Don’t be naive, Len – Cameron WANTS to lock privatisation into the NHS


Unite’s secretary general Len McCluskey would be naive indeed to think David Cameron is ever likely to heed his call for the National Health Service to be kept out of the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

McCluskey has warned that the NHS could be sued by American healthcare multinationals if a UK government tried to return services to state control; they would argue that such renationalisations interfered with their potential profits, in breach of the trade agreement, as has been discussed on this blog in the past.

His appeal misses the point. The entire thrust of Coalition government policy is to ensure that the NHS becomes vulnerable to just such pressure, in order to ‘lock in’ the privatisations inflicted on us by Andrew Lansley’s horrifying Health and Social Care Act 2012.

One has to look no further than Vince Cable for confirmation of this. The Whig business secretary (you can’t call him a Liberal Democrat any more, and as a commenter pointed out today, the government as a whole behaves more like the old-style Whig Party from the 19th century. If the cap fits…) told The Independent: “There is no suggestion whatever that the TTIP negotiations could be used to undermine the fundamental principles of the NHS or advancing privatisation.”

What he means by this is that – as far as he is concerned, advancing privatisation is a fundamental principle of the NHS since Andrew Lansley’s hateful Act of Parliament. Therefore the TTIP agreement can only contribute to that project.

He said: “Our focus for health is to enable our world-class pharaceutical and medical devices sectors to benefit from improved access to the US market.”

If we have world-class healthcare already, why do we need access to a market-driven system that can only drag us down into mediocrity? Clearly he is not talking about healthcare at all; he is talking about the health service as a source of profit. The “benefit” he describes can only be profit – income for shareholders in private companies that could not be accrued while they were excluded from NHS work.

Everybody involved in this betrayal should be imprisoned as a traitor, with Cable and Lansley first to be sent down.


  1. Colin morris July 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Of course he does, Mike, it’s as plain as nose on your face. Tories have played a blinder, now all they have to do is sell TTIP to the eloctorate and job done – abolishment of NHS and all achieved in one term. Just why they extended by a year – they needed time. I find it heartbreaking

  2. Methusalada July 4, 2014 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Len McCluskey is not naïve, his doing the best he can in the sewage of UK politics today !

  3. beastrabban July 4, 2014 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    The Tories have been planning the privatisation of the NHS for a very long time. Thatcher commissioned a report looking into it, but then suppressed it, realizing it constituted political suicide. And I can remember Davids Steel and Owen when the Liberals and Social Democrats were merely an alliance, rather than the same party, stating that it didn’t matter whether the health service was private or public, so long as it was free. Well, it works much better when it’s state owned, and as a private industry it most definitely won’t be free. Tories like Peter Lilley, Jeremy Hunt and IDS despise it because it is free, and so excludes the private sector from making a tidy profit.

  4. PendanticGeek July 4, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Now, a thought occurs to me: What happens if a Country turns up to a TTIP hearing and tells the plaintiff corporation to straight up F off and just completely ignores the power of the TTIP tribunal?

    • amnesiaclinic July 4, 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Let me see – sanctions for 100 years so all the children die or bombing with white phosphorus or depleted uranium for good measure or just plain drones followed by invasion by the un.
      Take your pick!

  5. Thomas M July 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    This government will never rest until it’s ruined our National Health Service.

  6. A6er July 4, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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