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Editor's blog Friday 7 May 2010: Farewell to Dr Richard Taylor

There is a good rundown of who health-wise has gone or stayed here on the HSJ website.

Some of the departures are no loss at all - just career hacks.

One is a loss, very much so: Dr Richard Taylor, formerly MP for Kidderminster. Elected on the back of a proposed hospital closure in 2001, Taylor secured re-election in 2005 on the back of a strong performance as a constituency MP.

He has been a thoughtful and skilled contributor to the House of Commons: a courteous and skilled debater. He has also been a valuable member of the Commons Health Select Committee, which has proved its worth in a time when Parliament as an institution has become despised.

It's the easy option to despise MPs - and the bigger the party, the more hacks it has whose behaviours do deserve comtempt. Yet it remains true that the vast bulk of MPs in most parties work very hard for long hours for what is not a fantastic salary. The PR imporssibility of raising MP pay to a serious level was at least as much a driver in the expense scandal as personal greed.

It's also fundamentally stupid to despise MPs, Parliament and politics. They are the way we spend our taxes and make our laws.

Dr Richard Taylor enriched politics and Parliament. He was a good, critical friend of the NHS. He deserves our thanks, and if we were a smarter nation, he would get them.