News today that the Hampshire All Party Parliamentary Group is to ‘quiz’ Southern Health Chief Executive Katrina Percy.
The piece is not very clear on exactly what is expected to happen. Initially we are told that Ms Percy will be ‘scrutinised’, which sounds promising, and would be a novel experience for the Trust CEO, who is accustomed to being deferred to and lauded. But then it appears that Ms. Percy will be ‘addressing the meeting’, which sounds, depressingly, much more in keeping with her preferred style. On the other hand, local MP Suella Fernandes is expecting some ‘frank questions’ to be put. But there again, the said Member for Fareham is only wanting ‘reassurance’.
Ms. Fernandes, I can tell you now, you will get reassurance by the syrupy bucketload. Reassurance is a Sloven speciality, to be poured generously over concerns until they disappear under the sticky golden tide of sugary sweetness. And the recipe for this elixir of reassurance seems to be one part sparkly mendacity to two parts emollient obfuscation, spun into impenetrable thickness in an expensive PR machine.
The New Forest East MP, Julian Lewis, however, has shown himself in the past highly capable of subjecting Sloven spin to truly rigorous, data-based scrutiny (thank-you, @59kemppaul, for the heads-up). I hope Mr. Lewis is able to attend the meeting and give Ms Percy a thorough in-person grilling. Because while a few may be content to swallow syrup of reassurance, what everybody else wants is knowledge: knowledge that crunches like an crisp apple with the sharply acid taste of factual truth.