Tag Archives: choose

If Tories really regret not testing for Covid-19 in care homes – is it because they were caught?

Test: A Covid-19 test. The Tory government failed to secure enough of these – so it seems ministers deliberately decided to sacrifice care home residents to the disease.

The Conservative government made a conscious decision not to test for Covid-19 in care homes – while the disease was ripping through elderly and vulnerable residents.

That is what we’re hearing from inJustice Secretary Robert Buckland.

He says that, after ensuring that the UK would not have the capacity to test everybody who should have had tests, and while sending people who were known to be infected with Covid-19 back to care homes from hospital, the government decided not to test anybody there for the disease. It seems they were too busy testing people like Matt Hancock instead.

And he also says, “We’ve seen a great tragedy in our care homes which is a matter of huge regret.”

Okay – much of what has gone above is me reading between the lines. But you have to do that with Tories because they don’t give you all the information you need.

For example: is it “a matter of huge regret” that there has been “a great tragedy in our care homes”?

Or is it just regrettable that the public has “seen” it?

Don’t let yourself be fooled; if they could have covered up the excess deaths, that is what the Tories would have done – indeed, it is what they were trying to do.

The choices were all deliberate, though.

And they have resulted in at least 20,000 fewer people (so far) claiming pensions.

That is a huge saving for a Conservative government that hates paying money to the plebs – even though they know that we pay into the pension fund for this very purpose.

At the end of the day, we’re still left with two choices: either the Tories have been incompetent, in which case they should be removed from a position of power…

Or they have been homicidal, in which case they should be removed from society and spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Source: Top Tory admits government ‘chose’ not to test in care homes – and deaths a ‘huge regret’ – Mirror Online

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POLL: Corbyn will ban fracking; Swinson takes cash from frackers. As earthquakes get bigger, who’s right?

Frack site: The well in Lancashire contributes to global warming and climate change.

Who would you trust to decide who runs the UK, based on this issue alone?

A 2.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded yesterday (August 26) at the Cuadrilla fracking site in Lancashire, following a 2.1 quake on August 24 and a 1.6 quake on August 21.

All three were well above the level at which government guidelines demand that fracking be suspended for 18 hours. For this to happen, a quake need register 0.5 on the Richter scale.

The latest event was the 94th quake recorded by the British Geological Society in the last eight weeks – and all but one of them were near the Lancashire site. If the trend continues, it seems even Cuadrilla has admitted that properties in Blackpool are likely to suffer structural damage.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would ban fracking because of the danger it represents to the environment.

Novice Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, on the other hand, has taken £14,000 from Warwick Energy – a fracking company with several licences granted by the Conservative government.

Here’s a video of her defending that choice on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show:

Not very convincing, is it?

Now here comes the big question.

Mr Corbyn wants to hold a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Boris Johnson’s (fracking-supportive) Conservative government next week, leading to the formation of a caretaker government with him at its head, which would be limited to just two aims: stopping a ‘no deal’ Brexit and calling a general election.

Ms Swinson says she would only support such a plan if Mr Corbyn steps back and allows another MP to be nominated as leader of such a government, because she says he is unfit to be prime minister.

For the purposes of this question, ignore the fact that Ms Swinson has said she would go into coalition with the Conservatives again, and answer this question:

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New plan means local Labour members will have a chance to choose election candidates

All smiles: Jennie Formby and Jeremy Corbyn know the plan to give local Labour members greater control over the selection of Parliamentary candidates will be hugely popular.

This is interesting, from Skwawkbox:

[A Labour] NEC source has told the SKWAWKBOX that the NEC has made a statement of intent – and of the party’s preparedness for a new general election – by authorising Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to prepare a plan to ensure that CLPs have the opportunity to call a selection process if they so wish, even if Theresa May calls a new ‘snap’, short-campaign general election.

On the face of it, this is excellent news. It means constituency Labour Party members will be able to end the cronyism that corrupted New Labour, when candidates were parachuted into safe seats because it suited the leadership of the time.

But there’s no plan yet, and rumours are circulating that an election may take place as early as February 28.

If she was minded to do so, it would be in Theresa May’s interest to call an election before Labour can put candidates in place who will command the support of the general public, rather than just party loyalists.

And Labour’s NEC cannot meet to approve any plan that Ms Formby concocts until March.

I’m not saying Mrs May will call an election – just that she would be wise to do it before Labour is prepared.

But then, who could ever accuse Theresa May of wisdom?

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A doctor writes on Sarah Vine’s decision to take Michael Gove to the wrong NHS facility

Michael Gove leaves hospital on crutches after his wife drove him to the wrong NHS facility.

Michael Gove leaves hospital on crutches after his wife drove him to the wrong NHS facility.

Please enjoy this letter, posted by “emigrated consultant” Tony Cartwright on Facebook.

Ms Vine

I am another UK doctor who is writing a letter to government, if only to satisfy my own anger and frustration. You must all be getting quite tired of this, really.

Ms Vine, you took your husband to a 17 bed community hospital out of hours… and you really expected the full flow of a trauma centre ? This is an unrealistic expectation and will never be the case. We could staff Shepton Mallet Community Hospital with a 24/7 radiology department for the use of ‘people like us,’ as you describe yourself and as you suggest at the end of your missive, however I suspect your husband’s friend, Jeremy, and indeed the PM himself may have something to say about that and the funding and staffing involved. And then what…orthopaedics too and a bit of general surgery…all squeezed into a 17 bed community hospital with no operating theatre. What about the follow up – the nurses / receptionist / plastering tech / porters / radiographers. Really ? And the cost ??

Your nearest emergency department is either in Yeovil or Bath, both a fairly tiresome 40-60 minute drive, and had you gone to either of these hospitals you would have had an X-ray at any time of the day or night and been referred immediately to orthopaedics if required, oh, and been reviewed by a Consultant, for urgent treatment if required and/or some conservative (that word is beginning to stick in my throat) management with advice. That would have resolved your issue later on the Sunday, however I suspect you had many more important things to do than ensure the comfort and health of your husband.

It was your and/or your husband’s choice, for whatever reason, to not take your husband to a doctor in an emergency department in a timely fashion following his injury and, instead, to take him to a unit that was never designed to be equipped to deal with a major fracture (toe, was it ?) out of hours. You see, with repeated changes to funding and allocation of resources within the NHS, the local A&E departments that I remember as a child have been wound down and closed. You and your husband have the freedom to be able to choose to live in a beautiful leafy part of Somerset far from the madding crowds and you therefore have to make a little effort to access those services that larger hospitals provide 24/7/365, and you decided not to make that effort. Surely you could have used a little of your husband’s 10% pay rise to cover the cost of a little petrol/diesel and some hospital parking to get either to Bath or Yeovil, both centres of NHS excellence ? Your decision not to is not our fault. Do not blame us for your lack of effort or forward thinking.

To then level your inappropriate decision making at the NHS doctors and nurses, and gloss this with a fairly healthy dose of ignorance about healthcare provision in the NHS, is absolutely disgraceful, insulting, and only proves further how ignorant politicians, and now apparently, also their wives, are. The comment ‘….he doesn’t have a spare half-day to sit around awaiting the pleasure of the hospital radiographer…’ only further demonstrates the absolute contempt in which politicians hold doctors, nurses and other allied medical professionals. Your attitude is disgraceful.

Yes, I am a UK trained Consultant. However I saw what the likes of Jeremy Hunt and yourself are doing to the NHS through the media and government and I emigrated, like many others have done and are increasingly doing so. This does not, however, attenuate my upset when I see people such as yourself, who are clearly professionally ignorant of Healthcare provision in the UK, being so openly vitriolic towards the phenomenal institution of the NHS and my UK colleagues, who are highly trained, skilled, utterly professional and respected the world over, except, apparently, in the UK. You should respect them and everything they do and not hammer them for what they don’t do, largely due to direction from above, over which they have absolutely no control. The NHS is respected and revered the world over. It is the envy of almost every country in the world and you openly lambast it in your paper ? Just think about that for a moment.

Your expectations of the current NHS are completely unrealistic and your demand for every community hospital and treatment centre to have 24/7 care displays a level of ignorance regarding healthcare provision and financing which, considering you announced this in a national paper, is quite simply astounding. This triad is complete with your vitriol and implied criticism of my highly trained, skilled and professional colleagues which is utterly disgusting.

Yet again, the government is serving its own end and ignoring the populace and the entire Healthcare sector.

This is all a bit of an own goal, really.

Regards

Tony Cartwright

Emigrated Consultant

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Tory policy on ‘zero hours’: Beggars can’t be choosers

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Isn’t it nice to see some clear blue water emerge between the main political parties on an important issue?

Less than two weeks after Ed Miliband announced that he would tackle the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts if Labour wins the next general election, the Conservatives have confirmed that Universal Credit – if they can ever get it working – will force jobseekers into those very contracts.

Labour said workers on zero-hours contracts should not be obliged to be available outside contracted hours; be free to work for other employers; have a right to compensation if shifts are cancelled at short notice; have ‘clarity’ from their employer about their employment status, terms and conditions; have the right to request a contract with a ‘minimum amount of work’ after six months, that could only be refused if employers could prove their business could not operate any other way; and have an automatic right to a fixed-hours contract after 12 months with the same employer.

At the time, the Tories said the number of zero-hours contracts had increased under the last Labour government, which had done nothing about it.

This tired excuse has been trotted out far too many times to be taken seriously any more, but it may have led some members of the public to believe that the Tories were distancing themselves from zero-hours contracts as well. They are, after all, supposed to be The Party of More Choice. Perhaps they are, themselves, less than keen on this kind of exploitation.

Not a bit of it!

The Guardian revealed yesterday that conditions will be imposed on the receipt of Universal Credit, meaning that – for the first time ever – jobseekers could lose their benefits if they refuse to take zero-hour jobs – for three months or longer.

Currently, people on Jobseekers’ Allowance are able to refuse such jobs without facing penalties.

The policy change was revealed in a letter from employment minister Esther McVey to Labour MP Sheila Gilmore. She said Job Centre “coaches” would be able to “mandate to zero-hours contracts” – basically forcing them to accept this kind of exploitation by employers.

The DWP has also stated: “We expect claimants to do all they reasonably can to look for and move into paid work. If a claimant turns down a particular vacancy (including zero-hours contract jobs) a sanction may be applied.”

The message from the Conservatives – the Party of More Choice – is clear: Beggars can’t be choosers.

Their chums on the boards of big businesses want more profits, and know the way to get it – employ people on low pay and with no employee benefits. Zero-hours contracts mean you can be made to work fewer hours than you need in order for employers to have to pay National Insurance credits for you. You don’t get sick pay; holiday pay; or a pension. And you’ll probably still be on benefits, meaning the work that you do is subsidised by other hardworking taxpayers, most of whom earn only a little more than you do.

It’s a racket – as bad as workfare/mandatory work activity/the work programme/whatever-they’re-calling-it-today, in which taxpayers subsidise work carried out by jobseekers for participating employers, hugely boosting those firms’ profits while ensuring that the number of people without proper, paid jobs remains high.

Their attitude is that, if you don’t have a job, you are a beggar.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

So they’ll choose what you do, and they – or their boardroom chums – will benefit from it.

If you are a working taxpayer, think about this before casting your vote later this month – and especially before you do so in May 2015: A vote for the Conservative Party means more of your fellow citizens will be prevented from getting proper jobs and becoming contributing members of society by the greedy – and idle – rich.

A vote for the Conservative Party means more of your tax money going to subsidise fat business board members who already have more money than they can ever use.

A vote for the Conservative Party means a better life for them and their friends – and a poorer life for you.

You’d have to be mad to choose that.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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