There is Another World 132

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.


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132 thoughts on “There is Another World

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    David from Scotland (on food banks)

    Good piece there, congratulations.

  • Mary

    Politicians are making a farce out of the NHS

    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?

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    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

  • Parky

    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 !

  • DavidFromScotland

    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


  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    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.


  • Mary

    From Pulse Magazine
    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.



    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.

  • Mary

    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:


    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:

    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?

    Thanks for everything you do,

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

    [1] The Independent: GPs warn ‘surgeries will close without more NHS funding’:
    The Guardian: Funding change could force rural GP practices to close, BMA warns:
    The Independent: Worst-hit GP surgeries to gain bailout as NHS admits reforms strike poor hardest:
    [2] 38 Degrees blog – Hospital closure clause: We did it!:
    38 Degrees blog – Jeremy Hunt has been beaten in court again:

  • Mary

    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 …

  • DavidFromScotland

    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


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