“Today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies assessment of the Conservatives is clear: their plans would damage our economy and public services. They also confirm that the Tories have not specified any additional funding for the NHS, meaning a continued crisis in our health service if they are re-elected next month. The Tories plans on schools will mean continuing to sell away our future, with continued real terms cuts to per pupil spending.
The only numbers we saw in the Tory manifesto were the page numbers. But what has become clear today is the choice at this election – continued austerity and falling living standards under the Tories, or higher wages and increased investment in our public services and infrastructure under Labour.”
“Below is the full judgement of the Information Tribunal into the Lansley’s appeal of the Information Commissioner’s November order to publish the NHS Risk Register after Labour MP & former Shadow Health Secretary John Healey’s initial requests to do so back in June 2011. In this case the court unanimously decided that the NHS Bill was contrary to the Tory manifesto, unexpected, rushed, far reaching, pre-judged and without proper consultation. In effect, the judgement implies that the Tories cynically hid their plans to carve up the NHS prior to the 2010 election. You and I knew that of course, but to read it in black & white from a court judgement is truly unprecedented. This document below is a devastating indictment of the Tory handling of our democratic process. The judges unanimously ruled the Tory government should release the full contents of the NHS Risk Register.” Source: Dr Éoin Clarke (PhD) The Green Benches
BBC report how government tried to suppress the report
“Last month the government lost a Freedom of Information battle to keep its transitional risk register secret.”
The judgement itself argued that the public interest in understanding the risks involved in this case “would have been very high, if not exceptional” and would have provided the public “with a far better understanding of the risks to a national institution which millions depended on”.
• Read, or download, the complete judgement:
• Alternative download link:
Healy judgement PDF document
‘Meanwhile, Back At The NHS’
Stop Government Snooping, scream emotive headlines all the way across civil liberty groups to mainstream media, but are they concentrating on the real story? Yes, I think so. As far as the government press office would have you think.
The alleged new laws under proposals would allow the monitoring of all emails, texts and web use in the UK is a text book example of how a government attempts to manoeuvre focus away from a controversial story by manufacturing an even greater one in its place.
The more dramatic and emotive this slight of hand can be made to appear, the greater its desired effect.
The present uproar concerning privacy, tactically, ironically or perhaps even coincidentally announced on April 1st, is a deliberate ploy of misdirection designed to draw attention away from the genuine story. In this instance it is the break up of the NHS.
Don’t be fooled. As much as the government would love to pass a law that allows them unprecedented access to the private communications of an entire country, such desires are well below those that wish to disband the NHS and in doing so, cream off a tidy profit for themselves and their cronies.
If one looks into the story you will see there’s very little detail there. Just enough to allow people’s imagination to do the rest.
Classic spin. Seems to be working too. They say ‘Jump’ and the media say, ‘Is this high enough?’
Now let’s all get back to the NHS shall we?
Oh look, here’s a surprise: Government retreats on digital ‘Big Brother’ plan. NOW can we can we get back to the NHS?
• The fight for the NHS is not over: this is what we need to do now (The Guardian)
• Our NHS Future (Facebook Group)
• Clinical commissioning group GPs financial links with private providers (False Economy)
• GPs’ shares in private healthcare firms prompt conflict of interest fears (The Guardian)
• Email and web use ‘to be monitored’ under new laws (BBC News)
• Tory clowns, civil liberties…
UPDATED: Coverage of the day.
Channel 4 News
11 May 2011: There’s to be a march, rally and lobbying of Parliament today, to express solidarity and anger at cuts threatening disabled people’s benefits and rights, and vital social care services.
If you can’t make it to that London, there are various other ways to make your protest heard, including writing to your MP and protesting online see The Hardest Hit website.
Below is a small selection highlighting some of the effects these cuts will have, not just for those in need of long-term care, but for everyone. Also, most importantly, the deliberate lies presented by Government, published via the NHS in a public document called ‘Working Together for a Stronger NHS’, that breaches both the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Advertising Standards Authority code.
“Disabled people take anti-cuts protest to the courts. Lawyers await high court judgements on legal actions against council plans to cut social care.”
Karen McVeigh: The Guardian
“Social care cuts: ‘The people concerned are invisible’. The most vulnerable sections of society are emerging as the worst hit by council cuts.”
Karen McVeigh: The Guardian
Prime Minister’s Health Campaign Misleads Public
“There’s a new document on the Department of Health website called ‘Working Together for a Stronger NHS’. This manages the feat of breaching the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Advertising Standards Authority code.”
John McTernan: The Telegraph
“The BMA were so concerned about the reforms that they held their first special representative meeting in 20 years and passed motion after motion condemning almost every aspect of the Health and Social Care Bill including one stating: “This meeting deplores the Government’s use of misleading and inaccurate information to denigrate the NHS and to justify the Health and Social Care Bill reforms.”
“The health bill is the project of a Government determined to dismember the public realm and roll back the state to allow public money to be diverted to the private sector. There is no mandate for such changes and there has been no public debate about them.”
Dr Jonathon Tomlinson: Channel 4 News website
“I’d expect this from UKIP, or the Daily Mail. Not from a government leaflet”
“HM Government have issued a new leaflet to justify their NHS reforms: Working Together For A Stronger NHS. It was produced by Number 10, appears on the Department of Health website, and many of the figures it contains are misleading, out of date, or flatly incorrect.”
Ben Goldacre: The Guardian
“Help the disabled to fight for what is right”
THIS country never had a more noble, idealistic vision than the welfare state.
Even more than World War Two, the creation of the welfare state is our finest hour.
Over the years the welfare state has been used, abused and had the micky taken out of it.
But it still has that glorious foundation – to protect the weak, to support the vulnerable, to offer a helping hand to those who need it the most.
On Wednesday May 11, thousands of disabled people and their supporters will join The Hardest Hit protest in Westminster. To support the campaign, and to fight cuts to support for disabled people, go to thehardesthit.wordpress.com
If the welfare state does not exist to help the hardest hit, then it has lost sight of why it was built.
Tony Parsons: Mirror
Disability benefit cuts ‘could breach law’
Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned.
Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.
Mr Charles added: “The human rights act says individuals have a right to family life, have a right to a quality of life, the whole purpose of the DLA is to put them on an equal playing field with everyone else.
“Any proposal that fails to appreciate those fundamental rights could find it is an infringement of the law.
His opinion is backed up by other specialist disability lawyers.