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Sarah Brown joining us for live webchat Tues 8 March, 1-2pm

(163 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Mar-11 11:58:12

Sarah Brown is joining us for a live webchat on her second visit to Mumsnet HQ on Tuesday 8 March between 1pm and 2pm. Sarah's memoir of Downing Street, Behind the Black Door, is out on 3 March and promises to share the secrets of living behind the most famous front door in the world and what it's like to be an ordinary woman, wife and mother in extraordinary circumstances.

Sarah last visited MNHQ back in February 2010 when she was still living at Number 10. We celebrated a Big Night In in aid of the charity founded by Sarah, PiggyBankKids. We're delighted to be welcoming her back, paticularly as the webchat coincides with International Women's Day and Sarah is known for her advocacy of issues around maternal mortality and women's equality.

Join us next Tuesday lunchtime but, as usual, if you're unable to join us, do post a question on this thread that we'll put to Sarah on the day. Everyone who joins in the discussion will be entered into a draw to win one of five signed copies of Sarah's biography Behind the Black Door.

scottishmummy Thu 03-Mar-11 21:57:36

Welcome Sarah,do you think govt nhs cuts will compromise maternal safety as trusts cut or freeze midwifery clinical posts?Given that white ribbon aliance campaign on maternal safety do you feel cuts compromise mums,and whats your response to cutbacks and recruitment freezes

How is life in N Queensferry suiting you and the family?

scottishmummy Thu 03-Mar-11 22:04:06

I am at work so cannot participate but will read thread later

catinthehat2 Thu 03-Mar-11 22:31:25

Ah, sorry I don't do sucking up you'll be relieved to hear Sarahsmile.

Now it looks like the British taxpayer has been paying your husband to write his book rather than turn up at work - (26 votes out of a possible 212 since the General Election source)

Paying him handsomely as an MP while he goes on well paid overseas speaking engagements instead of representing his constituents.

And then he runs his staff expenses through the so-called "Office of Gordon & Sarah Brown" presumably so he can avoid paying salaries out of 50% taxed income from the above nice little earners. source

My question, for the 'singed' copy of the biography mentioned above is:

"Mubarak's done it, Gadafy's nearly there, so when will Mr Brown be leaving Parliament to become a private citizen?"

RustyRainbow Fri 04-Mar-11 09:37:38

What is your favourite pancake topping? grin

eyeofhorus Fri 04-Mar-11 10:40:05

What tips has she got for those of us (broke middle-class families) who are losing all our Child Benefits, CTCredits, etc, etc. Will she be providing any inside info on what Labour will do to try to to bring all these benefits back if/ when they get re-elected? How does she feel about the loss of child benefit from an income/ class and feminist perspective?

purits Fri 04-Mar-11 11:44:21

How sad is she that her husband has left the country in such a state that middle-class families (to quote eyeofhorus) expectshock to be on benefits? Did she like the way that people ended up dependent on Labour profligacy the State?

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 11:51:13

My dilemma is my Grandson Jack who is 11 Months old was born with Cystic Hygroma. Following appointments with a Consultant and Surgeon at Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Victoria Infirmary we were told Jack would have an MRI Scan at 12 Months old, we have now been informed Jack will not be seen until July. It is horrendous enough that Jack was born with this condition, yet we are struggling to receive treatment for him. This needs highlighting and we need desperatley need help. Thanking you in great anticipation

catinthehat2 Fri 04-Mar-11 12:28:52

Nursecuppy. Just what are you honestly expecting from the wife of a Prime Minister who was booted out of office last May and is here to sell a book and raise her public profile?

The money was wasted by her DH has long gone for stuff like scans for sick babies sad.

She might give you a nice hug if that helps?

scottishmummy Fri 04-Mar-11 12:35:07

dont be so harsh cat,ease up on the politicking maybe a bit of emapthy for NurseCuppy family and sitiuation and sharing a difficult family time is never easy

Im sure NurseCuppy knows SB has no magic wand,but you know what - the discussion in itself might be helpful

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 12:40:44

Thank you, I find her reply disgusting and if she was in our predicement, I can guarantee she would not be pleased with such a response!! This situation does need highlighting in the hope we may receive help

catinthehat2 Fri 04-Mar-11 12:43:17

SM - I have the greatest sympathy and respect for NC & her situation, maybe that wasn't clear from my post.

I am simply foreseeing some empty gestures from Sarah Brown - had the ex PM not spent the cash maybe a timely MRI scan might have been forthcoming.

Politicking? I don't think so - I'm just a humble taxpayer here to fund Gordon's lifestyle.

scottishmummy Fri 04-Mar-11 12:44:31

so so sorry for your troubles,and yes if it were me id be banging the table to be heard too

have you considered going to the nhs trust board meetings that are open to public, put question to board
write to MP

catinthehat2 Fri 04-Mar-11 12:47:33

NC - Scottishmummy knows her stuff on this, would recommend you use her advice.

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 12:52:12

I am contacting anyone who may listen, after all I have absolutley nothing to lose. I have contacted my MP too. Our Family watched a programme last Friday from Manchester Children's Hospital where a Baby received an operation to remove his Cystic Hygroma at 6months old. We feel Jack is in the same situation, his GP has contacted Manchester, but in the meanwhile we are doing all we can too.

scottishmummy Fri 04-Mar-11 13:13:31

NC,do your research,foi if required.how many similar cases did other HA operate upon?
get figures and comparable eg your Trust Vs other trusts. can they refer to another trust or national hosp
read any documentation eg NICE guidelines, search online journals
specialist library searches

Are nice guidelines being adhered too

nice search page

look at gosh cystic hydroma

start thread on mn?

best wishes

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 13:30:12

Thanks again, will follow your advice. I feel I have already started thread on MN. I have also posted on FB. What is foi?

catinthehat2 Fri 04-Mar-11 13:32:23

Freedom Of Information Act, enables you to reqest information which public bodies may not wish to share with you

scottishmummy Fri 04-Mar-11 13:32:33

Freedom of information, you request to reveal info a trust holds

catinthehat2 Fri 04-Mar-11 13:37:16

try this link to make a request

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 13:42:44

Thanks for your replies, I sure hope more people will join me in this. We need a solution

Eleison Fri 04-Mar-11 13:49:31

Do you think that your role as Official Wife of a Prime Minister/Ex Prime Minister is retrograde? I'm sure you try very hard to make constructive use of your high profile, but is that not outweighed by the spurious sense of presence it creates for women in situations like the last election, where women's votes were courted through slickeries like "the Mumsnet election" but female politicians (and a female presence in the media were marginal?

Do you feel that you are able to use your influence to help movement towards a position where women can speak louder and more effectively in their own right?

FannyFifer Fri 04-Mar-11 14:00:18

Does your husband actually do any work in his constituency, he is paid to represent the people of Kirkcaldy, doing an embarrassingly poor job of it at the minute.
Too busy galavanting instead of working for those of us paying his wage.

NurseCuppy are you in Browns constituency, have you written to him?

ajandjjmum Fri 04-Mar-11 14:06:13

I really think the photograph on the front of your book is beautiful.

Nothing to say about politics.

nursecuppy Fri 04-Mar-11 14:15:28

Hi, no unfortunatley we are not in Browns constituency, but I have contacted my local MP. I am awaiting a reply

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