There is Another World

by craig on August 12, 2014 11:21 am in Uncategorized

Resigning minister Mark Simmonds earnt 417 pounds an hour for his “consultancy” work for Circle Healthcare, a group looking to profit from the massive privatisation of NHS services and functions. He had to give it up during his time as Minsiter, but presumably can now go back to it. Simmonds gets 50,000 a year from Circle, broken down into 12,500 payments once a quarter, for ten hours a month. That is 417 pounds an hour.

This is blatant corruption. Simmonds has no great expertise worth that money, it is simply that the private healthcare industry is buying the MPs who will vote to privatise areas of the NHS to them. New Labour are just as bad as the Tories. Alistair Darling received 12,000 pounds for one after dinner speech to Cinven Ltd, a firm which does nothing but benefit from privatisation of NHS services. Was it because Alistair Darling is just the entertainment people want after a good dinner? No, they were buying his vote. New Labour and Tory MPs are both up to their eyeballs in NHS privatisation money.

It is the same with defence spending. Lord Taylor of Blackburn epitomises the rampant corruption in this area the professional in infant education who earned hundreds of thousands of pounds as a “consultant” to British Aerospace. This blog now has ten times more regular readers than it did when I wrote this article, and I beg of you to click the link and read it. It may open some eyes.

Simmonds has come into the spotlight by resigning on the pretext that his total salary and expenses as an MP in 2012-13 of 271,000 pounds – including a 25,000 for his “secretary” wife and 32,500 in rental allowance – were not enough for him to be able to live a family life in London. This man voted for the benefit cap that limits the total income of families on benefits to 26,000 pounds – that is under ten per cent of the amount which is inadequate for his family to live on. These bastards really do live in another world.

In their world, however, all is good and foodbanks are a sign of a healthy society. This will take your breath away.

heartlessbastards

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139 Comments

  1. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 11:29 am

    Corruption indeed. But people keep voting for them again and again. The latest MP expenses scandal would have put any decent voter off voting for any of them. But we keep seeing their faces in Westminster again and again.

    It is either them are to smart or us are too stupid.

  2. Sadly some of the poorest people in Scotland will vote No because they believe the scare stories from Labour and Project Fear.

  3. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 11:37 am

    So who’s using them as a political football there, then? Love it.

    Simmons is almost certainly missing the £50K per annum he received for his valuable work for Circle Healthcare until he became a minister in 2012 and had to drop it. Aaah.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11224

    Guess he’s been made an offer he can’t refuse.

    (Little update on our leaders’ penchant for the most expensive travel available – while serving – on ‘Apocalypse Blair’)

  4. A trougher of the first order.

    HOW MP ‘RECEIVED MORE THAN £500,000 FROM EXPENSES SYSTEM’
    Six months after becoming an MP, Mr Simmonds was said to have bought a four-bedroom terraced house (below, centre) in Putney, south-west London, for £650,000.
    Mr Simmonds’s house in Putney
    Its mortgage interest was paid by taxpayers from 2001 and 2009, with the MP claiming more than £2,000 a month to cover the cost, reported the Daily Telegraph.
    Following the expenses scandal in 2009, a rule change meant Mr Simmonds could only now claim for renting in London – instead of claiming for the mortgage interest on his Putney home.
    Property records show he sold the house soon after for £1,187,500 in December 2010, which represented a rise of more than £500,000 on what he had paid almost a decade ago.
    An estate agents’ description from 2010 which can still be viewed on property website Zoopla described the house as a ‘spacious and well-presented terraced family home’.
    The value of the house is now £1,742,500 – a further increase of more than £500,000.
    Asked if his expenses claims were in order under the old system, Mr Simmonds said: ‘I was one of those who was not involved at all.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722470/Foreign-Office-minister-Mark-Simmonds-quits-Government-moans-I-just-live-London-120-000.html

    I think you should say ‘earnt’ Craig. He gave up his association with Circle Health (who took over the running of Hinchingbroke Hospital) when he was outed.

    ‘Strategic adviser to Circle Healthcare (social enterprise), 42 Welbeck Street, London W1. Ceased 4 September 2012 on Ministerial appointment.
    June 2012, £12,500 quarterly fee received. Hours: 10 hrs per month. (Registered 26 July 2012)
    5 October 2012, £8,890 received for the period 1 July 2012 to 4 September 2012. Hours: 10 hrs. (Registered 16 October 2012)’

    He still has his chairmanship of posh W1 chartered surveyors Mortlock Simmonds Brown.
    Himself, wife and a Mr Brown.
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/04402906/MORTLOCK-SIMMONDS-BROWN-LTD/directors-secretaries

    Mu comment yesterday:
    11 Aug, 2014 – 4:36 pm
    O/T Baroness Warsi’s thread is too far down but another one hits the dust.

    Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds resigns
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28737781

    I see he was hauled over the coals by the Parliamentary Commissioner for this.
    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/Mr%20Mark%20Simmonds%20MP.pdf

  5. I heard him on R4 yesterday. It boiled down to him being in a hotel on his own being boring and he doesn’t want to commute.

    He’s part of a government that’s been forcing families out of their homes with the bedroom penalty. Seen individuals in the UK starving to death because of benefit changes. One man freezing to death outside a building marked for demolition because squatting in it was made illegal.

    He voted for the Iraq war – how many families have been blown to pieces because of that.

    Yet he is the one with a gripe. Who hasn’t been treated fairly in all this… and thinks everyone with a family will sympathise with him.

  6. Baal,Je

    Thanks. Updated to make the position clearer

  7. The case is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The only revelation is that it is so widespread, way beyond what we ever thought. How to stop it? Old fashioned methods like street protests seem pointless, and likely to do more harm to the protesters if Boris gets his water cannon out. Can we somehow turn the tables by using the press and social media to evidence large scale public disgust?

  8. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 11:52 am

    It’s nice to see the effects of the London property bubble inconveniencing one of its architects, but is he quite sure he can’t afford a half-share in a rented garden shed in Ongar? I don’t think he’s considered all his alternatives.

  9. Couldn’t agree more. Well said. It is truly amazing that we are either so powerless or so stupid that they continue to get away with it. Thirty years ago I sat next to a Conservative leader of the House Of Lords at a dinner to which he had been invited to speak. Knowing that Lords were only paid an attendance fee, and being totally naive, I asked him how he earned his living. I’m a Lord he spluttered three or four times. But surely you can’t live on your attendance allowance, I said. I represent the interests of companies he explained, and then went on to describe what in my view, and I suspect, anyone else’s view, could only ever be described as corruption. The man was a hereditary peer who had done sweet FA in his life except take. These are the sort of people who sit in judgement on the poor and unfortunate. Who put their own good fortune down to their wholly undeserved high opinions which they have of themselves. Ian Duncan Smith reminds me of this chap every time I see of hear of him. I used to be a supporter of the Conservative party and a member. I was on committees, fundraising and the like. What a gullible twat I was, because I don’t think they were any different then than I can see they are now. The others are no different. There is no way to change it I fear. The whole rotten edifice will have to collapse into a pit of shit and be reborn anew, and that will be unpleasant painful and take a long time to work through. Lifetimes. Sorry to rant and to be negative. You tell it like it is Craig, thank you for that, and for your past bravery which brings you to where you now are

  10. You’re absolutely right, Craig. £400 an hour for a share of a prize as big as a privatised NHS? £12,000 for a speech to the same end? Disgraceful! I’d never do it. ONE MILLION and not a penny less. Think I’m cheap, or what? :)

  11. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Iain Hill

    This will not be effective. Majority of people in Britain are politically apathetic not at least because their income covers (more or less) their needs (mortgage, groceries, holidays, car(s), etc.). So majority of people in Britain are OK with this limited choice (one of two or in some cases three) which they are offered every 4-5 years. It does not matter if Mr Smith is a Lord or Mr Jones both will earn from consultancy anyway.

    The great move could be to discontinue House of Lords altogether. At least this will make British society few leaches less.

  12. Miss Castello

    12 Aug, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    ‘Better Together Aberdeenshire’: “enriching example of human compassion”

    Utter Bollox. Now eat that.

  13. We may mock this defence of foodbanks, but mockery is too easy. Some examination is interesting. The whole statement reads, quite genuinely, as the viewpoint of an ignorant, possibly mentally unstable, individual. The kind of person who, when released from prison, gravitates to authoritarian fringe groups. The kind of person who literally has psychiatric issues, which, left untreated, causes him to be a problem for society. On careful consideration, it reads like the kind of thing Blair said, routinely. It has a kind of surface plausibility, if you aren’t paying attention, but closer scrutiny is revealing.

    “Far from being a failure they are an enriching example of human compassion, faith and social cohesion.”

    Is entirely nuts. It’s not even about rejecting the welfare state – a mere ideological position – it is actually a statement which assumes the entire non-existence of the welfare state. The welfare state has – miraculously – been made invisible. Food banks are better than nothing, sure, but the welfare state isn’t nothing.

    “Using them [foodbanks] as a simplistic political football insults the people who contribute, who run and who use them”.

    According to this piece of bonkers, the existence of foodbanks should be ‘above’ politics. It is not explained why. The fact that people live in poverty and need foodbanks is, I should think, a matter for society to worry about, and thus a matter for politicians to discuss. Now, the politician in question may be a corrupt, self-aggrandizing nobody – many are – but the subject itself if not out-of-bounds. To state otherwise is completely insane.

    I think this whole statement is relevant, because, routinely, I see shallow, myopic bullshit passed off as ‘serious’ political discussion. It’s endemic. Tony Abott can barely grin and sound-bite at the same time, yet his weird neoconism is treated seriously and soberly. Nope. It’s nuts. The loons have taken over, for sure.

  14. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    Miss Castello

    As always to get more or less objective view one needs to look at a problem from two (or more) different angles.

    Feeding poor is in fact act of human compassion. The problem here is condition of existence of poor who cannot afford to buy food and thus the need for this compassion.

    Now, how SNP is going to end foodbanks (if they indeed determined to do it)? Are they going to ensure that those poor are paid more (or made spend less on other things) so that they have enough to buy food? Are they going to make food cheaper? Are they going to get rid of poor (by shipping them to England)?

    We will live and see indeed.

  15. Dr Chand is a good man and a GP.

    Privatisation is ripping the NHS from our hands
    The notion that competition promotes excellence and market forces breed efficiency is a myth
    • NHS is on the brink of extinction – we need to shout about it
    • Outsourcing in the NHS – your views
    Kailash Chand
    6 August 2014

    Bunch of cherries
    ‘The commissioning system makes it easy for private providers to cherry-pick tasks ensure they maximise their income and overall profit,’ writes Kailash Chand. Photograph: Zoran Milovanovic/Alamy

    Last year, a majority of new contracts to provide NHS services went to private companies. Most of these private companies hide behind the NHS logo but siphon off a profit. Collectively, such providers received more than £10bn from the public coffers in 2013. And according to the Financial Times, around £5.8bn of NHS work is currently being advertised to the private sector, a 14% increase on a year earlier.

    Clinical commissioning group (CCG) leaders do not consider that privatisation is their main agenda. They do admit, however, that they face difficult decisions regarding the need to tender which, in a nutshell, is a tool for commissioners to facilitate competition. Promoters of the concept of Any Qualified Provider who indulge in marketisation do so under the false belief that this achieves better health outcomes, which flies in the face of both the theory as well as overwhelming evidence that equity, efficiency and equilibrium of the NHS are adversely affected.

    For the last two decades, the leaders of all major political parties have been wedded to the concept of the marketisation of healthcare. Do they seriously believe that private healthcare companies would not put profits before patients? The idea that competition breeds excellence and market forces drive efficiency is a myth. There is not an iota of evidence that the costs go down and efficiency improves when private companies deliver NHS care. Costs increase and services may well get worse. Already we have seen major companies such as Serco criticised for failing to report accurately on their performance. An NHS contract for elective services with the private company Clinicenta was terminated due to poor quality care. It was bought out at great expense to the taxpayer and taken back in-house by the NHS. The commissioning system makes it easy for private providers to cherry-pick tasks to ensure they maximise their income and overall profit from the NHS while minimising their costs. It must be largely paid for by some kind of central taxation like the NHS, or an insurance scheme like in the US and other developed countries. This means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what is affordable.

    /..
    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2014/aug/06/privatisation-ripping-nhs-from-our-hands

  16. This is two years old. There are probably many more now. See the links on the LH side too.

    Wednesday, 11 July 2012

    Over 70 MPs Connected to Companies Involved in Private Healthcare

    In total 76 MPs have recent past or present financial links to companies or individuals involved in private healthcare. Of them, 61 are Conservative MPs, 8 are Labour MPs, and 4 are Liberal Democrats, leaving 1 other from the Bishops. This means, 81% of MPs with these links are Conservative.

    The Members financial interests represent every stage of the healthcare value chain from advisors to private equity firms funding the private healthcare companies, to having shares in those same companies.

    They are Chairman of estate companies involved in PFI deals, partners in legal firms that make those deals, advisors to private hospitals, they represent companies in pharmaceutical media, medical equipment, care homes, lobbying, and insurance. You name it, they have it covered and the list of vested interests in both the Commons and the Lords is so great, that it can best be described as a healthcare coup d’état of our parliamentary institutions.

    These parliamentarians coupled with the 142 Lords with the same interests, make a total of 206 parliamentarians with financial links to companies involved in healthcare.

    All of these public servants were allowed to vote on the Health and Social Care bill, helping it pass into Act.

    Recent released research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed 124 members of the House of Lords ‘benefit’ from the financial industry.

    Several of these Peers are linked to the Healthcare companies and many of these companies will be funding the private healthcare companies that threaten the very existence of the NHS.

    /..

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/over-60-mps-connected-to-companies.html

  17. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Mary

    Once Tories effectively ended social housing by introducing wholesale privatisation. This time Tories (as it seems) will effectively end NHS by slow but consistent privatisation.

    Interestingly, whenever there is a debate about healthcare every commentators try to compare to the healthcare in the US (which in my opinion is as segregated as their society was) but no one has even mentioned our good neighbours Germany and France which seem to be able to provide better quality healthcare and spend considerably lower on it.

    I say start with reducing pay to the doctors and consultants. Why should nurse or midwife whose working hours are as long as of the doctors exists on fraction of the money paid to the latter? Why doctor in Germany or France is able to deliver better quality for smaller pay? Are we overpaying our doctors?

  18. Uzbek in the UK, 11:29 am:

    “But people keep voting for them again and again [...] we keep seeing their faces in Westminster [...] It is either them are to smart or us are too stupid.”

    It’s the voting system (which favours well-established parties), the corporate media (which favours corporate interests), and the lack of time most voters have for working out what the real problems are.

  19. The foodbank thing – that is rather splending contortionist reasoning – food banks are a good sign, it shows we care as a society.

    Funny how the sticking plaster is seen as the thing to praise whilst ignoring the festering wound beneath.

    I do wonder how likely NHS privatisation is: Its a great threat to keep people occupied whilst decimating the rest of the country. Keep people occupied with defending ‘their’ NHS and they have less energy to oppose the surveillance state, the military-industrial-political state or many more.

    The NHS is also a nice tool to stoke xenophobia – all these stories of health care tourism etc.

  20. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Why one can no longer afford a desirable residence appropriate to one’s overwhelming importance and uniqueness in SW1:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722830/Average-house-prices-central-London-hit-1-6m-capital-s-property-boom-shows-no-sign-slowing.html

    And the bugger is a chartered surveyor, too…FACT.

  21. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 1:56 pm

    Clark

    It is easy to dismiss everything on conspiracy. Average British voter has million times better chances of influencing elections outcome than average Uzbek voter and thousand times more than average Russian voter. It is just petty that “the lack of time” stands on their way.

  22. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Why exactly are you so concerned with London property markets? Have you had your eye on that nice 2 bed semi which went to the overseas “investor” for the price you could not afford?

    There is another dirty trick behind this. Not so long ago friends of my found nice property in one of east London suburbs that they wanted to buy. They put an offer on it (250K) and when so called chartered surveyor (from Countrywide) wanted to value the property he undervalued it by 30K. So all this hype about fast growing London property market was just a b..ll sh..t for him. Friends of mine could not afford the property as they could not find another 30K cash at the top of their deposit. It went to the overseas “investor” or as they call it “cash buyer” for 250K. Now possibly because of this bastard who swiped them off the property and made it to be sold to the cash buyer friends of mine have been left (possibly for lifetime) as tenants of their apartment for which they pay year after year increasing rent, so that their landlord (quite possibly) could save enough cash to buy yet another BTL property.

    After hearing that from my friends I started reading about chartered surveyors scumbags and found that most of them (and particularly those from Countrywide) down value properties on purpose. One is to save their own back in case property is sold as repossessed. Two is that by down valuing property buyers will then need to take down valued amount off their deposit and apply for higher LTV and thus higher APR mortgages.

    The winners of this scam and the banks and cash buyers. And scumbag chartered surveyors who gets their £400 from the buyers who have been f..cked by him.

  23. Corruption indeed. But people keep voting for them again and again. The latest MP expenses scandal would have put any decent voter off voting for any of them.

    UITU shows a clear disdain for the standard issue UK citizen, whom does not take their “democratic” and “civic” duties seriously enough, and just goes on to vote willy-nilly any old corrupt and useless MP into the parliament.

    …Majority of people in Britain are politically apathetic not at least because their income covers (more or less) their needs (mortgage, groceries, holidays, car(s), etc.). So majority of people in Britain are OK with this limited choice (one of two or in some cases three) which they are offered every 4-5 years. It does not matter if Mr Smith is a Lord or Mr Jones both will earn from consultancy anyway.

    UITU then reiterates the disdain by further elaborating about the politically “apathetic” UK citizens, and further throws in a bit of sound bite about the House of Lords and leeches, that effectively reflects the rewards (serves them right) for the “apathy” of said citizenry.

    Then goes on about;

    Feeding poor is in fact act of human compassion. The problem here is condition of existence of poor who cannot afford to buy food and thus the need for this compassion.

    This is clearly in contradiction to the earlier contentment of the “apathetic” UK citizens, who are in desperate need of compassion translated into feeding them because they cannot afford to eat. (human rights anyone?)

    Now, how SNP is going to end foodbanks (if they indeed determined to do it)? Are they going to ensure that those poor are paid more (or made spend less on other things) so that they have enough to buy food? Are they going to make food cheaper? Are they going to get rid of poor (by shipping them to England)?

    Then comes a swipe at SNP and if they can “end food banks”?

    Conclusion;

    UITU is the latest in the line of master races, who are all knowing, all sentient, all wise, and all ……. These can see the “apathetic” UK citizens whom have everything and never manage to get out of their home and tick a box and make their lot much better, how thick these Brits can be?

    As ever the fact that UITU has no idea about the whole concept of the voluntary indentured slavery as practised in UK, seeing as UITU has been educated by reading DM, and various other Telegraphs etc, along with watching BBC thus the sound bite wisdom regurgitated, without any attention to the detail: can the whole lot of the Britons be as thick as UIUK would have them to be?

    Finally is UIUK part of the problem or a solution to the problem, somehow is never entertained, although there seems to be a thread of misanthropy and hating the fellow man as part and parcel of UIUK teachings.

  24. ‘Here’s a scary prospect:

    The NHS being carved up by more and more private companies. Coke or other mega corporations taking our government to the cleaners because they don’t like how strict our laws are.

    Sound far-fetched? A huge new trade deal is being negotiated right now between the US and the EU, that could make that scary prospect a reality. [1] The deal’s called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – its a fancy name for a sinister trade deal.

    Under the deal, US healthcare companies trying to provide NHS services could sue our government for passing a law to put a stop to privatisation. Or big businesses could sue the government for raising the minimum wage – if it hurts their profits. [2]

    Business Minister Vince Cable’s department is in charge of TTIP in the UK. He’ll decide what we sign up to – he could make or break the deal. If he hears how important TTIP is to the public, he might do the right thing and fix or scrap TTIP.

    A huge petition is the first step in showing Vince that we’re watching him closely. Can you take two minutes to add your name to a petition telling him to fix or scrap TTIP now? Click here:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/petition-ttip

    It’d be easy to fix this deal. Vince could take a stand against businesses being able to sue the government, like Germany has done recently. [3] Or he could call for the NHS and public services to be completely removed from the deal, like the French government did when they got some areas excluded. [4]

    So let’s push TTIP into the spotlight and force Vince’s hand. Already thousands of us have chipped in and raised £100,000 for an ad campaign launching in the Autumn. But we need to keep the pressure mounting. We need to tell Vince Cable to fix or scrap this deal.’

    Click here to add your name to the petition:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/petition-ttip

    NOTES:
    [1] The Independent: British sovereignty ‘at risk’ from EU-US trade deal: UK in danger of surrendering judicial independence to multinational corporations, warn activists:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-sovereignty-at-risk-from-euus-trade-deal-uk-in-danger-of-surrendering-judicial-independence-to-multinational-corporations-warn-activists-9057318.html
    Open Democracy: On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us:
    https://opendemocracy.net/ournhs/john-hilary/on-ttip-and-nhs-they-are-trying-to-bamboozle-us
    [2] Touchstone: Special courts for foreign investors have no place in trade deals:
    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/11/special-courts-for-foreign-investors-have-no-place-in-trade-deals/
    [3] ipolitics: Germany throws down gauntlet in CETA investor state negotiations:
    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/07/27/germany-throws-down-gauntlet-in-ceta-investor-state-negotiations/
    [4] Screen Daily: EU-US free trade talks under fire from filmmakers:
    http://www.screendaily.com/news/eu-us-free-trade-talks-under-fire/5072471.article

  25. Iranian-born Sibel Deniz Edmonds, former FBI whistleblower, commented last week in an interview that Erdogan’s main enemies are not his domestic opponents but big Pharma and Zionist lobby.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/08/11/erdogan-dont-call-me-islamist-president-of-turkey/

  26. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Thanks, Uzbek. I will never be able to buy a property in this country unless the market goes hard astern, so no interest in buying anything in London. Thank you for confirming my worst suspicions re. chartered surveyors. But the property market is a gigantic ripoff from top to bottom. If you’re not buying, the letting agents will charge you for answering your enquiry, these days. There are usually two or three additional fees to pay before you put down your deposit and start paying the inflated rent. And as often as not the cash is going to some plutocrat in Brunei or Delhi.

    WTF has happened to this country?

  27. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    passerby

    “As ever the fact that UITU has no idea about the whole concept of the voluntary indentured slavery as practised in UK, seeing as UITU has been educated by reading DM, and various other Telegraphs etc, along with watching BBC thus the sound bite wisdom regurgitated, without any attention to the detail: can the whole lot of the Britons be as thick as UIUK would have them to be?”

    You could have benefited too from reading something else apart from “little red book”. Meanwhile keep barking here. There is a (Russian) proverb that says “mad dog is barking but caravan is passing by”.

  28. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    Passerby

    I bid you find this sh..t from one mad mass murderer very pragmatic “Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency.”

    What make you better than those fat ass Lords in Westminster? If anything it makes you more cruel.

  29. You could have benefited too from reading something else apart from “little red book”. Meanwhile keep barking here. There is a (Russian) proverb that says “mad dog is barking but caravan is passing by”.

    This one smells of “chosen” kind!

    Insults galore (more misanthropy, and hatred), the rebuttal amounts to “crazed divination” (little red book), and then breaks into Russian proverbs (although Russians are not the favourite race either).

    Back to the question; is UIUK part of the problem, or is UITU a solution to the problem?

    =======

    WTF has happened to this country?

    1- Muslims and immigrants have come to take our jobs, property, women, benefits.

    2- The banking crash and the very cheap money to maintain the “unusual returns” revenue stream has compelled the would be investors to hunt around for alternative modes of investment.

    3- The money is parked in property to make it inflation proof.

    4- The asset strippers are now after the morsels in the proletariats possession starting from their publicly owned structures and to finish with their home and chattel.

    Tick your answer.

  30. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    Ba’al Zevul

    “WTF has happened to this country?”

    I have not lived here long enough but was it every (except short post WWII) any different? Napoleon called England nation of shopkeepers. Buy low sell high, is not it what made greatest and largest empire?

  31. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    I see Alistair Darling gets a mention…

    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/mar/darling-nets-%C2%A3250k-after-dinner-speeches

    OK, he’s no Alastair Campbell, still less a T**y Bl**r, but pretty good beans, and no doubt greater things beckon from the other side of the parliamentary revolving door.

  32. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    U -Yes, you’re probably right. I was brought up in the good times, and now we are reverting to type.

  33. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 2:47 pm

    Passerby

    (although Russians are not the favourite race either).

    Is not this an insult? Criticising Russian government is not equal to hatred towards Russians. Many in KGB/FSB are making this equation but is this really true? If yes, does it not make you British nation hater?

  34. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    “I was brought up in the good times, and now we are reverting to type”

    Here is the answer to your question. Large scale housing building programme. Land is released to the developers. In return good part of the properties goes to the local authorities as social housing. Remaining is sold to first time buyers with low or high deposits with clause that these properties cannot be resold for higher prices until mortgage is paid off fully. This will kill speculation. This will remove first time buyers from the market gradually reducing remaining market to speculators only. And we will then see how prices will quite naturally fall down like bird sh..t.

    Anything else will not work. Forcibly reducing mortgages, increase stamp duty or interests rates, etc. only hits hardworking people hardest.

  35. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    Passerby

    And what do these UIUK and UITU mean?

  36. Republicofscotland

    12 Aug, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    Yip read the foodbank article over on “Wings”, it a disgrace, it seems that because the rest of Europe has foodbanks its somehow okay to have them in Scotland, does the same apply to homeless people, it has gotten to the stage the UK has no aspirations at all, with regards to bettering our society.

    Companies now find it easy to gain access to politicians votes, by paying obscene amounts of money for mediorce after dinner speeches, no wonder “Lobby rhymes with Jobby.”

  37. Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    12 Aug, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    “Companies now find it easy to gain access to politicians votes, by paying obscene amounts of money for mediorce after dinner speeches, no wonder “Lobby rhymes with Jobby”

    It’s either Patronage or Payola for those whose influence can be bought. If you run in elite circles, the temptation to curry favor by incorporating what they want to hear into the mix, insures further bookings.

  38. Republicofscotland

    12 Aug, 2014 - 4:11 pm

    @Ben American.

    Re your comment 3:46.

    What does that say about company heads, when average politicians can woo these industry barons by saying what they want to hear. Sure their first and foremost goal is secure their vote, but you’ve got to wonder about big business and their amoral attitude.

    As for ensuring “Further bookings” I’m of the stance a politician shouldn’t have second jobs, they’re well paid and have an expenses account which reimburses them well. Their main goal is to serve the public’s interests, not their own.

    But hey maybe I’m just old fashioned, or even foolish, who am I to expect a public servant to serve the public, what was I thinking (Says I with head in hands).

  39. Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    12 Aug, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    “As for ensuring “Further bookings” I’m of the stance a politician shouldn’t have second jobs, they’re well paid and have an expenses account which reimburses them well. Their main goal is to serve the public’s interests, not their own”

    RoS; If one thinks the system is redeemable, perhaps more discussions about campaign laws would be called for.

    Publicly (taxpayer) funded campaigns would take the steam out of that boiling pot. Also laws proscribing the ‘revolving door’ between such private enterprises might help. I personally think the system is FUBAR and a complete reboot is necessary.

  40. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 4:17 pm

    And here’s the answer to your answer, Uzbek. No-one’s about to do the obvious and meet demand at a reasonable price because the UK economy depends on structural, inevitable, accelerating inflation* being buried in the housing market. Instead of the pound being worth progressively less, the most expensive essential to life, your house, costs more and more. While the banks pump yet more valueless money into the system, the traders leverage your debt for their own profit, and estate agents immerse their snouts in the delicious gravy.

    While The Markets control the governance of this country, and they do, things will continue to slide. And if The Markets ever stop controlling the country, it will be accompanied by bloodshed. We are not in a good place.

    * due to the only thing we produce surplus to our requirements being imported paper which we have marked with imported printing ink, and, uneaten McDonalds Meals

  41. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    12 Aug, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    O/T – Blair may be in Co. Durham this afternoon. Anyone any idea why, please?

  42. It may of passed those who care that you are only allowed to go to food banks 3 times in six months.
    So its okay for those men and women children to starve?

    Time to change the status quo.

    Keep up the good work.

    Highlander

  43. A lot of them are solicitors and barristers Ben. Many also rack up large incomes from ‘writing’ stuff for the corporate media and ‘speaking’ at conferences and corporate meetings. They have no shame and do not even possess the grace to resign when found out.

  44. Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    12 Aug, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Lawyers can be expected to advertise how much they’ve secured for clients in personal injury cases. That’s what they do. But when they seek public office, there should be some perspective on their careers. It only make sense, but not ‘cents’ to do so.

  45. Republicofscotland

    12 Aug, 2014 - 5:02 pm

    @Ben American 4:16

    Re your comment.

    Is the system redeemable, with regards to Westminster, I’m not so sure, almost not a day goes by, without some news breaking, regarding fiscal corruption or political underhandedness coming out, it would appear (and I’m sure Baroness Warsi would think the same) that Westminster is and forever will be set in its archaic ways.

    As for your second point, it is undoubtedly, connected to your first point in the matter that, he who sets the laws should not bend nor break them to suit himself, its a bit like “Do as I say, not as I do.”

  46. An example Ben. Rory Stewart MP Con Penrith and the Border. Spooky it is said. Look at his extra earnings, mostly literary. Wonder what his connection to Oppenheimer is?

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24964/rory_stewart/penrith_and_the_border#register

    He recently became chair of the Defence Committee and is a member of Liaison Committee (Commons) and Member, National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)

    This entry made me LOL.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=24964

    8 March 2011, £32,650.17 fee from StudioCanal SA for film rights, film options and consultancy services negotiated in 2008. Hours worked: zero. (Registered 30 March 2011)

  47. It may of passed those who care that you are only allowed to go to food banks 3 times in six months.
    So its okay for those men and women children to starve?

    Also going unnoticed is the fact that those who are referred to the food banks, must first qualify as poor (social workers, etc must verify and refer), before the food bank will entertain them.

    Contemporaneous data is as follows;

    A strapping lad of six feet four inches, built like a break outhouse, married with a child, working as a mechanic all hours that god sends, he was starving because he had not eaten for forty eight hours and was surviving on chocolate bars and hot coffees that his mates were buying for him at his works. Simply put the choice was his child to be fed, or for him to eat?

    This is the data that will not be publicised, and will go unnoticed.

    The scandal of working poor who work all the hours they can yet they cannot earn a living.

    ======

    UITU so long as you know it is you!

    You have little to say, and take a lot of space saying it.

    I bet you are a shorty, judging by the hate and bluster you pour, as the other day a Russian guy called you; козел indeed

  48. Republicofscotland

    12 Aug, 2014 - 5:18 pm

    Here it is the giant oilfield, to come online in 2016, its not just idle gossip its true.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZlMLmbgQ4&feature=youtu.be

  49. Relevant in connection with Circle Health. Simmonds was Shadow Minister for Health (6 Jul 2007 to 11 May 2010)

    His apology was skimpy. It did not even mention the name of Circle Health.

    Mark Simmonds (Boston and Skegness, Conservative)
    It has been brought to my attention that on 31 January and 16 March 2011, I inadvertently omitted to draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests relating to strategic advice that I provide to a social enterprise health care provider. I would like to take this opportunity both to correct the record and to apologise.

    Link to this: Individually | In context
    Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 20 February 2012, c634)

    John Bercow (Speaker)
    We are grateful to the hon. Gentleman.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-02-20a.634.0&s=speaker%3A11224#g634.2

  50. O/T Came across this in my travels on the web.

    Tony Blair’s former protection cop to appear at Durham Crown Court on fraud charges

    Aug 11, 2014

    Former Durham firearms officer Vaughan Dodds – who previously protected Tony Blair – will appear in court today on fraud charges

    A former firearms officer accused of a benefits swindle is due in court today.

    Vaughan Dodds – who once served on Tony Blair’s protection unit – is listed to appear at Durham Crown Court later.

    The 43-year-old, formerly of Durham Police, is accused of fraudulently claiming £61,000 in benefits.

    /..
    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/tony-blairs-former-protection-cop-7593283

  51. doug scorgie

    12 Aug, 2014 - 5:50 pm

    Uzbek in the UK
    12 Aug, 2014 – 12:46 pm

    “Interestingly, whenever there is a debate about healthcare every commentators try to compare to the healthcare in the US (which in my opinion is as segregated as their society was) but no one has even mentioned our good neighbours Germany and France which seem to be able to provide better quality healthcare and spend considerably lower on it.”

    “I say start with reducing pay to the doctors and consultants. Why should nurse or midwife whose working hours are as long as of the doctors exists on fraction of the money paid to the latter? Why doctor in Germany or France is able to deliver better quality for smaller pay? Are we overpaying our doctors?”

    Other commenters on here might remember the above two paragraphs are almost exactly what Habbabkuk said in a thread quite a while back, except for the broken English.

    I’ve had suspicions about Uzbek for a long time.

    Is it Habbabkuk with a funny voice?

  52. This is Simmonds’ outfit. He (his name is Mark Jonathan Mortlock Simmonds), the wife with a Spanish name (for whom he claims from HoC as his office manager) and a Mr Brown are the directors registered in Hemel Hempstead. Another company without Brown is also registered in Hemel Hempstead.

    MORTLOCK SIMMONDS LIMITED
    87A HIGH STREET, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HERTFORDSHIRE, HP1 3AH

    MORTLOCK SIMMONDS BROWN LTD
    Active – 04402906
    87A HIGH STREET, THE OLD TOWN, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HERTFORDSHIRE, HP1 3AH

    His Hanover Square business.

    msbl is an established specialist retail property advisor to occupiers and landlords throughout the UK. We are a young, energetic company, which has grown into a major force in the retail property sector over the last 10 years. Our work with major retailers and landlords demonstrates a detailed understanding of a complex market. Core activities include:
    •Leasehold acquisitions and disposals
    •Freehold acquisitions and disposals
    •Rent reviews
    •Lease renewals
    •Re-gearing leases
    •Corporate advice and strategy
    •Portfolio asset management’

    http://www.msblproperty.com/legal.php based W1.

  53. Yes, the MP has made a fool of himself. And even if his salary and allowances weren’t enough to live in, he should have realised this before he stood as an MP. I suspect, as with Warsi, there is an ulterior motive to this self-serving excuse.
    As for foodbanks, if they exist people will use them – some in desperate need, some who spend their money on things they believe they are entitled to but can’t afford.
    Your underlying assumption that Salmond would spend more on the needy is also, I believe, wrong. Given that if he were forced to introduce a new currency, a fledgling independent Scotland would struggle to borrow, as well as losing many UK jobs, he would be more likely have to cut government spending.

  54. Uzbek in the UK, 1:56 pm; no, I don’t propose conspiracy.

    It is entirely expected that the corporate media promote views that advance corporate interests; it is structural.

    The voting system encourages oppositional voting, ie. voting for the party with the best chance of defeating the unwanted candidate. In most UK parliamentary constituency elections either (1) the outcome is a foregone conclusion (a “safe seat”) or (2) most of the swing voters will vote to keep [Tory/Labour according to preference] out.

    Either way, independents and candidates of small parties, outside the establishment, stand very little chance of being elected. This can be seen by comparing the total votes for such candidates with the much smaller proportion of seats they actually win.

    Uzbek, I think you should be a bit more suspicious of the UK (and US) system(s). The Russian systems (Soviet and current) were/are far more brutal, but the USSR only lasted seven decades. The UK system is much older and its arts of control are correspondingly more advanced. One of the reasons it’s lasted so much longer is that it has conceded a little more power to the people. But greed doesn’t just become extinct in a country when an advance in democracy is achieved. It just finds different avenues of influence.

    The concentration of power upon long-standing MPs in the major parties is obviously advantageous for powerful entities (personal, corporate or otherwise) who wish to influence government policy; the MPs can be cultivated personally (eg. “consultancy work”) or donations can be made to party funds.

    Very little threatens this system. The major political parties argue over apparent ideological disagreements, but they all become filtered and influenced by the mechanisms above. The results are obvious; “opposing” parties’ policies converge towards corporate utopia, their broad economic agreement approved by the corporate media.

    Uzbek, you experienced the iron fist of Russia. Here, the affliction of the politically aware is frustration with bloated stagnant complacency. I’ve voted thoughtfully all my life but it’s never changed a thing.

  55. Why were they the good times, Ba’al?

    This might give the answer:

    http://www.labour-party.org.uk/manifestos/1945/1945-labour-manifesto.shtml

    Of course it took a while for these radical changes to work their way through the system…

    The baby boomers benefited; subsequent generations thought it was their “right” and let it all slip away… yet according to opinion polls, the smartphone generation think the answer is a more right-wing government.

  56. @RepublicofScotland: How incompetent are the “yes” campaign to not enable making this public knowledge… ?

  57. Words from Ukrainian government regarding the “missing” photographer Andrey Stenin:

    “We assume that Andrey Stenin may have been aiding the terrorists. This is not journalism, this is aiding and praising terrorism,”

    For this, perhaps:
    http://rt.com/news/179724-stenin-journalist-photos-ukraine/

    But since when has taking pictures (the truth?) been “aiding and praising terrorism”.

    [This could possibly be slightly off topic, but perhaps not, in context of its title "Another World"]

  58. Excellent post again Craig.

  59. Peacewisher at 7.46 Good times because a narrow window was opened up for the likes of us to squeeze through. After the threatened social unrest after 2 world wars, our betters were forced to concede a little.

    And those concessions did indeed benefit those of us born in the 1940′s. My sister would have died at birth without the NHS, we had free milk,vitamin supplements and basic dental care; we were all beneficiaries of the 1944 Education Act.

    It truly was a golden time. But the door to all that was firmly slammed in 1979 when Thatcher rose like a malignant Britannia from the waves and stuck her trident into everything that was “true, honest, just,pure, lovely and of good report”.

  60. Good post, Rose. Those of us born not too long after the war had the benefit of those who had served and wanted something different-and who could have made things very nasty for governments had they wanted. Then along came the “Tea Lady” and the wacky “Film Star” and people bought it, not realising they were the original Neocon plants. The foliage grew quickly after that, and now they’re like Japanese Knotweed.

  61. ‘It truly was a golden time. But the door to all that was firmly slammed in 1979 when Thatcher rose like a malignant Britannia from the waves and stuck her trident into everything that was “true, honest, just,pure, lovely and of good report”.’

    Who on earth would have done a thing like that, who back in 1979 would have tabled a motion of no confidence in the Callaghan government? Who out of spite would have voted with Thatcher and saddled Britain with years of misery?

  62. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 10:20 pm

    Doug Scorgie

    My advice to you is go and see a shrink. You have something ugly developing in your head.

    I have said it many times that I have never posted (and have no intention to post) anything under any other name but the one I am known by.

    And if it satisfies you keep paying doctors 10 times more than nurses and midwives. Mad western lefties have no problems with this as I see. Somehow other European societies manage to run better quality of healthcare with smaller paygap between medical professions and most certainly without stuffing doctors mouths with gold.

  63. “And if it satisfies you keep paying doctors 10 times more than nurses and midwives. Mad western lefties have no problems with this as I see. Somehow other European societies manage to run better quality of healthcare with smaller paygap between medical professions and most certainly without stuffing doctors mouths with gold.”

    So why don’t the people who become nurses and midwives become doctors instead?

  64. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 10:38 pm

    Clark

    “I’ve voted thoughtfully all my life but it’s never changed a thing.”

    Persuade your fellow citizens to vote thoughtfully too. Certainly you can do it without facing long prison sentence or risk of disappearance in one of modern Gulag style prisons in the Kizilkum dessert.

    I am well aware of shortcomings of western societies but these shortcomings are nothing comparing to the places I lived in. The major problem in the west is that majority of people are too politically apathetic because despite huge outcry (mostly coming from Mad western lefties) majority of people here are well off (comparing to the rest of the world). Hence no concerns with who is running this country. People will still pay off their mortgage (some will not but majority will), will have bread and butter on their table (some will not but majority will), will travel to beach holidays (some will not but majority will), will upgrade their car after few years (some will not but majority will). And the establishment knows how to balance their profit without risking putting this silent majority into position which will increase their interests in politics.

    Remember what all “great” revolutionists used to say. Social crisis is necessary precondition for successful revolution. No social crisis means no revolution. Few reposed houses, few people getting their food from foodbanks, few people unsatisfied with government is NOT social crisis. For the establishment is manageable and they will make sure that it does not get out of their hands.

  65. Uzbek in the UK

    12 Aug, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    Fred

    There is one good (Russian) proverb saying that son of the prosecutor will be prosecutor and son of the painter will be painter. Most of the places in Medical school allocated not only to those with great A levels but also number of extra curricular activities taken into account. For most pupils of deprived schools (which are many more than good schools) achieving great A levels is already unachievable task. And lucky they will be to get place at any of the universities and not even close to the medical schools. It is those pupils from well established private schools (or at least schools from better off areas) who will most likely get admitted onto MBBS.

    And then imagine British healthcare without nurses and midwives. NHS bill will shoot up in par with national debt and f..ck up every other public spending. So low paid nurses and midwives is actually a cornerstone of the NHS. It enables NHS to keep bill lower and at the same time stuff doctors mouths with gold.

  66. @Fred: As you know, Idiot Trotskyite trades union leaders decided to take Jim on, bringing about the winter of discontent. They wanted a conservative government, because the idiots thought they could bring about a revolution. How stupid… and how stupid of trades unionists to let them do it.

    I don’t blame the Liberal MPs who withdrew their support a couple of months later… the die was already cast.

  67. Uzbek in the UK, 10:38 pm:

    “the establishment knows how to balance their profit without risking putting this silent majority into position which will increase their interests in politics”

    Yes, that’s what I was saying.

    “Persuade your fellow citizens to vote thoughtfully too”

    Yeah, I know. It’s not enough. I was part of the Fairer Votes campaign. Ten million of us voted for a small improvement in the voting system, and I’ll bet you 90% of us knew why it was an improvement. However, twenty million people voted against, and I’ll bet you that 90% of them didn’t understand the issue and were just responding to propaganda.

    “Social crisis is necessary precondition for successful revolution”

    Yes but it’s not a precondition for political evolution, and the establishment need to block that, too. Hence propaganda, establishment support for an under-responsive voting system, and opposition to Scottish independence etc.

    I mentioned lack of time; many people never come to a blog like this. Without such a perspective it takes years of careful observation to work out that the corporate media is propaganda. This is one of the advantages the “Western” system has over more autocratic states.

    It’s a long time since I checked the figures, but I did hear of some doctors getting paid huge amounts.

  68. Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    13 Aug, 2014 - 12:14 am

    Uzbek: Superiority complex made even more complex by inferior reasoning and communication. Let’s all do obeisance.

  69. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    13 Aug, 2014 - 8:31 am

    While I see what Uzbek is saying; roughly, “You think you’ve got it bad? You didn’t have Stalin!”….and have no problem with that:

    UK repossession rates in detail:

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/825176/Eviction_and_Repossession_Hotspots_201314_Data.pdf

    Probably averages around 1%, and certain to increase when a 1/4% bank rate rise is magically converted into a – what? – 5% mortgage interest rise?

    1% of all home owners is not a negligible number.

    Re. food banks: the public pays whether the state administers relief or the charities do. State relief offers economies of scale (to use the term beloved of megacorps) which local charities and the Trussell Trust, lacking a transport fleet, can’t. The main reasons cited for using food banks are unemployment, low wages and delays in benefit claims. The last are due to continuous restructuring of the system over decades making it unfit for purpose and effectively unable to respond to personal emergencies. As to unemployment and low wages, globalist economics demands both. It’s a crazy setup; low pay and a pool of unemployed are to be subsidised by the charitable public in the most inefficient way possible, for the benefit of The Markets, many of whose members pay no UK tax at all.

    But it’s been suggested – don’t remember by whom – that the big revolutions all come from the middle classes. You can grind the poor all you like, IOW, and with any luck they’ll be too miserable to object. But when the bourgeois pips start squeaking, look out. I think that time is coming, slowly.

  70. voting is complete waste of time, it is not the choices that sre the problem it is the system capitolism has to have profit and that can only come by stealing from the working class voting for labour or Tory ,lib deem, or the greens will not change anything the proof can be seen since the end of ww2.the general surge in social house building the HHS nationalisation of industries, nearly all have reverted back to private ownership, food banks bedroom tax, this in the end will lead to reintroduction of the old system of workhouses.well done the peaple of Britain!

  71. A contemptible trougher indeed, his justification for resigning, in his own words, is a gem of the Marie Antoinette genre-

    ‘There needs to be a system of allowances and support structures in place that supports MPs in their work, enables them to be normal people, which currently I believe is not the case,’ he said.

    ‘That’s the main reason I have resigned. The sacrifice to family life has become intolerable and the support for continuance of family life is not there… It is time we had a mature debate about this.

    ‘When I became an MP, the situation and support mechanisms were very different. You were able to have a family home in the constituency and a family home in London. That is no longer the case.’

    Translation- under the old system I could acquire a second home at taxpayers expense, now I can’t. Poor me.

    http://londonnews24.com/2014/08/foreign-office-minister-mark-simmonds-quits-the-government-and-moans-i-just-cant-live-in-london-on-120000/

  72. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    13 Aug, 2014 - 9:18 am

    There is another world….lost in space, this one.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/10/north-east-avoid-becoming-britains-detroit

    (Sorry it’s the Guardian, but it’s one of its better efforts)

  73. Agent Cameron returns from Portugal today. There is a lot of sorting out for him to do. Go now Dave and let’s have an election next month.

  74. @Uzbek

    So should the cleaners be earning as much as the nurses then?

  75. @Peacewisher

    So did the SNP MPs table a motion of no confidence in the Callaghan government?

    Did the SNP vote for Thatcher against Callaghan?

    If they had voted against wouldn’t Thatcher have been defeated?

  76. Uzbek seems to have some animus against doctors. Suggest he holds off in the hope that the day doesn’t come when he might need one.

    On my recent pathway through the local NHS, I have met and been cared for very well by doctors from different origins, and just a very few from a British middle class background. Some were British Asian and from Europe. My own GP is from the far East.

  77. “There is one good (Russian) proverb saying that son of the prosecutor will be prosecutor and son of the painter will be painter.”

    Yeh they have a saying where I come from too. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

  78. @Fred

    I blame Callaghan, not the then coalition (or “pact” as it was called)… for expecting the idiotic trades union leaders to accept a 5% wage rise when inflation was several percentage points higher. He should have called an election in the autumn when he had a slight lead in the polls, as should Gordon Brown almost 30 years later. Still, hindsight and all that…

    The SNP, Libdems, and NI parties held the balance of power. Callaghan chose a high risk strategy, and they supported him. When it didn’t work, they blamed him. That’s politics.

    I hope the libdems, NI parties and SNP do the same to Cameron as he continues with his deeply divisive polices.

    In retrospect, I actually think one term of Thatcherism was needed in Britain, although I wasn’t so sure about that at the time. It put the power of trades unions back into balance. It was what happened in 1983 with her “rolling back the frontiers of socialism…” speech that really started the rot.

  79. @Peacewisher

    But it was the SNP who tabled a motion of no confidence and put Thatcher in power.

  80. Westminster voted for the undemocratic 40% rule which denied the people of Scotland devolution in 1979. Denying the people of Scotland is a Westminster trait. Scottish unionist politicians, originators of the 40% rule, love doing Westminster’s dirty work. They will do anything for a phony title and a seat in the house of lords. Another good reason for voting Yes.

  81. @Dan Hull

    But it was the SNP who tabled a motion of no confidence and put Thatcher in power and sentencing everyone in Scotland and England, not just the Scot who introduced the 40% rule, to years of Misery. I wasn’t asking why they did it, I know it was spite.

  82. west_lothian_questioner

    13 Aug, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    Fred… The SNP tabled the motion of no confidence for very good reason. Callaghan’s crew had proven themselves to be unworthy of any confidence.

    Thatcher was not elected by the SNP or by Scottish voters. In that instance, as in almost every instance since I was born in the middle of the last century, Scotland elected some MPs, but England’s voters elected the government.

    As ever, when seeking to spread some blame around, it is better to spread it where it belongs. In this case (once again) we can only look to that semi-mythical monster known as, “Middle England.”

  83. Interesting that the Scottish Parliament is still going strong whereas the HoC troughers went off on July 22nd for 6 weeks, returning 1st September.
    http://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/business-faq-page/recess-dates/

    The Scottish parliament goes off for a month on 23rd August.
    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/index.aspx
    Live on Channel 81 Freeview.

  84. Well said Craig, you do not mince your words and this is really what we need.
    All this IS utterly disgraceful,and you hit it on the button.
    How can anyone with a brain vote no? ( excepting corrupt politicians of course )

  85. nevermind, it will happen anyway

    13 Aug, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    O/T for Mary who had some interest in this unresolved mystery surrounding Sandringham estate. I think there will be an open verdict soon. Murder by unknown assailants in a green Lexus. There must be thousands of green lexuses in the east of England, or is it just a few hundred? I could not find out…. but somewhere on that Lexus site……;)

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/alisa_dmitrijeva_norfolk_police_pass_case_of_wisbech_student_found_dead_on_royal_estate_at_sandringham_to_coroner_1_3724869

  86. Callaghan was widely advised to hold a general election in 1978 and didn’t. Callaghan took a completely unnecessary (see below) and large loan from the IMF in 1976 in order to plead poverty, a loan with with gruelling conditions attached, including public sector, NHS etc. pay freezes, though these wages had declined against inflation and rightly needed significant rises to correct. Callaghan cancelled a government order for motor cars made by Ford, worth tens of million, as Ford gave their workers a 12% pay rise despite Callaghan’s demands to limit it around 6-7% (still well above the ‘frozen’ public-sector cap) which destabilised other motor-makers, particularly British Leyland, whose workers were stringently subject to the pay freeze. In the midst of the winter-of-discontent public-sector strikes, Callaghan swanned off to the Bahamas and when he returned his seeming indifference to scenes such as uncollected rubbish piling up, was capitalised on by the then as now, predominantly Tory-biased press.

    Money from oil was pouring into the Treasury already but Labour having decided to lie in 1976 about the coming oil revenues, by burying the economic facts of the McCrone Report could not or would not admit this. Amidst fake ‘austerity’ the IMF loan was returned in full quietly, it wasn’t and they knew it wasn’t, ever needed at all, it was all a stupid political stunt by Callaghan and Healey, but the IMF’s tough conditions were adhered to, including the pay freeze and the looting of state assets, they called privatisation was also demanded, reasonable pay rises to correct by then appallingly low wage levels were denied. The clock was ticking, Callaghan had to call an election, Thatcher was already the government in waiting, and immediately when in power she found lots of lolly washing around to gift to her cronies, and the obvious whopping lies Labour had been telling since 1976, meant Thatcher had them over a barrel for years, but did not reveal their treachery as the same lies Labour had told were useful to her and the Tory party too, for the same reasons.

    Labour and Tories, as one, united in lies and deceit, set the pattern we still see today.

  87. Thanks Nevermind. Three years ago. A sad story. Poor kid.

  88. Well everybody seems to have opinions.

    I state the facts.

  89. Ed Murray on the MLMB gets the prize. E mail to Frei Ch 4 News

    Mr Frei,

    Full flow propaganda mode for tonight’s Snowmail, I see.

    You talk about Cameron’s “well-earned holiday” and ask why Britain has ruled out a “military response”.

    You finish with a flourish:
    “And what is the overall strategy for preventing the country that we invested so much blood and treasure in from disintegrating into a black hole at the heart of the Middle East?”

    I suppose the million plus Iraqis that died as a direct result of the US/UK illegal invasion in 2003, don’t count in your “black hole” calculations. The other million plus that died as a direct result of US/UK sanctions, clearly don’t count either.

    ISIS turn up though and you are writing scenes from the Book of Revelation and lamenting the lack of bombing, by the very people responsible for causing all the chaos in Iraq in the first place.

    Why is it that when I read any “analysis” of world events by Channel 4 News, with you, or the “excellent” Jonathan Rugman, or the indefatigable Lindsey Hilsum, “explaining” it all to me, I just have to go online, look up a few independent commentators who aren’t spoilt, overpaid msm hacks and I get a totally different, vastly more compelling analysis that actually dares to talk about the realpolitik of the situation, instead of a lot of BS about “our” benign intentions in the Middle East.

    However, when I read your reports, it’s like you are ticking every western propaganda box in sight, as if hoping the great and good are watching you and will gratefully recognise what a safe pair of hands you are for disseminating their poisonous nonsense.

    I can just hear you saying “Alright Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up”.

    Ed Murray.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1407954743.html

  90. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Aug, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    “Callaghan swanned off to the Bahamas and when he returned…”
    ________________

    Right, Tony M ……except you’re srong.

    The meeting you refer to was held in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe and not the Bahamas. First point.

    Guadeloupe was chosen for the venue because the meeting was held at the invitation of President Giscard d’Estaing (you may remember that he was French, Tony!); so not a question of Callaghan flying off to th sub of his own volition. Second point.

    The meeting was called in prepareation of the forthcoming July 1979 meeting in Tokyo of the G7. As the UK was – and is – a member of the G7, it would have been rather strange if he did not attend. Third point.

    You are an idiot. Fourth and last point.

  91. Your point is that he took his ill-timed holiday somewhere else hot and sunny, it wasn’t the Bahamas, but the Caribbean. You don’t dispute the lies and deception over the IMF loan stunt.

  92. The care workers left behind as private equity targets the NHS

    When Care UK won a contract to run services in Doncaster they cut the wages and holidays of those who look after the city’s most vulnerable
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/09/care-workers-private-equity-targets-the-nhs

    ‘Fawley, 42, is one of 237 support workers who were transferred from the NHS to work for Care UK when it won the contract to run community care services for people with learning disabilities in Doncaster. And she is one of the 50 who are on strike, fighting pay cuts of up to 35% imposed by the private health company and the £7-an-hour wage paid to the 100 new staff replacing some of those who have walked away in disgust.

    This determined, indignant group of strikers will have withdrawn their labour for 48 days in all, with gaps in between where arbitration and a court battle against the imposition of the new terms failed.

    The strike will go on, though. Perhaps for many weeks. It’s looking likely that this could be the longest strike the health service has seen. “I expect the strikers to support more action, and for this to intensify,” said Jim Bell, the Unison organiser.’

    Care UK was chaired by Nash, a Tory donor and now a Tory peer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nash,_Baron_Nash

    Care UK now owned by Bridgepoint. Patten, Milburn, Stuart Rose etc.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Care_UK

    http://www.bridgepoint.eu/en/about-us/european-advisory-board/

    Rose is a Tory peer now.

  93. The post at 9.29 exemplifies the corruption that lies at the heart of public life which Craig is referring to. It focuses on a detail designed to throw a casual reader off the main thrust of the argument; same as picking up on a typo: “Look at this; pay no attention to that”. Smoke and mirrors.

  94. @Tony. As I remember it, Callaghan decided, with Healey’s guidance, that he needed more money. What they didn’t bargain on was the IMF loan conditions. Once the IMF tried to bargain BY shaping govt policy, they should have run a mile because that set a very bad precedent. For what I remember the result was cutbacks in education, which accelerated in the Thatcher years. Hence my point in The Guardian thread.

    That wasn’t the reason Callaghan lost the election though… he tried to appeal to the trades union leaders sense of fair play in supporting his party at the time of a general election. He got foul play instead from both trades unions and the tory press. I’m surprised labour did as well as they did, considering the result four years later.

  95. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 10:01 am

    Fred

    “So should the cleaners be earning as much as the nurses then?”

    You are now confusing two different spheres. Is there a HUGE (10 times) paygap between professions involved in cleaning? I am not of Lenin’s type who think that cleaner is suited to run the country. What I am saying is that in healthcare there is a HUGE paygap between professions. For your information both nurses and midwives are also qualified, and spend only 2 years less at the university than those doing MBBS. If you ever went through the NHS run hospital you must have witnessed that most of the work is actually done by either nurses or midwives (in maternity units). In most cases doctors do not even get involved (especially in maternity units). And yet they (doctors) pocket 10 times more than those who actually do the work.

    I am slightly confused with you MAD lefties. I thought that the whole LEFT thing was to equalise society (including income), making us all equal. But yet for MAD lefties I see something else is on the agenda.

  96. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Mary

    You can meet people from humble background in any profession, even in legal. But when you compare this to the majority you will see the difference. I came across MBBS students from various medical schools and although English is not my first language, I can sense the difference when I hear so called posh English. And not only this. It only takes one to attend MBBS students graduation to see what background most of these graduates come from. Most of them have either one or both parents who are also doctors. Very rarely you will see MBBS graduate with parents from working class background.

    MBBS courses in large London medical schools take around 500 students per year. And ONLY 20 places (not % but places) go to so called extended MBBS course (1+5) which is aimed at pupils from underperforming schools. Do not get me wrong, most of these students are not admitted with drop grades, it is just other extra curricular admissions criteria are flexed for them.

    I am glad however; that doctors you dealt with come from humble background. These are usually much better to deal with as they usually do not look at you like you are a peasant. But I can I also suggest that your own experience and doctors in your area do not represent general picture.

  97. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    The repossessions and evictions in the report is not only mortgage repossession but also landlords repossession. I am not surprised with these numbers. The rent (especially in London) goes up overtaking pay rise (which is frozen in most professions) and far above official inflation. I am aware of cases where rent in 2013-14 have been increased by 25%.

    One other thing is unclear in the report is that how many of these repossessions have been due to rent or mortgage arrears. I think that if not most but certainly good proportion of these evictions is due to the landlords evicting their tenants in order to sell their property in this high wave property market. If you look carefully at the picture you will see that in two of the most deprived London boroughs (Newham and Tower Hamlet) number of properties on the market (and their prises) have risen sharply in the last 1.5 years. Most of these properties are not repossessions but vacant properties which (most likely) have until recently been rented out and (more likely) some of the to so called social housing tenants.

  98. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 10:40 am

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    “But it’s been suggested – don’t remember by whom – that the big revolutions all come from the middle classes.”

    Partially agree with you. For instance Lenin (and in my opinion he was the most successful revolutionist in history) divided revolutionists into two categories. One is leadership (which I agree is middle class) and driving force (which is those poor and needy). Middle classes do not make revolution, they direct it and benefit from it the most. It is those poor and needy who usually first who shed blood for the sake of promised heavens.

  99. “You are now confusing two different spheres. Is there a HUGE (10 times) paygap between professions involved in cleaning?”

    There isn’t a 10 times gap between doctors and nurses either.

    A junior doctor doesn’t earn a lot more than a staff nurse and a registrar doesn’t earn that much more than a senior nurse. The Doctors who earn big money are the consultants and surgeons, they have to be the best If we don’t pay them for their dedication, skill and for the responsibilities they take on they will just go somewhere that will.

    If I were ever to require brain surgery I wouldn’t want it performed by someone on minimum wage I’d want the best there is and expect the HNS to pay for the best there is.

  100. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 11:33 am

    fred

    Why coparing junior doctor’s pay to the nurse pay. In Guy’s and St Thomas NHS trust consultants earn in average 200K (including overtime) whereas nurses earn slightly over 30K and allowed to claim overtime not more than 20% of their salary. It might not be exactly 10 times difference but HUGE enough for me.

    If your brain surgery is performed in Germany or France (where doctors paid much less and nurses more) your chances of survival will be not less than if it was performed here or even in US (where doctors earn even more). By the way life expectancy in Germany (and in France) is longer than in the UK or US. Not that doctor’s pay has much to do with it, but following your logic that only highly paid doctors can work well, one would have assumed that every doctor in Germany or France is incompetent and by definition could put every patient at risk.

  101. “Why coparing junior doctor’s pay to the nurse pay. In Guy’s and St Thomas NHS trust consultants earn in average 200K (including overtime) whereas nurses earn slightly over 30K and allowed to claim overtime not more than 20% of their salary. It might not be exactly 10 times difference but HUGE enough for me.”

    The very top NHS consultants with 20 years experience earn £101,451.

    http://bma.org.uk/practical-support-at-work/pay-fees-allowances/pay-scales/consultants-england

    The top nurses, with comparable experience earn £98,453.

    http://www.rcn.org.uk/support/pay_and_conditions/pay_rates_2014-15

    A top professional footballer…

  102. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    Fred

    Now, I have heard of some MPs living on their salary and not claiming any expenses and not doing consultancy BUT I have never heard of any single doctor living on just his basic pay and not claiming any over time. Some of shocking overtime claims have been highlighted in the press.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10310634/NHS-consultants-claiming-more-than-150000-in-overtime.html

    Now, nurses earning 98K is one of those legends that although on the payscale but only very few (if any) reach it. Most of the nurses working in hospitals get band 6 salaries AFTER 5+ years of experience. Most start with band 3 and go up the band as career progresses.

    http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/working-in-the-nhs/pay-and-benefits/agenda-for-change-pay-rates/

  103. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    14 Aug, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    “Middle classes do not make revolution, they direct it and benefit from it the most. It is those poor and needy who usually first who shed blood for the sake of promised heavens.”

    Quite so. What I was getting at is just that the bourgeois have to be involved (i.e. see a possible gain) in any effective revolution. Which means that as long as you can keep the bourgeois happy, you’re fine. They’ll even collaborate with you in suppressing the dispossessed (and see the Daily Express readership). If you don’t, they’ll make common cause with the proles. Hamas is a good instance of this.

  104. @Uzbek

    I’m sure it would cost the NHS more to employ another full time consultant or bring in a private consultant to cover out of hours. I’m sure consultants can earn more doing private work than they can working for the NHS.

    Nurses, if they want, can do agency work and earn more than the doctors they work with.

  105. I greatly resent this animus against doctors and their pay. You can pay them £1m pa for all I care and it would still not be enough. They are worth a million times more than any of the pocket politicians and how about the bankers raking in £4billion in bonuses in 2012 and footballers with their mega £millions in transfer fees and salaries.

    All comparisons are odious but I maintain that doctors are among the most valuable members of our society for ALL of us.

  106. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    fred

    It might well be more costly to bring another consultant in (although as we have seen in some cases overtime claims are more than basic pay per doctor), they might well earn more (and most of the do) in private sector, BUT somehow Germany and France are running much better healthcare than UK and US. Waiting times are less, hospitals are cleaner and more spacious, doctor/patient ratio is less (doctors actually spend time with their patients and NOT just giving them a glance and keep looking at their watch).

    I say we should learn from our European neighbours and not Anglo Saxon brothers. Every attempt to rationalise NHS spending (and over spending on doctors) always faces brick wall that in US doctors earn more. Why then all doctors in the whole world not go to the US and work there. There are many more doctors in European countries per patients than in the US (except some very expensive private clinics).

  107. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    Mary,

    “All comparisons are odious but I maintain that doctors are among the most valuable members of our society for ALL of us.”

    What about nurses, policemen, firefighters, teachers, researchers (who in most cases earn no more than 50K and develop drugs that save lives), cleaners, transport workers, etc. I will see how long will you survive or how your life will become of less comfortable if one of these professions disappear.

    And I insist again in hospitals nurses do much more work than doctors do, and get paid much less. There is much greater nurse/patient ratio than doctor/patient in the UK and this is because doctors are so WELL PAID and nurses are SO CHEAP.

    I see MAD western lefties do not really care about fundamental LEFT values. In fact I will say this, Healthcare is one of the most pay divided professions, possibly second to the banking sector. But than top doctors (Trust heads) also earn very much TOP quid, so I say Healthcare is similarly to banks divided industries in this country.

  108. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 2:54 pm

    Mary

    I have no intension comparing doctors to the footballers or investment bankers. I compare doctors to nurses and midwives, I compare professions within the same industry (healthcare). And I am saying that within the same industry (healthcare) two very similar professions (or do you think nurses are there just to put your hospital bed right) are paid very DIFFERENTLY.

  109. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    Fred

    “Nurses, if they want, can do agency work and earn more than the doctors they work with.”

    And can I ask you what are YOU (as a patient) going to do if all nurses decided to become agency workers? Do you expect NHS to increase number of (mouth filled with gold) doctors, so that they will take care of you, do the job that nurses do? Will you than happily see your taxes grow from 20% to 40% just to continue to fill doctors mouths with gold?

  110. Uzbek in the UK

    14 Aug, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Well then, European societies in average 80% middle class. Homeowners, with comfortable income. As long as it continues, no revolution here (in Europe). That is what I was arguing and trying to say. 1% of repossessions, 1% of people getting food from foodbanks is NOT going to produce revolution, as long as 80% are homeowners with comfortable income (can finance car, holidays, save up for their children university, etc.).

  111. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    14 Aug, 2014 - 3:45 pm

    We’re not too far apart there, Uzbek. I regard this more as a discussion than an argument.

  112. His Master’s Voice : Mount Sinjar OK ; Gaza, Beit Hanoun & Rafah Next…
    Posted by alquds43 on August 14, 2014, 1:58 pm

    Iraq crisis: UK and US will maintain military presence, says Cameron

    British PM hails ‘good news’ that made US call off planned rescue mission of thousands of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar

    Nicholas Watt and Spencer Ackerman in New York
    theguardian.com, Thursday 14 August 2014 12.03 BST

    Britain and the US will maintain a flexible military presence in northern Iraq, David Cameron has said as he hailed the “good news” which prompted Washington to call off a risky military mission to rescue thousands of Iraqis stranded on Mount Sinjar.

    The prime minister, who was visiting a humanitarian aid distribution centre in Gloucestershire before chairing a Whitehall Cobra meeting on Thursday, said the continued fighting in the area meant it was right to keep military “assets” in place.

    But Cameron said an American-led scouting operation had found fewer refugees than had been expected on Mount Sinjar.

    Amid signs that the US bombing has succeeded in beating back forces from the Islamic State (Isis), the Pentagon said the planned rescue mission had been ruled out for the moment. A small complement of special forces and US aid workers landed on Mount Sinjar to assess the situation of the Iraqi Yazidis – who for days have received air drops of food, water and medicine.

    Speaking at the UK Disaster Response Operations Centre at Cotswold airport in Kemble, the prime minister said: “There does seem to be some good news and that is the American-led scouting operation has found fewer people on the mountainside than expected. Also we see that the UK aid drops have made a difference and have got through to people. It’s good news that there are fewer people there and they are in better condition than expected.”

    But the prime minister said Britain and the US would be ready to act quickly as the focus returned to dropping humanitarian supplies. “Our plans have got to be flexible enough to help those people, working with allies like the Kurds to make sure we can help people in need. This is a complicated humanitarian mission. One of the things we are definitely going to need to do is to get more aid into the refugee camps, like the camp at Dohuk.

    “It is very difficult in an area where you have got a lot of fighting taking place, you have got a lot of people moving around. So what you need to do is have plans that are flexible enough to respond to that situation. It is important to get the assets into place. That is why the Chinooks are there. That’s why our Tornados are there.”

    The prime minister spoke out after Washington announced overnight that a planned rescue had been called off. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said late on Wednesday: “An evacuation mission is far less likely.”

    ……/ bs Ctd…

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/14/iraq-uk-us-military-presence-cameron

  113. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Aug, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    Tony M

    “Your point is that he took his ill-timed holiday somewhere else hot and sunny, it wasn’t the Bahamas, but the Caribbean.”
    ___________________

    You’re still getting it wrong, Tony M. Pay attention!

    Not a “holiday” but an informal meeting of the Heads of the G7 to prepare for the forthcoming official G7 meeting in Tokyo in July 1979.

    What is it you don’t understand? :)

  114. Mr *unt is at it again.

    Jeremy Hunt has changed the rules again. He’s bringing in funding cuts that could see some local GP surgeries closing their doors for good. 700,000 of us could lose our local GP. [1]

    As Hunt tries to relax this weekend, let’s make sure he feels the heat. We can build a huge petition to leave him in no doubt that these cuts are not ok and we’ll always be here to protect our NHS:

    SIGN THE PETITION

    The clock is ticking: some surgeries say they could close within a year. The government won’t want bad news stories sticking around in the run up to the election. If Jeremy Hunt feels another big battle brewing over the NHS, it might be enough to persuade him to stop the cuts.

    38 Degrees members have already taken on Jeremy Hunt and won before. We stopped his Hospital Closure Clause and we beat him in court twice when 38 Degrees members helped fund the legal case to save Lewisham hospital. [2]

    Please sign the petition to stop Jeremy Hunt’s dangerous plans in their tracks:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-close-our-surgeries

    As more surgeries are forced to shut, this could open the door for more GP surgeries to be run by large private firms on the cheap.

    Together, we can make a noise that Hunt can’t ignore. Can you sign the petition?
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-close-our-surgeries

    Thanks for everything you do,

    Nat, Robin, Laura, Maddy and the 38 Degrees team

    NOTES:
    [1] The Independent: GPs warn ‘surgeries will close without more NHS funding’:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/gps-rally-patients-against-cuts-which-would-see-up-to-100-practices-close-9448988.html
    The Guardian: Funding change could force rural GP practices to close, BMA warns:
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/21/funding-rural-gp-practices-close-bma
    The Independent: Worst-hit GP surgeries to gain bailout as NHS admits reforms strike poor hardest:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/worsthit-gp-surgeries-to-gain-bailout-as-nhs-admits-reforms-strike-poor-hardest-9667439.html
    [2] 38 Degrees blog – Hospital closure clause: We did it!:
    http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/05/07/hospital-closure-clause-we-did-it/
    38 Degrees blog – Jeremy Hunt has been beaten in court again:
    http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/10/29/jeremy-hunt-has-been-beaten-in-court-again/

  115. An American lady writes in defence of OUR NHS.

    OPINION: Privatisation is destroying all that is precious in NHS
    By Western Morning News | Posted: August 15, 2014

    By Ellen Hawley

    Nurses celebrate the achievements of the NHS during the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony PICTURE: ANTHONY DEVLIN

    Having spent most of my life in the United States, I am in awe of the NHS, and I’m worried witless about what’s happening to it.

    The government tells us that by reorganising and dividing and privatising the NHS they’ll give us choice and better care. But that’s not what’s happening. When they privatised Cornwall’s out-of-hours care, it didn’t give us choice, it gave us Serco, whose service was called “substandard” by the parliamentary accounts committee. Three cheers for better service.

    What happens when you break up an integrated system, such as the NHS used to be, and introduce profit into health care? You create perverse incentives. Entire systems will be structured around what pays, not what works best for the patient. Once profit comes into medicine, no organisation’s decisions will be made without giving thought to it.

    Let me tell you how that works in the United States. My partner used to work as a family therapist for a US health maintenance organisation – one of those for-profit giants that dominate US medical care and that are anxious to enter what they charmingly call the UK market.

    When she followed the cases of adolescents who had been referred to for-profit hospitals, she noticed that they got miraculously better when their benefits – the coverage their insurance entitled them to – ran out. If it covered 90 days of in-patient treatment, they needed 90 days. Or maybe 89. If it covered 30, they were ready for discharge in 30. People who worked in the system referred to it as a benefit-ectomy.

    /..

    http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/OPINION-Privatisation-destroying-precious-NHS/story-22738554-detail/story.html

  116. J RentaSoul : Bush and Blair had good motives! Hitchens was soon shut down as he started to talk about Syria and ISIS – Rentatool said the problem with ISIS was not invading Syria in the first instance – and as soon as Hitchens said “on the contrary” Newsnight miraculously ran out of time!

    I would hope that Hitchens would have been about to point out that it was Saudi Arabia and the US who created ISIS in the first instance – but we will never hear that on Newsnight!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04dqd9c/newsnight-15082014 13.15 in

    Rentoul is a grinning facile ghoul and displays his complete lack of intellect here. No acceptance of his part in the war propaganda. The segment begins with videos of Bush and BLiar selling their war to the Iraqi people in April 2003. Chilling. Bush mentions WMD.

  117. A Somerset hospital is facing a series of compensation claims from patients who say eye surgery performed by a private provider damaged their sight.

    Cataract eye surgery was carried out by Vanguard Healthcare at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton in May.

    A lawyer has said out of the 62 patients who had surgery, half had problems and his client, an 84-year-old man, also lost his sight.

    The hospital would not comment as the health watchdog was investigating.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-28811077

    http://www.vanguardhealthcare.co.uk/ ‘The flexible solution for healthcare delivery’!! Mobile opersting theatres. What nonsense. Are we in the Australian outback or similar?

    ‘Our management team

    Executive Chairman, Andrew Allen

    Andrew Allen is a qualified chartered accountant who has spent the last twenty years as owner/manager of a range of healthcare businesses. Three of these businesses were backed by private equity, and realised returns upon exit well in excess of 30% p.a. for investors. /strong>(Sic)

    Andrew co-founded Vanguard in 2002 and, between 2005 and 2008, was a main board director at Nuffield Health where, in addition for being responsible for Vanguard, he was charged with the modernising and revitalisation of Nuffield’s diagnostic division. Following a management buyout from Nuffield Health in April 2009, Andrew became Executive Chairman of Vanguard Healthcare.’

    I haven’t been through the list but I do not see a doctor among the main players.

    http://www.vanguardhealthcare.co.uk/team.php

  118. I fouled up there with the formatting. I meant to highlight only the sentence advertising the financial return.

  119. Mr Allen the chair of Vanguard has multiple directorships.

    http://companycheck.co.uk/director/909153242
    ‘Andrew Allen holds 5 appointments at 4 active companies, has resigned from 10 companies and held 11 appointments at 7 dissolved companies. Andrew began his first appointment at the age of 36. His longest current appointment spans 23 years and 4 months at THE CLIFTON CONSULTANCY GROUP LIMITED.

    The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where Andrew holds a current appointment equals £1,682,282, with a combined assets value of £3,894,619 and liabilities of £5,398,009. Roles associated with Andrew Allen within the recorded businesses include: Company Secretary, Director, Llp Designated Member.’

    ~~

    From the BBC report note
    ‘But the operations were quickly stopped after four days. The hospital said it was apparent that “technical issues” had arisen.’
    Faulty sterilization perhaps? Just saying.

    The hospital trust that outsourced this cataract surgery should be in the dock if the claims are proved. The NHS meanwhile will be involved in a long legal wrangle with legal fees to be paid and will pick up the bill for the eventual compensation.

  120. DavidFromScotland

    16 Aug, 2014 - 5:28 pm

    Hi Craig,

    There are foodbanks in Norway, even though Norway is, according to the Yes campaign, the best run country on this planet. Foodbanks will remain a fact of life even in an independent Scotland, unless they are made illegal.

    There are lots of reasons for people using foodbanks, these can include: bureaucratic foul-ups in the benefit system; alcoholism; drugs or gambling addiction; an inability to manage personal finance as the effects of welfare reform.

    People like giving to food banks because it is a way of making sure that people in poverty get what they need. Sometimes, believe it or not, cash handouts get spent on tobacco, alcohol, drugs or electronic gadgets. Just ask any social worker for anecdotal evidence of this.

    Foodbanks aren’t a replacement for the welfare state or the NHS, but they can complement existing support for those in poverty. Although, the rise in foodbanks has coincided with much needed welfare reform, they are not directly caused by welfare reform, otherwise why are foodbanks becoming popular all over Europe.

    Love and kisses

    Your Tory Friend

    David

    PS Just read an article on BBC about Tony Abbot’s “Offensive” comments, maybe the BBC isn’t so biased now.

  121. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Aug, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    David from Scotland (on food banks)

    Good piece there, congratulations.

  122. Politicians are making a farce out of the NHS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4jTg7ujTzo

    Don’t let them! Stop them! Vote them out!

    Mr Unt with his ball falling to bits is the funniest. Sorry I meant bell.

    If Agent Cameron and Cleggover had appeared at my bedside I would send for security instantly. and have them removed.

    200 views though. When will people awake?

  123. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    17 Aug, 2014 - 11:59 am

    Foodbanks aren’t a replacement for the welfare state but as the welfare state is run down, they’re pretty handy. The same people pay, of course. Not the ones living in tax havens.

    … or the NHS, We’re thinking, medicine banks. And please volunteer as a surgeon, if you’ve got a sharp knife.

    …but they can complement existing support for those in poverty. Which means we can happily continue to run down existing support.

    …Although, the rise in foodbanks has coincided with much needed welfare reform, they are not directly caused by welfare reform*, Trust me, there’s really no connection. People just have less money, idle scrounging bastards that they are.

    otherwise why are foodbanks becoming popular all over Europe(?) Seriously, now. Global inflation in food prices following the clusterfuck engineered by the globalising capitalists for whom you are a cheerleader.

    * ‘welfare reform’= new bright welfare, with added cynicism

  124. I heard that this parasitic Tory has a seat Boston and Skegness which is marginal and possibly will go to UKIP come next May. He sees the writing on the wall and so he might as well say it’s down to not keeping up my lifestyle with the pittance provided that I’m off, which is obviously a load of horse manure, rather than the truth !

  125. DavidFromScotland

    17 Aug, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    Hi Craig,

    Here’s why welfare reform is a good thing.

    1. “The benefits system is not rocket science – it’s a lot more complicated.”

    The welfare system is immensely complicated. Job seekers allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Free school meals, Free prescriptions, Healthy start vouchers – the list of benefits goes on and on. Each benefit has it’s own complex set of rules. This makes it hard for customers to get the benefits they are entitled to under the law. There is lots of error, and the occasional fraud. It can be very generous to some individuals while some rules are enforced brutally. There are lots of bureaucratic foul-ups that really hurt claimants.

    It also costs a lot to administer e.g. tax credits costs around £100 a year per claim to administer. There are 5.7 million TC claims, so Tax Credits cost around £570 million a year, before a penny is paid to a customer.

    2. It’s expensive. I don’t know the exact figures, but welfare costs the government approximately £100 billion per year in the UK. If we are to lumber our children and grandchildren with a £1.3 trillion national debt, we have a responsibility to make sure the money is spent wisely.

    3. For me the worst feature is that it traps families into poverty, by making it impossible for many individuals to take work offered to them because they will not be better off. In many cases, families are made significantly worse off by finding a job.

    Nobody really knows if universal credits will improve life for the poorest families by making it easier for them to get out to work, but we should all hope that it will be successful.

    Love and Kisses

    Your Tory Friend

    David.

  126. Letters in Western Morning News

    Read of the reporter’s experience of the US health system when visiting and about the creeping privatisation of the NHS in the SW of this country.

    Fears ‘creeping privatisation’ will create a credit card healthcare system
    By Western Morning News
    August 07, 2014
    http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Creeping-privatisation-create-credit-card/story-22128542-detail/story.html

  127. Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    17 Aug, 2014 - 11:01 pm

    IDS opines:

    For me , speaking as one who has never mingled with indigent proles in a New Smiley Jobcentre Doubleplus the worst feature is that it traps families into poverty, by making it impossible for many individuals to take work offered to them because they will not be better off because the wages are sub-survival in order to ensure my trust fund grows. In many cases, families are made significantly worse off by finding a job. because a flexible global labour market requires a pool of desperate unemployed who can be coerced to work for even less than the dole.

    FIFY.

  128. From Pulse Magazine
    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/home/stop-practice-closures/revealed-all-new-gp-contracts-will-be-thrown-open-to-private-providers/20007596.article#.U_HkMeF0zSc
    18 August 2014

    Revealed: All new GP contracts will be thrown open to private providers.

    All new GP contracts will be opened up to bids from the private sector by NHS England in a move that GP leaders have warned marks the ‘death-knell’ of traditional life-long general practice.

    As a tide of practices face closure, managers have told Pulse that because of competition law they will not be replaced with GMS or PMS contracts, but with time-limited APMS contracts instead. The move has taken GP leaders by surprise, with the GPC seeking urgent legal advice about the move.

    Some have warned it will leading to the privatisation of the NHS with surgeries replaced with ‘short-term, profit making ventures’. APMS contracts were introduced in 2004 to open up primary care to ‘new providers’ and were famously used to procure the Labour government’s ill-fated ‘Darzi’ centres across the country.

    In October last year, Pulse revealed that NHS England’s London area team was planning to procure a ‘significant’ number of APMS contracts this year. And managers say this policy has been adopted nationally, to ensure that NHS England complies with competition regulations.

    Pulse has previously revealed an increasing trend towards APMS contracts.

    In February, NHS competion watchdog Monitor launched a probe on how to attract new general practice providers to regions with poor care, despite warnings from the GPC not to put ‘competition ahead of continuity’. GP leaders are warning that, with practices under increasing workload and financial pressure, strict tender requirements could exclude smaller practices from primary care and drive the invasion of private providers.

    And they are advising practices to seek alternatives to contract termination, for example by merging, when partners reach retirement in order to avoid losing ‘invaluable’ GMS and PMS contracts.

    GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said he was surprised to hear about the national policy that would ‘spell the death knell of the whole ethos of long-term, continuity of care in the way general practice operates’. He said the GPC was seeking urgent legal advice on whether NHS England was correct in asserting that APMS contracts were the only way to satisfy international procurement law.

    Dr Tony Grewal, medical director at Londonwide LMCs said they were worried about the moves in the capital that would replace family doctors with ‘short-term, profit making ventures that went against the ethos of primary care’. He added: ‘APMS is only for five years, potentially renewable, which means that you cannot invest time, you can’t invest in the long term. It’s designed for people to go in, to make a profit, and to go out again. Which is not, in my opinion, what general practice is about. What it means is, over a reasonably short period of time, given the rate at which practices are closing at the moment, you are going to have significant proportions of general practice services in London, being run by the commercials or big conglomerates.’

    And Dr David Jenner, GP contract lead at the NHS Alliance and a GP in Cullompton, Devon, warned that the move would mean that independent GPs would struggle to compete with larger healthcare corporations.

    ~~

    Important.

    The keystone of good and efficient medical services in the UK is general practice. That there has been good general practice in the UK for many decades is the reason why British medicine has stood high in the world. (Its direct cost – a squeezed 9%. Used to be 11% of the NHS budget.)

    If you want to kill the NHS, and ‘they’ do, the first thing you would attack is general practice in OUR NHS. The gloves are off. The only way to stop this expression of what I call an elemental struggle between rabid capital and the public good, is for there to be massive public resistance.

    Happily, this is occurring, and it is across the board. Many MPs and county councillors who have supported policies which are frankly evil, will be kicked out next time, and not all from two ruling parties. * People see the ‘policies’ as asinine; with greater costs their families will be less served.

    The low turnout in the EU elections indicating public apathy was a signal. Please pass this piece from Pulse around.

    * You note that the first harmful change took place in 2004. Alan Milburn Sec of State Health had signed his ‘concordat’ with Eamonn Butler in 2000 agreeing access of private outfits to OUR NHS. Later he earned £30,000 pa from Allied Medical which leased scanners to NHS hospitals. The scans were reported on, often poorly, from BELGIUM.

  129. Why did Simmonds’ resignation take a week to emerge into the daylight?

    https://twitter.com/KayBurley/status/498795599362547712/photo/1

  130. 38 Degrees,

    Jeremy Hunt has changed the rules again. He’s bringing in funding cuts that could see some local GP surgeries closing their doors for good. 700,000 of us could lose our local GP. [1]

    As Hunt tries to enjoy the last week of his holiday, let’s make sure he feels the heat. We can build a huge petition to leave him in no doubt that these cuts are not ok and we’ll always be here to protect our NHS:

    SIGN THE PETITION

    The clock is ticking: some surgeries say they could close within a year. The government won’t want bad news stories sticking around in the run up to the election. If Jeremy Hunt feels another big battle brewing over the NHS, it might be enough to persuade him to stop the cuts.

    38 Degrees members have already taken on Jeremy Hunt and won before. We stopped his Hospital Closure Clause and people power beat him in court twice when 38 Degrees members helped fund the legal case to save Lewisham hospital. [2]

    Please sign the petition to stop Jeremy Hunt’s dangerous plans in their tracks:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-close-our-surgeries

    As more surgeries are forced to shut, this could open the door for more GP surgeries to be run by large private firms on the cheap.

    Together, we can make a noise that Hunt can’t ignore. Can you sign the petition?
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-close-our-surgeries

    Thanks for everything you do,

    Nat, Robin, Laura, Ali and the 38 Degrees team

    NOTES:
    [1] The Independent: GPs warn ‘surgeries will close without more NHS funding’:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/gps-rally-patients-against-cuts-which-would-see-up-to-100-practices-close-9448988.html
    The Guardian: Funding change could force rural GP practices to close, BMA warns:
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/21/funding-rural-gp-practices-close-bma
    The Independent: Worst-hit GP surgeries to gain bailout as NHS admits reforms strike poor hardest:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/worsthit-gp-surgeries-to-gain-bailout-as-nhs-admits-reforms-strike-poor-hardest-9667439.html
    [2] 38 Degrees blog – Hospital closure clause: We did it!:
    http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/05/07/hospital-closure-clause-we-did-it/
    38 Degrees blog – Jeremy Hunt has been beaten in court again:
    http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/10/29/jeremy-hunt-has-been-beaten-in-court-again/

  131. You see how vulnerable we are when outsourced contracts like this fail.

    From the Local Government Chronicle

    Serco to withdraw from UK clinical services market.

    Outsourcing giant Serco has announced plans to withdraw from the clinical health services market in the UK after making a multimillion pound loss on its NHS contracts. The move follows a review of the cost of delivering “improved service levels” and meeting the performance requirements of several existing contracts, the company said in a stock market statement. Serco’s planned withdrawal could influence significantly how other private firms view the prospect of bidding for contracts involving patient facing services. It also follows months of speculation about the outsourcing giant’s clinical operation. The group had already made an early exit from its contracts to provide Cornwall’s out of hours services and clinical services to Braintree Community Hospital, the statement said. A third “loss making” contract with Suffolk Community Health will end next year, after running its full term. As reported in LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal, Serco announced in February it had signed a deal with another care firm, Bromley Healthcare, to help improve performance on the Suffolk contract. A Serco spokeswoman told HSJ at the time that it was “committed to directly providing community care services”. “Our commitment to the community healthcare market in the UK is undiminished,” she said. Serco’s former managing director of health services Valerie Michie, who left the firm in April, has previously denied claims its £140m bid to run the Suffolk contract was unrealistic.

    Read more … http://www.lgcplus.com/briefings/joint-working/health/serco-to-withdraw-from-uk-clinical-services-market/5073930.article?blocktitle=Most-popular&contentID=-1
    PAYWALL

  132. DavidFromScotland

    20 Aug, 2014 - 10:36 pm

    To my dearest and kindest friend, Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza),

    I do hope you will not be too shocked to discover that I work for the civil service administering part of the benefits system, so I may have a little knowledge of how it operates. I am sorry I am not allowed to give you full details of my occupation.

    Many people, in this beautiful country that we live, believe that it is shameful that some households who live on benefits are as well off, if not better off, than many hard working families who decide to go out to work. We strongly believe that this is harmful not just to the families on benefits, but to society as a whole. The UK labour party now share this view.

    Love and Kisses

    Your Tory Friend

    David

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