Saturday, 2 April 2011

Public meeting against the Health and Social Care Bill, 19.4.11

Huddersfield Healthcare UNISON Branch is sponsoring a public meeting against the Bill. It is being held on Tuesday, 19th April, 2011, at the Methodist Mission, Lord Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1QA.
I have a leaflet for distribution to all your contacts and this can be e-mailed to you on request. In addition to myself, there will also be a GP and a Hospital Doctor as speakers.
Come along and find out more about the dangers of the Bill and what you can do to help fight against it.

Paul Cooney
07584 311701

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Viridis Lumen: Payback Time for Our Bastards

Viridis Lumen: Payback Time for Our Bastards: "'He may be a bastard, but he's our bastard.' So US President FD Roosevelt famously said of the blood soaked dictator of the Dominican Republ..."

Sunday, 13 February 2011

False evidence

Please look at this link to "Bad Science", by Ben Goldacre. It shows that the Government is essentially lying by providing selective / incomplete evidence to support its plans to ultimately destroy the NHS.

Save our NHS!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Kill the NHS Bill

The Goverment's NHS legislation is the most serious attack on our public services yet. Health Emergency ( is a great source of materials to help us campaign to defeat the bill. Look out for more local campaign details as they arise, including a public meeting which will launch the campaign soon.

Here are "10 reasons to kill the bill" by John Lister.

1. Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill is about much more than handing £80 billion worth of NHS budgets over to unaccountable local consortia of GPs: it’s about opening up the whole of the NHS – both the commissioning and the provision of services – to the private sector. The Bill encourages “any willing provider” to cherry pick profitable slices of NHS services. Existing NHS services will be left with reduced budgets, so many will be forced to close. It’s the biggest-ever privatisation of health care, anywhere in the world, and carried through with no mandate or support from voters, patients or health workers and professionals.

2. This proposal to turn our National Health Service into a National Health Market – with profits for private providers funded through taxpayers’ money – will cost billions to implement, and be far more unequal in its provision of services than the current system. It will save little if any money, as existing public sector managers will replaced by costly private sector consultancies.

3. GP consortia –with their budgets squeezed by the need to generate £20 billion of “efficiency savings” – will become no more than local rationing bodies, restricting access to hospital care, and drawing up ever-longer lists of treatments excluded from the NHS, giving patients a ‘choice’ they didn’t want: between paying privately for care or going without. The postcode lottery on local access to services will be more random than ever.

4. In reality most GPs will not do any of the commissioning themselves. They are not trained, and have no time for this work: and many are being dragged reluctantly into consortia they don’t support. So the consortia will hand the reins over to managers re-employed from Primary Care Trusts, or to private management consultants, who are the only people to have welcomed Lansley’s plans. Already in Hounslow, West London, UnitedHealth has been brought in to cut a consortium’s spending by “managing” (reducing) GP referrals of patients for hospital care – making a nonsense of ‘patient choice’.

5. The Bill means that patients and the public will be even less informed than ever on their local health services, as existing public bodies (Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities) are scrapped and replaced by local GP consortia, that function in secret sessions, and a remote national NHS Commissioning Board. These bodies are being set up without any public consultation or debate. Unlike PCTs and SHAs, they will meet behind closed doors with press and public excluded. They will not publish board papers, and will have only one token public meeting a year.

6. Health care services are to be privatised, with EU competition laws forcing GPs to put any service out to tender to non-profit social enterprises and for-profit companies: Foundation Trusts will be removed from the NHS balance sheet and increasingly obliged by the regulator (an organisation called Monitor) to compete and act like private hospitals. This will require them to close down any of their services which do not make a surplus.

7. All limits on the money Foundation Trusts can earn from private medicine are to be scrapped. But with NHS budgets frozen for four years, and £20bn of ’efficiency savings’ forcing down the price hospitals are paid by the NHS for each item of treatment, this will more or less compel many hospital managers to prioritise attracting wealthy private patients from both home or abroad – rather than providing services for less profitable NHS-funded patients.

8. Price competition is to be introduced in clinical services, despite warnings from all sides (including NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson) that this will trigger a disastrous race to the bottom, undermining the quality of care in just the same way as competitive tendering of hospital cleaning services wrecked hygiene standards in the 1980s and unleashed a wave of MRSA-style infections.

9. The limited “scrutiny” proposals are a fraud: GP consortia and the Commissioning Board will take their decisions in secret, and are not even obliged to go through the motions of consultation. Local people will only be provided with PR spin. There is no statutory right to know what is being discussed, to provide hard information or to explain the financial situation to local communities. Council “Health and Wellbeing:” committees will only offer token public involvement. And the “Local Healthwatch” bodies set up by the Bill will be ineffective advice and information bodies only, with limited local independence.

10. Almost nobody who knows anything about health care has supported Lansley’s plans. The Bill breaks the Conservative pledge of “no more top-down reforms” and was in neither coalition party’s election manifesto. Lansley has chosen to ignore not only the health unions and the TUC, but also a majority of GPs, and virtually every organisation of health professionals, including the Royal College of GPs and the BMA and almost every think-tank and serious academic. Even his Conservative party colleagues on the Commons Health Committee have been critical. Only private sector providers and management consultancies have welcomed these proposals. They can see profits: for the rest of us the Bill threatens the fragmentation of our most popular public service. That’s why Lansley must be stopped. It’s time for urgent political action to Kill Lansley’s Bill.

John Lister
Health Emergency. 23 Jan 2011

Multiculturalism: Cameron's statement

Ian Brooke wrote the following response to David Cameron's statement to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner and I agree with Ian's comments.

"It is reprehensible that PM David Cameron should pick a security conference on the day of the EDL march in Luton to condemn multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism is precisely that, different cultures living side by side, at times overlapping, at times intermixing and maintaining their own identity, which is what we enjoy in Huddersfield.
In calling for the demise of multiculturalism he panders to the most negative and at times dangerous elements of the human psyche.
How does he expect Muslims to integrate? Does he demand that they go to church on a Sunday and get drunk on a Friday night? Does he not realize that the majority Muslim community harbours no sectarian or extreme intention but merely wish to get on with their lives, lives that still hold dear the values of hard work and family life that have been lost to large sections of the white community?

Do those Muslims who work or go to college not interact with the wider community and is not a tendency to ignorance and insularity not common to many communities, both immigrant and indigenous?
Contrary to Mr Cameron’s assertion there is no one British identity. The culture of a northern working class estate is markedly different from the middle England commuter belt of the city of London. This is the way of the world: diversity.
Mr Cameron’s comments represent nothing more than an attempt to distract people from the crimes of his government, to reinforce the image of the ‘other’, the enemy without and within as a smokescreen to the damage that is being done by the political elite to the very fabric of our society and to millions of lives irrespective of origin, colour or religion.
His comments are of the worst hypocrisy, considering that it has been British foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan that has stoked the fires of extremism, as we warned they would. It is his policies now that run the risk of creating a lost generation devoid of opportunities or hope.
We are all different and all the same united by our love for our children and fear of the future with more in common than different. To attempt to portray all Muslims as terrorists is as insane as suggesting that the bulk of English people live up to the stereotype of drunkenness and football hooliganism.
The complexities of multiculturalism are difficult for some who want simple answers and not to have to fathom such detail, yet in those complexities lay a rich warp and weft of society that emblazons the tapestry of life with a brighter hue."
Ian Brooke

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Radical thoughts, comments and ideas on the problems of the society in which we live

The purpose of this blog is to communicate radical analysis, comments and ideas on the issues which are facing us. It will focus mainly on politics and economics as these are the means by which ordinary people are controlled by the "establishment elite" of this country and beyond.

Comments are welcomed and most will hopefully be published but I will apply moderation prior to publication.