Thursday, 2 August 2012

News links..

One Cambridge hospital shows what can be achieved by ending the curse of state monopolies
"Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, previously described by ministers as “a clinical and financial basket case”, released its latest performance data yesterday. In just six months, waiting times had been turned around – from the worst in the region to the best. Patient care had improved; satisfaction ratings were higher than ever. Money was no longer being wasted. Staff morale was up. Even the unpopular car parking fees had been scrapped. The reason? Last year, Hinchingbrooke was taken over by the private sector."- Sean Worth in The Telegraph

Labour lead would drop to 1% if Boris was Tory leader
"A YouGov survey for The Sun showed Labour’s current poll lead would be slashed to one point if Boris was Conservative leader. It revealed 34 per cent of people would vote for a Cameron-led Tory party, while 40 per cent would vote for Ed Miliband’s Labour. But if Boris was leader, support for the Tories would rise to 37 per cent, while Labour’s would fall to 38 per cent."

Coalition considering £5 billion purchase of remaining shares in RBS but George Osborne said to be opposed
"The fact that ministers and officials are considering the proposal, which would mean taxpayers taking full responsibility for the bank’s toxic debts, shows how exasperated they have become at the barriers they believe banks are placing on lending." - FT (£)
  • Business help scheme 'could end up subsidising banks' - Metro
Gloom for manufacturing and London's economy
"Britain’s moribund economy was yesterday rocked by an ‘absolutely dreadful’ slump in factory output as the Olympics and the crisis in the eurozone hit business. Manufacturers suffered their worst month for more than three years in July as the deepening recession showed no sign of easing, according to a closely-watched survey." - Daily Mail
  • George Osborne desperately needs to come up with a proper supply-side growth plan before he loses the trust of his party - Allister Heath in City AM
Jeremy Hunt admits Games have put off London's tourists - Independent
Experts warn stayaway policy by civil service and blue-chip firms could inflict damaging blow on capital's economy - Daily Mail
  • Armed forces now make up half of all Olympics security personnel: "The total number of military personnel involved in overall Olympics security now stands at more than 18,000, including 11,000 helping to secure Games venues, with the rest working in specialist roles." - Express
  • Cameron's visit to Northern Ireland raises new questions about why it's Team GB, not Team UK - Belfast Telegraph
  • Cameron was in Glasgow on Tuesday to lend his backing to the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympics - The Glaswegian
  • The politicians sneaking off to enjoy the London 2012 Games - Telegraph
Support for Scottish independence falls again with new poll showing 54% to 30% advantage for staying in the Union - Times (£)
  • "Scottish Labour is seen as “out of touch”, “incompetent” and “boring”, a YouGov poll has shown, exposing the mountain party leader Johann Lamont has to climb if she is to seize back power from the SNP at Holyrood." -Scotsman
Steve Richards on rich satirists mocking weak politicians
"Many satirists are powerful and wealthy. Jimmy Carr's made much of the bankers' greed: ho, ho, ho! But then it emerged he was greedy, too, and earned millions more than most of the politicians he mocked: ho,ho,ho! This has become a slight problem with Have I got News for You, in which Ian Hislop, earning thousands per programme and buttressed further by his powerful base of Private Eye, mocks obscure cabinet ministers who have virtually no power and have no idea where they are heading in terms of policy or their careers." - Steve Richards in The Independent