Editor's blog Friday 22 April 2011: Sic transit gloria Munday
I'm grateful to my friend and colleague, The Guardian's social affairs editor Randeep Ramesh for drawing my attention to this story on their website's bold new NHS reforms liveblog about the plan of Dr Jonathan Munday to orchestrate a letter-writing campaign in support of the Secretary Of State For The Time Being Andrew Lansley's bathetic plans for 'Liberating The NHS'.
Munday chairs the Victoria Commissioning Consortium (Westminster, London), and his letter specifically tells recipients, "I must please ask you to respect the privacy of this letter, whether you are in favour or not.".
Click here for details of 'Not even ‘Minder’ Letwin can save The Liberator - Andrew ‘Transport’ Lansley’s political fightback marred by not-wholly competent Beige Arts of propaganda', via subscription-based Health Policy Intelligence.
Dr Munday wanted his fellow consortia chairs in London to fill out drafted letters stating that they "express our wholehearted support for the Coalition's health reforms. Together, we represent X practices caring for Y patients. The reforms have received a very bad press lately but much of the criticism has been noticeably misinformed".
He also asks the recipients "to sign the above draft letter in a personal capacity without the need to seek approval from your boards, unless you have a fortuitously timed board meeting". It's not terribly 'no decision about me without me' is it?
It must be wonderful for SOS Lansley to find an unalloyed supporter - other than the National Association for Primary Care's Dr Johnny Marshall, who's currently working for Mr Lansley at DH.
Alas, Dr Munday's letter to colleagues fails to articulate his party political allegiance, which his own website (this link updated to a cache of the site as it was, as strangely it has since been changed to something more bland) reveals as Conservative. He was a councillor on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea from 1986-2002, serving as mayor in 1998-9.
Dr Munday also wrote this rather revealing article for the Conservative Home website in 2002.
Sadly, while Dr Munday's website promotes his poetry, the page is not available.
Dr Munday's motto 'non angelus sed anglus' translates as 'not an angel, but an Englishman'.
He renders it, interestingly, as 'No Angel but at least I'm English'.
Dr Munday's enterprise should be commended, although his execution of supportive propaganda leaves a little to be desired. Such activities are known in Whitehall-speak as 'The Black Arts'; this is more 'The Beige Arts'.
He has also added to the gaiety of the health policy community with his intervention.
And I've been waiting for years to do that headline - so thanks to him for that, too.