The Mirror reports that Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Burnham has called for the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill to be dropped.
Boston & Skegness Conservative MP Mark Simmonds is paid £50,000 a year to advise a private health firm that stands to make a fortune under Coalition plans for the NHS. Further similar revelations about the motivations of MPs would be useful.
More on the NHS Croydon £25Million black hole.
We start with some simple points of agreement. The brutal cuts to services about to be inflicted by the current Government are unnecessary, unfair and ideologically motivated. The coalition are particularly fond of two obscene catchphrases: ‘There is no alternative’ and ‘We’re all in this together.’ Both slogans are empty and untrue. The cuts will dismantle the welfare state, send inequality sky-rocketing and hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. A cabinet of millionaires have decided that libraries, healthcare, education funding, voluntary services, sports, the environment, the disabled, the poor and the elderly must pay the price for the recklessness of the rich.
Austerity-economics is the policy of the powerful. It cannot be stopped by asking nicely. We cannot wait until the next election. If we want to win the fight against these cuts (and we can win) then we must make it impossible to ignore our arguments and impossible to resist our demands. This means building a powerful grassroots mass movement, able to resist the Government cuts at every turn.
“There is no alternative.”
We are told that the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut public services. This is certainly not the case. There are alternatives, but the government chooses to ignore them, highlighting the fact that the cuts are based on ideology, not necessity.
- One alternative is to clamp down on tax avoidance by corporations and the rich and tax evasion, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
- Another is to make the banks pay for free insurance provided to them by the taxpayer: a chief executive at the Bank of England put the cost of this subsidy at £100bn in a single year
“We are all in this together.”
- average pay of FTSE 100 directors has risen 55%,
- corporation tax has been cut,
- the government have not delivered on a manifesto pledge to clamp down on tax avoidance, instead cutting staff at HMRC,
- bank profits and bonuses are back in the many billions (last year banks paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit),
- there has been no reform of the banks.
David Cameron himself has said that the cuts will change Britain’s “whole way of life”. Every aspect of what was fought for by generations seems under threat – from selling off the forests, privatising health provision, closing the libraries and swimming pools, to scrapping rural bus routes. What Cameron doesn’t say is that the cuts will also disproportionately hit the poor and vulnerable, with cuts to housing benefit, disability living allowance, the childcare element of working tax credits, EMA, the Every Child a Reader programme, Sure Start and the Future Jobs Fund to name a few.
The facts speak for themselves; we are not all in this together, we are paying for the folly of reckless bankers whilst the rich profit.
The government are forced to claim that there is no alternative to making drastic public sector cuts as they know that people would never accept their plan otherwise. By repeating the same lies over and over again, they hope to brainwash people into inaction.
There are alternatives to the cuts, and we are not all in this together. But unless we take action, and take the facts to our friends, our families and those around us, they will get away with it.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
WHEN he was looking for votes, David Cameron made a simple promise on the NHS: If he became PM, there would be no more top-down re-organisations.
He even put it in the Coalition Agreement. But after entering No10, he ordered the biggest and most dangerous upheaval of the NHS since it began in 1948.
GPs don’t want it. Nurses don’t want it. But, most importantly, patients don’t want it – because they can all see it spells the end of the NHS as we know it.
Nye Bevan famously said there would be an NHS for “as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it”.
Now that fight is upon us – and I know Mirror readers will sign the petition to save the NHS from this damaging “reform”. Our aim is to rally people in a deafening roar. It’s time for the Government to put the NHS first. It’s time to Drop the Bill.
A SKEGNESS councillor has accused a local Conservative MP of walking a dangerous ethical minefield after it was reported that he is paid £50,000 a year to advise a private health firm that stands to make a fortune under Coalition plans for the NHS.
Last week the national press revealed that Boston & Skegness member Mark Simmonds is paid £400 an hour to advise Circle Health, which was the first firm to win control of an NHS hospital under government reforms.
Mr Simmonds has stressed that his involvement with Circle Health is on his official register of interests in parliament and that no rules have been broken.
But Skegness Coun Mark Anderson has spoken of his shock at the news, and has branded it a worrying conflict of interests.
“I’m obviously very concerned about his involvement in this at a time when our own local health care, such as Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, is having such difficulties.
“There are so many problems at Pilgrim Hospital and he’s even made a statement before that he wouldn’t send his own family there in its current state – and yet he lets his own constituents continue to go there while he’s earning money from private care.
“There are ethical questions here. It’s a sad reflection – it looks like he’s using his position as MP.”
Millions of pounds will have to be cut from NHS budgets after a massive hole was discovered in the finances of a neighbouring trust.
Independent auditors were called into NHS Croydon after a deficit of up to £25m was discovered by its financial team.
NHS Kingston will not be asked to bail out the trust but neighbouring NHS Richmond will be asked to increase the surplus it makes this year from £4.2m to £5.6m. Another trust, NHS Wandsworth, will be asked to find £14.5m, up from its original target of £12.3m.
Health campaigner Geoff Martin, of London Health Emergency, said: “In the run-up to the busy winter months, NHS Croydon patients will die unnecessarily as a result of this.
“I think the people who created this crisis and have presided over it should be forced to resign.”
NHS Kingston has been temporarily merged with Croydon, Richmond, Sutton and Merton, and Wandsworth in the run-up to spending power being fully handed over to GP commissioners next April.
A spokesman for the new organisation, called NHS South West London, admitted it had a “significant budgetary challenge” and was developing an action plan to get back into the black, using existing financial resources if possible.
The trusts are already trying to find £64.5m in savings out of their joint £2.2bn budget as part of a review of healthcare in south-west London.