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2012 the year in review: The Vanishing Act award


It had been predicted for a while but, when the axe fell on Andrew Lansley’s neck just as his cherished NHS reforms were finally coming to fruition, it seemed nothing less than brutal. His report card as health secretary was marked as soon as he had a YouTube rap coined in his honour (surely the first ever to feature lyrics about Any Willing Provider). Despite his exhortations that he didn’t want any other job, he was shunted into the policy-free role of Leader of the House of Commons in the Cabinet reshuffle in September, from where he has been forced to watch his legacy from afar.


Former BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum takes the runner-up’s award for orchestrating what might just be the least convincing show of strength by a trade union on record, then using his last speech to members to warn against repeating it and promptly ending his term as chair.