Sunday, 26 February 2012


Having signed the online petition instigated by 38 Degrees that is automatically passed to local MPs to add pressure to the campaign to release the so-called 'secret' Risks Register report on the proposed NHS changes; my local MP, Mark Lancaster (Con) has taken the time and trouble to respond. In fairness to Mark, I am publishing his reasons that I feel are self-explanatory.

How do you feel about this?
Do you feel the public should have the right to view the contents of this document or are you confident that our politicians should decide what we can or cannot see?

Dear Mr. Bluffield,

Thank you for contacting me about the debate concerning the Department of Health's risk register.

I do appreciate your interest in this information and with such good healthcare provision in Milton Keynes I do understand the worry that is being caused by the upcoming changes.

The Department of Health has already published risks relating to the Health and Social Care Bill in the Combined Impact Assessment, updated on 8 September 2011, which can be found at the following address by searching for "combined impact assessments."

It is important to note that risk registers detail the worst-case scenarios-both actual and theoretical. For this reason, it would not be in the public interest to release risk registers as they would place a misleading emphasis on the negative aspects of policy which could cause public debate to be focused on these worst-case scenario risks however unlikely they may be. Additionally, releasing these risks could increase the likelihood of their occurrence.

The decision would have significant implications and set a precedent for all departments and future governments. It is for these reasons that during the course of the last Government requests to see risk registers were declined in July 2008, in September 2008, and in September 2009.

I assure you that the government is committed to departmental transparency. Since the Coalition has come to power, the Department of Health has published more information on how it runs, including salaries above £150,000, departmental spending data, all new government ICT contracts, all new central government tender documents for contracts over £10,000, new items of central departmental spending over £25,000, Government Procurement Card transactions over £500 and all new central departmental contracts are to be published in full.

The Department has sought to expedite the process of appeal, and as a result, the Tribunal has been moved forward from 5 April to 6 March.

I hope this information is useful and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Kind Regards


Tuesday, 21 February 2012


The National Statistics Office has revealed that one in eight people now living in Britain has been born elsewhere and in some areas this is causing strain on essential services such as schools and health. It is also causing long established communities to fragment particularly in areas such as Luton, Bradford and Leicester where large influxes of immigrants have congregated that do not speak English and will not readily integrate into British society. It has also created ghettos in some parts where white British feel ostracised.

In an excellent article in the Daily Telegraph Ruth Dudley Foster examines the issues confronting multi-culture Britain. She argues a case for citizens who feel their communities have been changed by too many immigrants arriving at the same time that have no intention of speaking English or by integrating into our society.

This is a common problem that I can associate with. When one of my neighbours temporarily moved to Canada they rented their house to a family from Lithuania. Outwardly these people seem to be perfectly reasonable, especially since they cause no problems for anyone, but they have isolated themselves from others living around them. They do not speak English and therefore live on the outside of our society unable to communicate with others that cannot speak their language. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, there is a feeling that the ethos of what was once a close-knit community this has been eradicated.

Click here to read the full text of Ruth Dudley Edwards's article.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


One of the worst cases of a police officer abusing the powers vested in him occurred in February 2010 when a Commander of the Metropolitan Police, Ali Dizaei was sentenced to four years at Southwark Crown Court for ‘misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.’ Two of the years of his sentence were to be spent in prison; the other two on licence.

This might appear to be a mild sentence for Britain’s most senior Asian police officer, who had formerly been president of the Metropolitan Black Police Association. This is relevant because Dizaei had consistently criticised senior colleagues for presiding over and encouraging racism within the Met. (BBC News 8/2/2010). Ironically his transfer to the Metropolitan Police and promotion to superintendant came in the same year that the Force was accused of institutional racism after the murder of Stephen Lawrence. After arriving in his new post, Dizaei accused the force of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and by using ‘cultural biased tests to pick white officers for senior ranks.’ Under the title of Operation Helios, Dizaei was suspected of perverting the course of justice, misconduct in a public office and making false expenses claims, as far back as 2000 in an investigation costing £2.2m that was unrelated to the case for which he was jailed. After being suspended from duty for two years on full pay, he was brought to trial at the Old Bailey but cleared of all charges in the previous case. Other serving police officers had claimed that Ali Dizaei It has been a permanent thorn in their side and the Met came under criticism when they reportedly paid him £80,000 in damages after he had threatened to sue them for discrimination. He had also threatened to bring a similar unrelated action in December 2008. The former Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair apologised after the case and said the inquiry had caused “considerable damage” to the force. Dizaei claimed there had been a campaign to: “destroy my life and my career” and accused very senior colleagues of spreading a “cancer of racism.” In 2006, after two Muslim brothers were questioned after an anti-terrorism raid, he questioned the need for ethnic profiling of airline passengers and said: “What you are suggesting is that we should have a new offence in this country called ‘travelling whilst Asian’.”