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Author Archives: Shibley Rahman

For all I know, the Social Democratic Party (“SDP”), which was founded on 26 March 1981, never actually formally died. The SDP was founded on 26 March 1981 by four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, dubbed the ‘Gang of Four’. The four left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at constituency party level by Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour they considered to be at odds with […]
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In one of many recent TV interviews, Alastair Campbell claimed that he didn’t know the current scene well enough to nominate the next Labour leader. The problem is that Alastair Campbell has been touring the TV studios like an arsonist, determined to pour petrol on the flames of an already badly out of control fire. The irony is that Campbell often argues on not confusing tactics with strategy. The putsch is high on tactics: e.g. “The staggered series of resignations, leaks, letters, and carefully calibrated statements, ensured that there was such a crescendo of chaos and condemnation that any other […]
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It is hard to know where to begin with this. There has never been an end-point to the criticism of ‘poor leadership’ from Corbyn in the same way that the Iraqi or Syrian conflicts have never been completely finalised, or there has never been a stop to free movement of people to the UK from EU or otherwise. The day lurched from farce to tragedy pretty quickly, with Andy Marr introducing Hilary Benn as  “Hilary Benn was only sacked overnight,… and he joins me now.” You could have understood why Tom Watson might have preferred to stay at Glastonbury Tor […]
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I actually had no intention of doing any of this. To explain, I am the primary carer for a close relative of mine in hospital. This week, I had to get a close relative in as an emergency to a large local NHS teaching hospital here in London. I came across islets of great care. All the nurses were working around the clock. The clinicians looking after my relative indeed showed the 6Cs you’d wish for. The porters who wheeled my relative to investigations were very pleasant when I happened to be there; not stand-offish and very human. This teaching […]
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The main job just completed of the Junior Doctors Committee was to achieve a deal that could be put to a vote of BMA members. And that has been achieved. The terms of the ACAS brokered settlement are here. I did employment law as a special elective as part of my pre-solicitor training, whilst also regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In addition to the intense emotions of the employer and employee, which have run high during this protracted dispute, there is a legal job to be done which is to ensure that there is an agreement which can be […]
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I am very excited actually. Why? Today’s the day it’s likely one of my Twitter followers becomes Labour’s new mayor. Time to draw a line under Boris Johnson’s suffocating air quality, and the perennial roadworks on the embankment meaning it takes me hours to trek across SE1. I am loath to use the word ‘radical’ in relation to something about Sadiq Khan, in case it looks as if I’ve taken a leaf out of Zac Goldsmith’s dogwhistle divisive offensive rulebook. But Sadiq Khan has a chance to help as London’s new mayor (and the result has not been announced yet […]
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From what I know about genuine co-production, I do strongly support co-production. I know from experience as a physician and, more importantly, as a patient with various long term conditions, knowing about the beliefs, concerns and expectations of citizens vastly improves care and support, however so defined. In my other life, in a forced choice between capitalism and socialism, I am a socialist. I don’t as such believe in the faith of ‘kinder capitalism’, though I can see that some capitalism is blatantly immoral. Market failures loom large on many people’s minds, however. It’s not good enough to embrace socialism […]
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It’s been argued that ‘both sides clearly want to avert a strike – so let’s get back around the table‘. The junior doctors are very demoralised about having to go on strike, but feel that they have been driven to it due to circumstances. I don’t think at all it can be assumed that the Government wishes to avert a strike. In public, it will need to say that a strike, particularly an ‘all out one’ is a threat to patient safety. But being objective for a moment – you could legitimately calculate a number of lost bed days on […]
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I actually feel as if I know Danny Finkelstein from his Spotify choices – not giving anything away but we share a mutual ‘like’ of a ukelele song about cleaning windows. Also, I do sometimes wonder how our Man in Pinner can get away with stripy shirts and spotty tie combos on Newsnight. It was with some incredulity that I witnessed an exchange on Twitter. But to be honest, I am often in awkward public Twitter exchanges, and invariably they appear much worse to the outsider than they actually are. Prof Liz Lightstone is well respected. That goes without saying. […]
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Let’s face it. Nobody looks great when doorstepped by LBC, when you then have to make sure you’re wearing your best cycle helmet in #wereinthistogether leafy Notting Hill to go to work – with a LBC reporting with you in the street. But the leadership style of Jeremy Hunt is particularly ineffective. Broadly speaking, as Peter Drucker puts it, “leadership is doing things right.” On the other hand, he has somehow managed to galvanise a near 100% turnout of tens of thousands of Doctors in a strike ballot. Only in North Korea would you get response rates as fantastic as […]
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David Cameron MP was, and I assume still is, proud of his punchline: “Diseases don’t just work 9-5 pm Monday to Friday, so why should the NHS?” A pledge for a 24/7 NHS seemed like a good idea at the time, in full expectation of a hung parliament and difficult negotiations which would see the pledge evaporated. And yet nearly a year later we are left enshrined on page 38 of the 2015 Conservative Manifesto the following paragraph: “We want England to be the first nation in the world toprovide a truly 7 day NHS. Already millions more people can see a […]
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  In an article entitled ‘Why politicians must lie – and how selling ice creams is like an election campaign’, Warwick Smith comments that, “As a result, many politicians make this Faustian bargain; they sell their soul in order to prolong their political careers. They know that the best place to set up their ice-cream stall is right beside their political opponent, with just enough differences to identify them with the one side or other of the spectrum.” Trust in politicians is generally pretty low, as this Ipsos MORI poll reveals. Doctors remain clearly the most trusted profession, with 90% […]
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