Tag Archives: invest

Rishi Sunak’s NHS fail in a single social media post

Rishi Sunak in a hospital: he can get in because he can afford to jump the 7+ million-strong queue he and his Tory colleagues have created.

This just about sums up Tory health policy for the last 14 years:

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It is as Prem Sikka explained in a speech to the House of Lords (and an article for Left Foot Forward):

The government has reduced access to healthcare.

That was, is and remains the entire point of everything the Tories have done with the National Health Service since 2010 – and is the reason millions have died while awaiting NHS care under their rule.


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Intel to build $25bn factory in southern Israel after Gaza genocide

Intel in Israel: the computer chip company has a plant at Kiryat Gat, in what used to be Palestine.

That’s the end for This Writer and computers with Intel processors, then:

The ‘Censored Men’ post reads:

Israel’s government grants Intel $3.2bn for a new $25bn chip plant it plans to build in Southern Israel.

Intel has also promised to purchase $16.6bn worth of goods and services from Israeli suppliers over the next decade.

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Netanyahu has described the project as “the largest investment ever in the state of Israel.”

Israel’s Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich welcomed Intel’s new project in Israel and said:

“This investment, at a time when Israel wages war against utter wickedness, a war in which good must defeat evil, is an investment in the right and righteous values that spell progress for humanity.”

Some additional facts about Smotrich include:

In 2016 Smotrich made a statement in which he said Jewish mothers should not share maternity wards with Arab mothers.

– In February 2023 he was in favour of “wiping out” a Palestinian village and called for the Palestinian town of Huwara to be “erased”.

– In March 2023 he said “There is no such thing as Palestinians.”

– In March 2023, Smotrich visited France and spoke at a podium featuring a map of “Greater Israel”.

“Greater Israel” includes:

  • The entirety of Palestine
  • The entirety of Jordan
  • Parts of Iraq
  • Parts of Lebanon
  • Parts of Syria
  • Parts of Egypt
  • Parts of Turkey
  • Parts of Saudi Arabia

It’s nice to know that Intel is eager to work with disgusting individuals such as Bezalel Smotrich and Benjamin Netanyahu.

It’s also nice to know that Intel plans on making “the largest investment ever in the state of Israel” at a time when Israel is committing a genocide.

The plant is set to open in 2028.

The Intel plant is at Kiryat Gat, which used to be a Palestinian settlement before being depopulated after the establishment of Israel in the late 1940s.

The bad new is Nvidia and AMD are also heavily involved in the Israeli economy.

It might be worth lobbying computer manufacturers to boycott Intel from now on.


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Privatised water firms are charging YOU to clean up THEIR act

Sewage being pumped into an English river: the water companies want you to pay £10 billion towards improvements in the system that will put a stop to this – after giving £66 billion to shareholders – who have done nothing. It’s an insult, isn’t it?

Nobody should be surprised by this. Yr Obdt Srvt (that’s me) stated that it would happen on This Site within the last few days.

It’s being reported that the privatised water companies in England have apologised for repeatedly pumping sewage into the country’s waterways and the sea around the British Isles – and have promised £10 billion of investment to modernise the sewer system.

But here’s the small print (courtesy of The Guardian):

Shareholders in water companies will initially fund the investments. However, the costs will be recouped from customers through unspecified increases in their bills determined by regulators, in a move which threatens to add further pressure to household costs.

So water customers are being made to pay extra for emergency work that should have been carried out since privatisation happened, and funded from the bills we have been paying.

The water firms have never done this, despite it being promised to us when they were originally privatised, because it would have interfered with their ability to pump £65 billion to shareholders in the same period of time.

As I write this, I’m watching the BBC’s Politics Live, on which Jo Coburn just said the water firms most recent annual payment to shareholders was £1.4 billion, up from £550 million the year before.

So they’ve nearly tripled the profits they’re paying shareholders while charging us for the investment in improvements that they should be providing from the cash they’re handing out in dividends.

Are you angry yet? If so, you’re still not nearly angry enough.

The panellists on Politics Live were angry, though:

(For completists, the full discussion is here.)

Despite handing out billions in dividends, it seems the water companies are also in debt:

And now they’re pleading poverty as the reason they’re going to take this extra cash from us (you won’t have any say in whether you pay it or not, remember; the water companies in each part of England have a monopoly there):

Already the government has been forced to defend the demand for you to pay more to get the improvements that British water was privatised in order to provide:

As you can see, Penny Mordaunt’s response was not satisfactory. In fact, in terms appropriate to the issue, it was, itself, sewage.

Labour’s Richard Burgon has the right idea:

The reason re-nationalisation is the answer is simple: it cuts out the parasites who’ve taken £66 billion that could have been used to modernise the water and sewage infrastructure.

Without those shareholders taking all that money and doing nothing to improve the system, water prices could have been much lower as well (and that was the other promise made to us when Margaret Thatcher’s Tories privatised water).

The whole process of water privatisation has been a massive con that has cost the British people tens of billions of pounds.

Amazingly, despite having had an opportunity to demand an end to it at eight general elections, the electorate has apparently been happy to accept this daylight robbery.

Are you going to accept this latest insult – not just to your finances but to your intelligence?


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Dupers’ delight: body language suggests Javid and Johnson’s policy promises are lies

Consider this:

‘This is Boris Johnson talking about his new policy in “building 40 new hospitals” – mouth curling and raised eyebrows are micro-expressions indicating someone is lying. It’s called “dupers delight”,’ according to a post on Facebook.

 

“Duper’s delight”…

“Duper n. a person who deceives or tricks someone.”

It seems Mr Johnson may not have been entirely truthful about his promise to invest billions in NHS hospitals, then.

Now, what about this:

Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years.

He will also lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21.

Look at his face:

It’s not going to happen under the Tories, is it?

Mr Javid was just saying it as something to put up against Labour’s offer. If you’ve forgotten (or weren’t aware of) what Labour’s offer is, it’s this:

Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers under 18 – who currently get a minimum wage of £4.35.

Even on the surface, Labour’s offer is better – £10 an hour, for everyone, by 2020 leaves opportunity for much more growth than an extra 50p by 2024, which is all Mr Javid is offering, and then only for people aged above 21.

But the clincher is always going to be the simple fact of body language that it seems neither BoJob nor The Collector can hide:

Labour’s offer isn’t a lie.

Source: Tory conference: National Living Wage to rise to £10.50, says chancellor – BBC News

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Tory NHS claims are a poor attempt to patch up the dirty, open wound that is their record

The Conservative government must think we’re stupid. Look at the state of this:

The government has pledged billions for hospital projects across England, at the start of the Conservative party conference.

The plans include a £2.7bn investment for six hospitals over five years.

A new approach to NHS mental health treatment will also be trialled in 12 areas of England – with housing and job support alongside psychological help.

Under plans drawn up by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the government has said £13bn will be spent on hospital projects, including entirely new buildings or revamping existing structures to improve facilities.

The same pot of money will also be used to develop plans for further projects in the future.

Mr Hancock said the funding would come from taxpayers

There is no detail to this because it is a Tory promise, made ahead of an expected general election before Christmas; I doubt they have any intention of actually carrying out this promise.

Tories lie. Only yesterday we heard that a Conservative minister had told that party’s conference that they created the National Health Service.

In fact, they tried to prevent its creation, claiming that it “discourages voluntary effort and association; mutilates the structure of local governent; dangerously increases Ministerial power and patronage; appropriates trust funds and benefactions in contempt of the wishes of donors and subscribers; and undermines the freedom and independence of the medical profession to the detriment of the nation”.

Even that was a lie. Healthcare before the NHS was a nightmare for working people. Read the books of Harry Leslie Smith for information on the way a private health system fails to work. That was a hindrance to the nation.

Labour will put real investment into the NHS, and will remove the cancer of privatisation that was injected into it by the Conservatives and has been growing ever since, rotting the service from the inside.

Doesn’t the Labour promise seem more wholesome to you?

Source: Government plans billions for hospital projects – BBC News

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Tory twit(terer) undermines seven years of government economic policy – in ONE TWEET

Philip Hammond, by cartoonist Dave Brown: Mr Hammond’s policies are more likely to strangle the UK’s public services than the Chancellor himself.

It takes a special kind of genius to (metaphorically) shoot your own mouth off and shoot every Tory MP of the last seven years in the foot – at the same time.

That is the achievement of a Twitter user who, with stunning insight, calls him- or herself “Voice of Reason”.

This person clearly set out to undermine Labour’s answer to this week’s Budget statement, which Conservatives have tried to reduce to a claim that John McDonnell would borrow so much money, he would bankrupt the country.

That is impossible in a sovereign country, and there’s a huge difference between borrowing money, spending it, and having nothing to show for it – as the Conservatives have been doing – and borrowing in order to invest in business and receive a financial reward in return.

These facts seem to have bypassed “Voice of Reason”, who transmitted the following to the world:

Let’s just nail the fundamental flaw in the argument right now: John McDonnell and Labour have never claimed they won’t need to pay back any money they borrow – they want to invest such cash in money-making enterprises that will make a profit for the country. That doesn’t mean the premise of John McDonnell borrowing money for a house is false, as the Tories’ own policies have offered ways to make that work, too – as we shall see, now.

I don’t know whether the people who responded to this ill-advised outburst were Labour supporters or economists, or Labour-supporting economists, but they dealt out a lesson that everyone should remember. Let’s consider their responses:

With apologies to those who are easily offended by harsh language, that really is how this works. Labour is proposing business loans that are intended to produce a return on the investment – making more money than the initial outlay, which is exactly the same as any other business loan.

For ways to make money after buying a house, try this:

https://twitter.com/mikey_rains/status/934051173107163136

Alternatively, Jude (@faybijou) wrote:

“Or:
“Borrower: I’ll leave it empty. House prices will rise because there aren’t enough to go round. And then eventually sell it at an inflated price and hide the profit in Paradise.”

Here’s a response that shows up Tory police for what it is:

https://twitter.com/JohnHare17/status/934042437458198528

Other commenters didn’t bother copying the style of the original tweet to point out its uselessness, but went straight for an explanation of the substantive issues:

https://twitter.com/Rugbymumno9/status/934039376090357761

The response to this showed up “Voice of Reason” even more:

https://twitter.com/Rugbymumno9/status/934077593422352384

Yes indeed – where is our money? Panama?

Moving on, try this:

This exchange is quite funny:

In fact the UK government never has any problem finding people who will lend money. The process was explained on the BBC’s Daily Politics this week: The Bank of England issues debt securities called “gilts” in one of two forms. A conventional gilt is a bond issued by the UK government which pays the holder a fixed cash payment (or coupon) every six months until maturity, at which point the holder receives his final coupon payment and the return of the principal; index-linked gilts pay coupons which are initially set in line with market interest rates.

Government bonds are usually in the currency of the country of origin, in which case the government cannot be forced to default.

The terms on which a government can sell bonds depend on how creditworthy the market considers it to be. International credit rating agencies will provide ratings for the bonds, but market participants will make up their own minds about this.

Not only does the UK have its own sovereign currency, meaning it cannot be forced to default on its debts, but market participants have chosen to ignore several downgrades by credit rating agencies since the Conservative took office in 2010.

This means UK gilts are considered extremely safe forms of investment. About two-thirds of UK gilts are held by insurance companies and pension funds. The UK has absolutely no problem finding lenders.

The claim that Labour has only ever spent money without making any return is risible. History shows that Labour is the party with a record of paying off the national debt; Tories merely increase it. Recent history shows that the Tories have borrowed more than every UK Labour government there has ever been.

https://twitter.com/GreatRedDragon0/status/934043176503074817

This last response nails “Voice of Reason”‘s problem in a nutshell:

Correct.

It is indeed economically illiterate to claim that anyone borrowing money to invest it in profitable enterprises, then using the profit to pay off the debt with interest, and still having cash left over, is a “nutcase”.

It is also economically illiterate to claim that the national debt will be paid off by borrowing money and then slashing economic growth, as the Tories have claimed for the past seven years.

So their economic policy can’t be about paying off the national debt.

In fact, Tory economic policy is about ensuring that the state cannot fund public services and must therefore sell off publicly-owned assets, forcing citizens to pay for services themselves – a far more expensive form of provision which therefore makes a large profit for any privately-owned provider of those services.

It is also about ensuring that the majority of citizens simply don’t have the funds to pay for those services privately, putting them at a permanent disadvantage in comparison to the rich asset- and shareholders.

That is why the Conservative-led governments of the past seven years have offered huge tax cuts to the richest people in the UK, when that money could have been used to help pay off the deficit and debt; and austerity to the poorest, cutting public services and business investments that could have brought in revenue for the state.

The policy means tax revenues are never enough to cover the cost of public services, providing the Tories with an excuse to go on cutting them until there are none left.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), we will reach that point in 2031. The Tories themselves are hoping to manage it in 2025.

Those are the dates at which these two organisations reckon the deficit will go into surplus, and that’s why we may conclude that it is the date by which all public services the Tories want to sell into private hands will have gone.

And this is the only explanation of Conservative policy on taxation and borrowing that makes any sense at all.


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Labour plans ‘biggest devolution of economic power and funding for generations’

Ed Balls: He wants to put £30 billion worth of infrastructure funding into the hands of local government.

Ed Balls: He wants to put £30 billion worth of infrastructure funding into the hands of local government.

Today’s most interesting election announcement comes from Labour, which is promising to deliver “the biggest devolution of economic power and funding to England’s city and county regions for generations”.

Plans to devolve £30 billion of funding over five years – including funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and adult skills – will be at the heart of the next Labour government’s Spending Review, if elected in May.

A Labour Treasury will allow city and county regions which come together in combined authorities to keep 100 per cent of extra business rates revenue generated by additional growth. They will then be able to invest this to support further business growth in their regions.

All areas will be able to access these freedoms and areas which choose not to have an elected Mayor will not get a second-class deal.

It’s a clear attack on George Osborne’s plan for a “northern powerhouse” – Labour is asking, why just concentrate on ‘The North’ when so many other areas outside London need help due to Tory economic mismanagement?

It is to be hoped that Labour has not forgotten its support base in this business-friendly frenzy. Will this funding be used to promote the Living Wage, for example? Will it be used to create the new work demanded by its jobs guarantee – and will they be permanent, well-paying careers?

“Local areas will be in the driving seat on key decisions affecting their local economies – with new powers over back-to-work schemes, to drive house building, and to integrate, invest in and plan transport infrastructure,” said shadow chancellor Ed Balls, ahead of today’s announcement. It seems Labour has picked up a trick from the Tories – if this scheme fails anywhere, they will be able to blame it on local government. Hmm.

“And we will also let city and county regions keep all the additional business rates revenue generated by growth… We will not only back our great cities, but our towns and county regions too. Not just urban areas, but also rural areas.”

So there is much to recommend this plan – if a Labour government in Westminster can co-ordinate successfully with local authorities, of all colours, in the regions.

Or is this building castles in the air?

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Will voters support Labour’s vision for the NHS?

Sneer v smile: Alan Milburn has tried to talk down Ed Miliband's plan for the NHS, but the Labour leader is still smiling.

Sneer v smile: Alan Milburn has tried to talk down Ed Miliband’s plan for the NHS, but the Labour leader is still smiling.

The word of the day appears to be ‘entryism’. A commenter used it to describe BNP/EDL infiltration of UKIP, and it seems just as appropriate to describe Alan Milburn’s membership of the Labour Party.

What does this man have to do with left-wing policies? Nothing. Yet he was Health Secretary under Tony Blair – and a vile job he did of it, too. His period in office – and after – was notable for his support of private involvement in the health service, and in public service provision generally.

This writer reckons that’s enough to suggest he was an example of Conservative Party entryism into Labour. Look at the NHS in England now – Milburn played a major part in that process!

Now he has criticised Labour’s focus on the NHS as a “comfort zone campaign” and warned the party was ill-prepared to carry out the necessary reforms to the NHS if elected.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One he also warned that the party risked the same fate as in the 1992 election which Labour lost.

Vox Political does not currently have a recording of the programme, but the above report, from the BBC News website, explains all we need to know.

He’s trying to torpedo Ed Miliband’s campaign for his Tory masters. Labour is running for election with the NHS as its principle campaign issue, planning to restore it to full public ownership and Milburn – the privatisation junkie – is out to hobble his own party.

Despicable.

This happened on the day Ed Miliband set out a “10-year plan” for the health service – signifying an intent to restore it over the course of two future Parliaments.

Speaking in Trafford, close to the very first hospital that became part of the NHS in 1948, he said: “The central idea is this: that we must both invest in the NHS so it has time to care and join up services at every stage from home to hospital, so you can get the care you need, where you need it.

“We will… train and hire more doctors, nurses, care-workers and midwives – so that they all have the one thing that patients need most: an NHS with time to care.

“We will end the scandal of neglecting mental health by prioritising investment in young people and ensuring teachers are trained to spot problems early.

“By saving resources on privatisation and competition, we will end the scandal of patients having to wait days, even weeks, for a GP appointment.

“We will use the resources we raise to hire 5,000 care workers – a new arm of the NHS – to help elderly people stay healthy at home.

“And because we will be putting in place one system of health and social care we will end the scandal of care visits restricted to 15 minutes.

“If we win the general election in May, the next Labour government will:

“Build an NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.

“Join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

“It fell to those after the Second World War to build the NHS. It fell to Labour in 1997 to save it from years of neglect. It now falls to us to protect and improve it once again.”

What did David Cameron have to say about the NHS?

Oh yes – nothing.

He doesn’t think it’s a priority.

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Cameron’s economic falsehoods mask a catalogue of missed opportunities – Tax Research UK

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The Coalition has borrowed more than four times more, every year, than what Labour did, on average, according to Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK – writing in opposition to a claim by David Cameron that Britain will be on the “path to ruin” if Labour takes charge of the public finances.

Cameron is clearly trying to steal the “Road to Ruin” label that was applied to a now-infamous Tory campaign poster and throw it back at Labour. His problem is that he has dud ammunition.

Mr Murphy writes: “It’s very hard to see how one man can get as much wrong as David Cameron can in the repeated sentiment he has to offer to the UK.

“But the evidence is clear: every single word of what he has to say is deeply misleading because it is so wrong.

“After five years in office all he has learned is that keeping repeating the misinformation is the only policy he can find that he still thinks worth pursuing. And, unfortunately, some still believe him.”

Mr Murphy points out that:

  • In five years the Coalition has borrowed more than Labour did in 13, by a considerable margin.
  • And there wasn’t an unforeseen banking crisis on the Coalition’s watch.
  • We have no gilt crisis.
  • We have no affordability crisis.
  • And we have a lost opportunity to invest at rates lower than we have almost ever known, which lost opportunity is why we have an economic crisis.

Read his article on Tax Research UK – and throw Cameron’s Guardian comments in the bin.

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Here’s why Cameron’s so quiet about the Chinese crackdown on demonstrations. They own him – Pride’s Purge

So much for democracy: Reports say China's rulers have blocked Instagram in a bid to stop images of Hong Kong riot police unloading canisters of pepper spray and tear gas into the faces of peaceful demonstrators - so here's a nice shot of demonstrators handing out pro-democracy leaflets instead.

So much for democracy: Reports say China’s rulers have blocked Instagram in a bid to stop images of Hong Kong riot police unloading canisters of pepper spray and tear gas into the faces of peaceful demonstrators – so here’s a nice shot of demonstrators handing out pro-democracy leaflets instead.

Hot on the heels of Vox Political‘s article stating that the Conservatives have been selling off the UK’s most important infrastructure to anyone with something that can be used as currency in their pocket comes this confirmation from Pride’s Purge:

The only official protest about the democracy demonstrations taking place in China at the moment has come from Deputy PM Nick Clegg.

Not a peep from Cameron or Osborne.

Could this be connected to the fact that Cameron and Osborne have been selling off our essential infrastructure to the Chinese, who now own large parts of our water, electricity and gas supplies?

In December last year Cameron went to China, to persuade the Chinese government to buy up invest in Britain.

Chinese organisations and businesses with close links to the Chinese Communist leadership have already large stakes and controlling interests in huge parts of UK essential infrastructure such as water, gas, electricity, telecommunications and transport.

Read the rest on Pride’s Purge. The article concludes:

“If so many people are concerned about the loss of UK sovereignty to the EU – shouldn’t we be having a referendum on the loss of our sovereignty to the Chinese too?”

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