So the Home Secretary, Labour Party Chairman and Labour Chief Whip are all campaigning against the implementation of NHS policy in their constituencies. Hazel Blears will be able to give the threatened maternity unit in Salford meaningful and persuasive support, in due course, through Patricia Hewitt.
Surely there can be nothing wrong in representing constituents on local issues. The problem comes when the Overview and Scrutiny Committee refer the matter to the Health Secretary who is a cabinet colleague of the local MP. This is where democracy ends and biased judgements could start.
One can contrast this with our Saxmundham Health One Stop Shop in Suffolk that actually won unanimous PCT approval but has been halted with the cuts. John Hutton (when health minister) wrote 'I hope this project can be progressed as soon as possible'.
The significance and value of this is that his comment came as an objective minister commenting on a principle since he had no local involvement. Our MP is John Gummer who has been a long term supporter but is playing for the wrong political team. How easy would our task be if we had a Labour minister who could simply support the original local PCT decision?
The real folly for this government is that the divisive cuts are to save the£93m NHS national deficit. This amount is less than 1% of the amount (£12bn) that is being invested in the NHS computer system so they are fighting internally and publicly about pennies while pounds are burning in the grate!
Dr John Havard Saxmundham Health Group, Saxmundham, Suffolk