Author: Anna Girolami

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Surescreen miss the gravy train

Anna Girolami

SureScreen offered the tests to the government nearly a year ago but they were ignored. Addressing the government’s response to their approach, David Campbell, one of the directors, said, “We’ve done our best to engage with the government. There’s been tentative interest but unfortunately we haven’t had any good dialogue.”

Safety first

Anna Girolami

The recent Queen’s Speech saw Her Majesty announce the arrival of the government’s Online Safety Bill, which has now been published in draft form. The much-anticipated bill has been in the pipeline since 2019 when Theresa May’s government brought forward a white paper as a response to the death of Molly Russell. Russell, a 14 […]

Central Bylines ‘rona round up

Anna Girolami

Today sees the launch of step three of the government’s roadmap to get us out of lockdown. Today, I can go to a sauna (yeah..no), have a meal inside a pub (blessèd relief, it was snowing here last week) or stay overnight with my in-laws (I’m more likely to go for that sauna, to be honest). It all sounds wonderful. Our region has been in one sort of lockdown or another almost continually since November last year, bar a brief and lethal giddy spell over Christmas. It’s been hard but it’s worked – by the end of April, new cases, hospital numbers and deaths were all down, down, down.

It’s a gas, gas, gas

Anna Girolami

Anaesthetists, on the whole, have a chip on their shoulder. We are the single largest hospital specialty in the NHS and, in our own view, we pretty much run the place. Try having surgery without an anaesthetist, or a baby or a critical illness or a chronic pain issue or an intravenous dialysis line or.. I could go on, but you get the point. In essence, we (yes we, I worked as an NHS anaesthetist for ten years) provide the physiological bedrock upon which all other specialties have to stand to perform their work.

The Death of Dalian Atkinson

Anna Girolami

Last year in Minneapolis, a black man was killed by a white US police officer. Two weeks ago, officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd in a landmark court case that was reported around the world and hailed by the US president himself as a “giant step forward” against systemic racism […]

Just not cricket

Anna Girolami

Today is 4th May, we are deep into spring. This year’s county cricket season is three weeks’ old and Derbyshire is already languishing at the bottom of their group. Despite Covid-19, despite the Big Bash League, despite the razzamatazz of the Indian Premier League*, cricket remains the quintessential game of the English summer. The gentle […]

Currie Purdah

Anna Girolami

Purdah – a term previously used to describe the period leading up to an election, commencing on the date the Notice of Election is published and ending at the close of the poll on election day. Was ever anyone more aptly-named than Edwina Currie (yes, yes. I know she calls herself Currie Jones these days […]

Lamport Hall lambasted over lack of payment

Anna Girolami

Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire is a pretty typical, privately run stately home. It’s got painted ceilings and Neapolitan cabinets. It’s got extensive gardens and a classical frontage. It’s even got a baronet credited with introducing the garden gnome into Britain. What’s not to love? What it also seems to have is huge amounts of chutzpah. […]

We need to talk about Serco

Anna Girolami

In 2019 Serco was found to have “engaged in quite deliberate fraud against the Ministry of Justice.” It had already repaid £68.5 million to the government in overcharges and was subsequently fined £19.2 million for fraud and false accounting over its electronic tagging service. It also had to pay the Serious Fraud Office’s costs of £3.7 million. It still has the contract.

Latest news: East Midland MP banned from China

Anna Girolami

Today, the Chinese government has announced sanctions against a number of UK individuals and organisations – including MP for Harbrough, Neil O’Brien who leads the China Research Group and advises the Prime Minister on policy. These sanctions are a tit-for-tat response to similar sanctions brought against a number of Chinese officials four days ago by […]

Whisper who dares

Anna Girolami

We will have no recourse when the police silence us. No-one will have to resign or explain.


11 days ago, Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham at about 9.30 pm. She was walking home from a friend’s house.

There’s something about Nadine

Anna Girolami

In this week’s furore over NHS pay, Nadine Dorries is front and centre again. Whenever the government needs someone to loudly defend the indefensible (in that tricky two day gap between announcement and U-turn), they invariably send Nadine over the top.

‘None are safe until all are safe’

Anna Girolami

Building healthcare resilience against future pandemics Yesterday, shadow health secretary and Labour MP for Leicester South, Jonathan Ashworth gave the keynote address at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) webinar on building healthcare resilience. Central Bylines was on hand to take notes and put together this summary. Unprecedented not unpredictedThe Covid-19 pandemic may be […]

Latest news: Derby asylum seekers in squalid Serco accommodation

Anna Girolami

In Derby, a property that houses asylum seekers and run by Serco – yes, that Serco – is in such appalling condition that the city council is arranging an urgent inspection. According to the Guardian, photos show missing ceilings, an unusable shower full of rubble and with cracked or missing tiles, rusted pipes and walls […]

Block Party

Anna Girolami

In my East Midlands, progressively-inclined corner of the internet, I come across daily complaints by members of the public that their Tory MP has blocked them on social media.

Æthelflæd – our lady, from Lincoln to Ledbury

Anna Girolami

Some of you may already know of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians. More, I suspect, will not. She wasn’t somebody we learnt about at school, unlike Boudicca or Joan of Arc. I confess that I know of her mainly through ‘The Last Kingdom’ –  the BBC/Netflix adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s novels. But Æthelflæd should be […]

The NRG starts to show its hand

Anna Girolami

Last autumn, Jake Berry (MP for Rossendale and Darwen, good mate of East Midlands’ very own Robert Jenrick) and fifty other Conservative MPs sent a letter to Boris Johnson. The NRG was born.