- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat(Conservative) coalition government – the ConDems’ – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
ConDem scum plans to destroy the NHS are coming to fruition following the passing of the Destroy the NHS / Health and Social Care Act. Hospitals can now be deemed bankrupt and shut down or given to private companies.
An NHS hospital trust which is losing more than £1m a week is set to be taken over by a Government appointed administrator with the power to sack staff and cut services as part of a radical restructuring programme.
In a controversial move, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has written to the board of the South London Healthcare Trust warning them he intends to trigger an “unsustainable providers regime”.The move means the trust, which runs the Queen Mary Hospital in Sidcup, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley will be taken over by a “special administrator” with wide ranging powers to cut costs.
It is the first time that the powers have ever been used and are likely to result in significant reductions in staff and services which the Department of Health admits will be “unsettling”.
An NHS trust told by inspectors that it has “some way to go” before it is delivering an acceptable level of care has been identified by the government as the next one that may be placed in a form of special measures.
As the BMA warned that financial crises in a series of trusts should serve as a “wake up call”, sources at the Department of Health said the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust in north-east London could be placed in the regime designed to rescue failing trusts.
That follows the announcement on Monday by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, that South London Healthcare Trust, which runs three hospitals in south-east London, is on course to become the first trust to be placed in the “unsustainable providers regime”.
Ministers blamed the decision on a £150m deficit dating back to a £2.5bn deal, signed by the last government under the private finance initiative (PFI), to rebuild the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University hospital in Orpington.
More than 30 NHS trusts could be forced to merge, devolve services into the community and make job cuts as part of a radical restructuring of hospital care across England.
Yesterday, the Department of Health said it considered 21 hospitals to be “clinically and financially unsustainable” and in need of reform.
However, the list did not include another five foundation hospitals – run independently – which are also considered to be failing financially. A further five foundation hospitals also have severe financial problems.
Across the public sector, taxpayers are committed to paying £229bn for hospitals, schools, roads and other projects with a capital value of £56bn.
But [insane divorced-from-reality fantasist] former Prime Minister Tony Blair told Sky News the contribution PFI had made to rebuilding the country’s infrastructure was “immense”.
“PFI has been copied around the world,” he said. “I am sure, as with any system, you will get a situation when sometimes it doesn’t work or people will get into difficulty as they do in the non PFI situations, but if you look at PFI overall and what it delivered in terms of hospitals, schools and renovations to the infrastructure of the country it has been immense.”
The government’s contentious NHS reforms are an “unnecessary and unwanted” upheaval, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said.
BMA chairman of council Dr Hamish Meldrum warned ministers that the union would hold them to account “every step of the way” as the legislation rolls out across the country, the Press Association reported.
The Health and Social Care Act became law in March after a tortuous passage through Parliament.
Referring to the “monster” legislation, Dr Meldrum told the BMA’s annual conference in Bournemouth: “The NHS in England is going through its biggest – and most unnecessary and unwanted – upheaval for a generation, following the passing into law of the Health and Social Care Act.”
He added: “The BMA will be monitoring closely what is happening to the NHS, what is happening to services, what is happening in terms of privatisation, what is happening to commissioning and the big companies who want to take it over – and we will hold you to account every step of the way.
“We will never give up on our NHS.”
What Britain now has is a blue-orange coalition, with the little-knownOrange Book forming the core of current Lib Dem political thinking. To understand how this disreputable arrangement has come about, we need to examine the philosophy laid out in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism, edited by David Laws (now the Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Paul Marshall. Particularly interesting are the contributions of the Lib Dems’ present leadership.
Published in 2004, the Orange Book marked the start of the slow decline of progressive values in the Lib Dems and the gradual abandonment of social market values. It also provided the ideological standpoint around which the party’s right wing was able to coalesce and begin their march to power in the Lib Dems. What is remarkable is the failure of former SDP and Labour elements to sound warning bells about the direction the party was taking. Former Labour ministers such as Shirley Williams and Tom McNally should be ashamed of their inaction.
Clegg and his Lib Dem supporters have much in common with David Cameron and his allies in their philosophical approach and with their social liberal solutions to society’s perceived ills. The Orange Book is predicated on an abiding belief in the free market’s ability to address issues such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government and prisons.
The Lib Dem leadership seems to sit very easily in the Tory-led coalition. This is an arranged marriage between partners of a similar background and belief. Even the Tory-Whig coalition of early 1780s, although its members were from the same class, at least had fundamental political differences. Now we see a Government made up of a single elite that has previously manifested itself as two separate political parties and which is divided more by subtle shades of opinion than any profound ideological difference.