Yes, there is more that could be done, less of this, extra that and all the usual but given the circumstances and the trails of destruction and disaster, that preceded the announcements...



That’s it.


It’s an exciting colour, party-time but it’s also soothing and elegant. 

There’s a pink-pound, a pink panther and pink shirts. It’s a blush and a rosé. Salmon and shells and comes in everything from lilac pink and lemonade pink, to bon-bon, blushing bride and…

… if yesterday’s autumn statement was a colour, it would be pink.

It’s not Tory blue. Neither is it Labour red. It’s probably somewhere around Pantone 236C.

It was an autumn statement, given the mess HMG’s finances are in, that were it a Labour government at the despatch box, we wouldn’t have been surprised that Rachel Reeves had delivered it…

… which is why she didn’t really lay a glove on Jeremy Hunt, whose urbane delivery and machine-gun response to her critique, pretty much won the day.

Yes, there is more that could be done, less of this, extra that and all the usual but given the circumstances and the trails of destruction and disaster, that preceded the announcements…

… it turned out pragmatic, measured and crafty.


Yup… all the pain of budget balancing cuts has been pushed beyond 2025, the end stop for an election. 

Probably, they become Labour’s problem. And…

… Amanda Pritchard, was quoted in The House, by the Chancellor; ‘Yes…’, we are told she says, ‘…the extra £3bn+£3bn is just the job for the NHS to get the job done.’ 

I thought she wanted £7bn?


Yup… the delivery was calm, it discouraged the usual brouhaha and aside for a silly bit at the end, was more of a technical treatise than a statement of political intent.


Yup… keeping the triple lock (never really in doubt), help with heating costs (of course), pushing Dilnot into the savannah’s of 2025. No money to deliver his recommendations, park it. 

People will still struggle with care-costs.

The two instalments of three billion for the NHS are welcome. The material, overhead and wages cost of scything through millions on the waiting lists will eat money, as will inflation.

The people to do it? 

There’s a workforce plan already underway and Chancellor Hunt gave it a rebirth (crafty). 

What numbers will we need in 5,10,15yrs from now? 

It’s probably a couple of months work, to write but years to implement and the costs of training and the increased size of the workforce will need funding.

There’s extra money for social care; 1bn, 1.7bn and an increase in the limits to which local authorities can up council tax (from 3%) to 5%, without having to ask the electorate.

The Chancellor says it should be good for 200,000 packages of care, over two years.

Every year social care provides 231,395 episodes of short-term care…

…with a workforce shortage of 160,000, I don’t see, even with the money, how LAs will deliver this?

An increase in the living wage, up to £10.42, will help, but…

… the whole, low-wage sector will move up the inflation graph and Tesco’s will still pay more. The sector needs a protected wage, consolidation and a proper structure.

What else? Oh, yes…

…former Labour secretary of state for health, Patricia Hewitt, now an ICB chair, is being roped-in to ginger-up ICBs.

I like this and I like Hewitt, despite her controversial past. 

She formerly worked for Andersen Consulting and on her appointment as health secretary, demanded Trusts balance their books. 

Her predecessor, Frank Dobson, had allowed a roll-over and had built up a bow-wave of debt…

… boards had a collective heart attack. She’s tough.

There are 42 ICBs. The brutal truth; they were born during covid, they’ve been set up whilst struggling with the day-job. A distraction, seen umpteen changes in leadership and have varying quality of talent running them. 

As far as I can see, few have a clear understanding of what it is they are trying to do.

I’m trusting Hewitt to recommend a cull. Twenty is plenty and 15 would be better.

That’s it. Done. 

There is plenty that is not done, still to be done and under-done. 

We still don’t have enough people, there are still millions waiting, ICBs are still mired in debt and confusion, nurses and all the rest are still going on strike.

Real household disposable income per person, a measure of living standards, is set to fall 4.3% in 2022-23 the largest fall since ONS records began in 1956-57.


Far, far, far away

People heard him say

I will find a way

There will come a day

Something will be done…

… What? It’s pink… Pink Floyd! 

Have the best weekend you can.

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