Thinking about restating the list …

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and whether ACPO & co should be on it.

If ACPO are on it … should they all be on it?

That’s reasonable, don’t you think?

I am a political dissident and I object strongly to be treated as a terrorist. Isn’t it ACPO & co that are the terrorists? Ian Blair definitely was and was clearly persuing a vendetta whenever he opened his arse.


Continue ReadingThinking about restating the list …

NHS news review

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David Cameron is accused by Labour of breaking an election pledge that NHS spending would not be cut.

NHS cuts costs by delaying operations so that patients either go private or die.

Unhealthy foods kill. Lansley consults with junk food pushers.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Cameron accused of breaking pledge on NHS, as health spending falls | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron was accused of breaking his biggest pledge at the general election – a guarantee that health spending will increase every year in real terms – after Treasury figures showed a fall in spending in the coalition’s first year in government.

Labour accused the government of burying figures in a Treasury document which show that spending on the NHS was cut in real terms to £101.9bn in the coalition’s first year in office from £102.7bn in Labour’s last year in government.

John Healey, the shadow health secretary, said: “David Cameron has broken his NHS pledge. He put up posters pledging to cut the deficit, not the NHS, but we see now that the Tory-led government has already cut spending on the NHS in its first year.

“On top of this cut, Cameron’s reckless NHS reorganisation is set to cost £2bn, money which could be better spent treating patients. And there are more cuts forecast in future years. This proves again what people have seen before: that you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

Labour criticised the government after figures in the Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) for this month showed a cut in NHS spending in real terms from £102.7bn in 2009-10 to £101.9bn in 2010-11. The Tories opened their NHS section in their general election manifesto with the words: “We will back the NHS. We will increase health spending every year.”

In a question and answer session on 14 June the prime minister said: “I want to make this clear, you know we are not cutting spending on the NHS, we are increasing spending on the NHS. This government took a very big decision, given that the NHS is one of the biggest budgets there is in the country, we took a decision to increase by more than inflation in each year NHS spending.”

Related: Parties trade blows on NHS spending – Mortgages, Money – The Independent

Labour accuses David Cameron of breaking NHS spending pledge | Politics

NHS cuts waiting lists ‘by letting patients die’ | News

Health bosses are deliberately making patients wait for treatment so they will remove themselves from waiting lists by either going private or dying, a report has suggested.

Some Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are refusing to operate before 15 weeks in a bid to save money, an independent agency that advises the Department of Health has discovered.

The tactic was employed by PCTs after they found that if patients were made to wait longer “some will remove themselves from the list or will no longer require treatment when it is finally offered.

“A PCT may therefore save money overall by increasing waiting times,” the report said.

“We understand that patients will ‘remove themselves from the waiting list’ either by dying or by paying for their own treatment at private sector providers,” the report by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) said.

Related: NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’ – Telegraph

Health News – Laws that restrict unhealthy food ‘would save lives and money’

The government could protect lives and save the NHS money by introducing laws that restrict unhealthy foods, experts say.

According to an article in the British Medical Journal, measures such as reducing the salt content of foods and eliminating industrial trans-fats could prevent thousands of cases of heart disease in England and Wales each year.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham’s School of Health and Population Sciences concluded that measures to reduce people’s salt intake by 3g per day or trans-fats by 0.7 per cent could save the NHS £40 million or £230 million, respectively, per year.

‘The findings are reassuringly consistent with results from very different methods in the United States, Australia and the UK Treasury,’ the study authors wrote.

McDonald’s and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy | Politics | The Guardian

The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald’s and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease, the Guardian has learned.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five “responsibility deal” networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies. Some of these are expected to be used in the public health white paper due in the next month.

The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. Working alongside them are public interest health and consumer groups including Which?, Cancer Research UK and the Faculty of Public Health. The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal’s sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

The leading supermarkets are an equally strong presence, while the responsibility deal’s physical activity group is chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, which is the lobby group for private gyms and personal trainers.

In early meetings, these commercial partners have been invited to draft priorities and identify barriers, such as EU legislation, that they would like removed. They have been assured by Lansley that he wants to explore voluntary not regulatory approaches, and to support them in removing obstacles. Using the pricing of food or alcohol to change consumption has been ruled out. One group was told that the health department did not want to lead, but rather hear from its members what should be done.


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

NHS news review

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The Guardian reports that the cost of the Con-Dems’ assault on the NHS is rising at almost £1m a day.

Many operations are routinely refused because of cuts. This may be the beginning of the end of the NHS and exposes David Cameron as a blair-faced liar.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Cost of NHS changes rising by £1m a day, official figures show | Society |

The cost of the government’s plans to restructure the NHS is rising at almost £1m a day, the Guardian has learned. Buried in a spreadsheet put out by the Department of Health as part of its revised business plan last week, officials admitted that the cost of transition was now £1.49bn.

This figure is £160m more than the previous estimate, issued six months ago, when the reforms bill was first published. In January the department estimated the total cost of the structural change to be £1.33bn. The health bill was amended after suggestions by a committee set up by David Cameron, the Future Forum, to head off criticism over the wide-ranging reforms. But the effect appears to have been to increase significantly the cost of the upheaval to the taxpayer.

A new impact assessment will now be completed by the Department of Health following the forum’s recommendations. Analysis by the Health Service Journal has shown that the transition to placing health budgets in the hands of GPs had already cost £228m since July last year.

The size, scale and cost of the reforms have long troubled MPs and health service professionals, who point out that cutting staff also costs huge sums in redundancy payments. Trade unions claim that three-quarters of the estimated cost of the transition will go towards redundancy payments to 20,000 staff, suggesting average settlements of more than £45,000.

John Healey, the shadow health secretary, said: “People will be shocked at the scale of wasted cost due to David Cameron’s NHS upheaval. These new figures, slipped out by the Department of Health, show that the costs of this unnecessary reorganisation are spiralling out of control.” Alan Maynard, professor of health economics at York University, said: “The delays and time taken for the reforms have really begun to affect morale and work ethic. People just won’t work if they don’t know where they will be next year or whether they have a job.”

Cataracts, hips, knees and tonsils: NHS begins rationing operations – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

Hip replacements, cataract surgery and tonsil removal are among operations now being rationed in a bid to save the NHS money.

Two-thirds of health trusts in England are rationing treatments for “non-urgent” conditions as part of the drive to reduce costs in the NHS by £20bn over the next four years. One in three primary-care trusts (PCTs) has expanded the list of procedures it will restrict funding to in the past 12 months.

Examples of the rationing now being used include:

* Hip and knee replacements only being allowed where patients are in severe pain. Overweight patients will be made to lose weight before being considered for an operation.

* Cataract operations being withheld from patients until their sight problems “substantially” affect their ability to work.

* Patients with varicose veins only being operated on if they are suffering “chronic continuous pain”, ulceration or bleeding.

* Tonsillectomy (removing tonsils) only to be carried out in children if they have had seven bouts of tonsillitis in the previous year.

* Grommets to improve hearing in children only being inserted in “exceptional circumstances” and after monitoring for six months.

* Funding has also been cut in some areas for IVF treatment on the NHS.

The alarming figures emerged from a survey of 111 PCTs by the health-service magazine GP, using the Freedom of Information Act.

Doctors are known to be concerned about how the new rationing is working – and how it will affect their relationships with patients.

Related: NHS begins rationing operations in cost-cutting drive – Telegraph


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

Previous blog: August 9, 2006 – Hypocrite John Reid pushes the NeoCon line

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I had a free blog hosted by from January 2006 to May 2011. My blog at was mysteriously deleted in early December 2008. Here’s a post from my previous blog.


John Reid, bananas

John Reid presented a speech ‘Security, freedom and the protection of our values’ to the ‘think tank’ Demos today.

I’ve snagged the text of his speech from the Labour Party website. My comments are [bracketed].



This is my 96th day as Home Secretary.

Already, thanks to the hard work and dedication of my civil servants we have come a long way in a short period of time. Not only have we admitted and identified some of the problems within the home office but we have published practical plans with milestones to improve our performance.

With endurance and an ongoing commitment to the unglamorous work of good governance I believe we have a route map to increased competence and public confidence in three key areas.

�         Transformation of the Home Office;

�         Restructuring of our Immigration and Nationality Department; and,

�         Rebalancing of the Criminal Justice System.

Now we have a little precious time to give some thought to the overarching challenges that face us as a nation.

2          Protecting the public is the primary objective

One other issue was not substantially dealt with by those three publications but has been at the core of my thought, business and time at the Home Office. The core purpose of the Home Office is the protection of the public. So it is to the topic of national security that I want to spend the majority of my time on today.

3          A difficult task

The provision of security is a major task facing government in this age of uncertainty in both  domestic and international affairs  Even in relatively recent times, for most ordinary people the word �security� has changed in everyday meaning from being the desirable objective of financial comfort in old age or the formal description of military power, to being one of the highest concerns for daily living. We now live in a world where insecurity is a phenomenon that crosses the economic and social, the domestic and foreign, the psychological and physical, the individual and collective.

This generation has seen massive global changes. Up until two decades ago the Cold War froze the world into a static state in which:

[“the Cold War froze the world into a static state”?]

�         Borders were inviolable;


�         Ethnic tensions suppressed;

�         Religious extremism ruthlessly put down;

[Religious extremism is ruthlessly put down now.]

�         States were not allowed to fail;

[Failed states is a very NeoCon concept.]

�         Migration was minimal.

[needs checking]

But we now confront a torrent of challenges following on from the thawing of the Cold War. Porous borders, failed states, civil wars and ethnic tensions are all resurgent.

[Failed states again. NeoCons believe that ‘failed states’ can be subjected to military invasion. I wonder what a failed state is and how they come to fail. ‘Resurgent’ is a measured term. I wonder is there is some deeper meaning here.]

Globalisation means that decisions taken on the other side of the world now affect every local community in the UK.  Jobs now change overnight in their skills requirements creating huge challenges if we are to re-skill our workforce to keep pace and provide the sort of security of employment that people once took for granted.

[… So keep up you plebs … in this wonderful Globalised, Capitalist world]

With the end of the Cold War has also come mass migration on a hitherto unprecedented scale bringing with it big benefits but huge challenges as well.

[Surely mass migration is mainly a result of wars? Not convinced that Reid’s claims re: mass migration.]

There is greater potential to create wealth and expand opportunities for individuals and national communities, but the volume and speed of movements can also carry insecurity into the heart of our communities.

[“volume and speed of movements”? leads to insecurity?]

Indeed, in my view, mass migration and the management of immigration is now the greatest challenge facing all European governments.

[but later in this speech he says “We are probably in the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War II” with the threat being a combination of terrorism and organised criminals.]

As I said on Sunday

We have to get away from the notion that anyone who wants to talk about immigration is somehow a racist. People recognise that migrants can bring great skills to the UK but they also want to be assured that immigration will be properly managed and our public services and benefits systems protected from abuse.

[“It’s not racist to talk about immigration” was a slogan of the UK Conservative Party (the main opposition party to Blair and Reid’s Labour Party)  in the May 2005  general election.]

We need to have a mature discussion about all this, properly informed by independent advice on the impact of migration on our jobs market and on local communities to stop this becoming a party political football.

[As if Reid is not encouraging that party political football.]

And we need to work internationally with out European neighbours to strengthen the external borders of the European Union and share information on those who may threaten our security. As I have already found, European politicians like Nicholas Sarkozy understand the importance of managing this issue. It�s a Europe wide problem.

Practical initiatives like those taken forward by David Blunkett and Nicholas Sarkozy to close the Sangatte camp and improve border screening at the channel ports have helped immensely.

And now we have laid out our own next steps for dealing with this issue and rebuilding confidence in an immigration system which is fair and effective and trusted.

[I doubt that these are really Reid’s objectives.]

4          There have been improvement and changes

Turning now to the more traditionally defined matter of the national of our nation. We have dramatically changed the way we approach national security in this country. Previous Home Secretaries have led innovation and change. In particular:

�         Jack Straw�s lead in protecting the Critical National Infrastructure from electronic attack and putting our anti-terrorism legislation on a permanent basis through the Terrorism Act 2000

�         David Blunkett�s work in the aftermath of 9/11 on Counter Terrorism and Civil Contingencies including the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act measures passed within months of the attack

�         Charles Clarks advances with Memorandum of Understanding for Deportations with Assurances and the introduction of control orders.

[All Fascist attacks on civil liberties and human rights.]

And Increases in funding

 The government has more than doubled the resources available for counter-terrorism work in the UK from around �900 million to almost �2 billion. In December, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that a further �85 million would be given, and last month an additional �39 million was made available.  In financial terms, MI5 have got what that they have asked for.  By 2008 MI5 personnel will have doubled from pre 9/11 levels.

[It is widely accepted that this government grossly exagerrates the threat of terrorism. They are pursuing a political strategy of fear, terror and lies to promote their Fascist agenda. How much of this is about political oppression to silence the government’s critics?]

I want to build on the work of my predecessors and the resources provided by the Chancellor.  So in recent weeks I have announced  to the House of Commons our next steps in  developing  the CONTEST strategy as well as a revised approach to threat and response levels. We have also responded to the Intelligence and Security Committee�s report.

Closer Co-ordination

Effective co-ordination is essential and there is now closer co-ordination. There is a chain of command. There is a Permanent Secretary for Intelligence, Security and Resilience, Sir Richard Mottram, who sits at the centre in the Cabinet Office and is answerable to the Prime Minister and to me. He ensures that the intelligence community has a clear strategy and system for prioritising collection and analytical effort and that the resources provided for the intelligence agencies are used appropriately.

[Are we supposed to be reassured that there is a chain of command answerable to Bliar and Reid?]

He also chairs the JIC, which provides a cross-community view on issues to senior officials and to ministers. In addition JTAC, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, brings together counterterrorism specialists from the intelligence agencies, the police, and government departments to produce assessments on terrorism, a model that is being looked at by other countries. We have gone a considerable way towards achieving coordination.

[Have to take a closer look at him then. I wonder if Reid is setting him up.]

 We keep such matters under review, and the events of 7/7 showed the importance of good co-ordination. I am prepared to look into whatever may need to be done as are the services.

[ … ]

However as Demos yourselves have pointed out National security is not a task the government can do alone. You are right when you say we need to join forces.  Effective security now relies on the participation of a much wider range of actors � from governments and public bodies, to companies and people. Security cannot be outsourced by governments, but networks of public and private organisations have a joint role in guaranteeing local, national and international security. It is only by joining forces that we will develop an effective response to today�s global security threats. So closer coordination is a continuing item on our agenda.

[Rules of conflict for a world war by Efraim Halevi, published at approx 5pm. BST 7/7/05 (the day of the London explosions).

In the past, governments have been expected to provide security to their citizens. The responsibility is still there, in principle. But in practice, no government today can provide an effective ‘suit of protection’ for the ordinary citizen. There can be no protection for every bus, every train, every street, every square. In these times the ordinary citizen must be vigilant and must make his personal contribution to the war effort. Private enterprise will have to supplement the national effort in many walks of life. ]

But we must go further

Tony Blair said last week �if it is correct that the challenge of rapid change is enormous the response has to be fundamental also�.

[all hail the glorious war leader.]


Try �if it is correct

that the challenge of rapid change is enormous

the response has to be fundamental also�]

Unsurprisingly I agree with him. Because our adversaries are unconstrained  � the international terrorist are ruthless in their misuse of our freedoms to harm us.

They try to turn to their advantage our society�s great strengths like our free media, ease of access to travel and goods � to turn them into our weaknesses. They endeavour to drain our morale and resources by misrepresenting every mistake or overreaction as if it is our primary or real purpose. Some fight for their right to asylum in the UK from repressive regimes not to spread liberty but to plan and plot for more repressive regimes.  Some come as students yet freely express contempt for the intellectual freedoms that have been the bedrock of our academic institutions. Some claim to detest usury but fund their plots through fraud, corruption and organized crime.

[Reid invokes the ‘free press’ myth. The UK press is overwhelmingly corporate.

I wonder if he means this ‘free press’

source: BBC governors’ website

8.1 The Corporation shall, whenever so requested by any Minister of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and at the Corporation’s own expense, broadcast or transmit from all or any of the stations any announcement (with a visual image of any picture or object mentioned in the announcement if it is a television transmission) which such Minister may request the Corporation to broadcast or transmit; and shall also, whenever so requested by any such Minister in whose opinion an emergency has arisen or continues, at the like expense broadcast or transmit as aforesaid any other matter which such Minister may request the Corporation to broadcast or transmit, provided that the Corporation when sending such an announcement or other matter may at its discretion announce or refrain from announcing that it is sent at the request of a named Minister.
8.2 The Secretary of State may from time to time by notice in writing require the Corporation to refrain at any specified time or at all times from broadcasting or transmitting any matter or matter of any class specified in such notice; and the Secretary of State may at any time or times vary or revoke any such notice. The Corporation may at its discretion announce or refrain from announcing that such a notice has been given or has been varied or revoked.
8.3 If and whenever in the opinion of the Secretary of State an emergency shall have arisen in which it is expedient in the public interest that Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom shall have control over the broadcasting or transmission of any matter whatsoever by means of the stations or any of them, it shall be lawful for the Secretary of State to direct and cause the stations or any of them or any part thereof to be taken possession of in the name and on behalf of Her Majesty and to prevent the Corporation from using them, and also to cause the stations or any of them or any part thereof to be used for Her Majesty’s service, or to take such other steps as he may think fit to secure control over the stations or any of them, and in that event any person authorised by the Secretary of State may enter upon the stations or any of them and the offices and works of the Corporation or any of them and take possession thereof and use the same as aforesaid.
8.4 If and whenever the Secretary of State shall exercise the powers conferred on him by subclause 8.3 the Corporation shall be entitled to receive from the Secretary of State –

(a) compensation for any damage done to any property of the Corporation, being damage directly attributable to the exercise of any such powers; and
(b) such sums as are required to defray any expenses which, regard being had to the nature of the emergency, have been properly and necessarily
incurred by the Corporation and for meeting which revenue is by reason of the exercise of such powers not otherwise available to the Corporation.

8.5 All existing arrangements between the Corporation and the relevant Government Departments relating to certain defence works and national emergencies (as such arrangements may be varied from time to time) shall continue in force during the continuance of this Deed.

8.6 No person acting on the Corporation’s behalf or by its permission shall or shall be permitted or suffered by the Corporation to divulge to any person (other than a properly authorised official of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom or a competent legal tribunal), or make any use whatever of, any matter coming to his knowledge as a result of unintended reception by means of the stations or any of them or any of the Corporation’s apparatus for wireless telegraphy or telecommunication systems.

Since we are concerned with “any such Minister in whose opinion an emergency has arisen or continues” we should note that the current threat level as promoted by John Reid’s Home Office is SEVERE.

So much for a free press …]

Since 2000 we have radically reformed our anti-terror legislation and introduced four new terrorism acts, almost 1000 people have been arrested for terrorism related offences, of which 154 have been charged and 60 terrorist suspects await trial. Since 7/7 4 significant terrorist plots have been successfully disrupted.

Yet in spite of these successes we remain unable to adapt our institutions and legal orthodoxy as fast as we need to. This is the area that puts us at risk in national security terms. There have been several contributory factors to this including party political point scoring by the Conservative and Liberal opposition during the passage of key anti-terrorism measures through to repeated challenges under the Human Rights Act which I continue to contest.

As the  Prime minister said only last week  ��The nature of organized crime or social breakdown in parts of our communities, not to say the threat of global terrorism bent on mass slaughter, means traditional civil liberty arguments are not so much wrong , as just made for another age�.

[Wow. The glorious war leader says that civil liberty arguments are not relevant today. There’s modernity for you. “Forwards not back” by abandoning civil liberties, etc.]

The European Convention, for example, drawn up by British lawyers in the aftermath of the second world war, was shaped inevitably by that war and by what was happening across the Iron Curtain. From the struggle to defeat fascism and stand up to Stalinism came an understandable focus on protecting the individual from the overweening power of the fascist state.  So protections from unlawful detention, from forced labour, from torture, from punishment without trial came centre stage. And rightly so given what had gone before.

[But since these civil liberties are not relevant today, they should be abandoned?]

And over time, as the totalitarian shadow retreated from Europe, those rights became a reality for more and more of the 300 million or so living within its borders. Indeed, they became an essential pre-requisite for a country to be considered a member of the European family.

But now we are faced by a new challenge -perhaps greater than any faced in the last fifty years, to this new consensus around the core values of a free society.

And the challenge is this. What happens when the threat to our nation and hence to all of us as individuals, comes not from a fascist state but from what might be called fascist individuals. Individuals who are unconstrained by any of the international conventions, laws agreements or standards, and have therefore, unconstrained intent.

[Reid’s argument is that since individuals – yes, individuals – can challenge the state – yes, state – civil liberties protecting individuals from the state should be abandoned.]

Individuals who can network courtesy of new technology and access modern chemical, biological and other means of mass destruction, and who have therefore unconstrained capability.

[Reid is exagerrating the threat of terrorism for political advantage. Who are these people who can “access modern chemical, biological and other means of mass destruction, and who have therefore unconstrained capability”? Be afraid.]

Individuals, who would misuse our basic rights and freedoms but, if they had their way, would want to create a society which would deny all of the basic individual rights which we now take for granted. As the Taliban have shown in practice and Al Qaeda espouse globally, the society they want would have no place for freedom of expression, thought or religion. No respect for private life or the rights of women. No compunction about unlawful killing or detention.


The biggest achievement of democratic socialism is not just a legal framework for human rights but the fact that real power and opportunity is now exercised by the many not the few in a way that our forefathers could not have imagined.

[Reid is referring to the Human Rights Act which the Blair government introduced in 1998. Today’s Labour Party should not be described as ‘democratic socialist’. It is a fascist party under insane tyrrant Blair. The Blair government has moved on from both democracy and socialism just as it is now attempting to move on from civil rights.]

Education, job opportunity, the chance to travel, new forms of entertainment, women�s rights are the successes of our open tolerant democratic state run by the rule of law.

What I fear is what happens when this progress is contested by others who do not share our world view. Some of whom do not want to see women educated or accessing the courts at all.  Many of whom come from far beyond our shores and have no real connection with our nation � beyond a desire to attack it.

[Reid is being racist is this speech through linking immigration to terrorism although he is semantically careful. Many of whom …]

At a time when a single terrorist could cause irreparable damage on a hitherto unknown scale to our society and our confidence in the entire state I find myself in a situation where, in dealing with foreign national terrorist suspects:

�         we can�t always prosecute individuals due to the difficulties in obtaining sufficiently cogent admissible evidence for a criminal trial;

�         often we can�t deport them, even if they have no proper basis for claiming asylum here, due to concerns about the treatment they might receive in their home country;

�         and we can�t detain them pending deportation if deportation is not a realistic prospect due to concerns about their treatment on return, as to do so discriminates against them.

This presents me or any home Secretary charged with the task of protecting the public from international terrorism in a very difficult position.

I believe in our values. I have no doubt they are shared by the vast majority of people throughout our country, from all social, religious or ethnic backgrounds.

But I have no doubt that it these very values which are the target of the terrorists.

We need to understand the depth and magnitude of that threat � all us, each of us across the whole political, media, legal and public spectrum. I believe that the majority of the public do indeed get the seriousness of the threat.

But when I see

–           The opposition among our politicians to the measures which the police and security agencies say are necessary to combat this threat to our community and values.

–           The Chahal Judgement by European Judges that we ought to be prohibited from weighing the security of our millions of our own people if a suspected terrorists remains here when trying to deport

–           so many of our commentators give more prominence to the views of  Islamist terrorists rather than democratically elected  Muslim politicians like Premier Maliki or President Karzai

When I see and hear all of these things then I sometimes feel that so many people who should be foremost in recognizing the serious nature of the threat just don�t get it.  We cannot afford any misunderstanding, in any quarter about the nature and scope of the threat which we are facing.


Charles Darwin, wrote ‘it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change’. That is why we need to see national security in a new context and all of us � politicians, businesses, lawyers and citizens need to evolve our thinking for the 21st century.

[that 21st Century term …]

Moreover, the end of the Cold War is accompanied by the reach and impact of organised crime and international terrorism. As we continue that debate in respect of terrorism there should not be an inch of complacency in any of our thinking. I understand that we�re fully pre-occupied thinking about events in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. But never for one moment forget we now live in a world where there is a seamless web that runs through foreign and domestic events. None of us should be anything other than vigilant and that vigilance is the price for securing our freedoms.  So let us be in no doubt:

There is not one inch of room for complacency that is why I am emphasising today:

�         We are probably in the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War II;

[Be afraid, there are evil terrists that want to kill you. Reid can get anything he likes published by the BBC then.]

�         While I am confident that the Security Services and Police will deliver 100% effort and 100% dedication, they can never  guarantee 100% success; and,

�         Our security forces and the apparatus of the state provide a very necessary condition for defeating terrorism but can never be sufficient to do so on their own. Our common security will only be assured by a common effort from all sections of society.

[You’re either with us or against us. Everyone must join Reid’s assault on civil liberties to be successful in defeating these individuals that want to attck the state.]

�         Sometimes we may have to modify some our own freedoms in the short term in order to prevent their misuse by those who oppose our fundamental values and would destroy all of our freedoms.

[A difficult argument to follow here. Reid is saying that in order to protect our freedoms we have to abandon them “in the short term”.]

It is up to each and all of us to ask the questions: what price security? At what cost preservation of freedom? What values are at stake? And what is the cost of making the wrong choices?

[I think that the question each and every one of us shuld ask is how can we tolerate these Labour Party fascists and what can we do to get rid of them?]

This is not an abstract discussion. It is one which touches upon the preservation of the values and freedoms I look forward to that debate with you.

[There you go then although I strongly suspect that I am one of those individuals that Reid wants to have civil liberties abolished for.]

see also Have I got the time about right? UPDATED 24/06/08

Continue ReadingPrevious blog: August 9, 2006 – Hypocrite John Reid pushes the NeoCon line

Previous blog: November 16, 2009 – DRAFT: SCRABBLE SERIES

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I had a free blog hosted by from January 2006 to May 2011. My blog at was mysteriously deleted in early December 2008. Here’s a post from my previous blog.


Looks like I’ve started a Scrabble series.

Here we have an example simple program to convert words into their Scrabble score. It could have been written far more efficiently and elegantly but I’ve written it awfully simply so that you see the basic structure. It’s written in python which I believe is very similar to Javascript but it’s likely that this program could be implemented in almost any programming language.

I’ve written it for the English Scrabble letter values so you will need to change the values for different conversions. This short program will also accept phrases although of course phrases are no good for Scrabble. If for some reason you wanted to convert a whole page of text into Scrabble scores I suggest that you expand it to give you a Scrabble score for words and phrases – maybe chop the input up on punctuation, etc.

As the program stands it simply ignores values that are not specified. Different languages will of course have different entries. I hope that it demonstrates how simple it is to achieve simple things with basic programming skills.

Since Scrabble is good for learning and expanding the vocabulary, I expect to be bringing you some example words in the style of Sesame Street. I think that I may start with the word harbinger although that would only be any good in Scrabble if somebody had already used the word ‘arb’. [Edit: ‘harbi’ and ‘harbin’ may be words acceptable under Scrabble rules. There you go, learning already.] I’m not really sure that that’s acceptable under Scrabble rules (have to look it up) and of course somebody else could add an ‘s’ and get a good score.

import sys

letters = {
	'a' : 1,	'A' : 1,
	'b' : 3,	'B' : 3,
	'c' : 3,	'C' : 3,
	'd' : 2,	'D' : 2,
	'e' : 1,	'E' : 1,
	'f' : 4,	'F' : 4,
	'g' : 2,	'G' : 2,
	'h' : 4,	'H' : 4,
	'i' : 1,	'I' : 1,
	'j' : 8,	'J' : 8,
	'k' : 5,	'K' : 5,
	'l' : 1,	'L' : 1,
	'm' : 3,	'M' : 3,
	'n' : 1,	'N' : 1,
	'o' : 1,	'O' : 1,
	'p' : 3,	'P' : 3,
	'q' : 10,	'Q' : 10,
	'r' : 1,	'R' : 1,
	's' : 1,	'S' : 1,
	't' : 1,	'T' : 1,
	'u' : 1,	'U' : 1,
	'v' : 4,	'V' : 4,
	'w' : 4,	'W' : 4,
	'x' : 8,	'X' : 8,
	'y' : 4,	'Y' : 4,
	'z' : 10,	'Z' : 10

while 1:
    word = sys.stdin.readline()
        val = 0
	for i in word:
	    if i in letters:
	        val = val + letters[i]
    print "value is ", val


Continue ReadingPrevious blog: November 16, 2009 – DRAFT: SCRABBLE SERIES

Previous blog: November 14, 2009 – Scrabble

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I had a free blog hosted by from January 2006 to May 2011. My blog at was mysteriously deleted in early December 2008. Here’s a post from my previous blog.



It’s drawing towards Christmas and one tradition of Christmas is playing Scrabble with relatives. Scrabble is a very popular board game which I’m sure that you don’t need me to explain. There is a long history of attributing values to letters. In fact, letters serve as numbers in some languages.

I wonder if there’s an online Scrabble I could play…

Continue ReadingPrevious blog: November 14, 2009 – Scrabble

NHS news review

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Nixon promotes private health care in similar fashion to David “I love the NHS” Cameron and Andrew Lansley. [I don’t agree with the comments on Clinton].

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Andrew Lansley is wrong – GPs do not support this NHS bill | Ron Singer | Comment is free |

Those GPs who have joined commissioning groups have done so to defend their patients, not support this race to privatisation

Many have said the health and social care bill will ruin the NHS. Where do doctors stand? This doctor opposes the bill. It will reduce the health secretary’s duty to provide a comprehensive, universal service in England, sell off NHS services to “any willing provider” and replace co-operation with competition (euphemism: “choice”). The £20bn of “efficiencies” demanded over five years will mean the NHS shrinks. The better off will buy “health top-ups”, perhaps supported by private insurance schemes to pay for them. The rest will have an NHS safety-net service only.


Polls and conference resolutions demonstrate much disquiet among doctors about the race towards privatisation. Making GPs responsible for the treatments you can or cannot receive will move GPs from impartial, generally trusted patient advocate to guardians of their referral budgets. Some “doctorpreneurs” have stakes in private health providers. GPs’ decisions about you will no longer be impartial or trusted. Doctors and the public are increasingly concerned about this; trust is crucial to therapeutic relationships.


Two GP organisations, the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) with close government links and the NHS Alliance – a naive implementer of governments’ policies – are in favour with Andrew Lansley. They contain the GP enthusiasts for getting their hands on the levers of power – allegedly. Allegedly because commissioning groups (CGs) will have little commissioning power after the enormous bureaucracy being created – the NHS commissioning board and regional outposts, remnants of primary care trusts, health and well-being boards and clinical senates – has told them what they can and cannot do.


The BMA is about to launch (a little late perhaps) a public campaign for the bill to be withdrawn. It refuses to oppose the bill so it can stay in negotiation with government rather than leaving the field open to NAPC and the NHS Alliance. The BMA acknowledges it will end in tears and wants to stay “in touch” to help stitch the NHS back together.

Labour highlights NHS competition fears and criticises Health Bill amendments |

In a Labour briefing document, John Healey MP, shadow health minister, criticised the government’s Health Bill amendments for not changing the role of new regulator, Monitor, enough.

Mr Healey argued that changing Monitor’s duty to promote competition to a duty of ‘preventing anti-competitive behaviour’ did not address fears raised during the listening exercise.

‘We are concerned that this flipping of language may not substantially affect how Monitor carries out its duties, and therefore does not reflect the deep concerns expressed by those responding to the listening exercise.’

Mr Healey said that the amendments changed Monitor’s specific duties but did not alter the broad scope of its powers.

He warned that the NHS’s protection from UK and EU competition law would be removed by changes in the Bill.

‘Monitor will still have the power to enforce competition law and to fine hospitals by 10% of their income, for collaboration that is deemed to be anti-competitive,’ he said.

Mr Healey said that decisions about providers could end up being made ‘by lawyers in Monitor and competition courts’.

The amendments have created ‘more bureaucracy and more complexity’ and would ultimately lead to the NHS becoming a market, Mr Healey warned.

‘The government amendments still leave in place the essential elements of the Tories’ long-term plan to set up the NHS as a full-scale market and break up the NHS as a national public service,’ Mr Healey said.

The Bill returns to the Commons for report stage debate on 6 September.
Further Reading

Hospital cuts jobs threat is revealed – Health Care Services –

Health chiefs have said there will be job losses at Preston and Chorley hospitals as they battle to slash a massive £50m from their budget.

Managers at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals, say that at this stage there are no plans for compulsory redundancies, but there will be a reduction in headcount as they attempt to cut their pay bill.

As part of the Government’s plans for £20bn of NHS savings, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has to make around £50m of savings over the next three-years.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has an annual expenditure of £360m, which means the budget for three years will exceed £1bn.

The hospital trust has to make £21m of savings by April 2012 and then a further £15m for each of the following two years.

Measures identified to make savings reducing the number of theatre sessions and clinics, best prices for supplies, including stationery and reducing the need for temporary staff.

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Sir Roger Boyle, the UK’s former National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke criticises Andrew Lansley’s plan to abolish the National Health Service.

“Competion means more providers, which means more contracts have to be placed which means transactional costs rise. The allegiances [of the private companies] will be to their shareolders not to the users of the services. We have already spent £1billion on redundancy payments. Is that value for money?”

“If the market was going to work the Americans would have cracked it. My 91 year old American mother in law (who lives in Florida) has to fill in a 150 page form each year for her health insurance and then more forms each time she makes a claim.”

“I favour evolution, not revolution.We could have got to the same point without this huge disruption. Everything has effectively stopped [while the reforms are thrashed out] except the focus on saving cash – it is very unsettling.”



A petition for GPs and GPs battling against hugely rising costs.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Sir Roger Boyle: ‘It is horrific that the NHS’s future is threatened’ – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

When Andrew Lansley was appointed to the cabinet by David Cameron in May 2010 you might have expected the new health secretary to take the trouble to introduce himself to the leading players in his department. But no – his first meeting with Sir Roger Boyle, who had been toiling away as the Government’s National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke for more than a decade, did not come until a couple of weeks ago, for what Boyle describes as a “decapitation.”

The heart czar had given a speech in which he described Lansley’s claim that the NHS was over managed as “complete baloney”. He had critcised the NHS reform strategy of throwing out the old and bringing in the new “without even looking at things that have worked well,” and had warned about the dangers of dismantling relationships nurtured over years and destroying “corporate memory.”

A day or two later he appeared on the Today programme to re-iterate his criticisms, expressing the widely held view that what the NHS needs now is “stability not more change.”

Lansley was not pleased. Boyle described what happened. “Miraculously, I found myself in his office. His aides were debating whether they could sack me before they discovered I was going anyway. Lansley said he was disappointed I had gone public without telling him. Which is fair dos except he could have found out if he had bothered to see me. It was a short meeting. I had my knuckles rapped.”

It is a pity Lansley had not made more effort to find out what Boyle was up to because he would have learnt some important lessons about the NHS and what it had achieved without the benefit of the market revolution being ushered in under the NHS reforms.

During his 11 years in post – Boyle retired on Friday – the death rate from heart disease has halved. Waiting times for treatment have been slashed. There are more surgeons, more patients on drugs (for blood pressure and cholesterol), better equipped units,and around 60,000 lives saved each year – half from changes in lifestyle (such as reduced smoking) and half from improvements in treatment. Not a bad record on which to bow out.

The scale of the advance has been so great that the NHS has had to cut back on training posts for heart surgeons because there will not be enough work for them to do in the future. As well as improved health, the NHS is starting to save money.

But Lansley was not keen to trumpet this success. And Boyle thinks he knows why – it does not play to the Health Secretary’s agenda which is to dismiss everything done before his time in order to bolster support for the revolution he has meticulously planned to open up the NHS market and subject it to more competition.

Related Leading article: A justified critique of a blinkered Health Secretary – Leading Articles, Opinion – The Independent

Senior Department of Health doctor launches scathing attack on Lansley reforms – Telegraph

NHS Reforms Criticised By Former Government Advisor

England’s GPs to sign petition calling for NHS bill to be withdrawn

Thousands of England’s GPs can express their dissatisfaction at the government’s Health and Social Care bill by signing a new petition calling for the bill’s withdrawal.

The government is claiming that because GPs have signed up to Clinical Commissioning Groups (formerly GP Consortia), they are supportive of the bill and this new model of health care delivery.

The petition is designed to counter this claim and to tell government that GPs have signed up in order to protect their patients’ interests, but are not supportive of the proposed reorganisation of the NHS.

The petition was launched today (Monday 25 July) by the Medical Practitioners’ Union (MPU) and is targeted at GP members of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and members of practices that are members of CCGs.

The petition supports the British Medical Association’s (BMA) policy that the bill should be withdrawn.

But adds: ”If the bill is not withdrawn, we demand that the government allows full and proper scrutiny of the entire bill and the amendments to it.

”If the bill is not withdrawn, the entire bill with amendments should be recommitted and its committee stage extended.“

GPC warns rising expenses could drive GPs out of business |

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden warned that a failure to tackle rising expenses would force practices out of business and ultimately leave the NHS facing far higher costs.

He said the issue had become the number one priority for GP negotiators.

‘We are where we were in the 1970s,’ he warned. ‘We are in a scenario where rising expenses are not being met, but are eating into what we already have. Sooner or later that pressure cooker will blow up.’

Dr Holden’s comments came as a poll revealed a 22.8% rise in costs for small businesses over the last five years. The rise outstripped the rise in inflation as measured by the consumer price index, which totalled 19.4% over the same period, according to the poll by small business savings advisors Make It Cheaper and the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

A total of 48% of GP, vetinary and dental practices warned that they could go out of business if nothing was done to address the imbalance between rising costs and income.


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

NHS news review

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Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

GPs will be forced to privatise NHS, GP leaders warn |

A DoH guidance document on the Any Qualified Provider policy, published this week, outlined that commissioners must offer a choice of three providers for a range of services.

But GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman warned that the ‘unavoidable implication’ of this drive is that commissioners will have to commission from private providers.

He said: ‘The government would say, “Well that’s alright because if they are providing NHS services at an NHS tariff, why does it matter?”.

‘Our answer is it does matter because services should be provided by the NHS or by people who are employed in the service.’

Dr Buckman also said it is now clear that clinical commissioning groups will have little freedom to make decisions and instead will be continually dictated to by a number of other bodies, including the NHS Commissioning Board.

He said: ‘The more documents come out the clearer it is that clinical commissioning groups are not going to be free to do whatever they like.

‘Clinical commissioning groups are going to end up being the fall guys, nominally in power but actually being told what to do and second guessed by a variety of other bodies.’

Patient, heal thyself: the new NHS mantra? – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

NHS patients who smoke or are obese are being told they must “heal themselves” before being granted access to surgery, in a dramatic extension of NHS rationing as doctors struggle to find £20 billion of savings over the next four years.

Doctors from 50 GP practices in Hertfordshire providing care to 450,000 patients have agreed to block those who smoke or have a BMI of more than 30 from being referred for routine hip or knee replacement surgery, without first being referred to a weight management or smoking cessation scheme.

The restriction, introduced eight weeks ago, is to be extended to all routine surgery over the next few months. Similar moves to ration care are being debated by family doctors across the country, in fulfilment of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plan to move the bulk of the NHS budget from managers, who don’t spend resources, to GPs, who do.

But critics of the move say GPs must act as advocates for their patients, not as rationers of NHS services, and that the confusion of the two roles under the NHS reforms will undermine patients’ trust. They say each patient must be treated according to their needs and a blanket restriction imposed on the basis of lifestyle is “unethical”.

Longer waits for cataract treatment – Main Section – Yorkshire Post

A fifth of GP practices have been affected by changes in criteria used to refer cataracts patients, with the average patient waiting an additional 15 weeks for NHS treatment, according to a new report.

Despite 85 per cent of GPs surveyed believing that postponing treatment has a detrimental effect on patients’ quality of life, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of practices admitted that their patients will now have to wait for their eyesight to deteriorate even further before they can be referred to the NHS.

In most cases, patients who previously had 20:20 vision will not be eligible for treatment until their vision has regressed to the minimum driving standard, the report said.

The most inconvenient factor is that the criteria must be reached for each eye, leaving many patients with only one eye treated for months while having to go through the referral process twice, it added.

For one in 10 practices, the time between diagnosing and referring patients is thought to have risen by an additional 15 weeks, with some GPs recording delays of up to 24 weeks for their patients.

NHS told to sell off disused land / Britain / Home – Morning Star

NHS managers are being asked to sell off disused land in order to raise urgent cash for a financially devastated health service, the government announced today.

Deputy NHS chief executive David Flory has asked trusts to earmark surplus land that could be used to build affordable homes.

The Department of Health said the money would be reinvested into front-line NHS services to benefit patients.

A spokesman said “financial accounting procedures” guarantee trusts reinvest the money in patient care.

But Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive Dr Peter Carter warned that the plans will not prevent short-term cuts being driven through and questioned whether “efficiency savings” will really be invested back into front-line services.

He said: “Unfortunately, some local trusts are taking a short-term approach, slashing jobs and services at an alarming rate.

“We have already identified 40,000 NHS posts that are earmarked to be lost across Britain and a study of 21 trusts found that more than half of job losses were front-line clinical posts.

“Nurses and patients want to see hard evidence that these efficiency savings are being reinvested back into frontline services. There is currently very little evidence to show this is actually happening.”

Unite questions government’s NHS land sell-off

There are big question marks over the government’s plans to sell off the NHS’ surplus land for affordable housing, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Friday 22 July).

Unite’s national officer for health, Rachael Maskell, said: ”There are a number of questions that need to be clarified about this announcement which we will be seeking answers to.

”We would be concerned if the land went to private health providers, where the private sector may be lining themselves up to deliver services. This would then be part of the government’s underlying NHS privatisation agenda, which we would oppose.

”However, if the land is for public sector use, then it would be beneficial for it go towards the building of much-needed social housing. The issue here is that with land prices at a low level, is this now the best time to sell the land, if the money is expected to cross-subsidise trusts’ debts?”

Brighton health campaigners call meeting to fight NHS reforms | Brighton and Hove News

Health workers, patients and community campaigners are holding a public meeting tomorrow evening (Monday 25 July) about health services.

The group behind the meeting, Keep Our NHS Public, said that it wants to discuss how to stop the government from privatising the NHS.

Speakers include Dr Ron Singer, president of the Medical Practitioners Union, Steve Bell, a member of the union Unison’s National Executive Council, and Bronwen Handyside, from Hackney Keep Our NHS Public.

Information about the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government’s plans will be outlined along with how these changes will affect health workers and patients.

The organisers said that the coalition had been trying to water down its NHS reforms under pressure from the huge weight of opposition from trade unions, health professionals and almost 500,000 public signatures on the 38 Degrees online petition.

But, the organisers said, the threat of privatisation was still embedded in the Health and Social Care Bill.

In the past week, the organisers said, the government announced that £1 billion of NHS services are to be opened up to competition from private companies and charities.

They said that this would place profits and bank balances ahead of patient needs and care.

The day they signed the death warrant for the NHS – Telegraph

You might think that historians will record last Tuesday as the day the Murdoch empire was brought to book by MPs. Yet I suspect that in years to come, they will realise the significance of that day, not for the phone-hacking scandal but for the health service.

While the nation’s attention was focused on the most powerful man in the media attempting to dodge questions and cream pies, this was a good day to bury bad news. And the Department of Health duly obliged.

Andrew Lansley explained that from April next year, eight NHS services worth £1 billion, including musculoskeletal services for back pain, wheelchair services for children and adult community psychological therapies, will be opened up to competitive bids from the private sector.

This means that in these areas, the NHS will no longer exist. Sure, the logo will still be there, but the NHS will no longer be national, any more than British Telecom is.

There is no doubt that this signals the first wave of privatising the NHS. Yet MPs of all persuasions continue to be deluded.

In a letter that has been passed to me, Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, assures a worried constituent that the NHS Reform Bill will “improve the NHS and therefore definitely not lead to the privatisation of services”.

Doubtless Mr Williams means this sincerely. But I wonder if he has actually read the Bill. I telephoned and asked him: no, he hadn’t. The problem is that the MPs who are voting on this assume that the Bill’s content reflects the Government’s White Paper on the NHS, published last summer. I have read both and it is clear to me that the White Paper bears little relation to the legislation that is being pushed through.

Welfare policy ‘turns public against disabled’ | Society | The Observer

The government’s flagship Welfare to Work policy is inciting hatred and violence towards the disabled by portraying them as cheats and benefits scroungers, an alliance of charities has warned.

A drip-feed of statistics about claimants who have been denied benefits by the Department for Work and Pensions because they are deemed fit to work threatens the safety and quality of life of its members, says an alliance of 50 charities. The government is feeding a negative attitude towards people with disabilities, which, the charities warn, will ultimately end in violence.

The alliance has written an open letter to Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, after complaining that private warnings on the issue have gone unheeded. The charities say the government should instead be promoting the talents of those who no longer need to claim benefits. Alice Maynard, the chair of Scope, who is a wheelchair user, said: “We just feel it is too much now. It is becoming such a frequent occurrence, it is likely to have some very serious negative effects. I think in the end it ends up in violence.”

She added that a hardening of attitudes meant she now “thought harder” about going out at night in London.


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

NHS news review

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Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

News on NHS ‘was timed to be buried’ (From The Northern Echo)

AN MP from the region has attacked what he called the scandalous timing of a Government announcement that they would be opening up more NHS services to private competition.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s announcement that the Government will open up more than £1bn-worth of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities was timed to bury bad news because TV news was concentrating on the live broadcast of Rupert Murdoch.

In the first wave, beginning next April, eight NHS areas – including musculo-skeletal services for back pain, adult hearing services in the community, wheelchair services for children and primary care psychological therapies for adults – will be open for what Mr Lansley said was competition on quality not price.

Mr Blenkinsop said: “To choose yesterday of all days to announce this is nothing short of scandalous. On any other day, this announcement would be the lead item and would be, rightly, viewed as highly contentious and very disturbing news.”

But the news was welcomed by Shaun Fryer, managing director of the private Newcastle Clinic, who said the Government’s call for changes cannot come soon enough.

Related: Letters: NHS privatisation is slipping under the radar | Society | The Guardian

Continue ReadingNHS news review