Re Re Re Rewind the Rhetoric
By 999 Call for the NHS, Jul 15 2016 05:00PM
Is the Labour Party taking the NHS seriously at last?
That’s a very good question. And one we should be asking continually it seems. And it’s a reminder why 999 Call has always fought to be independent of ANY political party.
In the midst of the current Parliamentary Labour Party madness nothing is certain other than the lunatics really have taken over the asylum, locked themselves in and given the front door keys to the high-risk security inmates who are now romping in the red rose garden with rather large shiny razor-sharp hedgecutters. There’s a lot of dangerous pruning going on...
This week, on a day where all the mainstream media focused their tired lens on Count Cameron’s departure and the landing of Saint Theresa like an elegant hungry vulture into the post of unelected Prime Minister, an important item was passing into the Commons almost unnoticed. The 3rd presentation of the NHS (Reinstatement) Bill - the only piece of proposed legislation in the political arena that talks our language - a return to a fully nationalised NHS run and owned by us.
Caroline Lucas, the well respected solo Green Party MP, championed it twice before and fought hard to gather a small, enthusiastic group of cross party MPs to support her but at it’s 2nd Reading on March 11th 2016 a noticeable lack of Labour MPs in the Commons meant the Conservative “rent-a-gob” MPs filibustered her and the NHS Bill fell. . The Bill was the only catalyst that saw campaigners nationwide join forces over the winter in a way we have not seen before.
This week MP Margaret Greenwood, (Labour, Wirral West) took up the reins and presented it as a Ten Minute Rule Bill. It passed through to its 2nd Reading on November 4th 2016. Outside a rally of noisy campaigners were joined by newly appointed Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott who turned up to take a turn on the megaphone and share her “support for the principles of the Bill”. It was beginning to look sort of good... then a post online by Diane Abbott later that afternoon had a few campaigners raising a Roger Moore Raised eyebrow...
“Of course, no-one wants yet another top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
NHS professionals and staff that I speak to hold up their hands in horror at the prospect. The NHS has already had more than one reorganisation too many.”
Uh-oh here we go... in two difficult meetings with her predecessor Heidi Alexander, Support the NHS camapigners were confronted with this mainstay argument as to why she was NOT a supporter of the NHS Bill (and that Simon Stevens was a nice man doing his best with a very difficult job) so to hear Diane Abbott repeating almost verbatim the statement is a bit of a worry. The whole point of the NHS Bill is to bring a final end to the continual top-down DE-Structuring that is going on right now, creating havoc and distress with staff and patients alike.
And it is not a mistake. The Five Year Forward View is a cold calculated plan designed by NHS CEO Simon Stevens who has learnt all he knows about reconfiguration and redesign to “pay-as-you-get-sick” healthcare from the world’s largest Medical Insurance corporation United Health of America. He spent several years as their Global Strategy President so he should know a great deal about private healthcare. The Five Year Forward View is demolishing any thread of accountable, open, democratic control within the NHS and creating a virtual apocolypse with the breaking up of the NHS into 44 Footprints and their imposed Sustainability & Transformation Plans.
Driven by “effiency savings” Simon Stevens is like a dangerous blood-hungry surgeon with a very sharp scalpel. He knows where to cut, slice, remove and bleed in order to force the infrastructure to reshape itself so it mimics and operates like the USA model he knows so well. Whilst wielding his scalpel the process of his deliberate chaos and destruction NHS Trusts welcome in the likes of McKinsey, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young and under the guise of “helping and supporting”, consultancy is draining even more public money into the bank accounts of the global businesses that seem to be dominating politics worldwide.
And Theresa May has shown clear consent to the blood letting by keeping Jeremy Hunt in place as Health Secretary. Make no mistake. As far as the Conservatives are concerned this is the endgame. Hunt is there to make sure Simon Stevens and the corporate machine seals the fate of the NHS by introducing charges, reduced care and top-up payments. Their deceitful and manipulative “transformation”, using positivity and new age corporate ethics to improve the service, is nothing more than the final moves on the chess board to bring the game of privatisation to an inescapable “check-mate”.
“Of course, no-one wants yet another top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
NHS professionals and staff that I speak to hold up their hands in horror at the prospect"
Funny that politicians find one group of staff who can’t cope with the idea of a top-down reorganisation yet we and other campaign groups continually talk to NHS Staff who laugh, shrug their shoulders and say “we wouldn’t notice the difference, it’s being reorganised on a weekly basis!”. (Ask teachers and they will say the same thing about schools).
The NHS Bill is not about another top-down reorganisation - it’s about a fundamental restoration, reinstatement and restitching together of a public service that has been fragmented, ripped apart by the internal market processes that both parties since the 1990’s have allowed to steal from us. If we want to save it, restore it for the generations after us we have to fight for nothing less than making it a 100% public service, there to provide health and wellbeing for all based on making our society a better place not providing profit for offshore accounts and corporate machines.
So Diane Abbott, if the Labour Party genuinely wants a return to a publicly funded, owned, delivered and managed NHS with the private health firms removed from any influence in shaping the health of our nation, our kids’ futures you really are going to have to start saying so clearly and begin talking seriously about bringing it back into public hands. Simple. No compromise. There isn’t time now for any doubts.
Perhaps, given the current red rose pruning carnage, the Shadow Health Secretary is playing it safe, hiding in a quiet cupboard somewhere waiting for the mayhem to die down. The sad thing is that Diane Abbott and the entire Labour Party are missing a trick. Full genuine, open, transparent and strong fierce support for a renationalised public service NHS would be an election winner as far as we are concerned.
Having worked with the authors since 2014 999 Call for the NHS know there are problems with The NHS Bill. The NHS Landscape is continually shifting like quicksand and any proposed bill is going to have weak areas that need development and securing like how to deal with PFI (Private Finance Initiative), Social Care. The one thing we can all be clear about is the ethos behind it. Make it Public. Bring it Back to Public Hands.
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