‘Named and shamed’ by C Leslie MP. Oh, the disgrace..

It’s not up on Hansard just yet, as it wasn’t quite 3 hours ago yet, but I’m told that I was ‘named and shamed’ by Tory MP Charlotte Leslie today in Parliament, for my ‘venom’ in challenging the claims, actions and attitudes of Julie Bailey and her ‘Cure the NHS’ group (Cure):

I am equally perturbed and disturbed that a lot of that venom is coming from two Labour Party Members locally – Diana Smith who has worked for David Kidney and Steve Walker and I would very much like to know that the party opposite will condemn those actions.

(Edit: you can now get the full Hansard record here, and I’ll take this opportunity to thank everyone for the kind wishes and support!)

Ms Leslie needs to check her facts, since I’m not a Stafford local and only visited the town some time after I’d published my article “The real Mid Staffs story – one ‘excess death’, if that”, so I had and have no axe to grind with Ms Bailey and Cure apart from their lamentable actions and woeful misrepresentation of fact.

Diana Smith, on the other hand, is indeed a local lady – and a very honourable, mild-mannered one who has been libelled shamelessly by Ms Bailey and others, yet has responded with constant attempts to find common ground. She has told the truth fearlessly and deserves better.

All that aside, to be ‘named and shamed’ by Ms Leslie and her colleagues bent on the destruction of the NHS, or for that matter by Ms Bailey and Cure, who are aiding and abetting in that destruction by their reckless hystrionics, is something I consider a badge of honour. If I’m getting up their collective nose enough to merit such a mention, then I must be doing something right.

My stance on the fallacy of the Mid Staffs ‘needless deaths’ and all the other ridiculous and ill-founded NHS mortality accusations since has also been publicly vindicated by the Keogh report in the day or so. Bruce Keogh’s report, which I’ll digest fully and comment on when time allows, made the following stark condemnation of the bogus mortality claims of the media, politicians and Professor Brian Jarman:

However tempting it may be, it is clinically meaningless and academically reckless to use such statistical measures to quantify actual numbers of avoidable deaths.

Or, as the Guardian summarised it:

Report into 14 NHS hospitals rejects claims that poor care killed thousands

In spite of the insults of Cure and its supporters and latterly Ms Leslie, and the continued strident insistence of the right-wing or suborned media on using the spurious Stafford numbers, the Keogh report has – at last – brought the truth about the ‘excess death’ claims into the mainstream: they didn’t happen, and none of the data that has been claimed to support them actually do so.

I don’t consider my stance on Mid Staffs and mortality statistics in the wider NHS to be brave, or noble, or anything particularly praiseworthy. If you see truth being abused and are in a position to say something, you have an obligation to do so. As for ‘venom’, read my posts on these issues and judge for yourself. I’ve striven to be forthright and to pull no punches, but there’s been no ‘venom’.

Given the tenor of the Tories’ and Cure’s comments about NHS staff and about anyone who dissents, the irony is substantial. Apparently, disagreeing with them is intrinsically rude and disrespectful, even venomous – but those with the most sullied consciences often put a great emphasis on respect and manners from others, as if etiquette can insulate them from their actions, and the Tories’ conscience on the NHS must be as black as pitch.

A badge of honour from the NHS-haters and a confirmation from on high. Quite a week, and well worth the continued opprobrium from those who just can’t accept that their hidden agenda isn’t hidden any more.


  1. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    “I don’t consider my stance on Mid Staffs and mortality statistics in the wider NHS to be brave, or noble, or anything particularly praiseworthy. If you see truth being abused and are in a position to say something, you have an obligation to do so.”
    I quite agree.

  2. Keep up the good work Steve, you’re doing the nation a great service by exposing them.

  3. i agree with you steve you have done great work exposing there lies from the truth..i cannot agree with the governments statistics on a mortality of 11.000 or so deaths at the nhs staffordshire hospital or any other hospital..the government are scaremongering to get the nhs privatised ..i chatted to my consultant today he said he has been reading your blogs and he agrees with you 100percent ..keep up the good work.

  4. So we should all just accept the briefings given to the Telegraoh and the Daily Mail by the Tories? That’s not the way it works.

    Keep going mate.

  5. Wear the badge with pride Steve. Blog retweeted and facebooked too! Much respect from a proud NHS worker who is worried by the incessant drip drip of negative stories into the media by the ConDems in a bid to soften up the public for creeping privatisation, led by a Secretary of State who is politicising the process! Keep going!

  6. thank you for alerting me to the issue of the excess deaths – I found hard to get people interested and even now the Keogh quote about the problems of the stats is used, the headline still shrieks about “thousands of early deaths”

  7. I’ve actually left a message on Charliotte Leslie’s site to say how wrong she is and how risible her accusations are.

  8. Sorry Steve I did but it defaulted to showing a pic .. us old folks and technology … try this


  9. Charlotte Leslie MP
    Her Dad is Ian Leslie, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. He is also her party’s constituency chairman.
    He has also appeared before Select Committee on Health. Link below

    Yep – I can see why you got a mention in Hansard.

  10. More vindication of great SKW research. Hope momentum can keep going.

    Still trying to get head round & clarify these NHS issues. Understand extra 13k deaths wrongly used to start scandal and Alastair McLellan, editor of Health Service Journal, agrees Keogh slams misleading USE of HSMRs “to quantify actual numbers of avoidable deaths” (rather than stats themselves).

    McLellan believes Prof Jarman also unhappy with way his 13k number was misused to stoke the scandal:
    Is this your impression too or is Dr Foster Inst. really implicated as milking consultancy fees from NHS?

    Prof J bemoans fact that his warning to analyze stats after Bristol 10yrs ago was ignored and that the Francis report on 6th Feb excluded/suppressed his warning in its quoted evidence..

    NB: Health Service Journal article 5th Apr ’13:

    1. The jury’s out on DFI’s motivations – but the conflict of interest is undeniable. If Prof J is upset when his figures get misused, he’d probably be better advised not to dangle them in front of the media!

      He’s not a victim in this, though – he’s appeared in the press and numerous TV interviews claiming his stats mean that many extra people died than should have died, which is exactly the same as saying their deaths were avoidable, when as a statistician he must know that averages must always have some on the wrong side of his ‘100’ line to varying degrees and it’s nothing to do with ‘excess’ or avoidable.

      Read his testimony to the Francis inquiry. His complaints amount to ‘They rejected my baby’, and in his mind, the current government was better – purely because they were more receptive to his ‘baby’. That’s the key to his motives and actions in all this.

  11. Yes Steve, I meant to say to, its obvious you are rattling cages, keep up this important work. I think I’d like to see a point of order raised to which Charlotte Leslie would have to correct the record, get your name in Hansard twice!

    1. πŸ™‚ At the very least! A public apology would be more in order, since I’ve been slandered under Parliamentary privilege, but also libelled on Twitter, which is not similarly protected from legal consequences!

  12. So the population of Stafford are vindicated from hounding out Ms Bailey so now maybe Tory Councillor Charlotte Hearing alias Gilet Girl should aplogise for the vile comments about them. The truth is coming out bit by bit, will they stand by each other then I wonder!

    1. Hi Jan. I know at least one well-connected person who’s convinced giletgirl is not Ms Hearing. Do you have evidence to the contrary?

    2. Important to realise that the assertion that the people of Stafford “hounded JB out of Stafford” is not true. Considering the considerable damage that she and her relatively small but vociferous band of supporters in CTNHS may have done to secondary care in Mid Staffs (TSA report awaited), the population have been surprisingly muted. What MAY have convinced her to move at this stage (may well have been planning to move anyway, as could anyone) was the march. If the government was taken aback by the largest such show of peaceful community solidarity ever, then maybe so was JB. One very upset bereaved relative turned up on the streets (and was heavily featured in the Mail) – she was treated very kindly by the marchers and the police. I’m afraid that any independent review of the content of postings of various sorts would demonstrate that SKW, Diana Smith, the staff of the Mid Staffs Trust and the ordinary people of Stafford have been measured, logical and often surprisingly understanding. The bile and vitriol has been elsewhere.

  13. Yes! well done Steve, you know you are rattling them when they bring your name up in parliament, which is such a badge of honour you should be proud of yourself.. just replied on twitter to Charlotte Leslie on twitter one word RUBBISH!.. keep up the good work Steve..

  14. Mentioned in Hansard eh? A great day; thank you for all your hard work showing that it is possible to find out the truth and question what we see in the media. I count it a lucky day in my life when I stumbled upon your blog!

  15. Do you know if there’s any legal action you can take over the slander/libel that’s directed at you? An MP sullying your name is not on, and if you could get a judge to agree with that then you’d be further vindicated.

    I have to say that I’m not too familiar with all the goings on, but the one thing that seems clear to me is that the NHS is getting battered in the media, purely so there’s little resistance when it becomes fully privatised.

    I’ll definitely be one of the people resisting.

    1. In terms of what she said in the Commons, no – it’d be covered by Parliamentary privilege. In terms of what she put on Twitter, which repeated the accusation but without naming me, I’m not sure. Since it could be linked to the Parliamentary comment, possibly!

      1. Well worth looking into,an apology on the floor of the house would be a humbling experience for any MP.

      2. I thought there were strict guidelines for PP in the commons to avoid abuse? Surely naming two people and then accusing them of something that has not been proven is an abuse under the due care expected? My guess is to write to an MP and maybe they could advise or bring it up but its certainly not on for people like her to simply slander people when she has no proof of the claim she is making.

  16. I’ve been very busy this last two weeks and so I’m just now really catching up with your blog, Steve. So I’d first of all like to add my support to that of others.This awful woman, Charlotte Leslie, has got to be a deliberate plant on the Health Select Committee. And you must be really getting under the skin to merit the remarks she made. So in my book you must be doing something right. Good on yer!

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