OK, I'm back. The reason? It's because I want to give a plug to the National Health Action Party. If you've never heard of them, quite honestly I'm not surprised. They are new. They have been set up by a small clique of people concerned about the way things are going with our NHS. "Clique" sounds a bit pejorative. It's not meant to be. The people at the top are very committed and their concern is for our NHS.
Despite their youth and not really being ready for an election, the National Health Action Party were the first to announce their candidate for the Eastleigh by-election. Unsurprisingly, this failed to get a mention on the BBC. Even the redoubtable Jon Snow didn't seem to know. Which shows that modern journalists don't find things out any more, they wait to be told.
So I'm now telling you all direct: The National Health Action Party is up and running and has an excellent candidate for the Eastleigh by-election. His name is Dr Iain Maclennan. It's remarkable that such a brilliant local candidate has been found so quickly. Dr Maclennan lives in the borough in Bursledon. He was a GP for some years and more recently a consultant in public health with the local Hampshire Primary Care Trust. For ten years he was a medical officer in the Royal Navy.
In brief the National Health Action Party could not have found a better candidate. If you live in Eastleigh he deserves your support. If you don't live in Eastleigh the National Health Action Party deserves your support. If you are a journalist, we need your support. Please at least give Dr Maclennan a mention - even though I've been a bit rude about journalists!