And presumably quite urgent ? Well apparently not.
Ministers have also decided that thousands of other adults should pay for the ISA ‘seal of approval’ including, most recently, parents who have overseas students to stay under school exchange programmes.
In total, 11.3 million adults will have to be vetted, according to the latest estimate from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and contained in the new report."So that will be £732 million to be spent on this programme, mainly by government agencies. This all does not even mention that there are not the resources to do the checks in any event, leaving many people unable to start jobs they are qualified for and children without teachers and nurses.
Or still tilting at windmills ?
In today’s Grauniad the government is trailing the headlines of a new ‘renwables strategy document’, and it sounds as though reality is beginning to dawn.
‘The long-awaited renewable energy strategy … will say Britain needs to make a £100bn dash to build up its clean power supply if it is to reach its EU-imposed target of producing 15% of the country's energy from renewable sources by 2020.’
Long-time followers of Drew’s energy ramblings here (Sid & Doris Bonkers) will know that we have long said the scale of costs and efforts required to implement the EU plan will be commensurate with events like mounting a war or, in more peaceable terms, German reunification. £ 100 bn ? Well at least this time they have put roughly the right number of noughts on it.
And in another outbreak of realism:
‘The renewables strategy concedes that the target will only be achievable if there is a completely new approach to generating energy. "We might just possibly reach 15% renewable energy by 2020. It will require maximum build rates and a very rapid response from the supply chain," says the document.’
. . . But more probably, ahem, we won’t reach 15%. Of course we won’t. Some of the required £££ represent investment, but a very large part is pure cost. Remember, this is over and above business-as-usual. OK, 12 years, say £12 bn each year in money-of-the-day (actually it’ll need to be more: inflation in engineering costs is really racing just now), starting right away . . . so where can we see the first few of these annual £12 bn slugs going in ?
We can’t. Because it’s mostly just talk, for the moment. And in the 2-year run-up to the next election, which brave Prime Minister of our acquaintance is going to slap another £24 bn on electricity prices, or general taxation, or whatever ?
Yes, that would take a very brave Prime Minister … ’nuff said.
Published On 5 June 2007 at 12:14:59Bad weather during May was partly responsible for the poor retail sales figures which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK recorded in the month, a new report argues.
The BBC’s Nick Robinson seems to have reverted to type of late, neutrality cast to the winds, parroting regime-speak. Here’s his homily to Brown’s Cnut-like mission to talk down the price of oil, swallowed whole from a No.10 briefing:
"This Sunday he travels to
This is classic Gordon Brown, wrestling behind the scenes with something he genuinely believes is a major long-term problem. It will be fascinating to see what progress he can make in the weeks to come."
Wrestling behind the scenes ? Or (with a little help from you, Mr R) grandstanding in the hope British voters will gather that inflation is Someone Else’s Fault ?
If Brown wasn’t such a cluncker, one might argue he’s doing exactly what Cnut did – putting on a demonstration of impotence to prove to his followers the limitations of his powers. But a deliberate public display of impotence ? Doesn't sound much like Brown to me. More plausibly, he may actually believe he can stay the tide.
Blogging for a year now and I’ve been tagged, by Tom P over at Labour and Capital (he’s, err, Labour - I think). Which three bloggers do I agree with on almost everything?
“Pick one that most closely mirrors your own personal philosophy, one that most closely mirrors your politics and one that offers the most consistently attractive analysis."
Hmm – I have had healthy disagreements with everyone, not least the good Mr “short oil & gold” Unslicker. But for three different blends of the three criteria, particularly the attractive analysis, I shall go with:
Sackerson at Bearwatch – who comes and goes periodically (active at the moment, happily) but whose basic rationality and humanity beckon to a safe haven in turbulent times
Hatfield Girl at Angels in Marble, whose constitutionalist thesis is subtle but powerful: she elaborates it with a light touch and much art – and after 18 months following it on comments and blogs I believe I am beginning to grasp where she’s leading
The Raedwald of Raedwald – unfailing gentleman and scholar, (if a little optimistic on the potential of localism).
What would your town / village / tower block / stately pile ask for, in return for accommodating several tonnes of glowing, toxic waste ?
Competition: devise a creative bid !
Prizes beyond your wildest dreams !!!
There comes a moment in the heat of battle where the issue can turn on a single hot-headed, individual action. To seize the Colour and rally the troops for a charge was never a deed ordered by High Command.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Big corporations are now piling into … cheap computers for poorer people … in search of "the next billion computer users". It looks as though we may be entering a whole new era of cheap computers triggered by the needs of developing countries. Capitalism works in mysterious ways.
No, guys, capitalism always works that way: driving free-lance solutions for practical problems – the bigger the problem, the greater the efforts and the better the results ! So please take your dirigisme and your ‘picking of winners’, and go … and read this.
Capitalism just works ! OK ?
Afterthought: I suppose the Kalashnikov works too …
Soon we will publish our vision for the next decade, the Next Stage Review, led by the eminent surgeon Lord Darzi.
Well OK, he may not know much about GP services – but he is a respected surgeon – and believe me, this is all about the Knife ! (my little joke)
We want to create GP-run health centres that open from eight till eight, seven days a week. No current GP practices will be closed.
Just physically re-located to a different building and submerged within a vastly larger practice. Yeah, OK, fair cop, we're closing them. If you insist.
Most important, our 150 GP-run health centres will offer patients appointments and walk-in services without registration, so families can make use of them while they remain registered with their existing GP.
Or indeed not registered at all: “transitory populations”, you know …
In some major cities, such as
Yes, interesting, isn’t it - a spontaneous, grass-roots movement – probably something to do with the estuarine climate. “And who are these clinicians and managers in
That might be achieved by bringing several GPs into a single building or they may be 'virtual', with GPs in their existing practices collaborating more closely.
Several ? well actually, several dozen GPs: these shiny new
communes clinics will have patient-rolls of 50,000, you know. ‘Bringing’ ? yes, you know, as in “I am bringing these turkeys to market …”
I will insist that such decisions are taken in consultation with local people and driven by clinical evidence of what works.
But mostly whatever Lord D decides (which, let’s face it, is more or less the same as clinical evidence!), since the early consultations were *ahem* disappointing.
Controversy may well be caused by some GPs, worried that they themselves will lose out. But we have made clear that they are not going to lose funding in this process.
Indeed, taking our cue from Aneurin "I-stuffed-their-mouths-with-gold" Bevan, we intend to bribe them, as usual. Or bully them. I don’t mind which.
The Tories’ plans would make it harder to see a GP.
Well, not harder than now: harder than when we force the buggers to stay open. “My own GP ?” – no no, not your own GP, a GP, there will be loads of ’em wandering around ! The idea of a GP who actually knows you is very elitist, we can’t have that.
The scaremongering and misleading claims we have seen from the Tories, and sadly from the BMA, should have no place in the crucial debate about our health service.
Indeed, Jacqui has suggested we make it illegal for Tories and the BMA to say anything at all. Just a small amendment to her Terrorism Bill, apparently …