Have some NHS campaigners lost their minds?

March 16, 2012 2:53 pm

Author:

Tags:

Share this Article

I love the NHS. I’m proud of the fact that your NHS number is one of the first things you receive when you’re born. Perhaps before you even have a name, you’re given a guarantee that your healthcare will be taken care of – free at the point of use – from cradle to grave. It’s universal, it’s comprehensive and it’s the most successful (and popular) embodiment of the flawed beast that is British Social Democracy.

And like many people within Labour and on the left I’ve spent recent months demonstrating, letter writing, petitioning, tweeting, emailing and cajoling in an attempt to bring Andrew Lansley’s flawed “reforms” to a halt. Of course he didn’t listen – he never does.

When the fight over the NHS moved to the Lords, I cheered the small victories, but I feared the direction this fight was heading. Democratic Socialists fighting a guerrilla war against an elected government through the unelected Lords? It didn’t sit right with me. But I was able to reconcile myself to it – just – because this reform wasn’t something the Tories took to the country, and because these unelected Lords were (on the most part) put in place by democratically elected leaders.

In such grey areas does much of modern politics take place.

But now some NHS campaigners have decided that the long and bloody NHS war cannot end. There must be no surrender to the defeat in parliament. But they do not urge direct action, strikes, demonstrations or calls to repeal legislation. They call on the Queen to turn down royal assent. A gift to the people for the Jubilee – the abolition of democracy.

And that makes me wonder – have some NHS campaigners lost their minds?

Asking the Queen to begin arbitrating on what is good legislation and what isn’t is the politics of the mad house. I’m a Republican, but as I’ve argued in the past, I’m a reasonable one. The Queen is popular, I get that. So what I want most of all is for her constitutional powers to be removed. And yet some, in the desperation to save the NHS, would call on the Queen to issue an effective coup d’etat over parliament.

Is this really a road we wish to go down? If it begins here, where does it end? Will a future King Charles strike down a house building program because he disapproves of the architecture? Will a future King William strike down cuts to the coast guard? Are we really willing to hand over our (admittedly flawed) democracy for the prize if retaining the NHS in its current form?

If so, all perspective has been lost. Those who would back such plans are like the soldiers found long after WW2 – still fighting the war unable to reconcile themselves to their defeat.

If this is all we have in the locker, then we have already lost the battle. If not, then let’s employ tactics that are credible, workable and democratic, and retain our sanity.

20120316-145304.jpg

  • http://twitter.com/AtosVictims1 Atos Victims

    The traditional political parties which have previously been for the people were Labour/New Labour, the public can no longer depend on this party, especially the impoverished, the disabled, the terminally ill and the unemployed, no longer is there a clear choice for people to vote for a party that will defend the rights of those groups who need defending from right wing politics, the Labour Party and it’s political leaders have sold themselves and the public they are supposed to support down the river.

    The NHS is being privatised and the Labour Party have aligned themselves with the Tory right wing, Labour need to hang their heads in shame for their betrayl of the people…

    • baboon

      This is the most laughable garbage I’ve seen on here for ages. Labour have been ferociously opposing this legislation tooth and nail for months. What are you talking about?

    • Paul Lynch

      What absolute bollocks. Do you honestly believe that because we oppose overturning British democracy that the Labour party has  given up on the NHS fight?

    • Mike Murray

      No, It was the Tories and their Lib Dem Stooges who betrayed the British People by bringing in a bill that will privatise 49% of hospital beds and wasn’t in either party’s manifesto or the so called coalition agreement. That’s why the UK polling report on its latest Uniform Swing Projection forecasts a labour majority of 60 in the event of a general election. Get your facts right

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

    Good article Mark.  Agreed entirely.  I would say that the Queen has a full understanding of her duties, and she is not going to touch this with a barge pole – she can’t help, and even if she wanted to, she won’t because she knows her job is not to interfere with the democratic process.  Their efforts to contact her aren’t really an issue except that they are an astonishing waste of time. 

  • http://www.liampenninton.blogspot.com/ Liam

    I fully agree and it really does strike at the core of the topsy-turvy upside down world that seems to exist within parts of the Labour Party. 

    At the moment, I can count dozens of policies the Labour Party not just opposes, but downright detests, and would conserve what they possible could were they to win the next election. Any party which wants to conserve as much as they do would rightly be labelled ‘conservative’. 

    From being a party of principle to a rabble of rent-a-quote orchestrated opportunists, the Labour Party have achieved a remarkable transformation since 2010. For why? Bitter? Resentful? I can’t fathom it out.

    Nobody who uses the NHS on a full time basis would say its perfect. My mother died of cancer last year – for all the good the nurses did, and My word they were superb, it was obvious that they were overworked and underpaid, even though they would have been trained and taught during The Great Funding Splurge of 1997-2008.  A friend of mine’s sister was taken into hospital with a serious illness just after Christmas – again, the doctors and nurses were beyond marvellous and yet from food to cleanliness, it was obvious that the hospital was in need of reform. Not more money, not just extra funding, not just extra resources, but reform.

    This article is spot on – to have faith in the Lords and the Queen in your fight against a piece of legislation which, ultimately, puts into place exactly what your own party was fighting for when it was in office is fruit-loop lunacy of the highest degree.

    • Tipsilon

      You say you ‘fully agree’ with Mark’s post, and yet quickly express a very different view to that Mark expressed.

      Like Mark, I can accept that people chosen by our democratically-elected representatives to sit in the House of Lords have a role in tempering the role of an elected Government, especially when the largest party in Government had given a clear assurance to the electorate that there would be no more ‘top-down reorganisations of the NHS’. Supporting the role of the Lords as a check on the power of the Government is not the same as supporting having a never-elected monarch express a view on this. None of the organisations who have chosen to petition the Queen about this are Labour-backed, and there is no hypocrisy in doing one thing while opposing something altogether different.

      I also note that I’ve heard or read nobody – not just ‘nobody who uses the NHS on a full time basis’ – say the NHS is perfect. What many do say, however, is that the WHO says the NHS is the most efficient, and one of the best, healthcare systems in the world. The healthcare systems in other countries which perform better also receive more money – so to suggest  ‘reform’ (ie. the increasing involvement of private providers) as the only answer seems, at best, an unsupported hypothesis.

    • baboon

      Where’s all your Tory mates? Up the pub celebrating the forthcoming cut in the 50p rate?

    • treborc

      So you think the Tories and labour reforms work, I had MRSA from labour reforms of the cleaners, who now in my hospital get extra training  and extra wages.

      I have been a long time user of the NHS and if you think the Tories ideas are good then think back to Thatchers period in power, the waiting lists which would be upward of eighteen hours just to be seen by a doctor low paid nurses, low paid over worked doctors, yes we are now seeing this return. The problem is the NHS is a political tool used by Parties to be seen as , ” We Care”  sadly the only thing both parties were interested in was saving money by spending billions more.

      Yes the NHS needs reforming not bloody destroying

      • JoeDM

         In my teens back in the late 70s I had the misfortune to have an long term problem that required me to attend hospital clinics every 3 months or so.  Back in those days the the Stalinist NHS required you to turn up at 9 am for an appointment and you would have to sit around  until you were called in at, maybe, 3 pm in the afternoon !!!!!

        Following the initial reforms in the early 80s I’d get an appointment at a set time and usually I was seen quite promptly.   There were other improvements in the general organisation that I remember being impressed with as a long term out-patient at that time.  Luckily my problem was resolved eventually by an op.

        • treborc

           Not under Thatcher you did not mate or are you really telling us all those people waiting on trolleys were just labour causing problems.

          1980s was a nightmare in the NHS under funded under paid under staffed, the Tories tried to kill off the NHS a slow death, sadly new labour went the other way and tried to  flog it off.

    • Slakah

      “A friend of mine’s sister was taken into hospital with a serious illness just after Christmas – again, the doctors and nurses were beyond marvellous and yet from food to cleanliness, it was obvious that the hospital was in need of reform. Not more money, not just extra funding, not just extra resources, but reform.” 
      Reform for reforms sake is stupid, unless your ‘new’ ideas are carefully thought out and rationally tested you just end up blindly following ideology. I’ve seen no evidence from this government that the changes will bring any improvement to the NHS. The line their currently peddling is “patient choice will drive up standards” and “the NHS is too expensive”. The first of these assertions doesn’t appear to be backed by any proof  and the second is just wrong. The NHS is (according to the OECD) one of the most efficient and cost effective health care services in the developed world. Now if the two founding ideas behind this reform are shaky then what does that say about the rest of the bill?

      I’ll reassert myself, I’m all for progress, but this bill certainly appears to be taking us in the completely opposite direction.

  • BenM_Kent

    We’ve seen this kind of thing before from supporters of Parties of all stripes. I’ve definitely seen some Tories wail about petitioning the Queen over some Labour policies – mainly about Europe I think.

    In this case it is the last desperate act to ward off what is without doubt a disreputable bill. I don’t back it personally due to my own republican sympathies. It will be better to pledge at the next election to reverse all of this privatisation. 

  • Me

    I’m sorry, but this is simply one of the worst articles I’ve ever read on this usually very respectable site. It’s dire, in fact. It just lacks a sense of history to give it some semblance of perspective. Once again, pretty dire.

    • AlanGiles


      I’m sorry, but this is simply one of the worst articles I’ve ever read on this usually very respectable site. It’s dire”

      You obviously don’t read much of Paul Richards then! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/rpkaye Robert Kaye

    It’s a dumb call for another reason. If there is any scope for the Queen to refuse Royal Assent, it is a power she would only exercise on the Advice of her Ministers. She isn’t going to veto a Government Bill. But Governments might one day want to use the power to refuse Royal Assent to block a Private Members Bill from being enacted. So probably best that a party of opposition doesn’t try to legitimate the power in this way.

  • Paul Lynch

    The NHS ‘reforms’ must be fought with energy, with focus, and with as many people as we can muster to our banners. The work by Andy Burnham, the Shadow health team,the Labour Lords and thousands of campaigners around the country is an inspiration to activists and civilians across the nation. Why? Because it is fair, it is honest, and it is fighting in a way that is completely compatible with a modern democratic nation. The idea that it would be acceptable to recreate the precedent  of sovereign veto is ridiculous, and would elad us down a dark path, to actions and policies that would horrify people a thousand times more that the current crop of dreck coming from the government. This is a nuclear option, and it is a nuclear option because it will not only end this war, but every chance of a functioning, civilised state remaining in the UK. I’m glad there are so many from my party standing up to this madness.

  • Pingback: Royal assent and the NHS…. «

  • Forlornehope

    Scandal after scandal about disgraceful levels of care for the elderly and mentally ill in NHS hospitals.  Health care workers disciplined for blowing the whistle on poor care or paid off in exchange for gagging agreements.   This is the NHS you “love”.  You guys have got to be out of your minds.  Health care provided free at the point of use according to need is the absolute principle to be defended.  Defending an overgrown and corrupt bureaucratic dinosaur is simply producer interests at their worst.

    • AlanGiles

      And do you really think that mental health patients and geriatrics will fare better in the hands of private companies?.

      These are two Cinderella areas of medicine where little profit is to be made, and as a consequence there will be few commercial “takers”.

      • Forlornehope

        So that’s alright then!

        • AlanGiles

          I’m not quite sure what you mean by that, but can I just remind you of the many scandals involving private companies running nursing and residential care homes in very recent years?

          What short memories some blinkered individuals have.

          • JoeDM

             The biggest scandal in the NHS over the past 20 years or so has been the huge amounts of money, £12 billion, wasted by the last Labour Government on the failed IT system.

          • AlanGiles

            You can hardly blame the IT failure on the NHS itself – the fault lies with the advisers the government used – and as I was never a fan of Blair I am not defending  it or them. The NHS as a body was a passive participant and had to put up with what they were landed with.

            Another example of advisers not knowing what the practical limitations of their blue-skies thinking were – which is another cause to be concerned at Lansley’s ignorant meddling.

          • GuyM

            I worked for the National Programme for IT for some time and I’m afraid to let you into the clear truth that the NHS itself was in part to blame for the fiasco.

            NHS, Civil Service and IT Contacted Providers all have responsibility for the mess that was caused.

            If you’d like actual hard factual details around project failings and structural weaknesses in the NHs then do ask.

          • derek

            Ah, you played a hand in the fiasco! say no-more..oik…oik!!!!

          • GuyM

            Yep I played a hand, made my reservations clear and was told to shut up.

            Then when left informed my MP and wrote a letter to the Times. For my pains the head of the programme wrote to me threatening me with legal action if I disclosed the truth.

            It was a mess and a stupid idea from the start.

          • derek

            Sound almost espionage? what angle were you batting from?

          • GuyM

            Complete failure of the main stay of the programme the National Spine, complete failure to engage or get NHS buy in, complete failure of technical implementation in places.

          • derek

            Just one big failure to agree then? but why did you go public? assorted or favouredmotive?

          • GuyM

            Because I hated my taxes being wasted

          • JoeDM

            You got in before me !!!

            I also had the misfortune to be involved as a freelance PM working for one of the major suppliers.   I refused to renew my contract after 12 months as it was impossible to effectively manage the continually changing scope.

          • madasafish

            The biggest scandal?

            Come on.. you forget the killing of over 400 people in Mid Staffs:.

            Funny how Labour supporters totally ignore that..

            (And Burnham basically tried to cover it up.)

            If it was a Tory Government you would be up in arms. 

    • Mike Murray

      Health care provided free at the point of use according to need is the absolute principle to be defended.” 
      Absolutely. But when 49% of hospital beds are reserved for private patients that principle will go out of the window. The rich will be able to queue jump the poor and health care will be provided according to the size of your liquid assets. In which case give me the bureaucratic dinosaur every time comrade.

      • treborc

        Come on when have the rich not been able to jump to the front, the secret is that beds are kept for the poor and that is what matters. In my local hospital one week a month is used for private patients.

        I was once sent home from hospital because it was private week, I informed my MP Denzil Davies who hit the roof and I ended up in a BUPA hospital being treated for free.

        • Mike Murray

          Then what on earth do you think it’s going to be like when 49% of beds are made available to queue jumpers? What are you saying? That we should just accept it?

          • treborc

            Do not tell me you really think that if you can pay you cannot  jump the waiting list of course you can.

            Anyway I come from Wales in which of course we will carry out as we are.

  • Abraccio

    The concept of being a reasonable Republican is a classic Labour mish mash of the last 15 wasted years. You either are a Republican, i.e you believe in the abolition of the monarchy and hopefully in the abolitonof all inherited privilege, or you are not. A “Republican” who  thinks that the Queen can somehow still carry on being Queen on the basis that she is a nice person is beyond pathetic.

  • Tim Hardy

    I agree that petitioning the Queen is folly.

    However, you are completely wrong to claim that nobody is calling for direct action, strikes and demonstrations.

    Have a look at the blockthebillbuilders or UK Uncut sites. There are large, peaceful demonstrations planned for Saturday and Sunday. 

    Indeed there’s an occupation going on at the Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust  Headquarters right this moment.

    Labour party supporters are more than welcome to join us. 

  • Estherpage

    Mark, what re-course do  we have when a priministerial candidate stands before the people of this country and tells bare faced lies about what his intentions are. Cameron has lied about so many things not least the NHS and people are at the end of their tether with being hit on so many
    fronts at once. No wonder people are desperate enough to petition the Queen.

    • geedee0520

      It’s not ‘people’ petitioning the Queen but a certain Eoin Clarke. Bit of a joke really as he has a Phd but doesn’t understand that the Queen is advised by ministers on Royal Assent issues. Remember this Bill is the will of Parliament and if HMQ refused to sign it then the constitutional position will be nuclear.

      As Mark says – they have lost their minds

      • Amber Star

         Eoin Clarke is not behind this idea of petitioning the Queen. He has simply said that people might want to write to the Queen politely asking her to give a hearing to:

         The NHS Consultants’ Association and other organisations, including the National Pensioners’ Convention, the NHS Support Federation, Keep Our NHS Public and Public Health for NHS.

         These are the organizations which are petitioning the Queen to withhold her Royal Assent to the controversial Health and Social Care Bill for England, if it is passed by Parliament.

         Of course the Queen would never veto a bill which had been passed in Parliament. But she could certainly have a quiet word with Dave before it goes back to the HoC for the vote & ask is he certain that this bill is a good idea.

    • William

      Quite right Esther. But has Cameron lied more than Clegg (he of abolishing tuition fees fame)? Don’t think so!

      • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

        Both are putting their shoulder to the same wheel so, as far as I’m concerned, both should share the burden of guilt. However, as pointed out on the Socialist Health Association thread (The NHS, and our campaigning weaknesses), Blair and Purnell are often seen to be complicit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lewis-Buchan/100002454552775 Lewis Buchan

    As I look at what is happening over the border, it is clear that England’s NHS is indeed at great peril. Thank goodness for Scotland having its own parliament.

    • GuyM

      Yes, over the border, Labour’s running of the Welsh NHS is going so well isn’t it?

  • derek

    Hmmm, from Cromwell and Charles the first(reformation, restoration) too the French revolution, Monarchs gave their political power to  parliament which become commonly know as the crown estate and has kept the Monarchy alive and well in Britain for over 350 years, so what has changed? Politics has and peoples trust in political leaders and politicians in general, so it’s not surprising that an element of the public what to rewind the clock of history and ask the Queen to block a very unpopular bill.

    Personally, I just want the labour party and trade union movement to rise above the politics of fear and end this bill with the biggest protest to ever occur on this Island.

    • geedee0520

      How is the Labour party & trade unions having ‘the biggest protest’ rising above politics when this Bill (like it or not) has been agreed by Parliament? Which is how our democracy works? So it is entirely politics, which is OK, but don’t pretend it isn’t.

      • derek

        Stunning naivety geedeeo! day by day the public are losing their trust and faith in the political establishment, from the expenses scandal to the out and out lies about the NHS changes. 

        • geedee0520

          OK – so no politics, no parliament because you say so. Labour & unions will decide what’s best for us all and there’s no point in elections because…..

          Sounds like Cuba – good example.

          • derek

            The privatisation of the NHS isn’t democracy? it’s a narrowing down of selectiveness that puts a larger proportion of the public at a disadvantage.

            If political party’s can’t adhere to their promises and use emotive language just to further their own gains then YES! the public have every right to question the function of a dysfunctional parliamentarian purpose. 

          • Mike Slater

             And labour didn’t give us a referendum on European treaties, despite promising theml; arguably even more far reaching than the NHS changes. All politician lie. It’stheir nature. At least Dave won’t fly in thenext day to sign thre NHS decree in a darkened room

          • derek

            And Cameron didn’t go through with his promise for a referendum neither? That letter too the Czech president must have vanished from his mind, the invisible ink syndrome of broken promises indeed.

          • GuyM

            So revolution and upheaval until you get what you want all the time?

            Rule of the mob on the streets, whilst those who disagree with you are forced to keep quiet, have their democratic vote overturned yet expected (in your own words) to pay ever more tax.

            Disgusting.

          • derek

            Stop being tainted by your inner thoughts of crusading! I’m only saying what the 99% believe to be true.

          • GuyM

            45% still suport Tory or Labour, 50% plus did in 2010.

            Accept the electorate’s vote and deal with it Derek.

          • GuyM

            that should read 45% Tory or LibDem…. oh dear

          • derek

            45% tory and libdem, only in a certain part of the nation, why should everyone else accept that? not very democractic? and before you quote voting numbers more people didn’t vote in large areas than did vote. 

          • GuyM

            until the time comes you have regional government you accept the whole of the vote

            personally i hate the scots and welsh having any say over English matters, something of course you support removing?

          • derek

            Don’t know why you hate the Scots so much, considering you have Scottish blood.

          • geedee0520

            If Parliament votes for something then that’s democracy under our representative system. The public have an absolute right to complain but on things like capital punishment and EU membership we (through our MPs) all know better apparently.

            So, Derek, where do you draw the line on who decides what?

          • derek

            For goodness sake geedeeo, Cameron said that if there was a change to the EU treaty he’d put a referendum to the people? So when the new financial restructure came, Cameron   popped out with a refusal, like some white knight, while knowingly running from he’s own words.

            Truth!!!!!!!!!!!! is mightier than a lie.

        • GuyM

          So rule by the mob, or in this case unions and a political party leading their supporters to overturn a democratic government?

          You do realise what you are suggesting here? Hundreds of years of parliamentary democracy overturned because what you want isn’t in power all the time?

          For 13 years Tories (and others) sat in opposition to Labour and despite being fundamentally against many policies just got on and planned for the next election.

          You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • derek

            Are you threatening to take away the rights of  the trade union and it’s history of supporting those who need it the most? You do realise that the trade union movement played a bigger part in ending South Africa’s apartheid system than Thatcher ever did. 

          • GuyM

            Are we talking about taking away rights???

            When you propose turning over a democratically elected government by the use of direct action from a self interested political grouping?

            If I live under a Labour government, accept it won an election and live with it despite loathing a lot of it’s policies, guess what? You can bloody do the same with the Tories.

          • derek

            If you tell the electorate prior to an election that you wont mess about with the NHS and we’re going to be all in it together, then recant on all those promises as soon as you gain the power, then! I’d class that as false electioneering and misrepresenting the public.

            Politics can’t be about saying one thing and doing the completely opposite.

          • GuyM

            Shall we list Labour policies from 1997 to 2010 that weren’t in any manifesto?

            How about student fees to start?

          • Benjamin

            Well then you’re admitting its wrong then aren’t you. NO ONE should get away with this. Wasn’t there a by-election because a Labour MP lied about a Lib Dem? I think there should be plenty of by-elections going on.

            And all this, “the last government did it” as an excuse to do wrong things is pathetic.

          • Mike Murray

            “If I live under a Labour government, accept it won an election and live with it despite loathing a lot of it’s policies, guess what? You can bloody do the same with the Tories.”

            Labour had huge majorities 3 times for its policies. The Tories couldn’t even pass the winning post.  That’s why we don’t have to accept the legitimacy of their right to undemocratically impose on us policies that nobody voted for.

          • GuyM

            Ahh so you are saying that the convention of a government needing to hold a majority of the house to govern no longer applies?

            Labour in 2005 won less f the share of the vote than Tory in 2010, but you give it legitimate mandate on the basis of spread of votes not number? Sounds democratic.

            I presume if Labour form a minority government or coalition atfer 2015 you’ll be happy for all Tories to ignore any laws they pass? Of course you will.

          • Mike Murray

            If the Tories and their Liberal Democrat stooges are so confident that everyone wants the mendacious policies that they trojan horsed into parliament they should put them to the electorate now. What are they frightened of?

          • GuyM

            I seem to remember the same argument being put to Gordon Brown when he became an unelected PM….. did we get an election then?

          • Mike Murray

            We don’t elect governments in this country based on their share of the vote — we elect them on basis of seats won. That’s why there was a massive majority for first past the post and not AV at the recent referendum. If the Tories and their Lib Dem Stooges wish to put their mendacious policies to the people and the people vote for them and give them an overall majority I will say fair enough and accept such viscious policies which persecute the poor and only benefit the rich. Until then I have the right to challenge the undemocratic basis of the coalition and its undemocratic steamrolling through of policies which have never been put to the electorate and which the opinion polls show only a minority want.

          • GuyM

            We do nothing of the sort.

            We elect MPs who try to form a government in the Commons. with the support of the house.

            A government was formed and it is legitimate.

            To suggest otherwise means no coalition wold ever be legitimate and no system of PR would be so either.

            Are you saying this?

          • derek

            So you are declaring Cameron an unelected PM, time for a GE me thinks.

          • Mike Murray

            Complete red herring in the context of this debate.

          • guest

            The bloody Tories were not bloody elected into Office …. the last Labour Government were!

          • Slakah

            Surely an electoral mandate equally underpins a democracy. People who voted conservative believed they were voting for a party which promised no “top down reorganisation of the NHS”. I have yet to find a group which is better at subverting the will of the people than those of Westminster. Wasn’t it only 34% of the population supported this bill? Please point out how this bill being steamroller through is even a remotely democratic process?

            I do agree however that the petition of the Queen is frankly ridiculous.

          • GuyM

            Anyone who pays any attention to specifics in manifestos is politically naive in the extreme.

            More voted tory in 2010 than Labour in 2005, solet’s drop “only **% of the population”.

            Lastly and the biggest point, if we are talking about voting for something yet getting something else, tell me who voted for Gordon Brown and his set of policies that we lived under for 3 years?

          • derek

            The labour movement and the vast majority of public sector workers.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            24,278 people did in 2005, the last election before he was crowned as the Labour leader.  When the country was asked in 2010 to confirm this desire for him to be the PM, the majority did not want him to be PM.  That’s because the majority of people were thoroughly disgusted with his practical performance, his intellectual ability, and were totally embarrassed that he represented this great country on an international stage.  Since then, I am delighted to observe that his reputation continues to diminish.

          • GuyM

            No one voted for Brown as PM derek, not one single member of the electorate.

            His premiership and set of policies was never ratified by the electorate. He was a legitimate PM under the system but ethically had no mandate at all and certainly less legitimacy that Cameron does.

    • William

      Would that end it? How is it going to be organised? The Labour Party and the trade union movement are not ephemeral bodies but made up of people like me and you.
      Anyway this lot don’t care what ordinary people think, hence the burgeoning project to abolish the 50p rate. 

      • derek

        I think it has to be organised at a crucial point in time? what would be a massive media grabbing day?………I’m thinking somewhere in the East end of London……I’m thinking somewhere that has had a massive injection of capital public spending that continues to rise without question?…….I’m thinking of  occupying that area…….I’m thinking if it was possible, I’d be there……I’m thinking the NHS last longer than the 100 metres sprint.

        • geedee0520

          Good plan! How about the East end of (say) Glasgow on Rangers v Celtic day?

  • Holly

    Maybe we should not be so focused on the ‘point of use’, but on the quality of carers/ care.
    The latest news to hit the fan is the care at home aspect of elderly care in Britain. Why are we only now hearing about the same problems that have been listed from previous reports, regarding elderly ‘care in care homes and hospitals?
    Food out of reach.
    Lack of compassion, lack of dignity for patient.
    Elderly in soiled beds.
    The principles of the NHS regarding the ‘free at the point of need’ is still there, but the nitty gritty, VITAL bit is nowhere to be found.
    Maybe the people opposing the reforms could now find it in themselves to start DEMANDING
    that the people dishing out the dismal ‘care’ be re-trained, sacked or named.
    This has been happening for years, unreported, where has everyone been hiding?
    Where were the health unions when staff were whistleblowing?
    Where were the senior health professionals? Surely they MUST have noticed their patients were getting worse/neglected, if not why not?
    It is no use trying to somehow pin everything onto the current government, when ALL politicians, nurses, doctors, carers, unions and journo’s  did & said nothing to try bring this to the public’s attention.
    This outrage should worry us all.
     

  • AlanGiles
  • AlanGiles

    Good news for Tesco!: they might soon be able to add a raddled old ex-health secretary to their “work experience” for nothing scheme:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9150474/Health-warning-for-Andrew-Lansley-as-David-Cameron-plans-early-reshuffle.html 

  • CheerUpYoureNotDeadYet

    Two million people marched outside Downing Street and it didn’t stop Mr Blair from invading Iraq. We have petitioned, written, demonstrated, written letters, held public meetings, written to councillors and MPs, held local council debates and voted on motions, we have written to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State, written letters to the press signed by hundreds of doctors, posted films on Youtube, hired lawyers, written briefs for Lords, printed posters and put them through people’s letterboxes, given out leaflets outside supermarkets, asked famous footballers and pop-stars to try to give it media attention, signed petitions on the internet and gathered signatures on the streets, had debates in Parliament to have the Risk Register published, emailed all the Lords and Baronesses in the House of Lords, blogged on the internet, people have run marathons, delivered letters and postcards to Downing Street and the Department of Health.

    We don’t believe in street violence or rioting, like the Poll Tax rioters who set fire to Trafalgar Square, or those people who went on a shopping spree in the summer of last year. 

    The Queen is part of the State. She is perhaps the only person that Mr Cameron holds in some awe and veneration.  It would cause a constitiutoinal crisis for her to actually refuse Royal Assent – but the professional medical organisations are the only people who could request this.

    But if people want to ask the Queen to let Cameron know at one of their next
    meetings about their concern with the Bill, they are free to do so – she
    does have a constitutional role “to advise” and letters from the general public to her, expressing concern, are “evidence” from the public, that something is wrong. What is wrong with that? It’s better than riots.

    • guest

      …and we now know that those 2million people were ‘spot on’ with their beliefs …

  • guest

    Petitionin the Queen does not change the Constitution … it merely makes use of what is already in place.  Your suggestion that asking the Queen to stop the Condemn Dictatorship in it’s tracks, will give her the or future Monarchs the power to scrap anythig they don’t like the look of regardless of whether the electorate are in agreement with her is pure whimsy ….. she has the power to withhold Royal Assent now….and always has, what makes you think that asking her to use it will change her into a Dictator?  Cameron , on the other hand, is already behaving exactly in the manner which are proposing the Queen ‘might’ ….. no we haven’t lost our minds …. we are in danger of losing our Democratic Rights to the Governemnt and we intend to fight for them….and we will win!

  • guest

    ExpandPetitioning the Queen does not change the Constitution … it merely makes use of what is already in place. Your suggestion that asking the Queen to stop the Condemn Dictatorship in it’s tracks, will give her  and future Monarchs, the power to scrap anything they don’t like the look of, regardless of whether the Electorate are in agreement with her, is pure whimsy ….. She has the power to withhold Royal Assent now….and always has, what makes you think that asking her to use it will change her into a Dictator? Cameron , on the other hand, is already behaving exactly in the manner which  you are proposing the Queen ‘might’ ….. No we haven’t lost our minds …. we are in danger of losing our Democratic Rights to the Governemnt …. we intend to fight for them….and we will win!

  • guest

    Petitioning the Queen does not change the Constitution … it merely makes use of what is already in place. Your suggestion that asking the Queen to stop the Condemn Dictatorship in it’s tracks, will give her and future Monarchs, the power to scrap anything they don’t like the look of, regardless of whether the Electorate are in agreement with her, is pure whimsy ….. She has the power to withhold Royal Assent now….and always has, what makes you think that asking her to use it will change her into a Dictator? Cameron , on the other hand, is already behaving exactly in the manner which you are proposing the Queen ‘might’ ….. No we haven’t lost our minds …. we are in danger of losing our Democratic Rights to the Governemnt …. we intend to fight for them….and we will win!

  • guest

    Petitioning the Queen does not change the Constitution … it merely makes use of what is already in place. Your suggestion that asking the Queen to stop the Condemn Dictatorship in it’s tracks, will give her and future Monarchs the power to scrap anything they don’t like the look of, regardless of whether the Electorate are in agreement with her, is pure whimsy ….. She has the power to withhold Royal Assent now….and always has, what makes you think that asking her to use it will change her into a Dictator? Cameron , on the other hand, is already behaving exactly in the manner which you are proposing the Queen ‘might’ ….. No we haven’t lost our minds …. we are in danger of losing our Democratic Rights to the Government …. we intend to fight for them….and we will win!

  • guest

     p.s sorry about all of these repeat posting (below)….they were not deliberate…I don’t know how to delete them

  • Pingback: Hypocrisy and Hippocrates « The Knife and me

Latest

  • News Chris Leslie rules out raising National Insurance to pay for social care

    Chris Leslie rules out raising National Insurance to pay for social care

    The possibility of Labour pledging a specific tax to raise money for NHS spending resurfaced this weekend, with Ed Miliband apparently believing that the NHS is going to be a major issue in 2015. The supposed likely tax rise would be in National Insurance, and this has raised some debate on LabourList this summer, with MP Frank Field supporting the idea, while Andrew Harrop and Adebusuyi Adeyemi have both warned against it. In a revealing interview with Progress magazine, Shadow Chief […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Free School Meals: let’s avoid the sour grapes

    Free School Meals: let’s avoid the sour grapes

    This time last year, the government announced that it would introduce free school meals for all infant school children before the next election. The policy had been endorsed by the School Food Plan commissioned by Gove. It was being championed by the Lib Dems and brought forward so it could be implemented before the 2015 election in what appeared to be a pre-conference deal between the coalition partners. This week 1.5million children in infant schools in England, including my six year […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Weekly survey: Crime commissioners, Douglas Carswell and Labour defections

    Weekly survey: Crime commissioners, Douglas Carswell and Labour defections

    The role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) has been in the news lately, with the low turnout at the recent West Midlands by-election and the Rotherham abuse scandal becoming focussed on the refusal to quit by the South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright. LabourList reported this weekend that Labour are planning to abolish PCCs after the election next year. Should the role be discontinued? Or is there just a better way of making them work? The defection of Douglas Carswell […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It shouldn’t cost so much to be a candidate

    It shouldn’t cost so much to be a candidate

    I love the Labour party. I enjoy canvassing, I pay my subs, go to the various fundraising dinners and vote in National Executive Committee (NEC) elections. I, like many, hate the constant barrage of ‘please donate’ emails and fear the dreaded fundraising call. And if I feel like that, imagine the dread felt by a candidate when they receive such a call. Don’t believe that happens? Hard to believe as it is, on more than one occasion now I have […]

    Read more →
  • News Jim Murphy resumes “100 streets” referendum tour after nationalist abuse

    Jim Murphy resumes “100 streets” referendum tour after nationalist abuse

    Jim Murphy is resuming his soapbox street meetings tour of Scotland tomorrow, after suspending it last week in the face of increasing co-ordinated abuse by supporters of independence. These protests at Murphy’s open-air meetings came to the attention of the media (and the police) when the Shadow Defence Secretary was hit with eggs last week. In a blog for the Spectator this weekend, Murphy explains how the organised groups go beyond the “normal cut and thrust” of politics that the meetings […]

    Read more →