Tory Health Minister Simon Burns called activists opposed to the Con-Dem coalition government’s plans to destroy the NHS “zombies”. Burns comments echo a similar comment by David Cameron exposing the Con-Dems’ contempt for parliamentary democracy. He said that those that opposed their Neo-Victorian policies should “grow up”.
This is about the stupendously rich and priviledged’s arrogant sense of entitlement and superiority. There is no need to debate on the issues since opponents are simply dismissed as immature or the living dead – or is it less than human? The super rich are so divorced from reality that they simply cannot understand that anyone could disagree with them. Please sir, can I have some more?
I paraphrase my step-father on the Tories’ ‘Big Society’ return to Neo-Victorian hypocrisy and prudery and their failure to maintain the deception of parliamentary democracy: Another deception, of course, is David Cameron’s discussion of the “Big Society”. In truth he is keen to undermine society – and even undermine democracy itself.
A century and a half ago, almost all services that ordinary people depended on were provided either by private companies or voluntary organisations founded by rich individuals. Gradually the vote was extended, first to men and then to women. The intention of universal sufferage was to create a society where the most important services were in the hands of peoples’ representatives to ensure that they were available to all and in an acceptable form to the majority of the population. This formula has never worked perfectly of course and we need new methods to make our representatives and service managers more accountable to the people.
Instead of trying to improve this formula, the Tories want to destroy it utterly and return public services back to the Capitalist and the rich voluntary bodies. Nobody else will have any influence on our public services. The clock will be turned back a century and a half and many of the major features of a democratic society will be destroyed.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Health campaigners hit back today after Tory Health Minister Simon Burns called them “zombies” for making noise about the government’s controversial NHS reforms.
The MP insulted campaign group 38 Degrees in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon while responding to a question by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.
The question related to a demand by 38 Degrees that the government releases its NHS risk register promptly so peers have the full facts during their debate of the Health and Social Care Bill in the House of Lords over the next few weeks.
Mr Burns said: “I think Mr Burnham does himself a disservice by simply joining the rants of organisations like 38 Degrees who are frightening people and getting them almost zombie-like to send in emails.”
The campaign group said that it was “shocked” to hear the minister attacking members of the public who had emailed their MPs about their concerns regarding the Bill while neglecting to explain why the government is delaying releasing the details, despite the Information Commission ruling that it must.
“Thousands of members have been in touch with 38 Degrees since Mr Burns made his remarks to express their disappointment that he’s chosen to insult them in this way,” said 38 Degrees executive director David Babbs.
“Many have said how worrying it is that a senior member of the government doesn’t seem to think we have a right to contact him about something as important as the NHS.”
Each reform costs years of improvements in quality, report suggests, but Andrew Lansley insists change is needed
The last thing the NHS needs is a large reform as it is one of the world’s best health systems and has been improving patient care for years, says the author of the OECD’s flagship report into international care and treatment.
The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development thinktank, which is funded by wealthy governments, says the NHS has cut heart attack deaths by two-thirds since 1980; the public rarely has to pay to meet health needs; and citizens have comparable life expectancies to their neighbours on the continent. Among global diseases the UK also scores well: less than 5% of adults had diabetes in 2010, contrasting with 10% in the United States.
“The UK is one of the best performers in the world. But outcomes are not what you expect because there is a big reform every five years. We calculate that each reform costs two years of improvements in quality. No country reforms its health service as frequently as the UK,” said Mark Pearson, head of health at the OECD.
When it was put to Pearson, a respected economist, that the NHS faces its biggest upheaval in 60 years with the coalition’s health bill, he said: “The NHS is so central to the political process that every politician has to promise to improve the NHS. But there’s no big reform that will improve it. Better to let it bed down and tinker rather than wondering about more or less competition. It is less the type of system that counts, but rather how it is managed.”
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.
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