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By 999callfornhs, Mar 17 2017 02:27PM

And I'll cry i want to...



Right now not one of the three mainstream political parties has the answers for our NHS, education, public services or our country as a whole, they have no sense or understanding of a good society where equality, fair play and justice exists for all. Austerity has not reduced the National Debt it has increased it and has only served to make the rich even richer whilst the poor get what they deserve - poorer.


Politicians make the right sounds, the right facial expressions and hand gestures but behind their smiles and expressions of sincerity they're either lying at worst, or at best, confused, deluded that they can promote and deliver a better future for our kids to grow up in by delivering the same old tired economic policies that have blighted the nation since the 80s. They've become stuck in the groove of "money is running out, we're just going to have do without".


And in turn we, the nation, having been encouraged to step back from political process have learnt to believe the scenario and we've become addicted to suffering, tightening our belts and closing our wallets because the money trees are running out of fruit. We now take a strange comfort in the assumption that "Times are hard and the world is changing" and we just have to put up and shut up and suffer the consequences.


Such is the limiting, controlling logic of Austerity, the philosophy invented by corporate mindsets determined to destroy public services, public wellbeing and public benevolence because it means they are denied the opportunity to make money. The economic philosophy that is the raison d'etre of those with wealth that is unimaginable for most of us and ultimately utterly pointless for all of us.


Economy is not how much money we have


...it's how much money is circulating between us as wages, profits, taxes. How much is recycled, reintroduced and reused as purchases, mortgages, savings. If millions are now disappearing into offshore tax havens (they are we know it) when will that money enter back into our economy? When will it circulate freely back into our society and maintain the UK as the world's 6th largest economy? The answer? Slowly at best, most likely never.


Soon, as the corporate machine takes over all our public services and filters out our public budgets to offshore accounts (Branson's vast Virgin Island accounts for example) our economy will begin to shrink, the government will shout louder "there's not enough money!" and we will all be told we'll need to be even more careful with money, more resilient in our outlook and tighten our belts even further. A self satisfying philosophy of starving an economy to create a starving economy and a nation of grateful supplicants. A sort of sick economic Stockholm Syndrome as we learn to love the pain of living without the basic rights of health, education and jobs.


So where's the hope in the future ahead?


It lies in us, ordinary people putting ourselves back into politics with courage and determination and some decent honest rethinking of what is needed to provide a healthier future for our children and generations ahead. After decades of being “encouraged” to sit back, feel unworthy and let "others more fitting" take the lead, it's time for a return of ordinary people into the world of decision making and political strategy. Ordinary people with the ability to question not only their opponents but themselves too, the ability to explore and research new monetary thinking,  new methods of international relations, new and trusted methods of educating the nation and how to best deal with the ingrained corporate mindset that is entrenched within the corridors of power, the media and virtually every aspect of our daily lives.


Hope lies in our ability to look back at recent social history and discover what worked well in our past welfare state, the vision at its core, its beginnings and why it sometimes failed, mostly through no fault of its own but through longterm resistance by the established upper classes, the corporate business class and their struggle to remain in control and grow their own wealth. Hope lies in our ability to see that The Austerity Myth began long before it acquired its name. 


Hope lies in talking, sharing ideas with no hidden selfish agenda. It lies in not being afraid of a new political system that creates allies of those who share ideals and can reach beyond the limited tribal habits of current political behaviour patterns. Hope lies in breaking the cultural void of critical thinking in politics, encouraging voters to analyse all of their allegiances, to question their emotional ties to political parties they have remained faithful to out of habit or fear or apathy.



The time is now for voters on all sides of the political spectrum to ask if their MP is truly representing their needs, their desires and their hopes. And if their party is failing them to search for or create an alternative force for political good.


The time is now to demand MPs from all parties declare where they stand on healthcare, social care, private companies taking over our NHS, schools, prisons, public services and where they stand in regard to the dark looming shadow of Austerity. The time is now for ordinary people to step up and create an opposition to the lies and cultural brainwashing of 30yrs of the Austerity mantra.


Hope lies in ordinary people putting themselves in extraordinary circumstances.


That time surely is now.





By 999callfornhs, Jan 15 2017 08:00AM

by a passionate nurse

who walked 300 miles from Jarrow to London


Earlier today I posted about the programme Hospital that aired on BBC last night and it's good to see that I'm not the only one who is horrified by what it showed. We all seem to be in agreement that the NHS is in crisis but, after spending the day working in the NHS on a programme to reduce the incidence of preventable disease, I do feel the need to refute some of the responses made to the post.


The NHS is in crisis due to underfunding

The NHS is in crisis due to funding being siphoned off to the private sector & not reinvested in patient care

The NHS is in crisis due to the political ideology of the current government where everything has to respond to market forces - even the care of the sick and care of the vulnerable amongst us.


It's not Foreigners

Most people who come to the UK do so to get work. They pay their taxes and contribute financially to the NHS, so are perfectly entitled to use it. For those who have come here seeking safety, whether that be from war, oppression or poverty, I am proud to offer them sanctuary and hope that the NHS can lessen their suffering in some way.


It's not people who harm themselves

Those whose mental health has deteriorated to this point deserve treatment and support from the NHS in exactly the same way as people with physical pain and other symptoms.


It's not because people attend A&E with minor illnesses & injuries

They are probably there because they can't get a GP appointment or their local urgent care centre has been closed.


It's not people with a dependence on alcohol or drugs

For people whose lives are so difficult that they have an increasing dependence on something that alters their mood deserve treatment and support as much as anyone else. Apart from anything else it will cost the NHS less in the long run if they get help.


It's not overseas health workers taking our jobs

Those with highly sought after skills are enticed to come and work here to fill the gap left by the government's lack of investment in education and training for our young people. Today I have worked with staff from the Phillipines, India, Hungary and Egypt and feel privileged to share the care of our patients with them.


It's not people who are obese

There are a multitude of reasons why people become overweight, many linked to stress and poverty as well as disease. Judging them harshly or withdrawing their access to care won't resolve the physical or psychological issues they may have.


It's not greedy doctors

Why shouldnt they expect to earn a good wage and still have time to spend with their families like normal people? The junior doctors dispute has highlighted the dangers of doctors having to make life changing decisions whilst tired and overworked. And it seems completely illogical to me that someone with the skills to save your life can't earn as much as someone who has the skills to work in a merchant bank or manage a hedge fund.


It's not people living longer with complex medical needs

People are living longer with complex needs thanks to the NHS, not despite it.


Sorry if I've gone on a bit (or even a lot) but please, don't be drawn into the politics of hate and division. Those of us who work in the NHS don't judge those who need treatment. We just get on and treat them, because that's what the NHS is for. The only way to save it is to stand together, oppose the privatisation of services and support each other. Target your anger and ire at the right people.


Those making the policies that are passing the NHS into the hands of global corporations, not the victims of those policies. Become an activist, join a local NHS campaign and stop being a bystander.


FIND A CAMPAIGN GROUP NEAR YOU - HERE








By 999callfornhs, Jan 4 2017 09:58AM

Steven Carne

NHS Campaigner with 999 Call for the NHS


Happy New Year. 2017.


Like many I tried, and with some surprise succeeded, in taking a break from the campaign mindset. You know the one.  The constant nagging, niggling, stabbing voices in your head that don't shut up no matter how hard you try to quieten them with books, television or phone calls to friends. Every activity only serves to reawaken them and echo their constant drone.


Christmas. Three days of loved ones sharing good food and a little drink here and there; three days putting the terror and horror of what is happening in both our domestic and international politics to one side; three days to focus on our human relationships; three days to remember who we are deep down, who we used to be before NHS campaigning and fighting for the good society took over our lives.

I jumped in the sea at Portreath on Christmas Day.


A windy cold grey Cornish day with "mizzle" in the air. I didn't have to work very hard at "getting in" as the six foot waves  quickly covered me before I had to walk too far into the frothy tide. Surfers in wetsuits and dogwalking emmets (tourists) watched bemused as a 17.5stone hairy ape in hawaii swimshorts headed towards the ocean.


Diving headfirst and feeling that cold rush all over was a great way to refresh the system, leave London and "upcountry" behind and remember the elemental aspects of my old homeland. I grew up on a surfing beach and knowing how to dive and survive 9ft waves is something that stays inside like riding a bike. Concentrating on the water flow and my breathing as the cold wrapped my lungs there was no room for Clinical Commissioning Groups, lying Chief Execs, duplicitous businessmen and women who smile  too much, vicious political activists who refuse to listen, journalists who don't seem able to understand,  ineffectual MPs, local councils that don't know their arse from their Scrutiny Committee... all this was washed away in the icy salty wash.  And I loved it. Freedom.


Three days of simple social activity - smiling, walking, laughing, sleeping, old friends, old memories, - three days over and I dip my toe in the social media swell. Familiar waves of information, comment and opinion wash over my feet. I'm just paddling because i need to know the water. Even the smallest waves can lead to a sudden freak wave that hits you before you can steady yourself to dance with it.


Familiar ripples roll gently in - hospital cuts, stories of wonderful NHS Staff, local tragedies, newspaper articles and then there it is... tugging at our feet, the familiar undertow of anger, rage and frustration  that we all feel gripping from within and threatening to pull us under, dragging us helplessly into the murky depths of cold icy desperation. It's a dark ugly unseen force you have to fight hard to stay upright, one slip and you'll topple and find yourself on your back being swept along with the drag and pull of the outgoing tide. A very different kind of swimming.


2017 - Our winter of discontent. The ocean swell is huge, dark grey black stormclouds froth heavy on the horizon. And we stand on the shore witnessing the chaotic and jagged waves of political disaster - a government led by pure greed and self-interest, an opposition of weak, confused, embittered politicians who have lost  their moral compass and any guts to fight for us. It’s ugly and battling it is ugly. Ugliness abounds in the boardrooms of NHS England, the meeting rooms of Parliament, the sleepy benches of the Lords. Ugly.


But we have to remember ourselves, know who we are and understand that together we can swim in those waves and survive them. We have grace and beauty within us as well as rage, horror, dark knowledge and despair. And reading the waves it’s time to dive in and swim.


We must build our own opposition right now, lock our feet in the sand and stand up to the waves of corruption that are rushing over us. Otherwise we lose all that is precious to us. We lose the caring society we all thought we had, we lose the safe world we thought our kids and grandkids would enjoy for a long time ahead.



If you would like to write a piece for our blog contact us info@999callfornhs.org.uk






By 999callfornhs, Nov 9 2016 03:55PM



The latest spurt of Killer Clowns made me smile as 999 had just produced another batch of Corporate Clown cards. I kept hoping one would appear outside the Dept of Health where the real killer clowns live. Maybe one day.


Then one of the network sent me a link to a rather wonderful activitst blog from 2012 and that made me chuckle in an even darker way. And it's a distinct reminder that good people, informed people have been fighting this battle - stopping the privatisation by stealth of our NHS - for many many years. In the last 6 months we've met retired consultants who have been battling since the 1980's, retired nurses who have been fighting since the 90's, ordinary folk who have - like most of us - accidentally fallen into the NHS universe of corporate hell and won't let go. Not until we have won. And we will.


Because the darkness is too much to subject our kids and grandkids to. The lies and deciets employed by successive governments of the last 25yrs are too great to let go unanswered. People will be punished for their criminal acts. Destroying a public institution with corporate smiles and the suits of KPMG, Ernst& Young, Price Waterhouse Cooper & McKinsey plus that entourage of corporate killer clown siblings - they wlll be pulled short. And on the whole - once you've swallowed the blue pill - you can't give up, you can't unsee the awful clever cheating that the corporate killer clowns are carrying out.





And there are many different ways of fighting back. Humour is one way that thankfully is on our side. This blog from 2012 is a really fun (dark I warn you) way of highlighting the problems. And it may inspire you to do something similar.


Have fun.

Steven Carne

xx


Going private?

My reply to a job offer from a private health company (July 2012)


What the heck is this? I’ve been trying and failing to stop the government from privatising the National Health Service for years, and now a private healthcare company has contacted me about a job!


The email from Care UK says they are “seeking a Media Relations Executive for our Head Office based in Colchester and your skills and experience appear to be a good match.” Huh? They are offering a “competitive salary, 25 days holiday and corporate discounts.”


Here’s what I have replied:


Dear Laura,


Thank you for your unexpected email about the Media Relations Executive job with Care UK. I am very interested. Since Care UK is possibly the leading private healthcare company making inroads into the NHS, I would relish the opportunity to publicise what it does – indeed, this is precisely what I was trying to do in my previous job as information officer for Keep Our NHS Public (on a much smaller budget, I’m sure). That must be what you were referring to when you said my skills and experience are “a good match”.


As you can imagine, I am brimming with ideas. If you don’t mind, I would like to set them out here. First of all, I think much more needs to be done to let the public know what Care UK is. Hardly anyone realises just how big a chunk of the NHS you now run, from GP surgeries and walk-in centres to treatment units doing things like bunions. If I were your Media Relations Executor I would promote this aggressively to build the brand. I think the public has a vague idea about NHS privatisation, but they aren’t yet able to put a face to the name, so to speak. Care UK’s name could be that face. As a profit-making healthcare company owned by a private equity firm you are perfectly positioned.


READ ALEX NUNN's brilliant BLOG in FULL :


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