Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cutting The Mustard

Up at the crack of dawn to catch the train to Norwich as I was speaking at the National Care Homes association conference.
Decided not to be too party political as the provisional programme I had been sent had no mention of Labour or Tories (which I thought odd). When I arrived it was apparent that the other two parties had since confirmed. I decided to go ahead with what I had planned and my comments were well received although I expect that Stephen Ladyman, the Minister, didn't have quite such an easy time of it.
Ladyman's rhetoric seems to reveal that he has something against the care home sector and he is blindly passionate about something called Extra Care Sheltered Housing - Extra Care is a good thing but his blinkered attitude means that there is a gradual erosion of choice - beloved of Government in other areas of life but apparently not to be offered to the elderly.
The unfortunate thing was I had to turn back almost straightaway to London because of the Domestic Violence Bill.

In the end it was very frustrating as I only just arrived in time for the vote on the section around "protection of children and the vulnerable" so my colleague had had to cover for me. As the other parts of the Bill under discussion were sections that he had led on then I was left wondering why I had rushed back!