After the very public spat between Andy Burnham, Andrew Lansley and Norman Lamb over the future of social care funding, and the will-they-won’t-they running commentary on which of them would attend a conference on the issue last Friday, the press were shut out of the event itself.
While it may not have been entirely clear whether it was the press using the politicians or vice versa as the argument rumbled on, it was galling that the substantive discussion on the subject - which Mr Lansley did not attend but more than 40 charities did - was behind closed doors.
He has access to the health secretary that any health professional - with a lifetime’s expertise to offer - could never hav
Yet only the Financial Times seemed to point this out.
Several of the papers had meanwhile moved on to a story much more straightforward than social care: that of “Sick children left to wash in buckets” (Evening Standard).
Not surprisingly, the parents of these children were none too pleased with the broken hot water pump at King’s College Hospital in south London.
The trust apologised and apparently hot water has been restored.
The real question is how no journalist picked up the story sooner given that the pump was apparently out of action for a month.
Then it was back to more “secret talks”, this time between Prince Charles and health ministers. The Daily Mail said HRH “backed homeopathy” at said talks, of which Lib Dem science and technology committee member Evan Harris clearly took a dim view.
“He has access to the health secretary that any health professional - with a lifetime’s expertise to offer - could never have.”
We wonder which “secret talks” Mr Burnham enjoys most.