Archives for posts with tag: universal health care


Behind Theresa May on the stage in Manchester was a sign which read, ‘Building a country that works for everyone’. I am not sure where this mythical country might be, because we’ve already got one and once upon a time, before Thatcher, it did work better for everyone. Though poverty and hardship had not been defeated, even the most impoverished had access to health care, dentistry, a GP and a range of social support never before seen in our history.

I was part of the first generation in these lands to benefit from all that the war generation succeeded in building for us. The great enemy, fascism, had been defeated, but the domestic enemies of poverty, poor health and housing squalor, had not. The survivors of the war came home to a country in desperate straits. The government of Clement Attlee was voted in and began the process of building a country fit for everyone.

I was born in 1951 and from day one enjoyed all the benefits of universal health care and within a few years moved into a brand new home on an estate still in the making, a home fit for living.

Of course, I knew nothing of the struggles that had preceded me, of the Tories voting 21 times against the formation of the NHS and even doctors voting 10 to 1 against it. That was already history, as was Aneurin Bevan’s 1948 Manchester speech in which he said of the bitter battle he’d undergone, “That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.”

Then, as now, the only way the Tories can maintain the dystopia we are living in is by lying. Who knows how much of the nations wealth is wasted in the inhuman Tory propaganda machine? It was a curious twist of fate that the sign behind Theresa May began to disintegrate even whilst she was choking her way through the fabric of lies she was weaving, whilst Amber Rudd and Boris Johnson sat with faces suited to a funeral and an encounter with the grim reaper.

They do not change, these Tories, they were and are the party of the privileged few, the party of the grasping and the greedy, of division and hate for the likes of you and me, of ordinary people, who really do just want to get on, with enough to get by in life, with a little extra for the unexpected and perhaps a holiday. I remember the brief period in my life when I had enough and to spare, when want was absent. It lasted a few scant years and yet it is unforgettable and in stark contrast to the years or attrition which the Tories have imposed since 2010 when they decided that we, ordinary people, had to shoulder the bankers debts and pay for their gambling with the worlds economy and which, to this day, they still promote as the grand lie in calling it Labours debt.

I have found of late that I am falling into ever increasing depression and I’ve been learning something about what depression is for me. It’s about internal conflict for which no solution presents itself or is available, it’s about injustice, repression, lies and deception, and right now it’s about the Tories driving Britain into a dark age of oppression and it’s about minds twisted by hate as they peddle their propaganda and lies to further their vile regime. The dark side of social media is as a platform for hate which reveals just how effective government and media propaganda is. It is utterly depressing to hear and read people claiming to think for themselves whilst spouting exactly what the propaganda wants them to.

And have you noticed how the more desperate the Tories get the more outrageous the lies? Only last week, Jeremy Hunt, the weasel, claimed that it wasn’t labour who set up the NHS, but the Tories, when the reality is they fought it tooth and nail and are currently driving it into the ground. The Tories are the enemies of the people, the enemy within, and not even their tactics change, they lie, cheat, and steal from ordinary people to benefit the few at the expense of the many. They drive people into poverty and claim it is helping people into work, they claim a lack of housing and affordable rents promotes social mobility, they claim war is for peace and stability, they claim to be the party for working people whilst capping pay and giving tax breaks to the rich, they claim food banks are a social good whilst driving millions into desperate poverty. There is no give and take with the Tories, it is all take. And all this whilst they enrich their own worthless lives and revel in their own smug complacency.

So here’s the thing, where in all their half arsed world is there a glimmer of pleasure in life? Where is the art, the loafing with a good book, the mountain climbing, nature loving, wild water adrenaline loving, fully engaged being, for its own sake? Where is the sincerity, humility, honesty and trust of genuine connection and loving friendship? Where are the lovers, the romance and the joy of relationships? Where’s the primal joy of sex and sexuality? Where’s life?

They use us up like spent ink cartridges, replaceable, interchangeable, like drones or clones. The fools.

As far as I can see they have no idea about life or living. Everything in life is for life, life is natures gift. We are not here to serve the markets, corporate profits, as cannon fodder, service to the realm, Queen and country. That’s all bass ackwards. All of that only makes any sense when we look away from life, when we put on the blinkers they would have us wear.

Life is so much more than the narrow brow beaten world that they represent and would have us conform to. No one chooses poverty nor works harder than when captured in its vicious jaws. More than that, poverty serves those who pretend to be our masters. That’s why, far from doing nothing about poverty, the Tories are creating more poverty daily, it serves them and their hideous agenda of control and profit making.

Have we learnt nothing from the poverty that was so rife in the industrial revolution when Britain became the richest nation on the planet, but so many of the residents of Britain were anything but?

There is a perfectly good reason why mental ill health and depression are rising to catastrophic levels. It comes from living a lie. It comes when we are not true to ourselves, when we are betrayed. It comes when we are oppressed and subjugated. I comes from the will of the oppressors, oppressing, while they and others benefit.

I get sick because I am sick of them and their foul policies, of the dystopia, of the lies and deceit. Before 2010 I was never aware of people using the word evil on any regular basis, now it’s become a daily fact of life, because that’s what they are. Evil. And nothing will be right until they are gone and their failed neoliberal ideology joins the Dodo in extinction. They are falling apart because they are false and their end cannot come soon enough.

KOG. 10 October 2017




The Conservative party has thrown all caution to the wind in their self interested pursuit of privilege and power over the cares, concerns, and needs of ordinary people and anyone who is not outraged at what they are doing fails the litmus test for basic humanity, as indeed do the Tories themselves.

The fundamental problem is that no one from the high table is going to lift a damned finger that might risk rocking the boat of their own privileged world on which they depend and is their reason for being.

The Tories are not so much the nasty party as the self interested party, being nasty is secondary, a mere consequence of the self perpetuation of their arrogant overweening narcissism and greed.

It is the perception or the rich that they are the ‘deserving rich’ and it is unsurprising that when the public ask for more money the Tories, the party of the rich, are affronted. Fire fighters, nurses, paramedics, police, can be heroes, but they have a damned cheek if they ask for more money. It’s the Oliver Twist moment, the masters have their hands on all the provisions of wealth and its distribution but god help the damned urchin who dares ask for more.

Indeed, they are shocked by such effrontery. It was plain to see when a nurse asked Theresa May for some more money in her pay cheque. May didn’t quite splutter with indignation, but it was barely controlled as she told the nurse, “There isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.” In her head, May, devout Christian that she is, was probably thinking, “Well really! The damned cheek of the girl, who does she think she is? She should take what’s she’s given and be grateful for small mercies.” It is likely that the reason Theresa May wanted no part in public debates was the admonition of her Lord not to cast her pearls before swine, because she certainly behaved that way.

Contempt for ordinary people comes easy to those for whom privilege is assured, who live a life in which appearance, position and status are everything yet who lack any of the real substance of humanity. ‘They’ do not believe, as an article of faith, that the common people have any right to speak in political debate in our rude voices and indelicate proclamations. It was just such a situation that led Gary Streeter to respond to admirably robust journalist Paul Mason by saying, “This is why i hate social media. It gives a voice to people who dont deserve one”. There can be no doubt that Streeter was also referring to you and me, people who are common, the uppity masses, who should not interfere in matters which are above them and which should be left to their betters to decide for them.

Grenfell Tower and the hundreds of missing, presumed dead, people, and the survivors are, shell, ashes and living, right now, a monument to the historic abuse of the ruling elites against the lives of ordinary people. The inferno and the human cost was a disaster waiting to happen, it cannot in any way be described as an accident. Nor was it in any way down to human failing, it was guaranteed to be a disaster through the knowing decisions of those who felt entirely at liberty to cut corners which made a human habitation ripe for exactly what happened. Not only that, but those residents who warned of the dangers were silenced and ignored and, now that the inevitable disaster has occurred, are still being silenced and ignored by an establishment that simply doesn’t give a shit. However, something else has emerged from Grenfell Tower, in the war being prosecuted by the ‘ruling elites’ against the lives of ordinary people, ordinary people are no longer willing to silently slip into our graves without demanding a reckoning.

The Tories are holding on to power through lies and deceit and, above all, their overweening arrogance.

In the beating heart of Britain, another disaster is happening, although far too many are still, as yet, ignorant of it. That ignorance is neither wilful nor neglectful, it is an ignorance manufactured and maintained by the policies of the Conservative government and the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Andrew Lansley. Universal health care is being dismantled and destroyed by a government who care less whether we live or die in pursuit of profit. Public outcry is still muted, the government and Jeremy Hunt will never admit that they are presiding over the last stages of the privatisation of our publicly funded NHS. Jeremy Hunt is a liar and a thief who deserves nothing less than to be publicly tortured until he personally screams out the truth in Parliament Square. One of the richest people in the Tory cabinet inner circle, Hunt cares nothing for the health of ordinary people, he is lining up the vultures who hunger only for profit at our expense.

Whilst they despise our inconvenient lives and our human needs, they treat us a convenience for profit. The cancer living in my neck which will eventually kill me is just a rich source of profit for the likes of Richard Branson and Jeremy Hunt and all the financial vultures hungry for profit who are devouring yours and my NHS. Does that sound emotive, a bit too much, a rude statement, a bit common? Good, I am glad, it should sound rude. It’s the brutal truth.

Theresa May has bought herself a fragile space through betrayal, for betrayal. She has stolen a billion pounds from us to buy herself time to finish the job of selling us all for profit. We, the people, are just marketable stock in her eyes.

But here’s the thing. They are losing the war. The tide is turning right now. The dominant media voices are those of ordinary people. It’s messy, uncoordinated, good and bad, much of it rude, crude and a fairground for trolls out for a ride on nit picking personal insult and vitriolic hate, but that’s the icing, not the cake. In a world of form without substance, real substance is getting a grip and gaining traction and despite all the power and wealth being expended against it, it will not get back in the box of confinement in which the grasping elites wish to imprison it.

The powers that be are terrified of change, but change is the lifeblood of living. The world spins on the axis of change, the seasons, life and death, the weather and all we see and experience in the constantly moving shift of time. The last thing the Tories want is change, they want a frigid world of their own ideological making, dragging its knuckles in 19th century oppression, grubbing for wealth and resources that rightfully belong to us all, each and every one of us.

It can truly be said, these are the best of times and the worst of times, terrifying and invigorating. I produced a poster the other day because I am tired of seeing posters telling me to keep calm. My poster read, “Don’t keep calm – We are the people we’ve been waiting for”. The terrifying power of the many is the very last thing that those who consider themselves to be the masters of all and who profit from our lives want to see and they certainly don’t want to experience it, which is precisely why they should. They would like to maintain a world in which our lives are an irrelevance to them apart from the benefits they can extract from us for their personal gain, I think it’s long overdue the tables were turned for all our benefit.

KOG. 1 July 2017


As a 66 year old bloke, a post war baby boomer, it is incredible to witness that the NHS and the welfare state aren’t even going to make it through the life cycle of one whole generation.

Out of the debt and destruction of war came the greatest revolution in social care that this country has ever seen and I am watching it be destroyed.

Remember houses for heroes, the greatest house building programme this country has ever seen, built by the survivors of war, in which I am part of the first and only succeeding generation to experience that monumental achievement in social housing. House building peaked in the 1960’s at 400,000 homes a year.

The post war consensus was not a harmonious meeting of political minds so much as an uneasy alliance in which the Tories gave grudging agreement and yet, in reality, were bitterly opposed to it. It lasted until Thatcher came to power, 1979 marked the beginning of the end and by the time she was defeated by the treachery of her own party it was dead.

Since 2010 the velvet glove of oppression has been entirely abandoned, every penny spent on the working and jobseeking ‘stock’ is a penny wasted. It was ever thus, but now is exposed in all its brutality and includes children, the elderly and sick and disabled people.

We are in a catastrophic housing crisis, and scarcity, as we know with jobs, is just another means to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich via unrestrained market forces. Councils are now prevented from building houses and it was just over a year ago that the Tories voted down an amendment to the housing bill to force landlords to make rented homes fit for human habitation.

Those who have contributed all their lives to universal health care and the safety net of social security are now being scorned for being too old and a burden on the state by whipper snappers who demand to know why they should pay for us? How dare they? We contributed and helped build a system of care that could and should have lasted generations, indeed we contributed in good faith in the knowledge that generations to come would enjoy the benefits of our labour. And now we are scorned.

The wealth of the nation is being siphoned into the hands of the banks, financial markets and corporations who enjoy tax breaks and financial incentives, though never called welfare. Welfare is only for the scrounging poor who are to a body a drain on the nations resources. COE pay goes through the roof and bankers still enjoy their excessive bonuses, whilst workers are yet to be granted a true living wage as the minimum exchange for their labour.

Blaming baby boomers for getting old and living too long is an outrage for which poverty and the denial of health care are a sure cure. Let’s go back to the days that Harry Lesley Smith remembers only too well, who recently wrote in the Guardian, “Neither the midwife nor my mother would have expected me to live to almost 100 because my ancestors had lived in poverty for as long as there was recorded history in Yorkshire.”

That is the world the Tories long for, that is where they are so avidly driving us, but this old man, like Harry, will not slip silently into my coffin nor spend my last days in Tory driven misery. I have more to offer now in old age than at any time in my life and long years of experience on which to draw. I will not be silent nor be dictated to by ignorant children who have never known want or the terror of poverty and yet see themselves as political movers and shakers with the right to dictate misery for millions.

Every suicide hurts me, every sanction is an affront to human dignity, every cut for the poor and tax break for the rich is an outrage which I take personally and every lie coming from the mouths of thieves must be countered with the truth.

I look back at the revolution of youth in my teens with great love, which inspires me to this day, and today’s young ones deserve no less. The dismal Victorian workhouse ethic of the Tories must die, it is not a matter of if, only when. I may not even see that day, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is the desire to fight and keep on fighting for a better world than this dismal neoliberal nightmare.

KOG. 26 February 2017



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,493

Thursday 14 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

I am most interested that the target demographic for your reign as prime minister is: “If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise. You have a job but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home but you worry about paying the mortgage. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school. If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.”

If that is your datum point, you are aiming high, there are many millions below that who are traditionally ignored, voiceless and, indeed, have been the target of social cleansing under David Cameron’s leadership from 2010. Oxfam finds that ’13 million people in the UK do not have enough to live on, and most do not have the power to speak out about what this feels like and why it is wrong’.

You said that your party is called the Conservative and Unionist Party, I would remind you that a union, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link.

It is to Britain’s shame that we now have food banks the length and breadth of Britain, that further education is subject to a life time of debt, that many women are facing years of hardship having been denied a pension or any interim help for which they have spent a lifetime working, that the provision of universal health care is no longer a duty of the state, that those in the most need face a sanctions regime that deprives them of the means of survival, that sick and disabled people have been cast aside through brutal cuts.

If your focus is not on building a nation from the bottom up, of supporting the most vulnerable, living the most precarious existence, of giving the voiceless a voice, then we are no further forward and those without hope are facing the same future that David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have cast them into. In this time of political upheaval we need change, drastic change, and I am not at all sure you are offering anything like what is needed for Britain as a whole.



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,443

Tuesday 24 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Throughout the history of the world it has never been the many against the few, it has always been the few against the many and so far they have been astonishingly successful.

They, that elusive ‘powers that be’, control everything, the militia, policing, policy, the media, currency, laws, the markets, hierarchy, sovereignty and wealth.

In a nation in which hierarchy has dominated for centuries, it is almost futile to attempt to challenge the overwhelming deference towards such a system and the party which best represents and embodies the overwhelming power of privilege – the Conservatives party.

Conservatives have always been the party that least represents the lives and concerns of ordinary people, put simply, voting Conservative (Tory) is like Turkeys voting for Christmas. Your continuing success in securing what is known as ‘the deferential vote’ is locked into the presumed legitimacy of hierarchical power and there is no better example of this than the adoration of royalty which can see tens of thousands of flag waving people lining the streets worshipping at the feet of privilege.

Your orchestration of the privatisation of our NHS is the most shocking, tragic, heinous abuse of the British people. The NHS, universal health care for all, funded by the people and free at the point of use, is the greatest achievement for the people, built and maintained by the people, in this nations history. Out of the ashes of war, we truly built a nation fit for heroes, a nation to be proud of.

Social policy by Tories is steeped against ordinary people, poverty under Conservatives is a political given and his own privations in early life led Aneurin Bevan to make his famous statement, “no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me”.

And here we are today, poverty once again out of control, our NHS being stolen from us, the poor being hounded to death and whilst a petition to save BBC recipes can attract 195,178 supporters in mere days and garner a response, 700,700 signatories to save our NHS across 650 local campaigns are ignored. Robbing the health of the poor for profit is an appalling act of the worst kind of social vandalism, sustained by lies and deception. That you are getting away with it is a triumph of institutionalised ignorance. Such ignorance, like poverty, is not the fault of its victims but of the system that creates and maintains it for its own nefarious purposes. Educating for ignorance is just another dirty Tory game as Gove and his rote learning so ably demonstrated.


25_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,413

Monday 25 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As a fairly seasoned campaigner who has been covering your many and varied nefarious acts of social vandalism daily since March 17th 2012, were I to single out one thing that speaks out above all others it is the abandonment of the governments duty to provide universal health care via the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Mind you, it is a close run thing given what you have done to social security and the carnage you have inflicted on the lives of poor and vulnerable people.

The list of your crimes is too long to list in a single letter, but the sheer magnitude of perfidy of promising to protect our NHS, then abandoning universal publicly owned health care, free at the point of use, is the greatest crime in UK history. Not least because you snuck it through without public consultation to the almost universal silence of the main stream media.

As we all know, if it ain’t on the telly, it ain’t happening and what a tragedy that is.

It took me till May 2014 to grasp what you’d done, over two years after the Act received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012, a scant 10 days after I began these letters, but there is no shame in that other than the shame of a government which has wilfully and unforgivably deceived the nation for six long years now.

The junior doctors contract dispute is much more than it seems on the surface, it is another towering deceit from a government hell bent on privatising our NHS. Forcing an already overstretched workforce to provide a fully operational NHS, which includes elective care (pre-arranged, non-emergency care) seven days a week, is impossible under present staffing numbers. We cannot have both seven day emergency cover and seven day elective cover without an increase in staffing, which your government has been at such pains to reduce.

The only way to provide seven day elective care is to bring in private health care companies. The Mirror newspaper published a list of MPs with links to private healthcare firms in 2015, which included you and Jeremy Hunt and, yes, Hunt’s predecessor Andrew Lansley was in there as well along with 67 others. The writing is on the wall, the NHS is going to the wall, unless we, the public, stand up and support not just junior doctors but our greatest post war achievement, our NHS, which you are hell bent on, and are, taking away from us. It amounts to grand larceny, the crime of unlawfully taking the personal property of another person, or, in this case, an entire nation. The NHS is ours, bought and paid for by us, by the sweat of our labour.

11 ways Cameron’s cuts are hurting the NHS – #FullyFundOurNHS Sell-Off – The Full Movie


02_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,334

Tuesday 02 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It’s refreshing to see the growing opposition to your governments destruction of our NHS. Whether it is attacking students bursaries, junior doctors, cash starving our NHS, the steady privatisation by stealth, plans to turn our NHS into a USA style privatised insurance health system, you have no right to steal what is not yours. It is our NHS, paid for by each and every one of us; publicly funded universal health care free at the point of use and the best health care system in the world.

No one who can afford private health care, or, probably in your case, have it provided as a perk of the job paid for by tax payers, should have a decision in privatising our NHS.

Under such a system many of the poorest will die for want of health treatment, just as they did before the founding of the NHS in 1948. People are living longer not least because of the superb health care system built by the post war generation and paid for by them and those who followed. That we could lose all that in less than a human life time since its inception just so that private companies can make a profit is an appalling indictment on you and your government.

Over 80% of all voters want a publicly funded NHS. Before the 2010 general election you promised ‘no more top-down reorganisations’ of the NHS, a promise made even whilst such plans must already have been in place given the speed at which our NHS was attacked. Your coalition government went on to launch the biggest top-down reorganisation of the NHS in its history.

It isn’t our NHS that needs top down reorganisation, our tax system does. Corporations are laughing all the way to their tax havens and do so with George Osborne’s blessing. Only two days ago it was reported that your government ‘has been privately lobbying the EU to remove from an official blacklist the tax haven through which Google funnels billions of pounds of profits’.

That really shows where your priorities lie. We’ve had endless warnings about an ageing population and the pressure that the NHS is under. If corporations paid their damned taxes for all the benefits they enjoy in Britain at our expense, then you wouldn’t have to deceitfully blame the elderly for the pressure on the NHS, an NHS we have paid our taxes for all our lives.


10_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,311

Sunday 10 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The primary difference between state owned (nationalised) assets and privately owned companies is that state owned assets exist to serve a function, be it health provision, police and fire services, the provision of gas and electricity and so on, whereas, private companies have to factor in profitability for sustainability and development and as return to it’s stake holders or share holders.

All nationalised industries and services also have stake holders or share holders (tax payers) but the return on the investment is in the product or service provided. In business terms the NHS might run at a total loss financially, but the profit exists is in its provision to its stake holders, everyone, as universal health care. It even factors in non-contributors like children, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. The NHS was world renowned as the mark of a truly civilised nation and was ranked first in the world in 2014 by ‘the Commonwealth Fund, a Washington-based foundation which is respected around the world for its analysis of the performance of different countries’ health systems’. Whether that is still the case under the brutal handling of Jeremy Hunt remains to be seen, but if he has his way it will not last in his determination to privatise health care and turn health provision into a privatised insurance business.

The difference between a nationalised industry or service and private companies is as wide as the difference between politics and religion, they are completely different animals and ne’er the twain should meet. Like politics and religion, there’s plenty of room for both, it is not a case of one or the other, but mixing them has serious consequences, almost entirely for the worse as we are discovering to our great cost.

A report by the National Audit Office has revealed that the omnishambles that is Universal Credit, the flagship of Iain Duncan Smith, is costing more in privatised Work Capability Assessments than it saves in stripping people of their lifeline benefits. Maximus, the US company that took over from Atos to (badly) perform Work Capability Assessments has a history in the US of malpractice so it must be home from home for them in joining the DWP and, like Atos, they are proving incapable of meeting their contractual requirements and the cost of this privatised incompetence is measured in people’s lives.

Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) are another financial disaster of no benefit and at vast cost to the public. The Independent reported in just one case PFI’s were an utter disaster, namely ‘Barts Health NHS Trust in London, which was placed in special measures last month (March 2015). It is £93m in debt – struggling under the weight of a 43-year PFI contract under which it will pay back more than £7bn on contracts valued at a fraction of that sum (£1.1bn)’.

Privatising the state is the pursuit of madness by incompetent madmen providing vast wealth for the few at the very great cost of the many, the tax paying British public.,2921868&hl=en


23_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,264

Monday 23 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is typical of Jeremy Hunt (rhyming slang) to take to the Sunday Mail to see what moral outrage he can stir up over the junior doctors almost unanimous decision to strike. Judging by the comments the number of morally outraged intellectual zombies, the preferred readership of that neo-Fascist rag, is falling.

Hunt has no moral high ground from which to argue so he chooses fear mongering instead, warning that patients will be put at risk and some might die when junior doctors strike. Hunt is not of a calibre to get away with increasing the precariousness of doctors hours whilst reducing pay or to plausibly deny he is privatising our NHS. He co-wrote the book, ‘Direct Democracy’, which states, ‘Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain’ and ‘We should fund patients, either through the tax system or by way of universal insurance, to purchase health care from the provider of their choice’. In other words a privatised NHS funded by USA style insurance schemes. For him to hit back at Dr Anna Warrington, a member of the junior doctors protest organising committee, who accused him of plotting to privatise the NHS, with, ‘What utter nonsense’, is emptier than a zombies thought process and your promise of ‘no top down reorganisation of the NHS’.

It was Andrew Lansley who removed the ‘secretary of state’s core duty to provide or secure a comprehensive health service, a duty repealed by the first clause of the Health and Social Care Act’, thus opening the door to privatisation. If you remove the governments duty or obligation to provide universal health care, where is it going to come from it not the private sector? Charities? Back street doctors? Heggerty Haggerty?

One of the core aims of neoliberalism is to increase precariousness in the work place which you and your government have pursued relentlessly. Those of us old enough to remember can look back to the days when a job might last for life, with the dubious reward of a gold watch on retirement after 30 or 40 years service, and when a single pay packet might keep an entire family. Such days are long gone, today zero hours contracts are proliferating and self employment is at its highest level since records began 40 years ago because of the imposed fragility of the labour market. Iain Duncan Smith has even managed to break the age old contract of work for pay, introducing forced labour (Workfare) for benefits which are far below the minimum wage and woefully inadequate to provide for all the demands placed upon those afflicted by his heinous policies.

Hunt’s attack on junior doctors is just the latest in the undermining of the work force and working conditions. Hunt cares as little for doctors as he cares for patients and even less for universal health care. He must be beaten now because if he is not the next attack will be worse, junior doctors have patient care in front and Hunt’s knife at their back, adding to the already considerable pressures they are under and making their lives ever more precarious. Junior doctors must win this or we all lose which will ultimately mean the NHS as we know it.


19_october_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,235

Monday 19 October 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Research by Credit Suisse reveals that the top 1% of the worlds population now owns over 50% of all household wealth whilst the bottom 50% owns just 1%. The pace of global inequality is such that this situation has arisen a year earlier than predicted and in Britain inequality is dramatically increasing.

Total global military expenditure for 2014 was $1.8 trillion and Britain’s share of that was in excess of £60 billion ($92.6 billion). We can afford to kill people but not save them.

Poverty is violence, it is wilful, extreme, violence with 22,000 children dying of poverty across the globe every single day, that’s over 8 million a year and that’s just the children. Poverty is the silent killer, largely ignored and seldom newsworthy, and I wonder when might be the time to call it genocide? We could afford to bail out the banks and the media and government laud extreme wealth as if it is some kind of personal virtue whilst millions silently die of poverty and disease.

As Jeremy Hunt continues in his destabilising of our NHS for privatisation and moves us every closer to a US insurance system which you are in favour of, the reality is that, as in the US, the poorest people will be abandoned. It’s all about profiteering and nothing to do with actual health care. Dr Jo Kirkcaldy wrote on 13 October: “Dear NHS, it is you who now keeps me awake at night. It is you that I want to be able to save because you do so much for all of us even though we don’t always acknowledge or recognise it. I love that you are indiscriminate in your care, providing for the last, the least and the lost in exactly the same way as you do for the great and powerful. I know we’ll miss you when you’re gone and I fear for my family, friends and patients in a world without you. But, dear NHS, I’m running out of ideas as to how to save you and I know I can’t do it alone.”

The loss of universal health care will be catastrophic for the poorest people in society, just as in the days before the NHS people will die of preventable diseases, the clocks will be turned back over half a century. Illness and Disease will become things of terror once again. Health insurance will be a lottery, people will have to decide on their level of cover by what they can afford and if your policy doesn’t cover your illness, tough. Iain Duncan Smith claims that, ‘For those who are never able to work through disability or other problems, the state will step in.’ We’ve seen just how that will work through his current treatment of sick and disabled people, he’ll sanction them to incentivise them to get well. John Lennon summed it all up nicely in “Working Class Hero”, ‘There’s room at the top they are telling you still, but first you must learn how to smile as you kill, if you want to be like the folks on the hill’. And how you do all smile, it’s only poor people dying after all.