Saturday, April 18, 2009

Amazin Amazon Bills of Health price

Blimey! I've just seen my book on Amazon selling at $57.
Richard Lawson
Best Price $39.54
or Buy New $57.75"

It came out in 1996 at £17.50.

There's inflation for you, plus a bit of appreciation.

Bills of Health is about how to save 20% of the NHS clinical budget by making a few policy changes around benefits, housing, and the environment. We could probably save 30% of the budget if we invested in a couple of thousand community workers and similar number of community spaces. It was well received in the medical press, but got a complete ignoral from the corporate media. A sympathetic BBC editor told me sadly that if I had proved that unemployment had caused a specific child to be born all twisted up, it would have been a story, but 20% of the NHS budget...not a story, sorry.

I gave a talk about it to a GP education group. It stimulated lots of discussion, but one of the doctors in the group said it was political.

It is dedicated to the next Minister of Public Health. Tories did not have such things (Bills of Health was written in the shadow of Thatcher's attack on all things public. Labour introduced Public Health Ministers. I sent it to the first 2 Public Health Ministers, but received no acknowledgement. I confess tht i did feel a tiny bit riled at that, but I now believe that what happens is that the Minstry of Public Health consists of a converted broom cupboard under the stairs somewhere, with a chair in it for the Minister to sit on if she so wishes. And a candle, and some parchment, and a quill. But no ink.

This may sound like a far frtched scenario, but that is the best explanation that I can think of for the total and complete lack of substantive policy coming from the Ministry of Public Health. The present MoPH is Dawn Primarolo, who used to live just round the corner. We used to chat amicably enough, but it was clear that she thought the Green Party were wishy washy liberals, not proper red blooded socialists. Whatever. At least Green MPs would not have
  • Voted for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
  • Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
  • Voted for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
  • Voted for replacing Trident.
Like what Dawn did.

I love that song, Been down so long it feels like up to me. Must dig it out and listen again.

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