There was bound to be a big debate around the award of a CBE to Julie Bailey, who did so much of the work to blow the whistle on the scandal at Stafford Hospital.
Was it right for someone who led a campaign to be made just one rank down from a dame? The honours committee thought so, as did many other supporters, who believe she helped shine a light on something that had been going on for years with nowhere near enough scrutiny from those in charge.
She certainly suffered too. The backlash against her by those who believe Stafford Hospital was not as bad as campaigners said was enough to force her to leave her business and her home town behind.
And the sheer vitriol and personal abuse levelled at Miss Bailey, who lost her mother at Stafford Hospital, by some of her critics this week is nothing short of shocking.
Among those who raise questions over whether she deserves to be a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire are those who have clearly gone too far.
As well as the various f-words used in reaction to the award was one Twitter user who wrote: “I’d never step foot anywhere near the hospital again, I reckon someone would kill her lol.”
The “lol”, for anyone not experienced in text and tweet-speak means “laugh out loud”, presumably used to imply the preceding comment was a joke, albeit not a remotely funny one.
What appears to have upset a lot of the critics is what is to become of Stafford Hospital since the public inquiries Julie Bailey and her colleagues in Cure The NHS fought to secure.
The site faces being stripped of many of its front-line services, such as maternity, while the scandal of poor care and needless deaths has put medical staff off wanting to work there.
But all that Cure The NHS ever did was fight to get to the bottom of what happened to patients and loved ones and call for better standards of care.
That quest does not need to be in any way at odds with the campaign to keep vital health services in a major town like Stafford. It is up to the government and the people at the top of the NHS to give the site a future where it meets the needs of patients. They are the ones paid handsomely to come up with the solution and they will be the ones at fault if it does not work.
Blaming Julie Bailey for the downgrade is like accusing someone who dials 999 for help of being responsible for the ambulance crashing en route.
Selection row is the last thing Lib Dems need
After decades of service, former Wolverhampton mayor Malcolm Gwinnett has been dropped as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Spring Vale in the May elections.
Councillor Gwinnett, who has been a vocal campaigner for improvements in the city in terms of regeneration and investment, is to be replaced by Tom Stokes, who has been very active over the past 18 months despite not getting a penny for his work.
It is a shame that, politics being what they are, the party has seen fit to make a choice between them. Councillor Gwinnett feels “aggrieved” and “stabbed in the back”.
There are now just three Liberal Democrat members serving on Wolverhampton City Council – so few they could almost hold their meetings in a phone box.
If they are to avoid losing ground in their only ward in Wolverhampton they need everyone pulling together like never before.Subscribe to our Newsletter