Parliamentary sketch – So, the waiting is over
For over nine months I’d been waiting. But finally, on Monday afternoon this week, the Royal College of Midwives arrived from London at my constituency office for the meeting I had eagerly anticipated.
“Have you brought word?” I asked.
“About what?” they replied.
“The Royal birth of course”, said I.
There was a pregnant pause…they looked at each other. “Sorry, we don’t have any news…”
“But you are the Royal College of Midwives aren’t you?!” I interrupted. We laughed.
Meanwhile, outside St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington bemused local cats surveyed the sea of media and Royal watchers and the scrum of webcams trained on walls and uneventful doors.
But, now that the frantic, “live at the scene” banal burbling and urgent fact-free TV twaddle is finally over, and we have a baby, I can feel nothing but sympathy for the poor boy. He will no doubt learn how to endure becoming a life-long victim of media stalking and speculation.
Back at my meeting with the Royal College of Midwives, we scrutinised Parliamentary answers I’d received from Health Ministers. The RCM recommends an average of one hospital midwife to no more than 28 births per annum. Yet nowhere in the country achieves that! The average is 34 births per midwife. The worst is 40.
The RCM pointed out that higher ratios result in worse perinatal, infant and maternal outcomes. I think we can be sure that those who oversaw the birth of the third in line to the Throne would have stinted at nothing, in the private wing of that London hospital.
A Nation rejoices for two very happy parents and their family and we wish this boy more considerate handling by the media than his parents or grandparents received.
Meanwhile, there are still reverberations following my recent question to the Prime Minister.
The principle of introducing a cap for recipients of taxpayer funded welfare benefits should surely also be applied to recipients of taxpayer funded handouts to the largest and wealthiest landowners through the farm support system. The European Union proposes a cap of €300,000 – I don’t know a farmer in the West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives who receives payments above that threshold. However there are many in other parts of the country who do. This is hardly justifiable.
Andrew George MP
Kernow a’n West ha Syllan
West Cornwall and the Scillies
Constituency of St Ives
Tel: 01736 360020
Fax: 01736 332866
23rd July 2013