Priorities in Government

There are two issues in the news today that deserve a prompt and serious response.  Hospital infections are proving more lethal than we thought:

"Nearly 10 people are dying every day from the superbug Clostridium difficile.

Official figures show 6,480 death certificates in 2006 mentioned the bug, compared with 3,757 the year before - a rise of 72 per cent.

The increase comes after the Government told doctors in 2005 to note healthcare-acquired infections on death certificates."


"The quality of education in primary schools has worsened under Labour despite increases in funding, says the biggest inquiry of its kind for 40 years.

Reports published today say many pupils spend too long preparing for "batteries of tests" in English and maths at the expense of a broader education. The reports say educational standards may actually have fallen as a result.

In one study, it is claimed that Government control of state schools has risen over the past 20 years but "especially after 1997"."

These are the kinds of issues - the life and death struggle to control hospital infections and the future of an entire generation - that Government should be worrying about.  With a massive concentration of power and responsibility at the top the attention of the Prime Minister should be focussed on matters like these.  Instead, Gordon Brown is concerning himself with plastic bags:

"Gordon Brown has warned supermarkets he will force them to cut down on the number of plastic bags they give out if they do not take steps voluntarily."

It's like Northern Rock's Chief Executive choosing to spend his time scrutinising orders for paperclips.

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