In Michael White's column, the exchange between Conservative MP James Gray and health minister Ben Bradshaw was focused on the political context of changes to health services in Chippenham, writes Jeff James
This was a Conservative challenge to Labour policy, with local actors assumed to be puppets in a Westminster political game.
Mr White implies Wiltshire primary care trust had no capacity for autonomous action and that the overview and scrutiny committee saw everything in terms of party advantage. Most of the Wiltshire scrutiny committee are Conservatives. The minister reminded the local MP of this and Mr White called this the "killer fact", as the committee had not referred the PCT's changes to the independent reconfiguration panel.
Some facts as to why the committee did this do not fit a simple party political analysis. Members knew from their briefing that referral to the panel was an option. They acknowledged public opposition to the loss of local hospitals. They knew that two of the former PCTs had been in financial and managerial difficulty. They knew that, after two years of public consultation, there was a desire to end the uncertainty that was harming community well-being and staff morale.
They knew too that the underlying emphasis of change - more support to people at home 24/7 - made sense in Wiltshire. That little of this found its way into the exchanges in the Commons points to the limitations of the party political frame of reference.
Michael White asked: "Who will get the blame for disappointments and misunderstanding?" The local MP has made his position clear. For readers of Hansard, the leaders of the PCT are "decent enough people". For readers of the local paper, I am "the latest in a long string of unfortunate government puppets... who spin the government's tale... for careerist reasons".
This is not an adequate explanation of the PCT's actions or the committee's decision, but perhaps that's politics.
Jeff James, chief executive, Wiltshire primary care trust