Tag Archives: business

Health service in England to be privatised as Tories pass misnamed ‘Health and Care’ Bill

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): many Conservative MPs have shares in private health companies that will profit from this legislation.

So that’s that. The National Health Service in England is to be carved into 42 smaller organisations that will be passed into the hands of private, profit-making health companies:

The boards of the new Integrated Care Systems, that commission services, will be dominated by profit-grubbers, and they’re not going to give the non-profit organisation a chance to take money out of their shareholders’ pockets.

This means the duty to provide a comprehensive health service is being abolished. The quality of healthcare in all parts of England will plummet as a result.

The only hope now is for the Lords to bounce the Bill back with significant amendments. This is a possibility as the Tories are in a minority there. But the Commons will most likely just send it back with the amendments reversed because many Tory MPs have shares in profit-making health firms.

Let’s also spare a moment to remind ourselves that Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour leader, warned everybody in the United Kingdom that this was the Conservative plan, with more than 450 pages of evidence, in the run-up to the 2019 election.

His words were ridiculed and Boris Johnson’s Tories were elected with a landslide majority after around 13 million people voted for them.

By a curious coincidence, the NHS waiting list is expected to swell past 13 million over the next few months – due entirely to the same Tory government’s utter indifference to your health.

Many of those waiting more than a year, in pain and suffering, for routine procedures will be the very same Conservative voters who put Johnson and his raiders in power. Do they now have buyers’ remorse?

Not a bit of it!

Like petulant children, Tory voters hate being told they were wrong and will self-harm as a response to being told how to help themselves.

Trust me on that.

I’ve been pointing out Tory failures for years and that’s why This Site’s readership is so… er… exclusive.

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Labour pains: someone tell Rachel Reeves that her party was ALWAYS pro-business

Rachel Reeves: she looks like Morticia Addams and represents the death of hope for working-class people across the UK.

How pathetic can Labour’s shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer be?

She’s being feted by The Times, of all rags, for saying Labour is now a “pro-business party”.

I’ve got news for this dimwit: Labour always was.

The clue is in the name “Labour” – the party of working, and working-class people.

It was intended to represent these people, to make sure that honest workers receive an honest wage for their contribution to – guess what? – business.

And such a political organisation is needed now more than ever. Sadly, that party won’t be the one Rachel Reeves represents.

Labour also recognises the fact that some industries are best run by the state in the national interest – like the rail and water industries. These run on a national infrastructure of rail and sewer systems that remain the same, no matter which (these days) private firm is being paid for the service. When they were sold off, we were promised that part of the profits these firms would make would be invested in improvements to those systems – but that hasn’t happened. The money has gone to those utilities’ new owners – in Europe, mainly – instead.

So yesterday This Writer saw an accurate description of the UK’s rail system on Twitter, that said it consisted of 19th-century tracks, on which run 20th-century trains for which we are charged 21st-century fares.

Any fool can see that is not equitable. The utilities should be brought back into state ownership because the private profit-grubbers have reneged on the deal. We need to improve our aging infrastructure before it falls apart completely – and then we need to keep it public.

But the utilities aren’t anything like a majority of UK businesses. A properly-functioning Labour representation party would legislate to ensure that workers are represented on the boards of all private businesses – indeed, they should all have equal shares in those firms, to ensure that every honest worker receives an honest wage, rather than being ripped off by fat-cat investors, as is, far too often (but not always) the situation today. Also, worker representation would minimise the health risks that put far too many people onto sickness and disability benefits.

Anybody standing for a party that claims to be for labour representation should hold these to be self-evident necessities.

But Rachel Reeves doesn’t even want to talk about nationalisation, and when she says Labour is now “pro-business”, she means it is now wholeheartedly in bed with the fat-cat rip-off merchants.

Her attitude stinks. “Pro-business”? The only business she wants to do is her own – on you (and yes, for the hard-of-thinking, that is a reference to lavatorial functions).

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Private health owns Sajid Javid. You can’t trust him with the NHS

Crook: Sajid Javid used his position as Health Secretary to sign government contracts with a US healthcare firm, in which he himself owns shares. He was diverting public funds to his own wallet in the form of dividends.

Sajid Javid has been using his job as Health Secretary to give government contracts to the US healthcare business specialising in artificial intelligence, of which he is a shareholder.

Here‘s the UK government press release in which we were all told artificial intelligence is the way forward. Javid himself is not quoted in support of it – a simple bit of sleight-of-hand to divert attention away from the fact that he is owned by a US healthcare firm specialising in AI.

The press release states:

GP surgeries are using artificial intelligence to help prioritise patients most in need and identify the right level of care and support needed for patients on waiting lists.

Now this:

It is a clear conflict of interest.

Even if artificial intelligence – applied to health care – is a good idea, we have no reason to believe the systems booked in by Javid to provide himself with a fat dividend are any good at all.

Like so many of his colleagues, he stands exposed as another filthy, corrupt political crook.

This Writer awaits his resignation. But knowing crooked UK politics, I won’t hold my breath waiting.

ADDITIONAL: It is worth remembering that Parliament is chock-full of MPs and Lords who have shares in private healthcare or have received cash from those companies:

This list is now seven years old. Some of those on it have gone; new names should be added to it. But it gives an idea of the extent to which private healthcare has sunk its claws into the heart of our government.

Do you honestly think you can trust anybody in Parliament to make the right decisions for the nation’s health?

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Perception of Labour under Starmer has NOT improved, say most polled firms

Keir Starmer: bad for business.

Here’s some ridiculous pro-Starmer propaganda from LabourList:

New polling has found that 47% of businesses say perceptions of the Labour Party have improved under the leadership of Keir Starmer, changing for the better compared to when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.

So 53 per cent of businesses say perceptions of the Labour Party haven’t improved. That’s the majority, isn’t it?

Look further down the article and you find that only one-third of businesses think Starmer is right for the job – meaning two-thirds don’t.

And young businesspeople still prefer Corbyn – although only by a larger minority: 46 per cent to 25 per cent who prefer Starmer – who is said to be “favoured” by those aged over 35, although the site does not provide any figures. Ashamed?

It all seems academic in any event, as a clear majority of businesspeople – 55 per cent – said a Tory government under that hopeless idiot Boris Johnson would be better for large businesses than anything Starmer had to offer, while 45 per cent of small- and medium-sized business leaders preferred Johnson, against just under 23 per cent for Starmer.

Those are terrible figures – and this poll was taken before this year’s Labour conference. I wonder how much worse Starmer would fare now.

Source: Perception of Labour improved under Starmer, say 47% of businesses in poll – LabourList

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#LabourConference2021 horrorshow continues with meaningless offer to ditch business rates

Rachel Reeves: she’s probably smiling to hide her resemblance to Morticia Addams, but you’ll notice the rictus ends below the eyes. Terrifying.

Here’s a Labour frontbencher who is actually more Tory than the Tories: Rachel Reeves.

Back in 2013 she vowed to be “tougher than the Tories” … on benefit claimants.

This was at a time when people with long-term illnesses and disabilities were dying because of persecution by the Tory-run Department for Work and Pensions.

Now she’s shadow Chancellor and – lo and behold! – she’s trying to out Tory the Tories again.

Her new wheeze is abolishing business rates – helping bosses, not workers.

She reckons the tax is unfair on business bosses, so she says Labour would freeze it until 2023 and make rate relief for smaller firms more generous.

Then it would scrap rates completely, to be replaced with a new, “modern” business tax which it has yet to define. Is that because business bosses haven’t yet told her what to do?

Apparently this plan would be funded by increasing digital services tax, which is paid by search engines and social media firms – from two per cent to 12 per cent next year.

Then this tax, too, would be replaced by a higher global corporation tax rate, agreed as part of an international scheme.

There’s a serious problem with all of this: Labour is not in government and cannot do any of it.

It is just another fairy story to make Keir Starmer’s rabble look more attractive to businesses.

Reeves herself is quoted by the BBC as saying her pie-in-the-sky ideas would allow businesses to “lead the pack, not watch opportunities go elsewhere” – a clear indication that Starmer’s Labour prioritises bosses over workers.

She will also promise that the party’s new business tax will allow “more frequent revaluations” and “instant reductions in bills” where property values fall – making it easier for bosses to save money. She has no plans to induce firms to distribute saved cash among the workers, though.

She will say Labour would end hundreds of tax reliefs, including the break given to privately-run schools by their charitable status – but Labour would not end the privileged status of those schools or bring them into the national system, which would end the artificial gap between private and state education. Perhaps Ms Reeves is hoping to privately-educate her own two children?

She is also planning to set up an “Office of Value for Money” – which even sounds like a daft Tory idea; “Department of Levelling-Up”, anyone? –  which aides describe as a “hit squad” to scrutinise government spending and ensure tax is used wisely.

Who defines “wise”, in this context? It seem to me that this is also pandering to business bosses.

Indeed, the Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed the proposals. Small businesses are, on average, the lowest-paying employers. While Reeves is offering to ease their tax burden, she would do nothing to improve employee pay.

And it seems the Tories are happy to go along with this pose by Starmer’s neo-Conservative party.

All that Conservative co-chair Oliver Dowden could say was that Labour had threatened businesses in the past, and that only the Tories could be trusted to support them. Then he mouthed that meaningless “Build Back Better” slogan and called it a day.

By treating Reeves seriously, he validated her daft promises.

But we don’t have to.

Remember: none of the promises of StarmerLabour can be trusted. Keir Starmer has broken every promise he has made to party members and he won’t blink before breaking any promise to the wider electorate.

Labour is rejecting its electoral base by siding with bosses against workers, so Hell will freeze over before Rachel Reeves becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Her speech means absolutely nothing.

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Freebie-guzzling Tory couple spark fury over poverty wages

Philip Davies and Esther McVey: they’re raving it up on the profits firms have made by paying employees practically nothing.

Tories Philip Davies – the Friday morning filibuster king who takes joy in “talking out” legislation, not because it is bad but because it doesn’t come from the Conservative government – and Esther McVey – whose attacks on benefit claimants are notorious – have come under fire because of the free perks they have taken for themselves.

They have claimed £18,000 worth of VIP goodies on top of their £82,000 salaries (plus expenses).

And they were among 65 Tory MPs who have taken the bulk of freebies available – £160,000 worth between May and July alone.

In contrast, 23 Labour MPs have taken nearly £32,000. That puts Davies and McVey’s greed in context: between them they have claimed more than half as much as all the Labour MPs put together.

Among the gifts are several from gambling firms, coming at a time when the government is reviewing betting laws, provoking speculation on whether they came with strings attached.

Davies should be even more embarrassed because some of these gifts came from Entain, a company for whom he was paid almost £50,000 as an advisor last year, when it was known as GVC Holdings.

Here are the details:

Now you know the story, here comes the fury as people responded to this astonishing display of scrounging by members of the party that accuses people in extreme poverty of scrounging:

How indeed? Davies said his contract with GVC Holdings explicitly stated that he must not lobby on the firm’s behalf while employed by it – but he isn’t employed by it any more. And in any case, RD Hale’s comment shows that others would be imprisoned simply for accepting corporate gifts. Why not Davies and McVey?

Others have focused on McVey’s pronouncements on people who have to claim benefits in order to make ends meet because their wages don’t cover their costs – meaning that the government pays a de facto subsidy to under-paying employers.

Remember:

So the benefits paid to working people in extreme poverty are intended to help business bosses profit – not the struggling workers. Meanwhile MPs’ salaries have nearly doubled in the last 25 years:

So MPs are on an extremely good screw – and those like Davies and McVey are scrounging more freebies out of corporations (that may even be profiting by paying low wages and expecting their employees to claim benefits). Meanwhile the same MPs are happy to demand that benefit claimants must take the worst-paying jobs available, or lose those benefits:

Now, of course, the government is preparing to remove the £20 “uplift” that was provided to UC claimants during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Let’s put this in a little more context:

ToryFibs is slightly mistaken; making the £20 uplift permanent would not cost any money because there are hidden costs associated with cutting incomes to a point where people cannot afford the cost of living.

But we can see that the UK’s billionaires are raking in the cash as a result of not having to pay a living wage to employees.

And saying that the “uplift” costs a huge amount of money is a handy propaganda tool – that, it seems, has been used to good effect by certain news reporters…

… who are also doing very well for themselves.

And the assumptions about the amount that people need, in order to meet their living costs, has raised questions about other government payments. So the government’s claim to have legislated to ensure that people receive a “National Living Wage” has come under attack, not just because it isn’t enough, but because it reflects badly on the UK’s woefully low state pension:

So you can understand why people are furious at Davies and McVey.

While most of us struggle to survive in jobs that force us to claim benefits that still won’t cover our living costs after the Tories cut the uplift, in order to subsidise big businesses that are raking in the profits, the same firms are handing out free luxuries to these hugely well-paid Tory MPs. And when we retire we will have to try to survive on even less.

The whole system reeks of corruption and Davies and McVey stink worst of all.

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The social care system is being ruined by profiteers [Also in the news]

This window-writing may have been by a child in care, but it might equally have been written by an adult – or by one of the people employed to care for either of them.

The demand for profit is causing huge harm to the private care system, it has been claimed.

Investor returns have become more important than quality care and workers’ pay, according to research.

Private equity, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts have brought in predatory financial techniques, justified in the name of enticing capital into a sector that the government has persistently failed to adequately fund.

Boris Johnson promised to overhaul the system, more than two years ago. He has yet to lift a finger.

That’s unless you include his government’s Covid-19 strategy that killed – what – 30,000 care home residents, at least?

Also in the news:

Charities are warning that foodbank use will rocket if the Universal Credit cut goes ahead

But the Tories have been pushing more and more people into food poverty. It is their policy.

So why would they care?

Iain Duncan Smith wants civil servants to go back to working in the office

The former Tory leader thinks it’s necessary “because there’s an ecosystem around them made up of cafes, restaurants bars, even theatres and other areas that give people jobs and without people back in their offices, going out for sandwiches, you know, coffees, etcetera that ecosystem will collapse and people will lose their jobs”.

Business chief asks Johnson to save firms from the damage done by Brexit – and goes unanswered

In response, Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has asked why business leaders are putting up with Johnson.

A reader responded that they are probably waiting for the Tories to further reduce workers rights and financial reporting standards, while another pointed out that Johnson made his position clear three years ago when he said, “F*ck business.”

Abbott calls for end to Patel’s cruel mass deportation flights

The fourth mass deportation flight to Jamaica since the Windrush Scandal will leave the UK today (August 11), showing that Home Secretary Priti Patel and her boss Boris Johnson have learned nothing from it.

The excuse is that the deportees are all dangerous criminals – except they aren’t, according to Labour’s Diane Abbott. And they have served the sentence for their crime.

In fact, they are being subjected to double jeopardy, which should be illegal in UK law – penalising people twice for the same crime. It is imposed because the deportees are not white.

And finally:

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Government rules out searching Matt Hancock’s private emails. What does Johnson NOT want to find?

Matt Hancock: I thought I might not get another chance to use this image of him looking gormless. How wrong I was!

Despite admitting that Matt Hancock used his private email address to carry out government business, Boris Johnson’s gang won’t check his private emails to find out what he did in them.

Why not?

It seems the government has no record of much of Hancock’s decision-making during the pandemic, and this is because he carried out his business by private email.

Government guidelines expressly demand that ministers who use their personal emails for Parliamentary business should “take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible” but it seems clear that Hancock hasn’t bothered.

Otherwise, why would The Sunday Times state that no record exists to show how Hancock negotiated PPE contracts, created the test-and-trace programme and oversaw the care homes strategy?

The nation needs to know about these matters because we need to know how much money he wasted on the first two, and how many lives he wasted on the third.

It seems clear that the only reason the government won’t go through Hancock’s emails is fear of embarrassment; he was incompetent at best, and a search could reveal the kind of mistakes that are actionable in court.

The claim to have been through 1.4 million documents already, so checking Hancock’s mail won’t be necessary, is clearly a smokescreen. Why do all that work when you can get all the information you need just by looking at one person’s emails?

The Good Law Project is already calling for Hancock’s inbox and outbox to be examined.

If the information won’t be provided willingly, perhaps this organisation should seek a court order?

Source: Government rules out searching Matt Hancock’s private emails – BBC News

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Covid-19: Boris Johnson gave more than the GDP of 140 nations and territories in contracts to crony companies

Spaffer: Johnson spaffed £52.5 billion up the wall in so-called Covid-19 contracts to Tory crony firms – and got practically nothing in return.

Boris Johnson used the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to give cash totalling the Gross Domestic Product of 140 nation states and territories – your money – mostly to companies that were run by Tory donors or friends of people in his Conservative government.

And now he’s saying the cost of the Covid crisis means he’s cutting overseas aid. Doesn’t he mean there’s no money for Johnny Foreigner because he’s spaffed it all up his fatcat crony donor friends?

Of £52.5 billion in contracts, £27.5 billion was awarded without competitive tender. Experience shows that this means the cash went to cronies of the Tory government, many of whom had no experience and had literally just set up a company name in order to take the money. Meanwhile, experts in their field were denied any funding at all.

Profiting most from the handout was a firm called Innova Medical Group, with whom most of the contracts were for test kits that the US government has said are inaccurate and should be thrown away.

The National Audit Office says only 96 million out of 691 million Innova test kits have been registered as used.

The travesty is explained in excruciating detail by The Citizens, below:

Yes, the government has serious questions to answer.

Sadly, it is a government led by Boris Johnson so we know that all the answers will be twaddle.

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.

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Tory MPs have been using private emails to covertly conduct government business for YEARS

Boris Johnson: who knows how much government business the prime minister has corruptly carried out over his own personal email account, in order to hide it from your scrutiny? And before anybody says they expect honesty from the PM, let’s all remember that we all knew what he is before he won the 2019 general election.

Why is everybody making such a fuss about Matt Hancock carrying out government business on the sly via his private email account now? Tory ministers have been doing this habitually since 2011.

There can only be one reason for it, too – and that is to avoid proper and lawful scrutiny of activities that they know are not acceptable behaviour for government ministers.

Michael Gove was caught using private emails to communicate with Department for Education personnel, all the way back in 2011.

Financial Times journalist Chris Cook established that Gove and some of his special advisers (or Spads) had been using private email accounts to conduct business which appeared to many (eventually including the Information Commissioner) to be Government business. It was suggested that this had been done to avoid potential disclosure of the emails through FOI.

Did Gove receive any punishment for this? No.

Liam Fox’s personal email account was hacked by Russians in 2019 when, as International Trade Secretary, he was responsible for negotiating a trade deal with the United States.

The hackers lifted 450 pages of classified information from the account, prompting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to ask why Fox had been using an unsecured personal email address to carry out government business.

Has there ever been an answer to this question? No.

There have been attempts to justify the use of private emails – Tory MP Tom Tugendhat claimed in 2016 that he had received private advice from GCHQ, the government communications centre in Cheltenham, that a Gmail account would be more secure against hacking than the government’s own system.

It’s possible that he was telling the truth – after all, it has been claimed that GCHQ routinely monitors MPs’ private email accounts in any event. Alarmingly, it seems the US National Security Agency is also privy to any information gathered during these sweeps. Why?

And now we have information showing that Matt Hancock, Lord Bethell, Helen Whately and PM Boris Johnson himself have all misused their personal email accounts in order to hide business they have done as members of the government from lawful scrutiny.

You may have heard misinformation claiming that ministers are allowed to conduct some business by private email, depending on the seriousness of the matters concerned and the level of security to be applied.

This Writer heard a mealy-mouthed Tory apologist making such claims on Radio 4’s PM on June 28. They are not true.

Cabinet Office guidance clearly states that “The originator or recipient of a
communication should consider whether the information contained in it is substantive discussions or decisions generated in the course of conducting Government business and, if so, take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible (e.g. by copying it to a government email address)”.

There is no opt-out. Any and all emails in which government business is carried out must at least be copied into the government’s email system and any failure to do so is a breach of the rules.

Sadly, the guidance note does not describe any sanctions that could be used against government ministers or officers for misuse of private email accounts to carry out government business in secret. This is a common omission that makes the rules themselves a dead letter; worthless.

In other words, while it is entirely possible that Hancock, Johnson and all the others have been corruptly hiding dirty Tory deals for more than a decade, there isn’t a damned thing that can be done to stop them.

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.

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