Friday, 19 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Marcus Chown on the NHS

A very thorough piece this, with links to all his terrifying real information about what has happened to our NHS. By the way: Cameron tweeted today some bullshit about increasing funding or some nonsense and added the hashtag #welovethenhs.

I replied: "You mean #welovegivingthenhstoourrichchumsanddonors" I'm sure he'll be receiving thousands of similar responses.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Public Sector Is Great

Do you agree with the popular opinion that the public sector is too large? If so, there's a good chance you've been conned by right-wing propaganda.

Don't be embarrassed: it's everywhere thanks to the right-wing's media monopoly in the UK (and most countries, in fact). It may start to change though: in the interest of good journalism, there are parts of the right-wing press that are starting to expose private sector corruption and greed...although I fear it's not quite enough just yet.

I love the public sector. I like that important services such as Schools, Hospitals and Doctors' Surgeries are provided for us out of our taxes rather than making profit for rich executives. I also like the fact that councils control who provides services for other important things such as waste and recycling. Ok, so maybe there's an occasional bung to a councillor from a waste management company or similar - I wish that wasn't the case - but what's the alternative? 

The alternative that anyone who's given it any thought has come up with is to pay for private sector companies to run everything. You can guarantee there won't be any secret bungs any longer, because greasing palms will be the status quo. Encouraged, no doubt. Management executives will be wined and dined - at least - and eventually at our expense - by profit-hungry suitors in exchange for public money. The happy winner of said contract will then go back to their friends and give them the thumbs up to increase costs for a cut of the profit that they've helped to get out of our taxes.

Why does anyone believe that cutting the public sector to nothing is a good thing? Those people will still want these services. Will they want them to cost more? No. Will they want them to be at least as good as they have always been? Yes. Well one of those things has to give. 

Ask a profit-making organisation for a quote and they'll build in as much profit as they can. Chip them on price and they'll chip away the service or up any additional costs they can charge later. And given half a chance, they'll move the goalposts later citing increases in outlay - and increases that in fact, they've probably pre-agreed with their suppliers.

The lobbyists and Tory donors (many of whom are the same people) are making this all very worthwhile for the government, who wanted to crush the public sector anyway.

Did you know:

a) The 'Health and Social Care Act' a.k.a. The NHS Reform Bill was written mostly by a private company who stood to benefit directly from its passing

b) Monitor, the 'independent' body set up to ensure private involvement in the NHS is fair is made up mostly of private healthcare executives

c) The top ten biggest winners from Tory policies on the NHS have donated more than £10m to the Tories, and in return have won more than £5bn of NHS contracts under this government. These companies are: Virgin Care, Serco, Circle Holdings, Interserve, Carillion, Mitie, Care-UK, Medacs, Barchester, Zenith Hygeine.

Ok, so I've ended up focussing on the NHS - because the facts are already out there. But it would be no different for other services.

So, in conclusion, profit and the pursuit thereof can make people do bad things. 

Now I have three reasons for hating Star*ucks

1) Their coffee is rank
2) They're EVERYWHERE and make life hard for independent coffee shops who make decent coffee
3) They've paid NO TAX on their UK earnings in THREE YEARS

Full story in The Guardian:

Monday, 15 October 2012


"Epanutin capsules were costing the NHS just over £2m a year until Flynn Pharma, a British company, bought the rights to sell the anti-seizure medicine from Pfizer, repackaged it, and raised the price. Now the annual bill will be £46.6m."

See the full story here:

I'm finding it interesting how many articles in the Telegraph and Times highlight government lies and private cons despite their right-wing bias. Meanwhile on the BBC....not a lot.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Going Backwards

The Guardian are reporting that, looking at local authority plans, the Department of Transport's claim that only 44 road schemes are currently being planned seems to be a lie by as much as 75% (there are, in fact, more like 194).

Despite every piece of common sense telling anyone who has half a brain that we need better, cheaper trains and we need to use technology so that fewer people are using the roads to get to and from work, the Tories are planning to increase our destruction of the environment.

Why not spend the money on something forward-thinking? Such as a scheme to get businesses to open small satellite offices in villages, small towns and suburbs. That's a simple idea, made possible with the technology that all companies have access to anyway and could have a number of benefits:

1) Less traffic; less pollution
2) Reduction in time lost in traffic jams
3) Financial boost for areas with empty premises, shops etc and the shops and so forth that workers would make use of
4) Improvement of villages and small towns; where there is work, there is money - we could become less reliant on large towns and cities and out-of-town retail parks
5) Could well be cost-effective for companies; smaller head offices in the areas where office space is most expensive; less time lost in traffic; less mileage allowance paid out
6) Health benefits - more people could walk or cycle to work; less stressful journeys.

Anyway, that's just my ramblings but is there any reason that wouldn't be a good idea? It wouldn't work for all businesses but now we have an electronic filing system, I could do almost all of my work from another location and I'm sure many people are the same. Bosses could use webcams to keep an eye on their staff if they wanted to!

Here's the guardian's article, which mentions nothing of my ideas. [shakes head in disgust]


In case you weren't already aware, the Tories have been taking large donations from big private healthcare providers who are set to win big from the NHS 'reforms' (I put that in inverted commas because that's what they call them, when really, it's just a way of not saying they're pulling the NHS apart and giving it to their wealthy donors as quickly as they can).

The BBC, and it pains me to know this, are NOT reporting it. And the Tories and the right-wing media say the BBC are too left-liberal..... Al Jazeera are the first TV network to expose these links (although I believe Channel 4 news has mentioned it in passing, maybe).

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I don't mind calling it LIES

But then, Labour List wants to be taken seriously, and I completely applaud their approach.

As ever, I'm relying on the hard work of others for facts but this proves yet again that the Tories are just lying every time they open their mouths.

Bankers paid for their talent?

Another excellent post by Ripped off Britons:

Cameron's conference speech

List of lies:

Grave moment in the modern history of Britain (1 lie)
Making an insolvent nation solvent again (2 lies)
Set our country back on a path to prosperity that all can share in (2 lies)

And that's within the first 40 seconds of his speech. If I was to do this right through his speech, I'd end up with a document as big as the NHS reform bill (described by an affected member of the medical profession as "so big it can be seen from space.") and anyway, I've got work to do. Unlike far too many people in this country - no thanks to this shitbag.

"Britain is on the right track."

What a load of crap.

And WHY do the BBC keep focusing on the 2 Olympians/Paralympians, even when he's not talking about the Olympics/Paralympics?

One final point: he's talking about the Paralympians training hard and then about his disabled son. Why are you ripping disability benefits from the hands of those who need it?

Michael Crick chases a.k.a. Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps, or whatever his name is (I think it depends on who he's trying to convince and what he's trying to convince them of) gets the full Crick treatment here:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Even some Tories admit they're crap.

From Labourlist.org

Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Lord Forsyth said today on the Daily Politics:
“I think we have got fixated with reducing the deficit – of course we have got to reduce the deficit but the way to reduce the deficit is to get growth going again and I think what was lacking in the speech from the Chancellor was any indication, other than this scheme for equity and small businesses, was any indication of how he is going to get small and medium sized businesses roaring ahead again and that is the only way forward…. It feels a bit like Mister Micawber – he is hoping something will turn up when the numbers come out.”
Yet Tory MP Mark Garnier was more honest still, speaking at a fringe meeting today he said:
“The reason we have a low interest rate is because the economy is absolutely screwed”
The chancellor’s speech was obviously well received then…

That's a bit rich.

Another good blog post from Ripped-off Britons, explaining how poor people and not rich people drive the economy. Very important for all voters to understand; particularly when the government will try to convince you all otherwise.


Yet another group who know economics have backed Balls over Osborne:

Three of the best

I've decided for my first proper post to put up a bunch of my favourite fact-heavy Tory-correcting sites.

Ripped-off Britons:
Dr √Čoin Clarke's Green Benches:
I'm Alright Jack (who basically does exactly what I'm going to be doing - but the more of us publish facts on the web, the more chance people will have of seeing them):

Read them all; they're full of facts, with very little in the way of "facts".

Good morning/afternoon/evening.

This is a little blog of blogs; sharing my anger and joy - mostly anger - somewhere other that my own facebook page. I don't like facebook; it's a corporate nappy and lots of people like me are very annoying on it.

Mostly, I'll be posting other people's blogs; provided - and this is essential - that they contain facts to back up at least some of their "facts". If you see what I mean.

Hope you enjoy it. If you don't, may I recommend following Grant Shapps on Twitter. It's like ear-wigging on an idiot saying and doing things and then pretending they didn't. In fact that IS what it is. So enjoy that instead.