Review – Buckle up! The Liz Truss era is here – James Forsyth via the Spectator

This is an outstanding article by James Forsyth, political editor at the Spectator. Considering that he’s a close friend of Rishi Sunak and that he actively supported Sunak against Liz Truss, the new UK prime minister, it’s very powerful. I have closely followed James’ insights over nearly a decade and for me they have always been remarkably perceptive.

Despite his bias in favour of Sunak, this latest article is remarkably dispassionate. Open the link to read it:

I too must at this stage declare my bias. Between Sunak and Liz Truss, I have been a passionate Sunak supporter. So I too will supress my natural suspicion of Liz Truss and look for redeeming features.

James Forsyth’s articles simply touches all the bases in terms of challenges facing the Liz Truss – he leaves the reader to reflect on the risk of success. I will return to the subject of risk presently.

For me, there are a number of related threads:

Firstly, the concept of a country borrowing its way out of difficult is not new. It’s well covered in Keynesian Economics. Post war, it was very popular, especially with socialist governments. Ineffective application of the doctrine led directly to the hyper inflation of the Seventies. This was finally reversed when Regan and Margaret Thatcher led the way to alternative economic policies. The concept works well when Governments invested in robust capital projects which have a strong economic return financed by low cost government borrowings. Most governments simply lost control, with politically chosen projects chosen despite protests of seasoned financial observers. Another more recent example is China, following the Subprime Crisis. Anyway, returning to the Truss era, there are clearly no projects that have been defined in any substance other than motherhood aspirations of less red tape etc. This is deeply worrying.

Secondly, the Truss team are largely lightweights, with no serious record of achievement, either individually let alone collectively. These are political flunkies. What’s most obvious is the remaining heavy-hitters are on the back benches, out of government, or they have retired.

Thirdly, there is serious concern that Truss will win over her MPs in parliament, yet alone the wider electorate with an election looming in couple of years.

Fourthly, there is little consideration of delivery, with possibly the most radical change since the National Health Service was introduced after WWII – indeed from the beginning that failed to match blueprint of its designers. Look to the record of major Government defense or technology projects, with huge overspends, parliamentary enquiries and cries of cronyism.

Fifthly, with the absence of robust costing, there’s certainly seems little thought of risk assessment other than ‘speculative in the round’.

Finally, it’s worth dwelling on the wider economic and geopolitical context. Interest rates are rising rapidly to deal with inflation, triggered by massive financial expansion to redress the economic carnage caused by Covid. Unfortunately, it is necessary to add political risk because of global tensions related to Ukraine and Taiwan. Political risk also penalizes ‘lightweights’ diverging from economic orthodoxy as espoused by the likes of the International Monetary Fund or the leading independent central banks of the world. Collectively, risk specialists would focus on the transformation risk.

If you are unconvinced, simply wait and watch how financial markets behave. Watch for speculators taking a punt on Sterling, and the UK’s major quoted businesses.

Please correct me if you disagree.

Britain’s failed National Health System (NHS) and the Case for a World Class UK Public Healthcare System Benchmarked on Best Practice

I have received a request to share hyperlinks to my blogs on best practice in public healthcare. As I ran a search across blogs for ‘NHS and Best Practice’, I thought this would be of interest to a wider audience.

Here’s the list of blogs (with hyperlinks), in reverse chronological order, viz. latest first. Some are written by myself and some my co-blogger, John Gelmini. Each blog is dealing with an issue at that particular moment in time. But the interested reader will find a wealth of data and radical opinion.

Incremental change has failed and radical reforms have been consistently botched. Politicians have meddled and meddled. There’s been no overall vision, strategy and effective delivery mechanism. There have been too many vested political interests, both internally and externally, with patient care subordinated. Whilst the NHS was a great vision when originally conceived and indeed for many years set the gold-standard for public healthcare, now it’s riddled with its own cancers, with a terminal prognosis. Notwithstanding, politicians continue to make false promises, knowing that the evidence tells a different story. For this reason, both John Gelmini and myself, both experts in delivering strategic change, have settled on a more radical solution – build a new bottom-up UK public healthcare system, benchmarked on global best practice, running downing and eventually dismantling the NHS.

  1. NHS must put its house in order before seeking more cash, says internal audit | Society | The Guardian
  2. Opinion – Hunger, filth, fear and death”: remembering life before the NHS – New Statesman
  3. NHS bosses blame patients for being ‘fat and old’ as they plead for more cash – Mirror Online
  4. Opinion – The gap between funds and delivery is a chasm in the NHS: something has to give | Chris Hopson | Opinion | The Guardian
  5. Study finds NHS ‘MOT’ health checks to reveal signs of illness have few benefits | Health News | Lifestyle | The Independent
  6. Opinion – NHS on course for worst financial crisis in its history – Telegraph
  7. Reform the NHS – or watch it fade and die – Telegraph
  8. Opinion – NHS told to fill only essential vacancies due to ‘almost unprecedented’ finances | Society | The Guardian
  9. Opinion – Myth busting: NHS not so efficient after all « Adam Smith Institute
  10. Opinion – NHS faces bigger than expected financial ‘black hole’ – – John Gelmini
  11. Public Sector Catch 22: Structural Reform, Strategy and Implementation – How to avoid a Omnishambles Recovery Programme? – Best Blogs Series
  12. Did Andrew Lansley kill off NHS reform for good? – Telegraph
  13. The NHS can’t survive without payment for frontline treatments | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free |
  14. Labour set to launch ‘save the NHS’ election campaign – ITV News
  15. NHS must use fewer temporary staff and sell land to save £10bn, says Hunt | Society | The Guardian
  16. BBC News – NHS errors costing billions a year – Jeremy Hunt
  17. NHS will cease to exist without reforms to secure funding, warns Frank Field | Society |
  18. The NHS is on the brink of extinction – we need to shout about it | Healthcare Professionals Network | Guardian Professional
  19. Fears for the elderly under new NHS drugs policy – Telegraph
  20. The Arrival of the First Snow and the Fear of the Season’s Unnecessary Death in the UK’s NHS?
  21. NHS competition holds up creation of specialist cancer treatment centres | Politics | The Observer
  22. TRUE cost of health tourism: Foreigners cost NHS up to £2BN a year | Mail Online
  23. Opinion: US Federal Shutdown ‘Obamacare’ and the UK’s NHS
  24. PAC slams NHS IT system project – OutsourcerEye
  25. Thousands dying of thirst on NHS: Watchdog forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water | Mail Online
  26. NHS should take inspiration from Bargain Hunt when buying supplies, minister says – Telegraph
  27. We won’t need a PC World NHS if more of us go private | Melissa Kite | Comment is free | The Guardian
  28. Understanding the UK NHS’s Terminal Cancer – John Gelmini
  29. Kevin Maguire: David Cameron smears NHS to hide his own failure – Kevin Maguire – Mirror Online
  30. Callous: the verdict on NHS care for the dying – Telegraph 
  31. A Hard Look Beyond the 13,000 Needless NHS Deaths – John Gelmini 1/2
  32. 13,000 died needlessly at 14 worst NHS trusts – Telegraph
  33. UK NHS in Terminal Meltdown under Cameron – Top News Stories 
  34. NHS is unsafe and inhuman, says director – Telegraph
  35. BBC News – Unite: NHS falling into chaos and crisis (video)
  36. A Doctor’s View of Obamacare and Trumpcare from Rural Georgia | The New Yorker
  37. The benefits that a digital healthcare system could bring aren’t out of reach – the Conversation
  38. Opinion – Cancer rates have reached a record high | Daily Mail Online – John Gelmini