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This polyclinic is not dead, it's merely resting

Ignoring Lord Darzi's recent request for us all to get away from calling polycinics polyclinics, Alan Johnson was only too keen to lob the p-word into his answer to a recent Commons question.

Ignoring Lord Darzi's recent request for us all to get away from calling polycinics polyclinics, Alan Johnson was only too keen to lob the p-word into his answer to a recent Commons question.



Replying to a gentle request from Labour MP for Perry Barr (covering the infamous Heart of Birmingham PCT) Khalid Mahmood to visit his constituency's new health centre - a move which, if followed through, would double the number of GP surgeries the health secretary has visited in his 9 month tenure - Mr Johnson was quick to suggest gleefully that the centre might even be a polyclinic.

It's certainly unpopular enough to be one, if local paper stories are to be believed.

Anyway, so far, so benign. But no politician worth his salt lets such a gentle loosener go without smacking it for six, preferably creating a dent in the opposition's bonnet once it crosses the boundary rope.

As a former education secretary, Mr Johnson couldn't ignore the fact that the Tories had misspelt polyclinic 'pollyclinic' in a recent press release criticising the plans.

'We are not building health centres for parrots, and my advice to the Opposition is that they should not criticise a policy they cannot spell,' he spouted.

Hansard doesn't note whether someone shouted from the backbenches 'This policy wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'eet's bleedin' demised!'

Dead parrot sketch

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