxwell affair is under investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry and he has not declared the fact.

David Heathcoat-Amory: Wants full inquiry

"Remarks by estate agents and receivers are no substitute for an independent inquiry."

The managing director of Tuckerman, Terence Osborne, said the company was instructed to sell the property by Arthur Andersen on 1 May 1992.

Arthur Andersen were acting as administrators for the failed companies after Mr Maxwell's death in December 1991 and selling assets to try to recover money for creditors of the firms involved.

In a statement, Mr Osborne said: "The property was originally marketed at an asking figure of £163,000 to include carpets and curtains.

"The asking price was reduced to £155,000 at the beginning of July and reduced again on 25 August 1992 to £145,000 to reflect the poor state of the market at that time.

'Reduced price'

"The flat was advertised in The Sunday Times at the original figure and was subsequently re-advertised at the reduced prices and generally circulated, resulting in various inspections taking place."

The statement continued: "Terms were finally agreed with Gordon Brown MP at £130,000 in September, with exchange and completion taking place in October.

There was no question of impropriety at any time. The terms agreed reflected the condition of the flat and the state of the market.

'He later attacked David Cameron for wanting to take Britain out of the EU's job-destroying Social Chapter.'

I wasn't aware that Cameron wanted to withdraw Britain's signature from the Treaty of Amsterdam?


Among people trying to hold onto their job this is known, I believe, as the "Spiro Agnew Defence".
The difference being though that if the President and Vice-President at that time had both gone, the next in line would have been a Democrat whereas barring some kind of breakup of the parliamentary Labour Party whoever succeeds Tony Blair will be another Labour MP unless the Queen decides that there should be an immediate General Election or attempts to appoint someone not of the Labour Party as PM despite a Labour majority in the Commons which seems improbable.

I don't think that anything short of conviction for involvement in a scandal of Tony Blair and John Prescott could actually have any more impact on long term Labour support because everyone expects a clearout of the people involved in such corruption when they go.

Tory Solicitor - Isnt Tessa Jowell sitting on around 12K majority? So would it need another landslide to get it from her??

It's not that much, but with the Liberal Democrats apparently faltering and the Conservatives further behind then with possible confusion over which candidate would be more likely to win then I think her majority is safe this time.

What was that Cameron said about 'punch and judy politics'..........

I've been waiting for Cameron to go uncompromisingly on the attack and am pleased to see he is finally getting stuck in. No mercy Dave!

"What was that Cameron said about 'punch and judy politics'.........."

That was because the government decided to make itself even more hated and despised. The public don't mind punch and judy politics when they want the recipient to get punched.

*before, not cause

Hi Comstock: normally I would have gone along with your comment:

"What was that Cameron said about 'punch and judy politics'.........."

However, surely even a Nulab supporter must realise the game is up for Blair and really the country deserves better than having Blair and Brown fighting their turf wars when there isn't a single public service that is giving anything like value for money.
We need a general election asap and we need policies that serve the best interests of the country not a lame duck prime minister's legacy.

Well done David

Reminded me of Bliar on Major "weak, weak, weak...."

Maybe DC should do that next week?

Why doesn't David Heathcoat-Amory join the BOO group?

Couldn't Blair and Cameron synchronize their resignations? That would make everyone happy, except those who put PR before policy.

By PR do you mean proportional representation Timberwolf? The Lib Dems put PR before any of the few principles they have.

I meant Public Relations, Malcolm. That's what Cameron puts before policies. The Liberal Democrats for their part have a wealth of policies, including Proportional Representation by the Single Transferable Vote, but lack the support of any national newspaper. Interestingly the batch of Conservative newspapers now includes the Daily Mail, which used to call itself Independent, although it never was.

Malcolm, you should know better. Everyone knows what PR stands for.

You do the Conservative Party a disservice Malcom. You should not attack the Lib Dems. We may need their help after the General Election if we do not get an overall majority.

You do the Conservative Party a disservice Malcom. You should not attack the Lib Dems. We may need their help after the General Election if we do not get an overall majority.

It would seem to most on here that Malcolm is a real torytwit I think.

Anyone else noticed how this party controller jumps in to take everything off topic when a serious point is made regarding the Party?

Malcolm may be one of the parties senior ostrich impersonators.

Try to keep him away from the sand whatever you do.

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