Tuesday 26 April 2011


Labour has suffered another blow as it tried, only 10 days from the election, to re-launch its campaign.

Cosla, a one-time bastion of all things Labour, has slammed what might be described as labour’s flagship policy, the moving of social care from local authorities to NHS Scotland.

There is no doubt at all that closer co-operation between the NHS and social work departments all over Scotland is not only desirable but necessary, in order to remove bed-blocking caused by older people who are not sick enough to be in hospital, but too sick to be home alone, or with another elderly person. But surely this can be done without complete reorganisation of thousands of workers and transfer of them and their assets from councils to the NHS.

The disruption to vital services alone would make this a non starter. Losing one set of notes or letting one patient slip through the net would be a disaster for that person and their family, but the hundreds that would likely be mislaid just can’t be countenanced.

Additionally Cosla thinks that the cost of the exercise would be in the region of £300 million, and that is surely simply mad money to be spending at this time.

There must be a way of setting up a system of liaisons for an awful lot less money than that.

Jackie Baillie defends the plan, as you might expect, stating that she wants to remove the 'post code lottery' of the current situation.

But surely the Labour party has been critical of LIT because of the fact that it removes the postcode lottery of local democracy and local council tax. Oh well...

Health Minister Shona Robison said that Cosla were right to be critical of Labour’s plans to create a new and expensive bureaucracy, but added that all parties recognised the need to improve services to meet the challenges of an ageing population and Westminster cuts to Scotland’s budget.

The SNP has set aside £70 million to enable local authorities to work more closely with NHS Scotland. Surely that’s the way forward. £230 million may not sound a lot in government terms but that kind of saving is the reason that John Swinney has been able to take on board cuts in income and yet maintain the standards that we have come to expect.

So yet another Labour policy in the bin, rubbished by experts, just like the knife crime nonsense of a few days ago, when train crash expert, Richard Baker doggedly stuck to his made up figures for the cost of knife crime to Scotland of half a billion pounds, where experts said that £10 million was an exaggerated outside guess, based on the cost to England, with 9+ times the population, being only £3 million.


  1. There are good arguments; being fair; to be made for transfering social care to the NHS sectoral authority. Much for the reasons you cite. But as with everything, such reforms should only be made in consultation with; rather despite of; local authority independence.

    In short, such reforms can only remain desirable if the tone is set right - to get local authorities onside etc. But for this you need intelligence, and a first ministerial candidate ... Labour therefore fails all tests:

    a. it has been confrontational, rather than consensual with local authorities
    b. has no intelligence in their shadow cabinet,
    c. has no first ministerial candidate among them

  2. Hey birthday boy.

    How's the head?

    I think that a properly run liaison between the two organisations would serve to do the job properly.

    But as usual Labour has fallen flat on its face because, it would seem, they didn't bother to consult with anyone involved before coming out with the plan.

  3. Sectorial authority with local authority autonomy tends to broaden the spectrum of shared partnerships. A concerted push for autonomy while espousing the philosophy of primary trust care in a post Keynsian era is a desirable but not often attainable goal.
    So I think Dean has outlined clearly and precisely the achievable goals of a New right philosophy that will achieve great things in the future.

  4. @Tris

    It isn't pleasant tbh. Ended up with a street cordon outside my door this morning. No Godly idea why this thing is cluttering up my challet!

    ... but a strong bloody mary has worked wonders as a hangover cure!

  5. Ed Balls didn't write that for you, did he Hugh?

    Sounds a little over complicated for my blood.

  6. Sounds riotous Dean....still you're only 22 once.

  7. tris..

    I've no idea what it means. I just wanted to join in with funboy's gobblediegook :)

  8. Ah... I'm glad about that. I didn't want to be the only one that didn't understand it.

    Just as well I didn't agree with you ain't it!!?

    The poor boy was recovering from a night on the beer!!

    Dean: You didn't go wrecking restaurants in good old fashioned Tory style did you?

  9. Happy birthday Dean your on the way to growing up as hangovers diminish the older one gets but bloody mary's!

    Labour's policies, those that they haven't pinched, all have great holes in them that even the media is giving up on them as they should.

  10. tris

    22yr olds have changed since my day. We'd check to see who was lying next to us when we woke up or get a bottle of lucozade down our necks after a night on the booze.
    Wouldn't feel the urge to write a political thesis :)
    Although maybe that's why my life is wasted and Dean is destined for greatness !

  11. Oh yes. Happy Birthday Dean !!

  12. It seems CH, that everyone has pretty much decided that Labour's a waste of time in Scotland.

    It's amazing that they spent their first three weeks fighting the English election over again, now theya re fighting the Scottish election with the likes of Ed Balls and Ed Izzard (both Englishmen) to help them.

    Nice for Eddy Izzard to wish this pile of tossers on us... he can sod off back to England and not put up with the nut jobs he leaves behinds.

  13. HJ: One day, when Dean in Minister for Foreign Affairs in an independent Scotland, you'll be saying to your nurse.... "I knew him, you know". And she'll reply: "Yes dear, now drink you medicine like a good fellow."

  14. Tris

    Thought that you may like this.


  15. Corking good article Dubs, thanks.

    I really fail to see what bringing up the idiot Balls and Mr "Personality Almost as Minus as Gray" Miliband is all about. The election is not about anything that either of them can influence. It's just that Baker, Baillie, Kerr and Lamont (where is SHE?) are so completely useless, they have to fetch someone up from England to sell the Labour brand.

    It's pathetic.

    It's got sod all to do with you English guys, Go away.

  16. tris...
    I suspect my nurse might say. 'Oh Dean. I remember him. I used my strapon with him on his 22nd birthday. Poor boy woke up with a sore bum but hasn't said a dicky bird about it ;) Bless.

  17. You sound like you're going to be in a very erm...kinky institution Hugh....

    You'll not get that on the National Health!!