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Yearning for tsardom

Brian Taylor | 11:47 UK time, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Yes, but will it be a czar? Or should that be tsar?

Every sector of modern public life, it seems, yearns for tsardom. Will this meet the test?

We are talking here about the grimly serious topic of hospital hygiene. undry proposals for addressing this are floating in the political atmosphere.

The Scottish Government plans a Care Environment Inspectorate. But, on first sight, it was suspiciously short of tsardom. Or indeed stardom.

Now, though, we learn it is to be headed by a chief inspector. This individual, apparently, will be a "superbug supremo".

"Hello, nice to meet you - what do you do?"

"Actually, I'm a superbug supremo."

"Really. Fascinating. Got any holiday plans?"

Heavy storms

Labour had proposed a cmmissioner for this task. A tsar or tsarina, in other words.

I cannot help being reminded of earlier - much earlier - political exchanges.

There had been exceptionally heavy storms in Glasgow. City roofs had been ripped off. Kirks had been tirled.

The uproar spread to the Commons. Statements were demanded from ministers.

Apparently, one weary government office-holder replied: "We dinnae need statements. We need slaters."

In similar mode, I cannot help thinking that, in this case, we need ward cleaners - and local nursing or medical or administrative staff with the power to enforce same.

Is there not a danger that, by the time the supremo or commissioner or tsar has discovered a problem, the damage locally will have been done?

Low spirits

Alternatively, I suppose an inspectorate, with clout, keeps the local staff teams alert.

Further, I am assured hospital bugs, cunning brutes that they are, keep changing the threat they present. Hence the need to share advice across Scotland.

I am genuinely not sure about this one. Perhaps I am just a little low in spirit because United weren't playing at the weekend.

But I cannot prevent my heart from sinking whenever the scent of tsardom is in the air.


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