Tag Archives: Andrew

Johnson government admits Cameron’s NHS ‘reforms’ were wrong. But what will replace them?

Andrew Lansley spent years planning ways to take healthcare away from people who need it, and David Cameron allowed him to put those plans into practise. But is Boris Johnson really going to put a stop to the damage?

Isn’t it nice to know that the current Conservative government has admitted the austerity administration of David Cameron was wrong to impose privatisation on the NHS!

Except… is that really what Johnson – and his minister for death, Matt Hancock, are saying?

Here’s what the BBC story tells us:

The changes would aim to tackle bureaucracy and encourage health services from hospitals to GP surgeries and social care to work more closely.

The draft policy paper also says the health secretary would take more direct control over NHS England.

Instead of a system that requires competitive tendering for contracts – sometimes involving private companies, the NHS and local authorities will be left to run services and told to collaborate with each other, says the draft White Paper, designed to set out proposed legislation.

It doesn’t say private companies will no longer be allowed to take NHS contracts; nor does it say that the billions of pounds worth of NHS contracts that were awarded to private companies will revert back to the public sector.

In fact, it says

‘there will continue to be an important role for voluntary and independent sector providers’.

It just doesn’t say what that role will be.

And that should make us all nervous.

One of the reasons given for the need to change is that

the Covid pandemic “demonstrated plainly that this broader approach to health and care is not only desirable, but essential”.

But we know that the Covid pandemic has been a catastrophe for private-sector health firms.

Private contractors failed to provide vital ventilators and PPE (personal protective equipment) when they were needed.

The privatised test-and-trace system has done nothing but haemorrhage money; it has been worse than useless in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

And of course the Tory government itself abused the emergency system for awarding contracts, giving them to organisations run by party donors or with links to ministers rather than to those that could actually carry out the work.

To This Writer, it suggests that the private sector is irresponsible and should be removed from the provision of public health care, in all our best interests, as soon as possible.

But that is not what is being suggested.

Until we find out exactly what Johnson and Hancock are proposing, it seems much too early to get out the bunting and celebrate the salvation of the NHS.

Source: NHS: Government plans to reverse Cameron-era reforms – BBC News

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BBC is named as least objective news provider – which we all knew already

No wonder I couldn’t find a correlation between what the BBC was reporting and what people were talking about when I compared them!

Look:

I couldn’t read the story in Broadcast (paywall) but found it in the Express, of all places:

Ofcom conducted an annual survey covering the period April 2019 to March 2020 in which the broadcasting regulator asked audiences if they believed news programmes they watched on each of the main television channels were free of bias.

But in the latest blow for the BBC, the Corporation ranked bottom with a score of just 58 percent. Sky News led the way with 69 percent, followed by Channel 4 (66 per cent), ITV (63 per cent) and Channel 5 (61 per cent).

Ofcom said: “There is a risk that future relationships between the BBC and its audiences could be jeopardised if audience concerns around impartiality continue to grow.”

Bizarrely, the report has come to light at the same time as Andrew Marr said viewers would choose “BBC impartiality” over “Fox News-style rivals”.

But then, Marr’s mission is not ours: he’s saying the BBC cannot be accused of left-wing bias – and I’m sure we could all agree with that.

According to the i, Marr said:

“When Hugh Carleton Greene was Director-General (from 1960), he was pushing a much more anti-conservative, anti-hierarchical agenda than anyone is today.”

Carleton Greene was accused of causing the nation’s “moral collapse” by “decency” campaigner Mary Whitehouse, not least for refusing to censor the word “knickers” from a broadcast.

So he clearly equates Conservatism with impartiality. That’s interesting. Then again…

Does Marr welcome the challenge from the Discovery-backed GB News and Rupert Murdoch’s new “opinionated” TV news venture, both set to launch next year?

“You bet,” he asserts. “All competition is good. I hope we’ll demonstrate quite quickly that whilst partisan TV is great fun for a short period, after a while you turn back with great relief to something that is at least trying to be impartial.”

Anything backed by Murdoch is going to be deeply right-wing, so it seems Marr recognises the far-right as partisan, as well as the left. So it’s an Overton Window problem; he simply doesn’t understand where the genuine political centre lies.

Perhaps that’s the BBC’s problem in a nutshell. Run by upper-middle-class elitist twits, its political compass is tuned to their point of view and they don’t recognise and are too dim to understand that it is out of touch with reality.

I was able to work this out by checking the BBC’s output against what people are actually discussing. Anybody with an ounce of intelligence and curiosity could have done the same.

I dare say it hasn’t even occurred to the BBC’s news bosses.

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Should anyone be surprised that Brexit will cost more than Covid – in the long term?

This Writer’s initial reaction to Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey’s claim that a no-deal Brexit will cost more than Covid was:

Is that because most of the cost of Covid was due to short-term profiteering by Tory crony companies?

The cost to the UK of this nonsense is short-term, though; when the pandemic is finally under control, the profiteers won’t have an opportunity to screw any more cash out of the Treasury.

But the loss of the free trade deals the UK enjoyed as a member of the European Union will have long-term effects that may last many years:

LSE modelling estimates a reduction in GDP worth 8% over a decade compared with remaining in the EU.

Asked about the research, Bailey said economic models suggested there would be long-term consequences, as it could take a long time for the UK to adjust to a new trading relationship. “It takes a much longer period of time for the real side of the economy to adjust to the change in openness and change in the profile of trade,” he said.

Bailey was talking about the effects of a “no-deal” Brexit but be warned that even a deal will place the UK at a disadvantage.

Source: No-deal Brexit to cost more than Covid, Bank of England governor says | Politics | The Guardian

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Michael #Gove in lengthy #Marr interview. This member of the public destroys him with one tweet

Michael Gove – oh no! Sorry – it’s the Spitting Image dummy of Gove. I have a terrible feeling it talks more sense than he does.

If you saw Michael Gove blathering on the Andrew Marr Show today, This Writer sympathises. What a terrible waste of time.

Personally, I don’t care what he said about Brexit, or Manchester, or the amount of money paid on contact tracing; he’ll be saying something different tomorrow, if it suits him.

Here’s the reason:

Yes. It is Johnson’s Conservatives who are incoherent. They say whatever they think we want to hear.

So you must judge them on what they do. And what a catalogue of failure that provides!

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Blatant corruption as Jenrick and fellow Tory Berry allocate millions to each other’s constituencies

Robert Jenrick: he reckons it is ‘perfectly normal’ for ministers to corruptly funnel money from their own department’s funds into their own constituencies.

“Perfectly normal” is it, Robert Jenrick?

If you are utterly corrupt, it might be perfectly normal to allocate millions of pounds from a regeneration fund to your fellow MP’s constituency in return for him giving £25 million to yours. Not if you’re honest!

Jenrick tried to brazen out the Labour Party’s accusation against him when he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has dismissed Labour’s call for an investigation into the award of a £25m regeneration grant to his constituency.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show the decision to give the money to Newark, Nottinghamshire, had been taken by fellow minister Jake Berry.

Mr Jenrick said he had himself decided to grant funds to a town in Mr Berry’s constituency under the same scheme.

He called this “perfectly normal” and accused Labour of “distraction”.

The £25m was awarded to Newark under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund, set up last year to help places that had “not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas”.

Here’s a clip of him doing just that:

Jenrick is the Secretary of State for Housing and Berry is a minister within the same government department.

The public has already passed its own verdict on whether the decisions were corrupt – and both Jenrick and Berry have been found lacking:

There will be no inquiry into this and neither Jenrick nor Berry will face the sack, or even any disciplinary action. Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t believe it is accountable to the public.

They’ll probably divert attention by claiming the controversy is about something different. Jenrick has already tried:

He added: “This is perfectly normal. Ministers don’t get involved in making decisions for their own constituency.

“But neither should their constituencies be victims of the fact that their MP is a minister.”

That is not the issue. Just to spell it out so it is perfecly clear: The issue is that ministers from the Ministry of Housing have colluded to funnel cash from that ministry’s Towns Fund into their own constituencies.

Jenrick’s passion for corruption is already well-established – remember the controversy over his decision to help Richard Desmond avoid paying £50 million to a community where he wanted to build a new development that did not conform to planning rules.

Now we may add Berry to our ever-growing list of corrupt Tories.

Source: Robert Jenrick dismisses call for constituency fund probe – BBC News

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Starmer runs out of credibility – and cash – and runs to the rich as Labour supporters run away

Another chance missed: Keir Starmer’s Marr Show letdown was the first of two broadcasting balls-ups for the Neoliberal Democrat Labour leader last week. His party is losing members because the people won’t support him – so he’s running to the rich.

It should have been a cakewalk.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have screwed up the United Kingdom in the worst possible ways since before the December 2019 election. The leader of the main Opposition party should have had hearts and minds of the public, there for the taking.

But the leader in question was Keir Starmer, currently in charge of the Other Conservative Party, currently masquerading under the misnomer ‘Labour Party’.

When he gave his interview to Andrew Marr, the representative example of the public on Channel 4’s Gogglebox took a look – and the verdict was damning:

One doesn’t have to imagine how Starmer responded to this; in fact, one imagines this parody account has come close to the truth:

Result: well, party membership was haemorrhaging already but that flood hasn’t abated!

As a result, it seems Starmer’s cash is running out. How ironic that, now the party has been re-taken by the wing that reckons it’s better with money than the Left, it has spaffed all the extra cash accrued by the Left-wing leader up the wall.

So, in order to get money, it appears Starmer has copied the Tories again:

Think of the Conservative Party’s annual Black and White Ball fundraiser.

Of course, this information comes from Gabriel Pogrund*, who I wouldn’t normally trust to tell me what the weather’s like, but as there appears to be documentary evidence of this, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Starmer has also sent personalised letters to lapsed party donors:

This Writer hopes Starmer fails to attract the cash.

Firstly, if he does get it, he’ll finish Labour:

Moreover: His version of New Labour is nowhere near as investible as Tony Blair’s; he has made too many public relations blunders (again, he’s like the Tories in that respect). The Andrew Marr/Gogglebox incident is only the latest.

And if the rich donors don’t come back, they won’t be able to give Starmer any more excuses to steer Labour even further into Toryism.

Then who will Starmer ask for help?

That’s why, while This Writer can’t go back there (at least, not at the moment), I tend to agree with the following:

Monitor this situation closely. There may yet be a chance to bring democracy back to the UK.

*Pogrund wrote a story about This Writer in The Sunday Times that was riddled with falsehoods, for which that newspaper was forced to publish a lengthy “correction and clarification” almost a year later (it took me that long to go through the IPSO complaints process).

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Andrew Bridgen destroys his government’s credibility on EU trade talks

Andrew Bridgen: winner of this week’s “Inverse Genius” award.


Everyone with any political nous in the UK has been laughing at eurosceptic Andrew Bridgen after he swallowed both feet (metaphorically) in a Channel 4 News interview.

Discussing his Fuhrer Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on the EU withdrawal agreement that he signed in January, Bridgen said – well, see for yourself:

The reaction on Twitter has been universal:

https://twitter.com/cbailiss/status/1303110907732602883

What a… typical Conservative MP.

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills.

Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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Boris Johnson is a liar – according to the BBC, after it fact-checked his interview

Boris Johnson: The lies keep coming.

Boris Johnson – what a miserable, fake excuse for a politician!

First he ducked out of the interview he had promised the BBC, after he saw Andrew Neil pressing Jeremy Corbyn hard (but not too hard for the Labour leader, who remained calm and clear throughout).

Then he used the atrocity of the terror attack on London Bridge to press the Corporation into allowing him to be interviewed, not by Andrew Neil but by Andrew Marr – and for 15 minutes, not 30.

That interview was broadcast on Sunday (December 1) – and Johnson lied through his teeth from start to finish.

How do I know? Simple.

The BBC fact-checked it.

Here are some highlights:

1. Mr Johnson said his government is putting £160 million of extra money into counter-terrorist policing – but in fact it had promised only to increase funding in line with inflation. The £160 million was the difference between spending plans announced in 2015 and the figure eventually spent in 2019-20. Lie.

2. Mr Johnson claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said he would disband MI5 – but there is no evidence to support it. Lie.

3. Mr Johnson said the Queen’s Speech – the programme for the new Parliamentary session he had demanded – had been blocked by Parliament. In fact it had been passed, on October 24 – by 16 votes. Lie.

4. Mr Johnson said his government was already considering ending the policy of automatic early release for serious and violent offenders – but the ‘Sentencing Bill’ in the Queen’s Speech would have only changed the automatic release point from halfway to two-thirds of the way through a sentence. Offenders considered “dangerous” are already not considered for release until they have served two-thirds of their sentences. Lie.

5. Mr Johnson said his government would make the largest investment in the NHS in modern memory – but the £34 billion he quoted, in real terms, came to 3.2 per cent per year, only slightly more than half the six per cent average achieved by Labour governments between 1997 and 2010. Lie.

Source: General Election 2019: Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr fact-checked – BBC 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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