Tag Archives: amateur

How the Institute of Economic Affairs wanted to abolish the NHS – and how is it going?

Left-wing commentator Grace Blakely has brought to light this gem that the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank wrote in 2012, explaining how its members would tear down the National Health Service.

She writes: “Neoliberals literally told us a decade ago that their plan to destroy the NHS is to make the service so unusable that the wealthy are forced to opt for private care instead, making the institution easier to defund and privatize.”

That is what the article says…

An alternative strategy would seek to bypass the NHS by liberating the private healthcare sector such that the NHS became less and less relevant as more and more people opted out of state provision to avoid long waiting lists and substandard care.

… although how the IEA expected anybody working on 2023’s starvation wages to be able to afford private medical attention is anybody’s guess. They seem to be calling for anybody off the street to be allowed to set themselves up as doctors or nurses, no matter how unqualified for the job:

Anyone should be at liberty to practice as a doctor or nurse, with patients relying on brand names or competing voluntary associations to ensure quality. Ending current restrictive practices is essential to enable private firms to increase productivity in the sector.

Remember the “Free Schools” debacle, when anybody was allowed to set themselves up as a teacher and indoctrinate your children on any lunacy they liked? How well did that end?

With that policy transferred to health, you’ll be asked to rely for your cures on some quack dancing around you, waving his beads and rattles.

Restrictions on the types of treatment available ‘over the counter’ should be lifted to enable patients to obtain medication without recourse to registered doctors and regulated pharmacies.

This means anybody off the street could set themselves up as pharmacists and prescribe you whatever they liked (and probably charge you the Earth for it) instead of what you need, because they wouldn’t have the training to know what that was.

Burdensome drug licensing regulations should be rescinded. Instead, the testing of new drugs should be left to private firms and free markets. Reputable companies would have strong economic incentives to ensure the safety of their products, while there would also be far more freedom for experimentation and innovation by new market entrants.

In other words, you would be exposed to potentially harmful drugs. Couple this with the de-regulation of pharmacies and you have a drug industry that is incentivised to subject you to unproven and potentially harmful chemicals.

I like this one:

Private firms should be free to bring in low-cost medical professionals from abroad and at liberty to determine rates of pay and working conditions through private contract.

So they would bring in cheap foreign workers to stymie the government’s demand that immigration must fall. This would create a tricky conundrum for a government that wants to privatise the NHS!

Legal reforms could enable patients to waive their right to clinical negligence claims.

In other words, private firms would refuse to provide you with their expensive, unsafe treatments unless you signed a form to say you would not sue them if any harm came to you as a result of their lack of training or competence.

The article was written by a gentleman whose expertise lies in transport policy.

This Writer hopes he has found a more useful way to spend his time, considering the failures of the transport links serving the UK at the moment.

Source: How to abolish the NHS — Institute of Economic Affairs


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Did you know about this consultation on unqualified people giving you unlicensed vaccines?

I’m willing to bet you didn’t.

Boris Johnson’s government is consulting on a plan to allow unqualified non-medical staff to administer unlicensed – and therefore possibly dangerous – vaccines to us. Covid-19 is the reason provided for the change but it would not be restricted to treatments for that disease.

If these unlicensed vaccines damage our health, the plan is that we will not have the right to seek compensation if we did not object to the plan. In other words, this change would allow the government to pump us full of unlicensed drugs, that could affect us in who knows how many ways, with absolutely no responsibility for the consequences.

And, of course, the plan is that nobody (or at least not enough people) will even know this consultation is taking place.

As I stated at the top of this article – I’m willing to bet you didn’t.

The consultation began on August 28 and closes on September 18 – so there isn’t much time left if you want to make your opinion known.

I’ve had a look at the online version and the language is practically impenetrable. I think the Plain English Society would have a fit if its members saw it.

The cover page (for want of a better description) describes the purpose of the proposed new law as

  • authorising temporary supply of an unlicensed product
  • civil liability and immunity
  • expanding the workforce eligible to administer vaccinations
  • promoting vaccines
  • making provisions for wholesale dealing of vaccines

Technically it may be accurate – but it doesn’t tell you exactly what is being proposed, and that is the problem here.

The consultation document itself states:

If there is a compelling case, on public health grounds, for using a vaccine before it is given a product licence, given the nature of the threat we face, the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – an independent, arms-length organisation, which means the Tory government can deny any responsibility if its recommendations cause a disaster] may take the very unusual step of advising the UK government to use a tested, unlicensed vaccine against COVID-19, and we need to make sure that the right legislative measures are in place to deal with that scenario.

It says the main policy objects are to

[enable] the licensing authority to temporarily authorise the supply of an unlicensed medicinal product for use in response to certain specific types of public health threat, including the suspected spread of pathogens.

[Increase] the scope of immunity from civil liability … so that it clearly applies not just to manufacturers and healthcare professionals but also to the company placing an unlicensed medicine such as a vaccine on the market with the approval of the licensing authority.

Ensure that the UK has the available workforce to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine [by allowing unqualified individuals to do so].

It adds:

Someone other than a registered healthcare professional may actually be administering unlicensed vaccines – and as a basic issue of fairness, we think they should benefit from the same immunity from civil liability as a registered healthcare professional who is performing the same role.

Put it all together and you can see that this is a very dangerous plan – that proposes a large risk to public health with those creating that risk bearing absolutely no responsibility for the possible consequences.

The online page where you can respond to the consultation is here. Please visit it and provide your opinions on this plan.

There is a question about the consultation process: “What could we do better?”

I said they could try actually informing people of consultations like this. I only knew about it because a friend informed me. It should have been national news.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Soundbite Britain: This is a game we can ALL play!

Here's a good anti-Coalition soundbite: It's based on a well-known saying and it tackles the falsehoods put out by Iain 'Returned To Unit' Smith.

Here’s a good anti-Coalition soundbite: It’s based on a well-known saying and it tackles the falsehoods put out by Iain ‘Returned To Unit’ Smith.

Sitting in the cafe yesterday, I was discussing the situation in Egypt with a couple of friends. One was getting quite heated because he considered the problem to have been created by the “fundamentalist Islamic government they elected”.

He said something like, “These fundamentalists promised everyone the world. They said they would make everything better, did whatever they could to secure the vote – and then once they were in power they forgot all those promises and did whatever they wanted instead. They got what they wanted from the people and then the people could go hang.”

I couldn’t resist. “So you’re saying they’re exactly like the Conservative Party over here, then,” I replied.

Laughter all around. We laugh because it’s funny and we laugh because it’s true. And because the only alternative is tears.

Let’s not dwell on the Egyptian situation beyond what I said afterwards – that the ‘Arab Spring’ countries seem to need help in establishing the basics of real democracy but there is nobody around who can provide it. They would (rightly) distrust any foreign power that claimed to offer help, but there’s no independent organisation that offers such a service either.

The UK would be one of the last places I would advise Egypt to look. Consider the last general election here. People with a lot of money to spend on it funded a hugely expensive election campaign to get the Conservative Party into power, in order to serve their interests which are to accumulate an even larger share of the available wealth, along with the power that goes with it, while removing and restricting the freedoms of the people from whom that wealth was to be drained.

Those people got involved in politics and worked very hard to make sure they got a government that genuinely serves their interests – selfish and cruel as those interests are. They ended up having to put up with a Conservative-led government, rather than a fully Conservative one, but are now working very hard to finish the job with a propaganda campaign – based on lies – that appears to be swaying public opinion.

So they say (and here I’m quoting Owen Jones in his recent analysis): “We’re clearing up Labour’s mess. Labour overspent and now we’re balancing the books. A national deficit is like a household budget. Welfare is out of control and lining the pockets of the skivers. The unemployed person or immigrant down the road is living off your hard-earned taxes. Labour is in the pocket of union barons.”

All of these are falsehoods. They’re lies. But they’re also very effective soundbites that stay in people’s minds and colour their perceptions of the way things are.

And those responsible get away with it, I’m sorry to say, because the people who stand to lose the most are lazy. They can’t be bothered to get involved and make sure the government they get is one that genuinely serves their interests.

Why do you think Her Majesty’s Opposition is filled with neoliberals who agree with the government that our public services should be carved up and handed to private companies, to run them for profit and not in the interests of the people? Why do you think the Labour Party has agreed to stick to Coalition spending plans for the first year of the next Parliament, if it gets elected? Why do you think Labour has stopped opposing social security policies that have been killing an average of 73 people a week (according to figures that are now well out of date, so the average today is probably much higher)?

Labour doesn’t stand up for you any more. That’s why it has had no effective answer to the Tory lies. The masses can’t be bothered to find out the truth – and certainly won’t lift a finger to get involved and stop the corruption that is eating our institutions away. But that is the only way it can be stopped. You stay away and they get what they want.

At this rate, we’ll all be slaves by 2020.

It doesn’t have to be so hard, though. We could all turn the corner, just by devising a few soundbites of our own.

I was thinking this last night, while I was writing a response to Margaret Johnson. Ms Johnson was commenting on a previous article as follows (apologies to anyone who’s offended; they’re her words, not mine): “It was Labour who signed up Atos, engineered so many civil service jobs that were not needed, opened the borders for the rest of the world’s trash to enter our country, brought in more taxes, actively encouraged the demise of manufacturing and the rise of the banks, signed up to allow Europe to rule us, doubled the rate for income tax for the lowest paid, gave GP’s 100K a year to work 9-5 Monday to Friday, got the most revenue in and still left this country in the worse mess ever.”

So we could say something like (and feel free to include ‘Liberal Democrats’ wherever I have mentioned Conservatives):

“It is the Conservatives who employed a private firm, paying £1 billion to ‘A-toss’ disabled people off the benefits they need to survive.” If Labour was doing its job properly it would add: “A Labour government would save that money by throwing Atos out”.

“No wonder the government can’t make anything work properly – they have been sacking all the professionals. More than 600,000 government employees will have lost their jobs by 2015, replaced by amateurs working for the Conservatives.”

“It’s strange that the Conservatives complain so much about immigration from Europe – they signed the treaties that allow it! The Conservative governments of Edward Heath and John Major allowed the free movement of European immigrants into the UK. Now they see it is unpopular, they want to shift the blame.”

“Simplified tax under the Tories mean the rich pay less and the poor pay more.”

“Conservatives destroyed Britain’s manufacturing base in the 1980s – at the same time they created the conditions that led to the banking crisis.”

“Conservatives want to blame Europe for your problems. Who will they blame when Britain is out of the EU and your problems have multiplied?”

Going back to Owen’s examples:

“Conservatives: The only people who think they can clear up a mess by making a bigger one.”

“Conservatives say Labour overspent – but they have always spent more than Labour. You can’t trust them to balance the books.”

“If the Tories handled their household budgets like they’re handling the deficit, they would all have been evicted by now.”

“Privatisation is out of control; the Tories are using taxpayers’ money to line the pockets of greedy bosses.”

“You paid for Iain Duncan Smith’s £39 breakfast. How much do you spend on your own?”

“The Conservative Party is in the pocket of big business and the bankers.”

Of course, the above are just essays in the craft of soundbiting; I’m just a beginner.

So let’s have a competition to see who can invent the best soundbite, challenging the government’s lies with facts!

Please send your ideas in to this blog – but also put them out to the national media as well, any way you can. Try to get anyone opposing the government to use them, because this may lead to them being picked up by the newspapers and TV news reporters as well.

Above all, please try to make this fun. A soundbite is many times more effective if it makes people laugh, and the Tories and Liberal Democrats are silly, silly people. Let’s bring that out.

Or is it too much like hard work after all?