Tag Archives: consent

Give the public a say before selling off the NHS, demands Burnham

torynhsposter

Scheming, lice-ridden vermin: All the airbrushing in the world could not erase the brutal, calculating dishonesty of the Conservative 2010 election poster.

This guy has been impressive from the get-go: Today (Tuesday) Andy Burnham will call on the Coalition to put its plans for further NHS privatisation on hold until there is clear evidence that the public wants the health service to be sold off.

The speech in Manchester is being timed to take place before the Conservative-led government signs a series of new NHS contracts that will – underhandedly – tie the hands of a future government.

Sly little devils, aren’t they?

The British public has never given its consent for far-reaching and forced privatisation of services – and that’s what Mr Burnham will be saying.

He will point out that the forced privatisation of the NHS is entering new territory and becoming harder to reverse: Contracts are being signed that will run throughout the next Parliament and beyond, tying the hands of the next government in a crucial area of public policy.

Not only is this unacceptable to Labour, but it has never been accepted by the public, and Mr Burnham will say that comedy Prime Minister David Cameron needs to be reminded that the NHS does not belong to him but to the British people – and he never received our permission to put it up for sale.

He will remind everybody that Cameron was dishonest about his privatisation plans before the last election. Cameron said there would be “no top-down reorganisation”.

If he wants to continue to force privatisation through, he should seek the consent of the public at the 2015 Election, Mr Burnham will say.

And he will contrast the increasingly fragmented and privatised travesty that Cameron wants to force on you – where service has become a postcode lottery dependent on the cost-effectiveness of providing certain forms of healthcare in your locality – with a public, integrated NHS as Labour intends to re-form it.

It was confirmed last week that NHS spending on private-sector and other providers has exceeded £10 billion for the first time.

“For all its faults, it is a service that is based on people not profits,” Mr Burnham will say. “That principle sets our health service apart and was famously celebrated two years ago at the Opening Ceremony of our Olympic Games.

“When his reorganisation hit trouble and was paused, David Cameron explicitly promised that it would not lead to more forced privatisation of services. But… on his watch, NHS privatisation is being forced through at pace and scale.

“Commissioners have been ordered to put all services out to the market.

“NHS spending on private and other providers has gone through the £10 billion barrier for the first time.

When did the British public ever give their consent for this?

“It is indefensible for the character of the country’s most valued institution to be changed in this way without the public being given a say.”

Among the long-lasting agreements due to be signed by the Coalition in a bid to tie the next government into its privatisation of services are two contracts for cancer care in Staffordshire lasting no less than 10 years and worth a massive £1.2 billion; a five-year contract worth £800 million for the care of older people in Cambridge; and a contract in Oxford and Milton Keynes set to begin a month before the General Election for medical staffing.

The last of these is using a ‘reverse auction’ process where the lowest bidder wins, confirming fears of a ‘race to the bottom’ culture and contradicting claims from the Government of no competition on price in the NHS.

Once again Labour shows us that there is no depth to which the Cameron administration will not stoop. This time they are using the summer Parliamentary recess to sign contracts intended to prevent any future government from restoring our health service and reversing the appalling damage they have done so that they and their friends can profit from the suffering and sickness of the poor.

They could not do more damage if they were a filthy, sickening, scheming plague of lice-ridden vermin; in fact, that is exactly what they resemble.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Buy Vox Political books!
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Why arguments for ‘Consent of the Governed’ are dangerous in today’s United Kingdom

Rude awakening: Try committing a crime and then telling the police you do not consent to be governed by the law you broke. This is what you'll get.

Rude awakening: Try committing a crime and then telling the police you do not consent to be governed by the law you broke. This is what you’ll get.

“This is not a law, it’s an act, so is only giving the power of law with the consent of the governed.”

That’s what Paul Young wrote in response to the Vox Political article Sleepwalking further into police state Britain as law offers new powers of repression.

His words were echoed by another commenter described only as ‘Squiggle Diggle’, who said: “Legislation only has the power of Law when consent is given by the governed… You need to know the difference between Legislation and Law, if you do not, then you are consenting to all Legislation. If you know the difference, then you can remove your consent by not allowing the powers that be to have jurisdiction over you. I really recommend you read up on this, as so good as this article is, you really don’t seem to know what the difference between Law and Legislation is, which is one of the most empowering things you can ever realise.”

My reply was that legislation is the act of making law; law is a rule or guideline set up by government to control behaviour. Consent is not implied, other than that of the electorate in voting in a government that enacts and enforces these laws. I said there is absolutely no leeway in UK law for a citizen to remove his or her consent to be governed by the laws of the land.

That was where we left it – until today, when Mike Colbourne (his name as used on Facebook – commenting here, he just used a bunch of capital letters) raised the subject again. He said: “If a Statute Act is given the force of Law by the Consent of the governed and we don’t consent then it does not apply to you! When injustice becomes Law rebellion becomes duty!”

In a nutshell, all three have been saying that if you don’t want to accept that a law applies to you, the government can’t make it apply to you.

In the United Kingdom this is not only nonsense; it is dangerous nonsense. What if somebody hears it, believes it, acts on it and gets arrested? They could be in prison for a long time because someone else didn’t understand the difference between a political theory that informed the US Declaration of Independence in an entirely separate country – and the laws of the United Kingdom.

Let’s make the law of the United Kingdom perfectly clear: There is no option which allows members of the public to choose which laws they wish to apply to them or to obey.

Those are not my words but an official response from the Ministry of Justice, to an inquiry about Consent of the Governed in 2010.

That response also states: “If you wish to ask whether all members of the public must obey the law, then that is certainly the case.”

There is no room for manoeuvre; the law is the law.

Mike’s comment suggested that he thinks statute law has less validity than, perhaps, common law. If so, he’s got it the wrong way around, as this response to a Freedom of Information request of 2009 clarifies: “Statutes can amend or replace common law in a particular area, but the common law cannot overrule or change statutes. A statute can only be overruled or amended by another, later piece of legislation. This reflects the legal and political doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty – the recognition and acceptance that Parliament is the supreme law-making authority.”

If anyone reading this thinks the situation detailed above is morally wrong or otherwise iniquitous, you need to look at ways of getting Parliament to change the law. Good luck with that. Simply saying that the law doesn’t apply to you without your consent isn’t worth the time you spend doing so.

Let that be the end of the matter.

Vox Political is funded entirely by donations and book sales.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook