CAMERON IS LOBBYING TO ALLOW CARMAKERS TO BREAK AIR POLLUTION LIMITS UNTIL 2021!!

image

CAMERON IS LOBBYING TO ALLOW CARMAKERS TO BREAK AIR POLLUTION LIMITS UNTIL 2021!!

After the #COP15 agreement was signed, the UK Prime Minster David Cameron said:
“We’ve secured our planet for many, many generations to come – and there is nothing more important than that.”

And only months after Volkswagen  admitted that the diesel emissions scandal was the result of a collection of failures within the company.

We learn that the UK government have been pushing for a weakening of air pollution limits and a delay to their introduction in response to lobbying from the motor industry, documents reveal.

The government’s papers called for carmakers to be allowed to far exceed the nitrogen oxides (NOx) limit of 80mg/km until 2021, and to be allowed to go 40% over the current limit after that.

Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth, said: “The decision to water down vehicle emission standards was a political stitch-up by the commission and an unelected committee of technocrats that will force us all to breathe illegal levels of air pollution for years to come. These rules are illegal and should be vetoed by the European parliament. If they fail to, the British government should take legal action to strike them down.

The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has accepted that more than 50,000 people a year die prematurely as a result of air pollution in the UK. The figure includes about 29,000 deaths hastened by inhaling minute particles of oily, unburnt soot emitted by all petrol engines and an estimated 23,500 by the invisible but toxic gas NOx emitted by diesel engines.

Read more @
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/uk-pushing-for-limits-air-pollution-relaxed-documents-reveal

Advertisements

BLAIR’S FIRST OPEN ATTACK ON CORBNY’S LABOUR PARTY

image

Tony Blair has not openly commented on the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, until now.

But In the Christmas issue of Right-wing UK magazine ‘The Spectator’,  the former Prime Minister has written a blog attacking the way Jeremy Corbyn is running the Labour party and the direction Corbyn is taking the party.

” All wings of the Labour Party which support the notion of the Labour Party as a Party aspiring to govern, rather than as a fringe protest movement agree on the tragedy of the Labour Party’s current position.”

Blair forgets that Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour party with the biggest mandate from members in living memory, with almost 60% voting for him.

Blair contues: ” Right now we’re in danger of not asking the right questions never mind failing to get the right answers. All of it is about applying values with an open mind; not boasting of our values as a way of avoiding the hard thinking the changing world insists upon.”

Blair forgets that membership for the Labour party is higher than at anytime under him.

Whichever party people from the centre left in the UK support. All would agree that Blair’s vision for our Country is out of date and is for the few and not the many.

Read Blair’s full blog @
http://http://blogs.new.spectator.co.uk/2015/12/in-defence-of-blairism-by-tony-blair/

B heard media

BEHIND THE SPIN, MILLIONS OF WORKING FAMILIES STILL HIT BY WELFARE CUTS!!

image

BEHIND THE SPIN, MILLIONS OF WORKING FAMILIES STILL HIT BY WELFARE CUTS!!

Research commissioned from the House of Commons library shows that 
next year over half a million working familes, already on Universal credit, will lose up to over £2500.

By 2020, when Universal credit will be fully rolled out, Some 2.6 million working families will lose an average £1,600 as a result of benefit changes due to come into force under the universal credit system.

Owen Smith, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said
” It is now quite apparent that the chancellor only offered a partial reversal of his cuts to working people’s incomes in last week’s statement. Next year, half a million families may be hit by cuts to tax credit’s successor, universal credit,”

“This newly commissioned research shows that working families on universal credit still face devastating losses next year. A 23-year-old single parent, with two children working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage, is set to lose £2,500.”
image

In its analysis of the autumn statement and spending review, the IFS said other commentators had been wrong to describe the chancellor’s measures as an end to austerity. The IFS director, Paul Johnson, said: “This is not the end of austerity. This spending review is still one of the tightest in post-war history.”

#StopWelfareCuts #TaxCredit

FBU SAY DEATH OF OLD MAN DUE TO BORIS JOHNSON CUTS

image

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London has been accused of being responsible for the death of a elderly man, who died in a house fire in Camden, on Monday night.

On Tuesday, while Boris was busy playing tug of war, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said:
” The decision by London Mayor Boris Johnson to close a fire station last year may have led to the death of an elderly man in a fire yesterday,

Yesterday morning (Monday 26 October)  a fire broke out at a property in Camden Road but firefighters from Kentish Town fire station, the nearest to the scene, were unavailable as they were tackling another large fire on Finchley Road. As a result London Fire Brigade were forced to mobilise fire crews from as far afield as Soho, Shoreditch, Lambeth and Stanmore resulting in a wait of 13 minutes before making it to the scene – more than double the six minute response time target. By the time the fire engines arrived from Soho, the pensioner had already either jumped or fallen from his window and had died.

The longstanding Camden based Belsize fire station, one of the 10 stations closed in the capital by Boris Johnson in 2014, may have been able to mobilise fire crews to Camden Road in time to save the man’s life, said FBU London regional secretary Paul Embery.

“Boris Johnson has got serious questions to answer after this tragedy”, he said. “Last year, he forced through massive cuts in the London Fire Brigade, and we warned him that it would lead to longer response times and jeopardise public safety. It is not nice to be proved right.

“His cuts meant that the brigade’s response to this incident was severely delayed. Closing fire stations and slashing firefighter jobs costs lives. It is scandalous that the safety of Londoners is being sacrificed because of the mayor’s fixation with cost-cutting. Last year alone 600 frontline firefighter jobs were slashed.”

London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, Andrew Dismore, said: “Yet again we have seen how wrong it was to close Belsize fire station. This is the second time this year we have seen how stretched the fire brigade is in answering emergencies in Camden when there is more than one incident at a time.

“This brings home how important it is that the Conservative mayor and government’s demands for yet more cuts can put lives at risk. We have to make sure that in trying to achieve the difficult task of balancing the books we protect the front line and in particular enable the return of the 13 fire engines the mayor has been holding back and is refusing to put back on our fire stations.”

image

 

FBU SAY DEATH OF OLD MAN DUE TO BORIS JOHNSON CUTS

image

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London has been accused of being responsible for the death of a elderly man, who died in a house fire in Camden, on Monday night.

On Tuesday, while Boris was busy playing tug of war, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said:
” The decision by London Mayor Boris Johnson to close a fire station last year may have led to the death of an elderly man in a fire yesterday,

Yesterday morning (Monday 26 October)  a fire broke out at a property in Camden Road but firefighters from Kentish Town fire station, the nearest to the scene, were unavailable as they were tackling another large fire on Finchley Road. As a result London Fire Brigade were forced to mobilise fire crews from as far afield as Soho, Shoreditch, Lambeth and Stanmore resulting in a wait of 13 minutes before making it to the scene – more than double the six minute response time target. By the time the fire engines arrived from Soho, the pensioner had already either jumped or fallen from his window and had died.

The longstanding Camden based Belsize fire station, one of the 10 stations closed in the capital by Boris Johnson in 2014, may have been able to mobilise fire crews to Camden Road in time to save the man’s life, said FBU London regional secretary Paul Embery.

“Boris Johnson has got serious questions to answer after this tragedy”, he said. “Last year, he forced through massive cuts in the London Fire Brigade, and we warned him that it would lead to longer response times and jeopardise public safety. It is not nice to be proved right.

“His cuts meant that the brigade’s response to this incident was severely delayed. Closing fire stations and slashing firefighter jobs costs lives. It is scandalous that the safety of Londoners is being sacrificed because of the mayor’s fixation with cost-cutting. Last year alone 600 frontline firefighter jobs were slashed.”

London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, Andrew Dismore, said: “Yet again we have seen how wrong it was to close Belsize fire station. This is the second time this year we have seen how stretched the fire brigade is in answering emergencies in Camden when there is more than one incident at a time.

“This brings home how important it is that the Conservative mayor and government’s demands for yet more cuts can put lives at risk. We have to make sure that in trying to achieve the difficult task of balancing the books we protect the front line and in particular enable the return of the 13 fire engines the mayor has been holding back and is refusing to put back on our fire stations.”

 

1.9 Million people have just lost the ‘Right to vote’

image

1.9 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE LOST THE RIGHT TO VOTE❌

AFTER THE HOUSE OF LORDS FAIL TO INFLICT A SECOND DEFEAT ON THE GOVERNMENT.❌

❌ Peers voted 257 to 246 in favour of the Government’s plans to introduce individual voter registration from December.

❌ From December, all household members must register by themselves or face being removed from the register.

❌The new Individual Electoral Registration (IER) process will particularly affect those in rented accommodation and urban areas, who are less likely to register, and students, because universities and colleges no longer ‘block register’ students living in halls of residence.

❌Despite warnings from the Electoral Commission about the dangers of disenfranchising legitimate voters, ministers believe many of the names are bogus and have speeded up by 12 months plans to “modernise” the system with individual registration.

” The Government has acted without reliable information on how many redundant entries will be removed at the end of this year and how many eligible electors will need to re-register ahead of May 2016.”

“Taking into account…the scale and importance of the polls scheduled for next May, we continue to recommend that the end of transition should take place in December 2016 as currently specified in legislation”

It concludes: “We therefore recommend that Parliament does not approve this order.”

❌Arguing for a delay, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tyler, a former MP, said he had never heard a statutory body express its view with “such clarity”.

“The official estimate is that 1.9 million people who are currently on the register and were on it at the general election in May will be dropped off it,” he said. “At a stroke, ministers are prepared to disenfranchise huge numbers of electors.”

❌Make sure you’ve registered VOTE:
https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

‪#‎DemocracySOS‬

#RightToVote #VictorianValues

TWO DAYS TO SAVE OUR NHS!

image

In 2006 David Cameron said: “..the NHS is safe in my hands.”

BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION 2010

David Cameron promised: “What I can tell you is, any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and says: “Here are my plans,” and they involve front-line reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again.

” With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS.”

image

SINCE THE GENERAL ELECTION 2010..

5,870 NHS nurses, 7,968 hospital beds and a third of ambulance stations have been cut.

The Coalition brought in the biggest top-down reorganisation of the service in its history.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012.

The act removed responsibility for the health of citizens from the Secretary of State for Health, which the post had carried since the inception of the NHS in 1948.

It abolished NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and transferred between £60 billion and £80 billion of “commissioning”, or health care funds, from the abolished PCTs to several hundred “clinical commissioning groups”, partly run by the general practitioners(GPs) in England but a major point of access for private service providers.

The Act was opposed at the time by the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners  in “outright opposition” to the bill.

There was also huge public opposition
, with the biggest fear being that the Act would open the NHS to the private sector, with NHS contracts being open to bids from the private providers.

image

THREE YEARS SINCE THE ACT PASSED..

A third of NHS contracts in England have been awarded to private sector.

Of 3,494 contracts awarded by 182 Clinical Commissioning Groups in England between April 2013 and August 2014, 33% went to the private sector.

Last year contracts monitored by the NHS Support Federation campaign group show that private firms won £3.54bn of £9.628bn worth of deals awarded in England – a win rate of 36.8%.

And responses from GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to a Labour freedom of information request reveal that private firms have been winning 40% of contracts CCGs have put out to tender, worth a total of £2.3bn, only slightly fewer than the 41% awarded to NHS bodies.

One of the biggest private contractors in the NHS, Virgin Care has two arms to its business: 24 GP-led provider companies that provide NHS services through networks of GP surgeries; and community-based NHS services.

Virgin Care, which has been handed contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds to run more than 230 NHS and social care services, has a company structure including tax havens, meaning it pays no tax in the UK.

NHS patients have had to endure longer waits for treatment as NHS hospitals have increasingly maximised their income from private patients, the number of which has gone up by as much as 58% since 2010.

A&E waiting times in England this year are the worst since records began.

More than one million hospital bed days have been lost because of delayed discharges in the past year,

The number of days health managers are forced to keep patients in hospital because they cannot be transferred into the community has risen by nearly 20 per cent in a year and is now at a record level, at a cost to the NHS of £287m.

The delays and bed-blocking on cuts to social care budgets, which have been reduced by £3.5bn since 2010.
image

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IF THE CONSERVATIVES STAY IN POWER…

A leaked document has warned 64 out of 98 NHS hospitals polled are set to overspend by a combined £759million in 2015/16 – treble the size of last year’s deficit.

And across the NHS as a whole, the secret shortfall is estimated to hit almost £2billion.

Two thirds of hospitals face having to make swingeing cuts.

Which could mean cuts in Nurses.

We have just learnt that a new list of approved suppliers to the NHS could lead to a multi-billion pound land grab by a handful of corporations.

This will lead to further privatisation of our NHS.The scope of the private firms is being massively expanded.They will be able to provide services that up until now were done by the NHS

It will result in conflicts of interest as a number of the private firms are also advising the GPs’ commissioning groups.

Four companies dominate the list of approved suppliers published last week. Capita, KPMG, PwC and UnitedHealth, the previous employer of NHS CEO, Simon Stevens, are now listed as suppliers to six of the nine regional consortiums set up to help GPs’ commissioning groups procure services. Ernst and Young is a supplier to four consortiums while McKinsey has been named as a supplier to five. All are members of the Commissioning Support Industry Group, which is a low-profile body that affords them regular access to the senior NHS officials overseeing the creation of the new market in commissioning services.

Dr Jacky Davis, founder member of Keep Our NHS Public, said: “This announcement marks the final step in giving the private sector the power, influence and a big slice of the NHS budget. There is now a massive conflict of interest with private companies like UnitedHealth, KPMG and McKinsey in charge of the GPs’ budget and increasingly buying care from the self-same private sector. The Tories have put Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”

A group of American medical experts wrote a letter to The Guardian in March.They said: “We express concern over recent movements toward transferring more and more services to for-profit corporations in your healthcare system, and measures that encourage the development of a self-pay market for care. 

“Access to treatment should not depend on whether someone can spare the money.

“While some may say the changes in England have so far only been at the margins, it is the risk of a slippery slope that should cause concern.”

The Labour party have accused The Tories of covering up a report they commissioned planning the next five years of The NHS, for another re-organisation of NHS bureaucracy after the election.

The report was handed to the government a few months ago, but they have delayed the public being able to see it until after the election!

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said: “David Cameron should come clean with the British people about his plans for the NHS after the election. He commissioned a major report on how to change the way the health service is run but has buried the findings.

“They won’t tell us what’s in it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with the NHS. But we do know one thing. We know who wrote it: the Conservative peer, Lord Rose.

“Lord Rose may be good at running supermarkets. But I say to David Cameron: you can’t run the NHS like a supermarket, we don’t want a supermarket health service, so publish this report and show us what is in your secret plan.”

image

AN OPEN LETTER FROM NHS STAFF

More than 100 senior health professionals write in a personal capacity outlining their view of how the NHS in England has fared under the coalition;

After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is already leading to the rapid and unwanted expansion ofthe role of commercial companies in the NHS. Lansley’s Act is denationalising healthcare because the abolition of the duty to provide an NHS throughout England abdicates government responsibility for universal services to ad hoc bodies (such as clinical commissioning groups) and competitive markets controlled by private-sector-dominated quangos.

In particular, the squeeze on services is hitting patients. People may be unaware that under the coalition, dozens of Accident & Emergency departments and maternity units have been closed or earmarked for closure or downgrading. In addition, 51 NHS walk-in centres have been closed or downgraded in this time, and more than 60 ambulance stations have shut and more than 100 general practices are at risk of closure

The core infrastructure of the NHS is also being eroded with the closure of hospitals and thousands of NHS beds since 2010.

Mental health and primary care are faring no better – with both in disarray due to funding cuts and multiple reorganisations driven by ideology, not what works. Public health has been wrenched out of the NHS, where it held the ring for coordinated and equitable services for so long.

In September 2014, the Royal College of General Practitioners said that the wait to see a GP is a “national crisis”.

In England the waiting list to see a specialist stands at 3 million people, and in December 2014 NHS England estimated that nearly 250,000 more patients were waiting for treatment across England who are not on the official waiting list.

Throughout England, patients have been left queueing in ambulances and NHS trusts have resorted to erecting tents in hospital car parks to deal with unmet need.

A&E target waiting times have not been met for a year, and are at the worst levels for more than a decade; and elderly, vulnerable patients are marooned in hospital because our colleagues in social care have no money or staff to provide much-needed services at home.

Funding reductions for local authorities (in some places reductions as high as 40%) have undermined the viability of many local authority social care services across England. This has resulted in more patients arriving at A&E and more patients trapped in hospital as the necessary social care support needed to ensure their safe discharge is no longer there.

The NHS is withering away, and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services. Privatisation not only threatens coordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future healthcare providers and medical research, particularly that of public health.

Given the obvious pressures on the NHS over the last five years, and growing public concern that health services now facing a very uncertain future, we are left with little doubt that the current government’s policies have undermined and weakened the NHS.

The way forward is clear: abolish all the damaging sections of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that fragment care and push the NHS towards a market-driven, “out-for-tender” mentality where care is provided by the lowest bidder. Reversing this costly and inefficient market bureaucracy alone willsave significant sums. Above all, the secretary of state’s duty to provide an NHS throughout England must be reinstated, as in Scotland and Wales.

As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients.

We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.

SAVE OUR NHS

The Act must be stopped and the NHS must to be put fully back into public hands.Stop profit being made out of our NHS.

Billions must be pumped back into Social care to relieve the stress on the NHS and make the lives of the elderly better.

OUR NHS can’t take five more years of The Conservatives!

Support

‘SAVE OUR NHS’

http://www.keepournhspublic.com

B heard media

THE POWER OF FEAR or HOW THE TORIES TRIED TO WIN THE ELECTION

image

Since The UK election campaign started
a few months ago , Most major parties have tried to promote their polices to the public and show them how the country would look if their party gained some power in parliment.

The Green party, The SNP, Plaid cymru
and TUSC all say they want to end the austerity
( cuts to the public sector & welfare) agenda and stop futher privatisation
of Our NHS.

The Labour party say their main polices are to protect The NHS and give the 99% a better standard of living.

But The Conservatives main message is one of FEAR and are trying to scare the public into voting for them.

THE CONSERVATIVES USE OF FEAR.

The Prime-Minister David Cameron employed the Austrialan spin doctor Lynton Crosby, last year, to run the Tories election campaign. Crosby’s track record was very strong, having got London Mayor Boris Johnson elected in the capital, a city which had always leaned to the left and had only ever elected Labour/ Independent Ken Livingstone before.

Crosby made his name by winning three back-to-back elections for Australian
PM John Howard and for using negative campaigning and attacking the opposition.

Over the last few months The UK public have never experienced such a negative, vicious campaign of Fear led by Cosby and endorsed by the Tory top brass.

One of the main themes of the Conservative strategy has been to scare voters about the possible election outcome of a Labour miniorty government propped up the SNP ( Scotish National party )

It started with election posters appearing across England and Wales, with the image of Ed Miliband ( Labour leader) in the suit pocket of Alex Salmond (SNP ex leader & would be SNP leader in parliment )

image

This theme has remained the Tory main
strategy thoughout the election.So instead of explaining what they would do in power. They have just banged on about Labour working with SNP.

David Cameron on the BBC said: “This would be the first time in our history that a group of nationalists from one part of our country would be involved in altering the direction of our country, and I think that is a frightening prospect.”

The Scottish National party “do not even want our country to succeed, that is why it is so calamitous”, he said.

“Frankly this is a group of people that would not care what happened in the rest of the country. The rest of the United Kingdom – Wales, Northern Ireland and England – would not get a look-in, and that is the prospect we face if we don’t get the majority Conservative government that is within our reach.”

Then it got really personal and nasty,  when Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
Speaking about the UK renewal of Trident (opposed by the SNP ) Said:

“We saw in that leadership election just what he would do to get into power. We saw what he did to his own brother. We need to know what he would do.

“We can’t be sure what kind of backstairs deal he is likely to do with the SNP … that is the uncertainty. We have seen what he is prepared to do to get into power.

” Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”

Then David Cameron tried to scare English voters and raise English nationalism. When he talked about English votes for English laws, He said:

“English MPs will be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh while Scottish MPs are able to vote on the tax you pay in Birmingham or Canterbury or Leeds.

“It is simply unfair. And with English votes for English laws we will put it right.”

image

And last Sunday Theresa May, Home Sectory told The Mail on Sunday: ‘If we saw a Labour Government propped up by SNP it could be the biggest constitutional crisis since the abdication.

Miliband would be in government on the coat-tails of Sturgeon and Alex Salmond. 

They would be calling the tune – people who don’t want the UK to exist and want to destroy our country.”

‘There would be a very real feeling was this was something people did not want to see, had not voted for and would find very difficult to accept. It would raise difficult questions about legitimacy. A lot of English people would question that.”
image

There has been some traction with the Fear agenda with some voters.

According to the Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday, a third of UK voters would consider a Miliband-Sturgeon government to be ‘illegitimate.

But polls also have found Ed Miliband’s approval ratings going up, as well as the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s.

The Tories look like they will keep going on this agenda till election day.

But most of the public want to know where the Tories already announced  £12bn cuts in Welfare and 30% cuts in government departments will be, if they win power.

On 7th May, we will find out if The Conservative Fear campaign wins the day.

Lets hope not..

” The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown ”  – H. P. Lovecraft

B heard media

Forget Torygraphs fake letters.Heres 3 real letters from NHS Doctors, Firefighters & the Police

image

The Telegraph printed a letter from ‘5000 independent Small businesses’ supporting The Conservatives  ‘Long term economic’ plan.

But the Political Scrapbook blog has learnt ‘That the full letter from business owners on Telegraph website contains metadata showing it was authored by CONSERVATIVE CENTRE HQ and
examination of the latest Companies House filings for the first fifty signatories (PDF) throws up:

13: Andres Mesa-Cruz, a ‘sales director’ who didn’t found and apparently doesn’t own a single share in the company
26: Robert Brunton is listed as an ‘associate’ of 414 Timber and Fencing, which perhaps explains why he isn’t a director of and doesn’t own any shares in the company
39: A D Planning Services Ltd has no director or shareholder called Alex Brookes-Ball
40: ‘HR and EHS Manager’ Nicola Knight is not a director of, nor does she own shares in, Oscroft & Sons

This would appear to suggest two things: that this is a letter signed by individuals possibly without with the authorisation or even knowledge of the businesses concerned; and secondly that some of the signatories … don’t actually own a business!
Signatories include ‘Stanley Ward Conservative Club’ and a business asking their names to be removed’
http://http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/04/tory-business-owners-letter-includes-people-who-dont-own-a-business/

So here are three  ‘REAL’  OPEN letters
From The Firefighters , NHS staff and the Police

NHS OPEN LETTER

image

More than 100 senior health professionals write in a personal capacity outlining their view of how the NHS in England has fared under the coalition;

After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges.

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is already leading to the rapid and unwanted expansion ofthe role of commercial companies in the NHS. Lansley’s Act is denationalising healthcare because the abolition of the duty to provide an NHS throughout England abdicates government responsibility for universal services to ad hoc bodies (such as clinical commissioning groups) and competitive markets controlled by private-sector-dominated quangos.

In particular, the squeeze on services is hitting patients. People may be unaware that under the coalition, dozens of Accident & Emergency departments and maternity units have been closed or earmarked for closure or downgrading. In addition, 51 NHS walk-in centres have been closed or downgraded in this time, and more than 60 ambulance stations have shut and more than 100 general practices are at risk of closure

The core infrastructure of the NHS is also being eroded with the closure of hospitals and thousands of NHS beds since 2010.

Mental health and primary care are faring no better – with both in disarray due to funding cuts and multiple reorganisations driven by ideology, not what works. Public health has been wrenched out of the NHS, where it held the ring for coordinated and equitable services for so long.

In September 2014, the Royal College of General Practitioners said that the wait to see a GP is a “national crisis”.

In England the waiting list to see a specialist stands at 3 million people, and in December 2014 NHS England estimated that nearly 250,000 more patients were waiting for treatment across England who are not on the official waiting list.

Throughout England, patients have been left queueing in ambulances and NHS trusts have resorted to erecting tents in hospital car parks to deal with unmet need.

A&E target waiting times have not been met for a year, and are at the worst levels for more than a decade; and elderly, vulnerable patients are marooned in hospital because our colleagues in social care have no money or staff to provide much-needed services at home.

Funding reductions for local authorities (in some places reductions as high as 40%) have undermined the viability of many local authority social care services across England. This has resulted in more patients arriving at A&E and more patients trapped in hospital as the necessary social care support needed to ensure their safe discharge is no longer there.

The NHS is withering away, and if things carry on as they are then in future people will be denied care they once had under the NHS and have to pay more for health services. Privatisation not only threatens coordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future healthcare providers and medical research, particularly that of public health.

Given the obvious pressures on the NHS over the last five years, and growing public concern that health services now facing a very uncertain future, we are left with little doubt that the current government’s policies have undermined and weakened the NHS.

The way forward is clear: abolish all the damaging sections of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that fragment care and push the NHS towards a market-driven, “out-for-tender” mentality where care is provided by the lowest bidder. Reversing this costly and inefficient market bureaucracy alone willsave significant sums. Above all, the secretary of state’s duty to provide an NHS throughout England must be reinstated, as in Scotland and Wales.

As medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients.

We invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated.

FIREFIGHTERS OPEN LETTER
image

Nearly 250 firefighters have signed anopen letter to voters to highlight the significant challenges and pressure they have faced under the coalition government programme of relentless public sector cuts and how these cuts have put lives at risk:

Dear voters,

We are at the forefront of the emergency services in this country. We believe under no uncertain terms that the coalition government led by David Cameron’s Conservative party have been nothing but detrimental to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fire Service that you have every right to expect.

David Cameron and George Osborne have continued a sustained and vicious attack on all frontline emergency services for 5 years. The lowering of Fire Service budgets across the country by 20% has caused nothing but a heightened risk to firefighters and the public they serve. This along with attacks on the NHS, The Police and Coastguard has been a key part of their ‘profit before people’ economic plan.

The result for the Fire Service has been that since 2010, 39 Fire Stations have closed, 145 Fire Engines have been scrapped and over 5000 firefighter positions have been axed. This has raised response time considerably to the point that some Brigades have dropped the 5 minute maximum response times that we were once so proud of and that has saved thousands of lives. Under this governments attitude to the public services, people’s lives are at very serious risk of being lost completely unnecessarily.

We are convinced that this has put all members of the public at serious risk. We believe that a serious change of course is desperately needed in order for us to do our jobs effectively and to prevent losing saveable lives.

POLICE OPEN LETTER

More than 600 serving police officers have signed a damning open letter.
The letter has been signed by more than 1,000 policing professionals, including retired officers and police staff. Among them are 423 PCs and DCs, 188 sergeants, 50 inspectors up to Det Chief Insp level and four superintendents.

image

B heard media

WEALTH OF RICHEST 1000 DOUBLES IN 10 YEARS AS THE UK BECOMES MUST UNEQUAL COUNTRY IN THE WEST!

image

The Sunday Times rich list for 2015 reveals that the 1000 richest people living in the UK have doubled their wealth in the last decade and are now £547bn, not counting their bank accounts.

The list, includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.131 billion and 80 of them are based in London. It means the capital has more sterling billionaires than any other city in the world.

To get on the rich list you must have a fortune of £100 million.
That is £15m higher than last year’s minimum, while in 1997 it took a personal wealth of ‘just’ £15 million to make the list.

The wealth of the richest, under the Conservatives government has risen by a huge amount.

The UK’s five richest families now own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population.

A report by The Social Market Foundation revealed evidence of Britain’s rapidly growing wealth gap.

It found that the average wealth of the best-off one-fifth of families rose by 64 per cent between 2005 and 2012-13 as they put more money aside as a buffer against future shocks. They have average savings and investments of around £10,000 compared with £6,000 seven years earlier.

The SMF found the poorest 20 per cent are less financially secure than they were in 2005, with their net wealth falling by 57 per cent and levels of debt and use of overdrafts increasing.

In a report, a Tale of Two Britains, Oxfam said the poorest 20% in the UK had wealth totalling £28.1bn – an average of £2,230 each. The latest rich list from Forbes magazine showed that the five top UK entries – the family of the Duke of Westminster, David and Simon Reuben, the Hinduja brothers, the Cadogan family, and Sports Direct retail boss Mike Ashley – between them had property, savings and other assets worth £28.2bn.

Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Ben Phillips, said: “Britain is becoming a deeply divided nation, with a wealthy elite who are seeing their incomes spiral up, while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.

“It’s deeply worrying that these extreme levels of wealth inequality exist in Britain today, where just a handful of people have more money than millions struggling to survive on the breadline.”

Oxfam said that for the first time more working households were in poverty than non-working ones, and predicted that the number of children living below the poverty line could increase by 800,000 by 2020. It said cuts to social security and public services were meshing with falling real incomes and a rising cost of living to create a “deeply damaging situation” in which millions were struggling to get by.

The IMF recently released research showing that the ever-greater concentration of wealth and income hindered growth and said redistribution would not just reduce inequality but would be economically beneficial.

“On average, across countries and over time, the things that governments have typically done to redistribute do not seem to have led to bad growth outcomes, unless they were extreme”, the IMF said in a research paper. “And the resulting narrowing of inequality helped support faster and more durable growth, apart from ethical, political or broader social considerations.”

Phillips said: “Increasing inequality is a sign of economic failure rather than success. It’s far from inevitable – a result of political choices that can be reversed. It’s time for our leaders to stand up and be counted on this issue.”

image

Under the Conservatives, we have seen Tax cuts for the wealthest , huge corporations paying low wages, making huge profits and paying no Tax in the UK.

The Tories have made massive cuts to the Welfare budget.

They have forced thousands of people into Workfare, meaning massive companies get free labour and get paid by the government to ’employ’ these people.

The Conservatives have allowed Workers to be paid very low wages by big business and used Tax payers money to make up the difference with Welfare, so workers can pay bills and rent, costing the Country £11bn a year.

Over a million people used food banks in the last year.

If the Tories are elected for another 5 years, they plan to cut a futher £12bn of Welfare, cut 30% to all government departments, cut the top rate of Tax for the richest.

They have to be stopped.

Vote on 7th May.