Comrade Liz on #LabourDoorstep Manoeuvres, with apologies to Ian Fleming #Corbyn Films for #Labour

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Comrade Seumas Milne says he always knew Liz Kendall was really a comrade. After all, any admirer of General Kalashnikov’s work can’t be all bad …

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Comrade Kendall takes aim with an AK74

Kendall responds to Milne by releasing further pictures of herself, armed with an M16, in US Marine Corps dress uniform.

Milne calls her a capitalist running dog …

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From the left, Toby Perkins MP (Missing In Action), and (hostiles) Liz Kendall MP and Graham Jones MP

Milne says everyone knows that a Beretta .25 is the gun for a lady (with little stopping power). Then realises he is starting to sound like Q in Doctor No …

Jeremy Corbyn asks, if you are Q, does that make me C?

John McDonnell observes that M was C in the Ian Fleming novels.

Jon Lansman is seen stroking a white cat …

Meanwhile, Andrew Fisher, dressed all in black, lurks in the shadows, perfecting his Rickmanesque sneer …

Behind the arras, a confused Len McCluskey suspects one or more people in the Labour leadership is in MI5 and working to bring down the party, but surely it cannot be anyone who was educated at a public school and went on to Oxbridge?

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Watch out, Seumas, Liz is gunning for you!

Out in the car park, Liz Kendall offers to show Seumas Milne the stopping power of Bond’s Walther PPK 7.65mm.

Kendall says it’s, allegedly, just like a (rioter’s) brick through the plate glass window of a Labour MP’s Constituency Office …

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Liz Kendall tries out a Challenger Mark II for size

Andy Burnham, never one to miss an opportunity, says he’ll make tackling gun crime a priority, if only Labour members will elect him Greater Manchester Mayor …

Yvette Cooper asks why no one is extolling the merits of a UK manufactured firearm …

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Liz Kendall gets to grips with an SA80

Len McCluskey, sensing an MI5 inspired attack on Jeremy Corbyn, accuses Cooper of disloyalty, whilst at the same time insisting that Trident renewal is a done deal.

McCluskey insists that in no way has he told Corbyn that there is no alternative to Labour’s current nuclear weapons policy …

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Liz Kendall anticipating bayonet practice on a life size cut out of …

Liz Kendall says she is looking forward to the reaction to her second day with the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.

Sun Picture Editor collapses and has to be rushed into hospital …

Jeremy Corbyn brushes up his feminist credentials on International Women’s Day

Len McCluskey: intelligence services using ‘dark practices’ against Corbyn

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What #InOurBritain Gospel Will Follow the Gospels of St Anthony of Blair & Saint Jeremy of #Corbyn4All?

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I endured the Blairites, but I was not a Blairite.

I had confidently assumed that the Church of St Jeremy of Corbyn, the lineal successor to the Church of St Anthony of Blair, would allow freedom of worship. The same freedom of worship practised by St Corbyn during his 32 years in the Wilderness of Westminster. After all, the Labour Party has since its founding always been a broad church, owing “as much to Methodism as Marx” (Gospel of St Anthony of Benn).

Alas, it would seem that the acolytes of St Corbyn have decided that Corbyn is my God, who brought me up out of the land of Blair, out of the house of bondage. I shall, therefore, have no other gods before him, but Corbyn. I shall not make for myself an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: I shall not bow myself down to them, nor serve them, for Corbyn, my God, is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who disagree with his followers, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love him and keep his commandments.

It would seem, if I do not bow down before the Blessed Corbyn and worship him without dissent or doubt then I shall be named Blairite and thrown into the outer darkness by his devoted disciples, blessed be their name for they are perfect in their own sight.

It would seem that I study the teachings of too many ‘false’ gods such as the Webbs, Bevin, Bevan, Brown, Castle, Benn, Attlee, Hardie, Wilkinson, Foot, Kinnock, Miliband, Cook, Crossman, Crosland, Jenkins, Healey, Callaghan, Hain, Lloyd George, Churchill, Gladstone, Disraeli and so on. The Church of St Corbyn is a monotheistic one and ‘my’ god’s followers are suspicious ones and constantly on the alert for any ideological backsliding by the congregation.

As I look from the fanatical acolytes of St Anthony of Blair to the fanatical acolytes of St Jeremy of Corbyn and back again, I find it ever harder to distinguish between the two claques.

I fear that I may soon have to turn my back on the church of my forebears and head off into the wilderness in search of a more tolerant church that allows, if not encourages dissent.

But, lo, what do I see in the distance? Is it a diverse group of people? Is it the 9 million who put their faith in that band of Tribunes of the People beyond the Walls of Islington?

I believe it is!

And do I see the Standard Bearers of the Tribunes at the head of the crowd?

I believe I do!

And are some of those standards being held aloft, proud, soaring Eagles?

Indeed, they are!

Is that a man called Smith leading the charge?

A Welsh Smith to pick up where the Scottish one left off?

Although he never entered the Promised Land of Government, John (the Baptist) Smith, as St Anthony freely admits in the Letter to St Roy of Jenkins, created the momentum that swept Labour into power on Thursday 1st May 1997.

Owen Smith may not, himself, lead Labour once more into the Promised Land, but he may set it back on the road to being a broad church once more.  A church listening to the concerns of its parishioners a lot more and lecturing them a lot less about their sins.

Time will tell, as it always does, as to whether or not the Popular Representatives of the People will triumph over those hard faced men of the Praetorian Guard of St Corbyn, that ‘fine’ body of affluent, middle class white males led by the Arch Angels, John and Seumas the Wykehamist.

And so, for now, I will tarry by the Rivers of Babylon and pray for deliverance from the fanatical followers of St Corbyn, as I pray for him to be delivered both from his delusions of adequacy and his captors, those self same, self serving fanatical followers.

@Corbyn4Leader Pandering to Middle & Upper Classes With Uni Tuition Fees Cut #JezWeCan? #Corbyn4Leader

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“If your heart is on the left, don’t carry your (share) portfolio on the right.”

(Updated) graffito from the French student riots of May 1968

One has to admire the chutzpah of that portion of Jeremy Corbyn’s enthusiastic, articulate supporters who are arguing the case for free tuition fees.  They are selflessly campaigning for a policy that will, of course, in no way benefit them and their class.  Will it not, though?

Tony Blair, in introducing tuition fees for university students, levied a poll tax on middle and higher income earners.  He levied a tax on people like himself.  ‘Surprisingly’, they did not appreciate that other people were not going to continue subsidising the university education of their offspring (via the tax system).  And those ‘principled’ middle and higher income earners have been hacked off ever since.

One has some respect for those middle and higher income earners, including Tories, who have not whinged on and on about the introduction of free university tuition fees.  They seem to have been sufficiently self aware in recent years to avoid the trap of being accused of asking lower income taxpayers to subsidise the university education of taxpayers in the brackets above them.  The Tories, though, were not quite so savvy back in 2003.

What to do, if one is principled and unhappy about one’s offspring and/or the Bank of Mom and Dad paying for university tuition fees?  Of course, one does what the middle class always does in such situations.  One prays in aid the plight of the working class.  Simple, eh?

It would be simple, if it were not for the fact, that most people in the UK do not go to university and maybe never will.  I know what you are thinking.  Surely many more students from the poorest fifth of backgrounds would go to university, if they did not have to pay tuition fees?  I mean they have them in Scotland, courtesy of the left wing SNP, do they not?  And that has been a great success, has it not?  That rather depends on your definition of success:

“The SNP’s totemic policy is the abolition of tuition fees.  In 2001, the Labour-led government in Edinburgh removed “up-front” fees for Scottish students, introducing a “graduate endowment fee” of £2,000 to be paid after graduation.  This fee was abolished by the SNP minority administration in 2008.  In England, meanwhile, the higher education reforms of the previous coalition government ensured that annual fees can now reach £9,000 per year.

The cost of Scotland’s fees policy keeps rising.  Partly as a result, in 2013, the Scottish government cut bursaries for poorer students, while increasing the amount of debt students can incur.  Grants have been cut by half in real terms since 2007; Scotland now has the lowest rate of bursaries in western Europe.  As research by Lucy Hunter Blackburn, a former senior civil servant responsible for higher education, has shown, young students from families earning less than about £30,000 have lost out under the SNP: grant cuts since 2007 have more than outweighed any benefit from the abolition of the graduate endowment.”

Two months before last May’s General Election, Nicola Sturgeon in a speech at the London School of Economics “spoke of how student debt would have stopped her from going to university; but because the SNP government has prioritised funding universal free tuition over targeted grants, Scotland is the only nation in the UK where poorer students will borrow more than richer students.  The student grant system is the only welfare policy that the Scottish government directly controls, so one might also consider it indicative of where the party’s true priorities lie when it comes to choosing between helping poor Scots or appealing to the middle classes.  Tellingly, when challenged about these effects, the party has been evasive or even denied them, appearing unable to recognise, much less admit, when its decisions will be damaging to the less affluent.

At the same time, the end of tuition fees has had no impact on the number of poorer Scots going to university, according to” Sheila Riddell, Director of the Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Edinburgh.  “Students from the poorest fifth of backgrounds made up only 8 per cent of entrants to Scotland’s ancient universities in 2008/9; in 2012/13, the share was also 8 per cent.  The same pattern is clear among entrants to newer universities: 11 per cent came from the most deprived fifth in 2008/9 and 2012/13.” “

The SNP has failed Scotland

I would have more time for those backing Corbyn, who have cited free university tuition fees as a major reason for their support, if they were calling for targeted support to give a hand up, not a hand out, to working class youths wanting to go to university.  Of course, such support would need to be about more than just money.  And past experience suggests that such targeted interventions are quite often not popular with middle class cuckoos, those people who not only know their rights, but who make sure everyone else knows they do too!

Personally, I thought it was presumptuous, if not arrogant of a member of the Labour Party, even if he has been a Member of Parliament since 1983, “to apologise on behalf of the Labour party to the last generation of students for the imposition of fees, top-up fees and the replacement of grants with loans by previous Labour governments.”

The Guardian did observe, when reporting Corbyn’s mea culpa on behalf of others, that the “move is also designed to strengthen the already strong support his campaign is gaining among younger Labour members.”  Support from people like Matt Monk who wrote an article, in The Guardian of Friday 24th July, entitled “Corbyn has given young people like me new hope in politics.

Matt is 19 and starts university in October 2015, studying politics and sociology.  I wish him well, but forgive me for thinking he is not representative of the majority of today’s youth.  “Tuition fees, graduate employment, housing, gender equality and climate change: these are the issues that young people care about, not the short-term deficit, which is fairly irrelevant to achieving these ends,” says Matt.  I think it rather significant that the cost of his university education and the type of employment that he thinks he has a right to expect, if he graduates, are points one and two in that list.

I do agree with Matt that housing is an issue for all young people, but it is not an issue just for them.  I believe, wholeheartedly, that access to rights or opportunities should be unaffected by gender, but I also think that rights should be enjoyed by and opportunities open to all, regardless of their class.  Matt does not use the word class anywhere in his comment piece.

As for climate change, I think if we stopped talking about the measures needed to address it as, well, addressing it and instead focused on those measures as being a way of creating a wide variety of jobs, improving energy security as well as lowering both energy prices and (harmful) energy consumption then we would, ‘accidentally’, produce the outputs and outcomes needed to address the problem.  I confess that such an approach lacks the sturm und drang of popular campaigning, demonstrations and going toe to toe with climate change deniers, but I guarantee it would resonate with the average voter.

Incidentally, I do not believe in climate change.  I accept the evidence for it.  No climate change denier, to date, has presented any factual arguments to change my opinion on climate change.  Even if they did, the sound economic and social arguments for de-carbonising our economy would still stand.  I know that, because I have sat in meetings with hard faced men and women of business, no hippies them, who see de-carbonisation as making good business sense.  On any other day, I might have been very opposed to their points of view, but in those meetings we were as one and that, Matt and Jeremy, is how you achieve real, sustainable change.

Like Matt, I want a Labour Party “that stands up for its values of fairness, equality and social justice.”  Alas, for Matt and Jeremy Corbyn, I do not think “the cutting of tuition fees” is about fairness, equality and social justice.  I do think it is about those, already well off in our society, seeking to further entrench their position and reduce even further social mobility.  A socialist, who believes that Labour is for the many not the few, not the advantaged, but the disadvantaged, should surely have started his bid for our party’s leadership with a policy for the many and not the few?

I do not think that Corbin’s National Education Service in any way balances his stance on university tuition fees.  The NES is a back of a cigarette pack idea which noticeably does not incorporate university education.  It is university education, with all the benefits that accrue from it, for Matt and the NES for AN Other Youth.  Corbyn is, I assume, ignorant of concerns about the perpetuation of an uneven playing field between academic qualifications on the one hand and vocational on the other?  Calling it the NES does not address that point, in fact, it underlines it!

I fear that I am sounding like an Old Labour Class Warrior, but then I was AN Other Youth.  I did not go to university.  I did work with people like me to get jobs, some of them through education and training.  I think their needs, their life opportunities should come before those of Matt, who seems to be doing more than ok already.  Arguably, if he were a real socialist, he would be writing articles in support of improving the condition of all young people and not just the privileged few.  After all, how many AN Other Youths are invited to write a Comment is Free (but facts are so sacred, we think them best not exposed to the light of day) piece?

Every generation goes through an Angry Young Man phase and I imagine Matt is no different from his forebears in that, but, by now, one would have thought that Corbyn would have got past his, at least in the matter of who really benefits from university education, regardless of the party in power.  If he is sincere in what he is saying, that university tuition fee cuts will be a bold plan to bring us in line with other European nations which do not charge tuition fees for university education, and he may be sincere in saying that, then he is too stupid to be leader of the Labour Party and a future Prime Minister (with due apologies to Aneurin Bevan).

Countries like Germany pay more than lip service to the idea that academic and vocational qualifications are of equal value as Peter Chivers discovered when he tried to claim unemployment benefit in Berlin.  The 41-year-old, from Bradford, “who speaks fluent German and has a language degree, said: “At the Jobcentre, they said to me: ‘You must have learned a trade?’ I told them that an apprenticeship wasn’t crucial to start a job in the UK – you could get a job just with a degree. But they struggled with that concept,” he said.  When Chivers asked if it could assist with job training, the Jobcentre refused. “To be honest, I found the authorities incredibly obstructive … They put every obstacle in my way that they could.” ”

I must confess to having experienced a degree of schadenfreude when reading of Mr Chivers’ experience, but then you do not have to go to a Jobcentre in Berlin to meet graduates with a well developed sense of entitlement.  You may even come across them in an inner city Jobcentre in Birmingham.

As an aside, Mr Chivers’ “experience with benefit claims stood in stark contrast to that in Britain: “When I had to apply for benefit in the UK, I just turned up at the benefit office and had to fill out one form.  Later, someone came around to check whether I really lived at my address.  That was it.  In Germany, I needed to certify everything from what kind of car I drove down to how I heated my flat.  At times it felt like I was doing paperwork for paperwork’s sake.  I found it a very demeaning experience, but then that may have been the point.” ” Actually, those detailed questions about heating may have been part of a process of awarding benefit supplements to reflect differing levels of cost.  Once upon a time, UK Supplementary Benefit included payment supplements to help those with high fuel bills.  Food for thought there, Matt and Jeremy?

Who needs a degree in politics and sociology, Matt, to get on in politics, elected or unelected?  One may fail to graduate and still get a good, well paid job at taxpayer’s expense.  I did it as did Jeremy Corbyn.  He failed to complete his course at North London Polytechnic, because he was already embarking on a life long career in politics.  I suspect graduating might actually have proved to be a drag factor back in those heady days of student sit ins, demos and the like.  Incidentally, those were the days, Matt, when students demonstrated about issues without one eye on the main chance.  I think, Matt, Jeremy also remembers those days when he says, “Education is not about personal advancement but is a collective good that benefits our society and our economy.”  Do you agree with that statement?

Finally, Matt, if you have aspirations to be a Special Adviser (SPAD) or an elected politician then reflect on the fact that voters say that politicians (and by implication the media and others) are out of touch with them.  In part they must be out of touch, because they have had different life experiences, in particular most have gone to university and graduated.  Are you part of that problem, that disconnection, or are you part of the solution?

The personal is still the political, ask Jeremy, and what suits you politically suits you personally.  Free university tuition fees, on their own, do not guarantee equality of opportunity for all young people, but they would be in your best interest.  If you want to emulate Jeremy, be “clear and explicit” in your views, genuine too, then please have the decency to admit you and middle and higher income earners would be the major beneficiaries of the end of university tuition fees.

PS  Whilst I may have got past my angry young man phase some while ago, I am still fighting the fire.

Billy Joel – Q&A: Inspiration For ‘Angry Young Man?’

Marxism In A Total Quality Management Setting Part 1 #GE2015 #TQM #Deming #Marx #KarlMarx #WEDeming

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I have been promising for a while now to write up this case study and here goes.

Attendance management is a major issue for businesses, public sector bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations.  However, of the three sectors, the public sector is the one most often put under the media microscope as to the level of its sick absences.  There is usually a comparison with the private sector that is never other than detrimental to the public sector.

Firstly, I challenge the validity of such comparisons on the grounds that such a crude approach is of little or no value to addressing the issue of attendance management, but it does generate excellent ratings and viewing figures.  Secondly, I would contend that the figures for sick absence in the public sector are more likely than not to be more accurate than those for the private sector.  However, even if the absence levels were similar then that would not be a sufficient argument to not look at how matters might be improved.  Incidentally, when next a media outlet runs an attendance management story check to see if their own organisation’s sick absence record is included in the debate.  I would be very surprised to learn if it is.

The Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to tackling sickness absence invariably involves a mix of carrots and sticks.  The balance between carrot and stick varying as much with the ethos of the organisation as it does with the effectiveness of the carrots and sticks being dangled and applied.  The best that may be said for many of these approaches is that they are unlikely to increase the level of sick absences.

The stick approach tends to turn sick absence management into a disciplinary matter thereby brigading it with those who take unauthorised leave.  Quite often such an approach increases stress levels for the absentee and their manager.  Consequently, the level of time off work may increase not fall.  Alternatively, those who feel intimidated by the process and so return to work earlier than they should may not only spread infections to co workers, but also need more time off a few days later to fully recover from their own illness.  Stick policies have a tendency to drive up absence and are toughened to address the increased absence and so on.

The carrot approach is harmless although sometimes demeaning.  Gold stars for good attendance.  An end of financial year letter congratulating one for not having a day off sick for the whole year from the District Manager and similar.  A slightly different approach is to be more proactive, for example by arranging lifestyle checks, providing free gym memberships, courses in time and stress management.  Alas, I never seemed to have the time to put the stress avoidance techniques into practice!  Seriously, if you are suffering from sick organisation syndrome then no amount of yoga or massage sessions are going to make you any less prone to illness.

Sick organisation syndrome brings me neatly to the Royal Mail and the approach they adopted to addressing attendance management about 25 years ago.  RM had recently begun to practice Total Quality Management and felt attendance management was an area on which they might usefully deploy the TQM tools and techniques.  The first aspect of the approach is to determine whether or not you have a problem.  If you do, is the problem partially or totally within your control?  A problem caused, for example solely by the weather is unlikely to be controllable and so may only at best be mitigated rather than resolved.  If the problem is within your grasp to address is it a significant one?  Is it worth spending time and effort on addressing it rather than some other aspect of your business or organisation’s operations?

For RM, they felt they had a problem with levels of attendance management, that it was at least partially something they might influence and that it was a significant issue deserving attention as a matter of priority.  Sick absence affected service levels, customer satisfaction and increased the salary bill through recruitment of casual staff to cover absences.  In addition, absences caused more work for those not off sick and so increased the likelihood of them becoming unwell if their workloads were above the normal level for any significant period of time.  Staff morale is (or should be) very  much of a concern, particularly to those whose business is serving members of the public whether they be patients, passengers or customers.  Take note, TQM works as well in the NHS or a Jobcentre as on the shop floor at Jaguar.  I know, I have seen the improvements made through TQM in Jobcentres, I have been told by TQM clinicians about how it is used to improve care on acute wards and I have seen it in action at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant.

RM decided to use one fairly typical postal district as a starting point for further analysis.  They then gathered together all the sick notes for a given time period and divided them up by type of illness or condition.  They then used a Pareto approach where the piles of notes were set alongside each other with the highest pile on the left descending to the lowest pile on the right.  They then worked through the piles removing those outside of their control such as legs broken on holiday, appendectomies etc.  They were then left with two sizeable piles and some much smaller ones.

The first pile was a collection of foot related conditions.  Some of these cases were diagnosed as trench foot.  The largest number of absences was down to delivery workers being unable to get around on foot.  Some years before, RM had provided each member of staff with two good quality pairs of shoes each year with an expectation that they wear them, unless medically advised not to do so.  One day RM hired some management consultants to identify areas where they might ‘save’ money.  They had recommended withdrawing the business provided shoes.  RM  acted on their recommendation and staff wore whatever they felt was suitable and/or could afford.  Most of the foot related absences were traced back to this saving.  A case of a known unknown.  We know we will save money, but not what the real cost, if any of doing so will be.  The consultants had of course collected their fee and were long gone.  Incidentally, TQM is to many management consultants like garlic is to a vampire.

The second pile was injuries incurred by van drivers, in particular those collecting mail from post boxes.  Many of the injuries were shoulder related.  Further investigation revealed drivers were quite often not wearing their seat belts and/or sliding closed the driver side door.  Consequently, when they braked for any reason they ran the risk of injury.

These two categories of condition made up the bulk of the causes of the absences so remedying them would significantly improve attendance management.  Back came the shoes on the same conditions as before.  The collection drivers were told to wear their seat belts and close the doors, but crucially the timings of their rounds were increased, the number of points from which they collected reduced and more drivers and vans provided.  You will note, I trust, that both solutions require actions by management and staff to be effective.  By the way, trades unions like TQM, because an evidence based approach rarely weakens their arguments.  Moreover, discussing data about which both management and trades unions agree helps to makes negotiation generate more light than heat (or so I have been told).

One other aspect of the TQM approach is that it is scalable so absences felt not worth investigating at a District level might well be worth looking into at an individual office level.  For example, Ms X (no names, no pack drill) worked in a Jobcentre and routinely asked for leave at the last minute and quite often had her requests turned down.  She then frequently went sick for the same period for which she had asked to take as leave.  Ms X is certainly the sort of case that would trigger at least an informal warning.  That it did not do so did nothing for the morale of her co workers.  In addition, Ms X’s husband invariably used to ring in to the office saying she was not well and usually told us precisely what day she would be returning to work.  It never seems to have occurred to either of them that sick leave was not an addition to Ms X’s annual leave entitlement.  Ms X used her sick absences to cover half term holidays and so on.

You did not need to adopt a TQM approach to match Ms X’s absences with school holidays.  However, a TQM approach does create a basis on which responses to absences by different individuals may be made on the basis of their personal circumstances and not in line with a one size fits all policy.  A policy approach that invariably increases absence rather than reducing it.  A flexible policy, sensitively, but firmly applied to all those absentees is good for them, their co workers and those for whom they work.

RM’s variation on Ms X was Mr Y who quite often asked for Thursdays off at short notice.  And mostly he was not allowed the time off.  It became apparent through analysing his (self certified) sick notes that he had a tendency to develop 24 hour bugs for those Thursdays he had wanted to take off, but which he was told he had to work.  And the Wednesday evenings before these Thursdays were co-incidentally those days when the football club he supported were playing an away fixture.

I must stress that the above is not an example of good practice to be slavishly copied by people wanting to reduce the number of sick absences within their organisation.  It is a case study.  A big concern of those who advocate TQM is that people tend to ignore the process by which improvements are made and simply pick the solutions they hope may work for them.  The reason why many management consultants fear TQM is that once you have learnt how to apply the tools and techniques then your need for their services reduces significantly.  You design your own systems and processes to deliver the goods and services that meet the requirements of your service users, customers, patients and passengers.  Moreover, as those requirements change you evolve your systems and processes to address those changes.  TQM accepts, if not embraces the need for continuous process improvement.  The organisation that does not evolve to meet changing customer need dies or at least loses goodwill.

No political party shows much sign of grasping the fact that unless we challenge perceived wisdom, the Anglo Saxon Business Model, then they may make whatever pledges they like, because British management (in whatever sector of the economy) is mostly incapable of making those pledges a reality in a way that will make the electorate feel they have been met.  In particular, both ukip and the Green Party have a touching faith that business as usual (in Whitehall and local government) would deliver their policies effectively and efficiently were they ever to form part of a Government.  Andy Burnham has at least shown signs that he recognises that a TQM approach may be the only way to both shore up the NHS and allow it to develop its services to meet the need of individual patients.

TQM poses a challenge to extremists on both the right and the left.  It says to both groups that a confrontational approach in labour relations is destructive and that an evidence based approach creates common ground between both parties.  It also says that organisations and businesses exist solely to serve their users and customers, because only if they do so will they create value and profits.  It says to many on the right that cuts invariably result in increased costs and to a few on the left that savings may be achieved whilst maintaining and improving service delivery.  Moreover, that savings create headroom within budgets and therefore the answer, in part, to shortages of funding is to make those savings to create that headroom.  Not everything in the public sector may be improved by throwing money at it.

In fact, given the state in which management in both Whitehall and local government are now in, it is unlikely they could make effective use of additional funding until their ability to manage it has been significantly improved.  Those on the left who think the public sector may be turned around on a dime sometimes seem more out of touch with reality than some of ukip’s supporters.  As for the Green Party’s middle class, middle management (quite often salaried public sector) supporters then they strike me as being part of Britain’s management problems rather than the solution to them.  IDS and Universal Credit in practice are what Natalie Bennett and the Basic Income are in theory.  The only difference being that the Green Party is well intentioned.  Note to the Green Party, railways in whatever sector they are should be run in the interests of passengers not the passengers, their workers and the people.  You will see from the above than when RM effectively addressed attendance management they improved customer service and the well being of their staff.

We appear have tried everything else, except an evidence based approach to management.  Time we consigned the Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to an industrial heritage museum.  Time we kissed goodbye to the thinking that said Japan was dumping cars at below cost price in the USA, because US car firms could not produce them at the same price and make a profit.  The likes of Toyota could and still do.  Toyota’s big recall a few years back was because they had turned their backs on over half a century of practising TQM.  A senior executive went public, said they had made a mistake and that they were going back to TQM.  Such a statement was a major loss of face.  When US car firms were being ‘dumped’ on their Chief Executive Officers and Presidents had the bare faced cheek to go to Japan (with Bush Senior) to put their case.  Bare faced?  They earnt many times more than their opposite numbers in Japan and yet their companies were not as profitable as those of the competition.  Moreover, their counterparts in Japan only received salaries about 11 or so times as much as their shop floor workers.  In the USA no one would consider themselves valued as a CEO or President, if they were not at least offered more than 11 times as much in salary as their front line staff.

One final point, TQM, because it incorporates a philosophy of Plan, Do, Observe and Act is the closest many of us will ever come to continuous (r)evolution.  Yes, dear reader, TQM is Marxism in a management setting.

Further Reading

William Edwards Deming

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (and Ethical Values)

The UK Retail Industry: A Case of (Paying Lip Service to) TQM at Tesco Supermarket?

Five Deming Principles That Help Healthcare Process Improvement

Deming’s Quality Principles: A Health Care Application

Do Doctors Need Deming?

Selected Articles By Dr Deming

The Deming Institute

#ukip Plan #NHS Death By 83 Counties @NigelFarage? And Pensioner Prescription Charges? #ThanetSouth #GE2015

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In his haste to rebut the contents of this video, Nigel Farage revived the County Health Boards proposal as set out in ukip’s last comprehensive health policy.  A policy which I have been told on Twitter by some ukippers, is no longer ukip’s health policy, but, by others, that it is.

In his Independent article of Thursday 13th November Nigel Farage wrote, “We’ll replace the centralised, top-down organisations such as the Care Quality Commission with elected county health boards which will pay more attention to local problems and whistleblowers.”

ukip earlier this year said it would “revert to local Health Boards, also giving some Boards the freedom to impose prescription charges.”  “The majority of health care spending” would be devolved to “elected County Health Boards, making spending decisions directly accountable to the public locally.”  ukip thinks this would reduce costs not increase them.  Hardly the case when one looks at the increased cost of administering free schools.

Once the NHS has been balkanised, broken into 83 parts (not including London), as Farage proposes, then no one can say what that would mean in terms of charging for services etc.  What it does mean is that our public health care system would cease to be a national one.

Farage said something disturbing about the NHS