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.


132 thoughts on “There is Another World

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  • 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 don’t dispute the lies and deception over the IMF loan stunt.

  • Mary

    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

    ‘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.,_Baron_Nash

    Care UK now owned by Bridgepoint. Patten, Milburn, Stuart Rose etc.

    Rose is a Tory peer now.

  • Rose

    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.

  • Peacewisher

    @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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    “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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    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.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    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.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    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.

  • fred

    “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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    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.

  • 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.”

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

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

    A top professional footballer…

  • Uzbek in the UK


    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.

    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.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    “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.

  • fred


    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    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).

  • Uzbek in the UK


    “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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    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.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    “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?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    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.).

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

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

  • Mary

    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, 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…

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    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? 🙂

  • Mary

    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:


    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:

    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, Maddy 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

    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.


  • Mary

    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! 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.

  • Mary

    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. ‘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.

  • Mary

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

  • Mary

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

  • DavidFromScotland

    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


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

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