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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Complicity of Cameron and Clegg

They've done it again.

The Tories and LibDems have once more voted together to push through a law that dramatically affects our English NHS. The 'hospital closure clause' - Clause 119 of the Care Bill - has been voted through Parliament. The law was only passed because of the Parliamentary arithmetic of the LibDemsvotingwith the Tories to bring about a majority against the opposition. Clause 119 allows any hospital that is near a struggling one to be closed with just 40 days consultation period - yes that's right just 40 days!Any talk by the LibDems of extricating important amendments from the Tories can be dismissed as hubris. They only say this to justify their voting habits.
It beggars belief that Liberals can vote for something that diminishes the power of a citizen to have their say. The same goes for the Gagging Bill the Liberals voted for recently which removes the right to free speech for many citizens who feel passionately about a subject. The dictionary definit…

Window Dressing - Clause 119

You may have noticed Clause 118 has morphed into Clause 119.

This is just window dressing. As so often happens in Parliament amendments are made as legislation moves through both Houses and clauses are re-numbered. This has happened here and the changes are superficial but play their role because politicians can say 'we have listened to you and made some vital changes so please vote for this now'. NHS campaigners have studied the amendments and believe they make no real difference to this 'hospital closure clause'.

The reason hospitals are in financial trouble are twofold. One is due to the completely unnecessary £20bn cuts to the NHS budget we are seeing between 2010-2015 - the so called 'Nicholson Challenge'. Secondly hospitals are crippled by PFI debt - in effect huge mortgage payments that they have to pay to private developers sometimes for periods of 30 years. This PFI debt needs to be removed from the hospitals so they can concentrate on patients and not…