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Editor’s blog Wednesday 28 July 2010: Lansley, Pinocchio and commissioning

Until now, I'd never really thought about Andrew Lansley in relation to the Fairy With Turquoise Hair from Pinocchio. Carlo Collodi wrote the original Pinocchio tale between 1881 and 1883.

You know the story: Gepetto, the puppetmaker, carves himself a marionette called Pinocchio, who comes to life, and has a series of adventures until he learns to be unselfish and, as reward, is turned into a real little boy by the Fairy With Turquoise Hair.

(The un-Disnified original story is a lot of fun: when the 'conscience' cricket first gives Pinocchio good advice, the puppet promptly kills him and the cricket appears throughout the story as a ghost).

Anyway, commissioning is, in Lansley's apparent view, a marionette like Pinocchio: there, but not real.

So Lansley's quest to turn it into a real little child requires a massive structural change, and for Commissioningocchio to leave the 'home of PCTs (Gepetto, the carver) and go and have adventures in the real world (GP commissioning consortia) to teach it the values it needs to become real.

So the Fairy With Turquoise Hair - who at one point calls in three famous doctors to work out if the marionette is dead - an irresistable reminder of David Colin-Thome's infamous "corpse" comment on PBC - is crucial to the plot.

Who plays the Fairy?

The Secretary Of State? The Independent Commissioning Board?

Maybe another home-grown children's character could tell us - Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. In Great Ormond Street Hospital benefactor JM Barrie's stage play, Peter Pan cajoles the audience, "Do you believe in fairies? … If you believe, clap your hands; don't let Tink[er Bell] die."

Fresh Maynard Doctrine
The good Professor has another instalment for you Enjoy.