Sir David Nicholson, the former chairman of the mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, is refusing to resign. After all, he was only in charge of an organization in whose hospitals over a thousand people who were supposed to be cared for were left to suffer and die in dirty, degrading conditions - what reason is that to worry? Anybody would imagine from the fuss that is being made about it that Sir David had done something really serious such as insulting socialists, homosexuals or transsexuals!
The head of commissioning in the NHS, Professor Malcolm Grant, has stood by Sir David undaunted, insisting that he is the person they want to be and to stay Chief Executive of the NHS. Well, he has got a sense of proportion I suppose. Sir David has not committed any offences against Political Correctness. He has not called a horse "gay". He has not said anything against Yuman Rights.
Today a bus driver told me that nowadays they are not even allowed to tell a passenger who is standing up on a bus to sit down, because that would be against the passenger's Yuman Rights. He is only allowed to advise them to sit down. What about 'Elf and Safety? We have lots of laws about that, enough to get trees cut down in school playgrounds in case children climb up them, but not enough to justify a bus driver telling you to sit down while the bus is moving. And not enough to prevent hundreds of patients from being neglected and left to rot in mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust Hospitals.
Just being in charge and getting a lot of money does not mean that Sir David had to take responsibility for everything that happened. Good Lord, if you applied that rule, Fred Goodwin should never have walked away with his vast pension. If Sir David Nicholson said in public that the NHS should not be doing operations for transsexuals, he would undoubtedly be sacked, but since he has only presided over a major calamity that has, according to the Francis Report, cost the lives of 1,200 people, he can brazen his way out.