The baby and maternal deaths at the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust in Cumbria must be a cause of unbearable grief to the families affected. Bereavement is often silently endured, but the pain of loss is so intense that it never really passes. Each grieving journey is unique, yet common to all is an overwhelming feeling of being suspended helplessly somewhere between exile and death.
To learn now of allegations that the hospital’s systematic incompetence and alleged medical malpractice may have been subjected to a cover-up by NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), can only compound the sense of natural violation. It is an agonising thing to lose your baby; it is intolerable, unjust and offensive to have been duped and deceived about the circumstances of that loss. Continue reading →
Rationing Mammon emaciates the Muses. Plato knew it, and so does Polly Toynbee: it’s just simple cause and effect. And government cuts tend to be cyclical: seven fat years of abundance are invariably followed by lean years of famine. Unlike health and overseas development, the arts seem to have no divine right of exemption from the fiscal straitjacket presently being strapped around other departments of state: it is undeniably politically easier to cut Northern Ballet than hospital beds or malaria nets. But the suggestion that a reduction of £150 million amounts to little more than a slight nip‘n’tuck in a very fleshy sector is a little misleading. Certainly, there are savings to be made in the labyrinthine, pathologically-left-leaning quangocracy which generously bestows public money more in proportion to political correctness than artistic merit. But, my goodness, we need to be a little careful before we equate the RSC with a bloated BBC; the LSO with the inefficiencies of the NHS; our museums and galleries with otiose Harrier jump-jets; or the local school film club or drama group with rubbish collection and pot-hole filling. Continue reading →