GPs' verdict on PM a sign of the times for Gordon Brown
In reality it may not prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In the seemingly inevitable downfall of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, MPs’ expenses, the worldwide economic crisis and Joanna Lumley will probably turn out to be more influential than the LMCs.
By Ian Quinn
In reality it may not prove to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. In the seemingly inevitable downfall of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, MPs' expenses, the worldwide economic crisis and Joanna Lumley will probably turn out to be more influential than the LMCs.
But it was interesting to hear GPC leader, Dr Laurence Buckman, describe a forthcoming vote of no confidence in the PM and his health minister, Ben Bradshaw, as potentially the most damning verdict yet from GPs on a Prime Minister- assuming of course it is passed at next month's LMCs, which seems a pretty sure fire bet.
‘It's unprecedented,' said Dr Buckman. ‘We've never seen [a vote for] no confidence in a Prime Minister. It will be an ‘interesting' debate.'
To put things into perspective for the embattled Mr Brown, things have seemingly got even worse since last year when the LMCs conference passed a similar no confidence vote in health minister Lord Darzi and health secretary Alan Johnson.
And they are clearly even grimmer, according to those proposing the motion, than the year before that when under a certain Patricia Hewitt LMCs passed a vote of no confidence in a Government which the conference was told was displaying ‘all the hallmarks of the very worst dictatorships'.
Speaking of health secretaries, it appears Alan Johnson, tipped to replace Brown one day despite his repeated denials of ambition, once again has proved to be Mr Teflon.
Having emerged from the expenses crisis, with little more than the odd claim for a second class bus ticket between hospital visits to the sick to his name, he avoids this year's line up of shame, despite the overall hammering the Government comes in for in the LMCs agenda.
Bad cop Mr Bradshaw, however, is not so lucky and his appearance on Question Time last night when he was jeered after appearing to suggest that he had won a personal victory over the MPs' expenses affair-because he had been calling for Commons reform all along-is unlikely to save him from GPs' venom.
As for Lord Darzi, Pulse suggests a motion calling for a £500 reward for anyone who has seen him of late. Once he seemed to be fronting virtually every Government NHS initiative but Lord Darzi appears much lower key these days. Perhaps he has seen the writing on the wall. Or perhaps in Gordon's Government of all the talents, it is more likely to be Ms Lumley who has the ear of the PM.Gordon Brown: GPs are calling for his head Gordon Brown: GPs are callling for his head