Tag Archives: firm

GP surgeries are being privatised by the Tories. Do you really want your healthcare dictated by profit?


Doctors’ surgeries across the UK are being bought up and run for profit by private firms – including at least one from the United States.

American health insurance giant Centene has just taken over 49 NHS GP practices. In the last few years, they have bought NHS surgeries in Nottingham, Basingstoke, Milton Keynes, and Leeds. Yours could be next.

Centene appears to be a “bad actor” too – described by the Daily Mail as “profit greedy”.

In 2018, the company took control of a group of surgeries in Essex, including the historic Osler House surgery, founded in 1955. Soon after, Osler House was closed, leaving thousands of residents without a GP within 40 minutes’ drive from their house.

Healthcare provision doesn’t matter to them, you see. Their only concern is their profit.

In the US, Centene has been sued by thousands of people who bought insurance from them. Court papers showed that those people had “difficulty finding — in many cases cannot find — medical providers”.

Campaigning group We Own It said: “Your own local GP surgery or the local GP surgery your friends and family depend on may not be affected today. But if this takeover goes ahead, your GP surgery is not safe.

“Our local Clinical Commissioning Groups – the bodies that make local healthcare decisions in every area – can stop this.”

The group is urging you to sign a petition calling for an end to Boris Johnson’s privatisation of GP services, and for you to urge your family, friends and colleagues to sign it too. Will you?

The petition is here.

The choice is yours.

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Employers need to plan for the future. Why is the ‘party of business’ denying them this security?

Ditherer: Rishi Sunak doesn’t know how to safeguard businesses and the UK economy, or link its well-being with public health because the neoliberal dogma he learned does not accommodate phenomena like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19-related support packages for businesses are set to end soon, with no extension or replacement announced – signifying a £50 billion loss to the UK’s economy.

According to Tory plans the furlough scheme, rates holidays, tax deferrals, VAT cuts and other support packages will be closed at the end of the financial year.

But businesses are now expecting to be closed well into the spring and possibly beyond.

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak is not likely to announce his plans for the future of the economy until he makes his spring Budget statement on March 3 – too late for many firms, whose bosses will have to make decisions based on information currently available to them before that, if they are to be seen to be acting with responsibility to their shareholders, creditors and even employees.

Labour has demanded immediate action and, for once, Keir Starmer’s party is right.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell also touched a raw nerve when she said Boris Johnson’s Tory government had failed to ensure that business support was integrated with public health measures.

As a result, the UK’s Covid-related recession had been the worst of any major economy.

And the longer Sunak dithers, the worst the situation will become.

Source: Businesses facing £50bn ‘bombshell’ as Covid support withdrawn, warns Labour | The Independent

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Board members of UK’s biggest finance firms have had nearly 80% pay rise since 2009

Nice work if you can get it!

And, indeed, if you think it actually qualifies as work.

Board members on the UK’s largest financial companies have enjoyed an average pay rise of 79 per cent since 2009.

This means that during the decade of austerity, while you were probably facing a pay freeze – meaning a real-terms drop in income, median pay for the three highest earning non-executive directors (NEDs) in each of the FTSE 100’s 17 financial firms surged from £90,700 in 2009 to £162,000 in 2019.

They received this for attending – just attending, not necessarily contributing to – an average of 26 meetings a year.

The largest increases have been at Lloyds Banking Group, where top NEDs are earning 257% more than in 2009; the London Stock Exchange Group, where there has been a 219% rise; and investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, where fees have jumped 170%.

Remember, these firms don’t actually contribute anything to our lives – they don’t make anything, and such services as they do supply are highly exclusive.

They make money by betting on whether other businesses will do well or badly. That’s what investment is, after all – a wager that providing money to those firms now will bring a profitable return later.

It’s a game for the very rich.

And it depends on keeping the people who do the actual work very poor.

Payroll is always the largest cost to any firm so, if they are to provide an expected return to investors from firms like Lloyds Banking Group, the London Stock Exchange Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, Phoenix, Barclays, Prudential, Aviva, Admira, RSA, NatWest and so on, businesses have to keep pay low.

So these 79 per cent pay increases for finance firms arise from their board members attaching themselves to you like leeches and sucking out all the benefits that you should be enjoying.

Remember that as you endure the hardships you’ll be asked to face in 2021.

Source: UK’s biggest financial firms have given boards near-80% pay rise since 2009 | Business | The Guardian

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Tory cronies pocketed portion of £18bn in health funds – and provided worthless results

Spaffer: Johnson and his Cabinet colleagues have been voting cash over to Tory companies by the billion, and haven’t cared what they got back because you are footing the bill.

Isn’t it time Boris Johnson provided an itemised list of every contract outsourced to private firms under the emergency tendering procedure, with details of the results and how far they fell short of what was agreed?

According to the Mirror,

Private firms have creamed off ­almost £18billion of health funds during the Covid crisis – and much of it has gone to Conservative Party cronies, Labour claims.

Official figures show the cost of outsourced contracts is even more than the Treasury’s latest allocation for extra emergency spending to deal with the virus.

A National Audit Office report revealed last month that half of all the contracts were awarded without going to competitive tender – and at least 13 companies who won one had links to the Tories.

Tory chums have had the lion’s share of our money, we haven’t had value for it in return, and Rishi Sunak wants us to pay it all back.

It’s nothing but a huge con.

Let’s have the accounts – and accountability.

Source: Tory cronies among private firms pocketing £18bn in health funds during Covid-19 crisis – Mirror Online

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No u-turn on free school meals, says Brandon Lewis – kids will have to survive on charity

Brandon Lewis: this is an old image so the facts about his houses may be out of date.

If you think we’ve reached peak Tory cruelty, allow me to point out at the outset that we haven’t.

It may seem that way, with Boris Johnson and his government passing cash hand-over-fist to their Tory chums while ordering that children stricken with a poverty that they have created must starve, but believe me – it is possible for these soulless monsters to do much worse.

On the subject of soulless monsters, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis made an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today to make it clear that, no matter how much abuse they receive, Tory MPs have absolutely no intention of reversing their decision to deny free school meals to kids who need them over the half-term and Christmas holidays.

He claimed that the Tory government has already put huge amounts of money aside for this purpose but the claim does not correspond with reality; he was just plucking numbers from his rear end.

Marr told him businesses were stepping up and Lewis signified his approval. But we have an answer to that :

The Tory response to the charity from local businesses was to claim that these firms clearly do not need government support during the Covid crisis and should not apply for it; a clear indicator that they intend to punish anybody in a position to stop poor children from starving:

The Tory MP highlighted in the article, Selaine Saxby (North Devon), has since claimed that she was misrepresented…

… but it is hard to see how “I am delighted our local businesses have bounced back so much after lockdown they are able to give away food for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further government support” can be interpreted any other way.

Ms Saxby was elected last December with a massive majority of 14,813 votes – that’s 14,813 more than her nearest rival, 26.6 per cent of the total. She took 56.5 per cent of the vote altogether.

This means the people of North Devon voted by an overall majority to support a Conservative who endorses policies that put children in poverty, and votes to starve them once they are there.

I know This Site has readers from that constituency who are sickened by their MP’s choices. Public voting habits being what they are, it will be up to these people to force their peers to see what they have supported – possibly by finding local examples of children who are going hungry as a result of this cruel Tory policy? – and make them face their responsibility for it.

Meanwhile the backlash against the Tories continues:

Davies is the MP for Grantham and Stamford. People living there: you know what to do.

If you have made a similar infographic – or have seen one – please send it in so I can publish it here.

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Tories announce lavish new support scheme for businesses – after snubbing Manchester with a pittance

Stung: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new support package for English areas under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions in a move that seems time to snub Greater Manchester.

The north-west English area had been under Tier 2 restrictions until earlier this week, when Sunak’s government forced it into Tier 3 with a financial support package that has been vilified as punitive and unfair.

Now the BBC is reporting:

Rishi Sunak announced big changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – set to replace furlough in November.

Businesses in tier two areas, particularly in the hospitality sector, had complained that they would be better off if they were under tier three restrictions.

Sunak delivered his announcement in the House of Commons:

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was unimpressed – and even that usually-staunch supporter of the Tories, the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, had to agree that he made a fair point:

Burnham expanded on this in a TV interview:

Anthony Browne, the Tory MP appearing on the day’s edition of the BBC’s Politics Live, tried to justify the timing of the announcement:

If it takes time to evolve a policy change like that which Sunak announced in Parliament, then that means it would certainly have been under discussion when the talks with Burnham were taking place.

So it also follows that the Conservatives holding those discussions – like Robert Jenrick, who spewed such a lot of nonsense about it earlier in the week – deliberately failed to mention it to Burnham.

Why?

The only reason that I can see would be to corruptly engineer a financial disadvantage for the Labour-voting people of Greater Manchester.

Once again, it seems, the Conservatives are using the Covid-19 crisis for their own selfish political gain.

How utterly despicable.

I am glad to see that the £2,100 per month grant is retrospective and may be backdated to August 2.

I hope hospitality businesses in Greater Manchester use it to take as much as they can from Sunak and his twisted government.

Source: New government Covid scheme to pay up to half of wages – BBC News

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Spendthrift Tories have spaffed £500 MILLION on firms run by their friends – that do NOTHING

‘Spaffer’: Boris Johnson is throwing money the UK doesn’t have at his mates’ companies. What will you do when he tells you to pay off the debt?

In a week when we learned the Tories have more than doubled the national debt to £2 trillion, a mere £500 million might not seem much.

It’s around 1/200th, or half a per cent, of the total they’ve borrowed since 2010.

But this is money they have spent in the last six months alone – on contracts with companies run by their personal friends… that have apparently done nothing useful in return.

According to the Labour Party, 13 firms run by friends of Tory ministers have won contracts related to Covid-19, without having to go through a competitive tendering process.

Here’s what they’ve done with the money:

One firm, Randox, received £133million for Covid testing.

It pays Tory MP and former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson £8,333 a month as an adviser.

Earlier this month, 750,000 unused Randox testing kits were ­recalled over safety concerns.

How about the Serco ‘test and trace’ fiasco?

Serco is paid £108million for running the national contact-tracing service and nearly £46million by the DWP to run call centres.

Health minister Edward Argar was a senior executive and boss Rupert Soames is brother of former Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

In November 2019, Rupert Soames’ wife Camilla donated £4,995 to the Tory Party.

Here are the other firms mentioned in the Mirror article:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which won seven contracts, hired Theresa May’s former top aide Gavin Barwell as a strategic adviser in January.

He is also a non-executive adviser at Arcadis – which was given a £1.5million consultancy contract with the Ministry of Justice in April.

Public First Ltd gets £840,000 to run focus groups for No10. It is owned by James Frayne, who started the New Frontiers think tank in 2003 with Dominic Cummings.

Dragontown Ltd was awarded a contract worth £675,000 to supply PPE to London’s Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Lady Xuelin Bates, a director of this firm, is the wife of Tory peer and former minister Lord Bates and has donated £30,000 to the Tories.

If we had anything to show for this emptying of the public purse, there might be some justification for these contracts – but we don’t.

This is nepotism intended to further enrich the undeserving while bankrupting the nation.

Expect Boris Johnson to demand that, now he and his spendthrift mates have run up a huge debt, you have to pay it off.

Source: Firms linked to Tories have won £500m coronavirus contracts without having to bid – Mirror Online

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The list of Tory donors to boycott is growing. If you really want to beat them, starve them of cash

It’s all about money: if Boris Johnson didn’t have any, he couldn’t harm anyone. So why are we supporting the people who support him?

[Update: if you want to see the eye-watering amounts that Boris Johnson has received in donations – and the names of the private companies providing the cash – visit this article.]

[Update October 25, 2020: New additions added today. They are listed in this colour.]

The response to my article calling for people to stop buying products provided by firms that donate to the Conservative Party had a great response.

Originally I intended to update that article with new additions to the list of Tory donor firms, but it occurs to me that this may not attract as many readers as regular (or semi-regular) updates, so I’m taking the latter route.

I am aware that some respondents have expressed scepticism about the idea. It won’t produce results overnight, that’s for sure – but then, we’re stuck with Boris Johnson and his cabal of incompetents until 2024, thanks to the 2019 general election. Do you have anything better to do?

This Site can’t change the situation on its own, either, so don’t expect me to. It is the individual responsibility of everybody in the UK to obtain the best government possible – and to change that government by any legal means if a wrong decision is made; you can’t expect the rest of us to do it for you.

That means changing your behaviour to cut out the Tory businesses, and finding new suppliers of goods and services you need.

It also means pestering your friends and colleagues to do the same. Expect resistance because people are naturally lazy. Use the exam results fiasco to persuade parents, and the Covid-19 disaster on others. As the Tories perpetrate more cock-ups – and they will – add those to the list you can use.

And here’s the list of Tory donor firms to shun:

Addison Lee (via founder John Griffin)

Airbus Group Ltd

Airport Park & Ride Ltd

Alfred Dunhill Ltd

Allinson’s (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Amey Group Services Ltd

Annabel’s (Berkeley Square) Ltd

Asda Property Holdings

ASDA Stores Ltd

Askey’s (ice cream – owned by Associated British Foods)

Associated British Foods

AXA Trading Limited

BAA Airports Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Beds and Bars Ltd

Bell Pottinger Communications Ltd

Bestway (cash and carry)

Betfair Ltd

Bicester Shopping Village

Billington’s (sugar – owned by Associated British Foods)

Birmingham Airport Ltd

Boden

Cameron Mackintosh (theatre company: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon, Cats and Hamilton)

Caxton Associates (via boss Andrew Law)

Country House Weddings Ltd

Crusha (milkshakes – owned by Associated British Foods)

CVC Capital Partners (via co-founder Bruce Hardy McLain)

Delamere Dairy

Dorset Cereals (owned by Associated British Foods)

Dunelm (owner Bill Adderly donated £500,000 to the Tory 2019 election campaign)

Dyson (household appliance manufacturer)

E.On (gas and electricity supplier)

Express Newspapers

Flamingo Land (Yorkshire theme park)

Gatwick Airport

Genix Healthcare (NHS and private dental clinics)

Ginsters (pasty and pie manufacturer, owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Golden Wonder (crisps)

Hooch (drink, owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Iceland (supermarket)

Imperial London Hotels Ltd

Jacksons of Piccadilly (tea – owned by Associated British Foods)

JCB (construction, but has also licenced hundreds of other products)

Jordans (cereals – owned by Associated British Foods)

JP Morgan Cazenove (via former chairman David Mayhew)

Kingsmill (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

LNT Group (boss Lawrence Tomlinson donated £40,500 to 13 Tory candidates in 2019 election)

The London Cabaret Club

Lycamobile (SIM card company)

Melton Mowbray pies (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

Microsoft Ltd (UK branch of the US corporation. This could be tricky as I expect we all have Microsoft products!)

National Express

New Cross Nursing Group Ltd (nurse agency)

Next

Nielsen Massey (vanilla and food flavourings – owned by Associated British Foods)

Ocado

Ovaltine (owned by Associated British Foods)

OVO Energy (through managing director Stephen Fitzpatrick)

Palantir

Patak’s (owned by Associated British Foods)

Petrofac (via chairman Ayman Asfari)

Pimlico Plumbers

Radnor Hills Mineral Water

Frederic Robinson Ltd (owns Robinson Breweries and 280 pubs in the North West, producer of bottled and cask beers)

Ryvita (owned by Associated British Foods)

Sainsbury’s (supermarket) (due to donations by Tory Lord John Sainsbury, the company’s president, totalling more than £1 million between 2001 and 2017. There is also a Lord David Sainsbury who donated £8 million to the Liberal Democrats – but his holdings in the firm are now managed as a ‘blind’ trust to prevent any conflict of interest with his political career.)

Scottish Power (although this firm seems confused and has also given to Labour)

Selfridges (department store)

Serco

Silver Spoon (suger manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Soreen Malt Loaf (owned by Tory donors Samworth Brothers)

The Spectator (magazine, via former owner Sir Henry Keswick)

Speedibake (bakery products – owned by Associated British Foods)

The Sun (newspaper (it says))

Sunblest (bread – owned by Associated British Foods)

Tate & Lyle (sugar manufacturer)

Tempcover (car insurer)

Truvia (sweeteners – owned by Associated British Foods)

Twinings (tea manufacturer, owned by Associated British Foods)

Tyrells (crisps)

VK (alcopop owned by Tory donor Global Brands Ltd)

Warburtons (bread manufacturer)

Westfield

Wetherspoons (pub chain)

Wren Kitchens

It’s still not an exhaustive list. I’m working through the evidence as fast as I can.

And it may be inaccurate in places. Any firm or person listed above who thinks they shouldn’t be is invited to get in touch (politely, please!) and we can talk about it.

I must emphasize that this is not something that can achieve results overnight. It requires a behavioural shift by a large number of people, into awareness of where their money goes after they use it to buy goods/services.

And I must also remind you of one very important fact:

If you – personally – don’t do anything, nothing will change. It really is your choice.

(NOTE August 17: Richer Sounds has been removed from the list as I have been informed that the company is very far from being a Tory donor; it is now largely employee-owned and supports a large number of progressive causes and campaigns, in line with the activities of its founder, Julian Richer. I am delighted to make this correction and hope to run an article about what appears to be an exemplary UK business in the near future.)

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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If you want to stop the Tory class war, boycott the businesses that help them

It’s all about money: if Boris Johnson didn’t have any, he couldn’t harm anyone. So why are we supporting the people who support him?

In a previous article I called for anyone harmed by Tory policies – like students whose ‘A’ level results were downgraded at random by the Department of Education, relatives of people who have died of Covid-19 and so on – to do what they can to stop the Johnson government at a grassroots level.

This means starving it of cash.

The way to do that is to boycott businesses that are run by Tories or that donate to the Tory Party; if you run a business, deny employment to graduates of further education institutions that have denied students places because of the Tory ‘A’ level downgrade; and to urge your friends who have been simiilarly affected to do the same.

I think it would be valuable to have lists of such organisations, so everybody knows who to avoid – and already some names are coming in.

The information is unconfirmed, but so far I am told that these firms donate to the Conservatives:

Tate & Lyle (sugar manufacturers)

Warburtons (bread manufacturers)

Wetherspoons (pub chain)

I’d like to add to this list as I go.

Feel free to contribute names of offending organisations – national, international and local. I’ll look up Tory donations soon.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Scotland joins Wales to ban Covid-19 support to firms based in tax havens

Registered in a tax haven? Then no tax-funded help for you: there’s no reason the UK should give tax-dodging firms a hand during the coronavirus crisis if they haven’t paid their full dues. Wales and Scotland have made this clear; let’s see Westminster do the same.

Quite right too. If you’ve opted out of paying tax when the going was easy, then you can’t try to get help from the taxpayer in hard times.

Has the Tory government in Westminster made this decision yet?

The Scottish parliament has voted to block companies based in tax havens from using millions of pounds in coronavirus relief funding, in emergency legislation.

MSPs approved measures on Wednesday night brokered by the Scottish Greens to prohibit firms or individuals who are registered in tax havens, or are a subsidiary of an offshore company, from getting support grants.

The vote follows similar decisions by the Welsh government last week and by other EU member states, including Denmark and France, but ministers have yet to say how much Scottish government spending will be affected or how it will be enforced.

It is thought it could prevent companies with offshore links from applying to a new £120m enterprise resilience fund that provides grants for small- and medium-sized firms, and a £30m creative, tourism and hospitality bailout fund for firms that cannot get business rates relief.

The Welsh government blocked companies with headquarters in a tax haven from accessing its £500m economic resilience fund on 15 May. Ministers in Cardiff said last week it would affect a small number of companies.

Source: Scotland bans Covid-19 support to firms based in tax havens | Politics | The Guardian