Tag Archives: litigation

Court date for Mike – but look what Rachel Riley’s doing in the meantime

After considerable discussion, the High Court has decided the next hearing in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me will happen on November 6.

If you think the only fireworks that week will be the night before – or the night after – you may be surprised.

This will be the hearing on Rachel Riley’s bid to strike out all – or part – of my defence, that she was desperate to force into a courtroom before the end of July.

So, what’s she planning to do with all the spare time that the court has presented to her?

This:

 

How interesting.

It could be read as an enticement for her followers to entrap people into making comments about her, so she can burden the court with more libel cases.

The offer to give the proceeds to charity would be the enticement.

I have always claimed that she launched her case against me in the belief that her huge wealth and my own comparative poverty would mean I could not defend myself and she would therefore buy justice. Does that seem the case here?

It looks like grifting – “influencing anybody, anywhere, at anytime, into doing whatever they choose to have them do, that will result in the grifter’s personal gain.”

And it is also right on the boundary of vexatious litigation – a pattern of behaviour leading to possibly frivolous lawsuits.

A court may consider such behaviour to be an abuse of the judicial process and may choose to impose sanctions against the perpetrator. Repeated instances by a single lawyer or firm can result in disbarment.

Already we have seen what I consider to be vexatious attempts at running down the crowdfunded cash supporters of This Site have provided to help me fend off Ms Riley – the silly “shifting sands” claim last December, that the judge threw out without blinking, was one; my opinion is that the current “strike-out” bid is another.

I hope to monitor this situation; if she or her solicitor starts legal action against more people as a result of this tweet, I want to know about it.

In the meantime, I hope you agree that the courts do not exist to further enrich already-overpaid TV parlour game-players – or the charities they support (and we don’t know exactly which charities those might be, either).

If I am successful in defending against her claims, then this might all go away. You are, of course, invited to support me in the usual ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And tell everybody you know what you think about Ms Riley’s behaviour – in a non-libellous way, of course.

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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Why is supine Starmer spending Labour money appeasing opponents in anti-Semitism case?

Keir the clueless: if he won’t stand up against liars who present a false impression of the Labour Party, then his version of Labour is not worth your support in any way at all.

It seems Keir Starmer is set to pay out Labour members’ subscriptions and apologise to so-called anti-Semitism whistleblowers, in order to settle a court case that Labour would win – if he fought it.

Why?

What is the aim here, other than to humiliate the party and create a false impression that Labour was in the wrong?

Here’s the story:

Labour is poised to make a formal apology to antisemitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era, the Guardian has learned.

The whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent, prompting anger from Corbyn allies who accused the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of capitulating.

Seven of the eight whistleblowers – all former Labour staffers – who featured in the documentary instructed the prominent media lawyer Mark Lewis to take action against the party.

They claimed senior figures had issued statements attacking their reputations and suggesting they had ulterior political and personal motives to undermine the party.

Labour is expected to settle a separate case with the veteran journalist John Ware, who led the Panorama investigation and who sued over a statement by Labour that the BBC had engaged in “deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public” in its broadcast.

If they were justified in their action, then perhaps it would be fair for them to receive an apology and restitution. However:

Any apology will prove controversial among Corbyn loyalists, who questioned whether settling it is a good use of party funds. The Guardian understands legal advice provided to Labour under Corbyn’s leadership suggested the party could win the case.

Labour under Starmer has appeared eager to reach agreements to end ongoing conflicts over the party’s antisemitism crisis.

So on the face of it, Starmer is throwing Labour members’ subscription money away, in order to lie about the way anti-Semitism was handled by these former officers.

And it will be for nothing. Appeasement never stops anybody – it just encourages them to go on accusing and demanding, with each demand being more outrageous.

What impression is Starmer hoping to give?

That Labour is now utterly supine?

That the party will give in and go along with anyone who tries to bully it – like the Tories on the Covid-19 crisis and the sectarian groups among the UK’s Jewish community who demand absolute loyalty to the Israeli government, no matter what atrocities it commits against Palestine?

That Labour is no longer an anti-racist party as it will not defend even its own members who stand up against racism?

That Labour is no longer worthy of support in any way at all?

Source: Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers | Politics | The Guardian

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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Tory stupidity over Covid-19 is monumental – and increasing all the time. Would you like some examples?

Facepalm: Boris Johnson realising the enormity of the many mistakes his government has made?

I’ve been compiling a little file. It’s marked “Tory Covid-19 stupidity”. When I say it’s little, I mean it is huge – and getting bigger all the time.

Would you like to read some of the examples I’ve found over the last week or so?

Let’s have a look:

Possibly the stupidest idea the Tories had was to remove England’s chief nurse, Ruth May, from Downing Street press conferences after she refused to support government advisor Dominic Cummings. The incident happened on June 1, two days after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam sparked headlines by saying that lockdown rules “apply to all” when asked about Mr Cummings.

Van Tam has not appeared at press conferences since May 30, and on June 1 Ms May was removed from the line-up and Health Secretary Matt Hancock had to present the slides on the progress of Covid-19 himself, to the best of his limited ability.

It has since been revealed that everybody appearing on the briefings is now required to support the government’s position: “First it was Dominic Cummings, then easing lockdown and now the R-rate and the two-metre rule.”

“Asked to comment, No 10 said it strongly denied the claims that Ms May had been dropped over her views on Mr Cummings and added that health and scientific advisers would continue to take questions in the briefings.” That was on June 13.

The decision to remove Ms May raised questions that the Tory government is not “following the science”, as ministers have been claiming for months, unless “the science” agrees with their own narrative.

As Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson wrote to Hancock on Sunday, “By silencing [the experts], the government is not only denying the public the opportunity to hear from them, but also threatening the confidence the public has in the government’s approach to lifting lockdown, and more broadly in how and when government is using and sharing expert advice.”

To increase the embarrassment, Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted that the government could overrule experts like Sir Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty on relaxing social distancing rules – disproving its own claim to be “following the science”.

But Downing Street strongly denied claims that Ms May had been dropped over her views on Cummings, and added that health and scientific advisers would continue to take questions in the briefings.

The trouble is, by that time the damage had been done and the credibility of Boris Johnson’s government had been dealt another crippling blow – by its own hand.

Next:

“The Government quietly relaxed strict controls to stop the spread of coronavirus in hospitals at the height of the crisis,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

“Hospitals were instructed to avoid using temporary staff to lower risk of spreading the virus.” The article goes on to state that this decree was soon reversed – indicating that it was a mistake that produced bad results.

The Torygraph seems highly critical of the Johnson government’s attitude altogether, in fact. This op-ed piece takes no prisoners: “Having been widely, and rightly, condemned for a slow and inadequate response to the pandemic, ministers are doubly shy of lifting the restrictions for fear of acting prematurely, getting it wrong again, and incubating a second wave.

“They have some reason to worry. The rate of new infections still seems relatively high compared to much of the rest of Europe, while the shambles of the UK’s “test, trace and isolate” initiative gives little confidence that social distancing measures can be safely abandoned without more deaths.

“We seem to have ended up with the worst of all worlds – the highest per capita death rate of any major economy, the most extreme form of continuing lockdown, and according to the latest OECD assessment, the biggest economic hit.”

Next:

It seems that, in addition to all the organisations tasked with handling a pandemic that were scrapped by previous Tory prime ministers, Boris Johnson closed the last one himself six months before Covid-19 arrived.

The Mail reports this one: “Boris Johnson scrapped a team of Cabinet ministers tasked with protecting the UK from a pandemic six months before coronavirus arrived, a Mail investigation has found.

“The group, officially known as the Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingency Committee (THRCC), was supposed to ensure the UK was ready to cope with a pandemic.

“It was mothballed by former prime minister Theresa May on the advice of Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill so ministers and officials could focus on Brexit [and] abolished by Mr Johnson days after he entered No10 last July as part of a vow to streamline Whitehall.”

Shades of David Cameron’s “war on red tape”!

Only a few years before, medical experts had believed a strain of SARS to be the next pandemic – but it had fizzled out. It might have been possible to justify scrapping pandemic response precautions on grounds that modern medical methods made them unnecessary in the light of this – but that wasn’t the reason and this represents a major blunder.

Next:

Oh, dear, Johnson and his cronies just can’t seem to stop being racist!

“The British Medical Association has demanded an explanation from the government following reports that pages containing recommendations to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities were removed from last week’s Covid-19 disparity report,” reported The Guardian.

“Dr Chaand Nagpaul CBE, the BMA council chair, noted his concern over reports that 69 pages covering seven recommendations were removed from last week’s Public Health England’s report.

“The review was widely criticised for failing to investigate possible reasons for the disparities or make recommendations on how to address them.”

Perhaps government flunkies found it hard to include the words “persistent government racism” in their report?

The recommendations appear to have been published now. In a letter to the Equalities Minister, Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie wrote: “The clear message from stakeholders was the requirement for tangible actions, provided at scale and pace, with a commitment to address the underlying factors of inequality.”

And the seven recommendations were (translated from PHE technobabble):

1. Collect and record ethnicity data during NHS treatment, and ensure that it is available to help health teams reduce the impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities.

2. Research the social, cultural, structural, economic, religious, and commercial factors that affect the appearance of Covid-19 in BAME communities, and develop easy-to-implement programmes to reduce risk and improve health.

3. Improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS, local government and Integrated Care Systems commissioned services by BAME communities. This to be achieved via regular equity audits; use of Health Impact Assessments; integration of equality into quality systems; good representation of black and minority ethnic communities among staff at all levels; sustained workforce development and employment practices; ad trust-building dialogue with service users.

4. Develop risk assessment tools to reduce the risk of exposure to and infection with Covid-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with Covid-19.

5. Fund, develop and implement Covid-19 education and prevention campaigns, in partnership with BAME and faith communities; rebuild trust with and uptake of routine clinical services; reinforce messages on early identification, testing and diagnosis; and prepare communities to take full advantage of contact tracing, antibody testing and vaccine availability.

6. Accelerate efforts to target health promotion and disease prevention programmes for non-communicable diseases promoting healthy weight, physical activity, smoking cessation, mental well-being and effective management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

7. Ensure that Covid-19 recovery plans actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider factors that affect health, to create long term, sustainable change. Fully funded, sustained and meaningful approaches to tackling ethnic inequalities must be prioritised.

There they are. Now we must all monitor what happens – or else the government is likely to simply shelve the letter and do nothing (as we have seen so many times before).

Given the enormity of these blunders, is it any surprise that the government is facing litigation over its failures so far?

Matt Hancock is likely to be dragged into court over the government’s insistence on slapping vulnerable patients with “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders.

This has been going on at least since lockdown was ordered and This Site has reported on it often. The government and various health organisations have announced that the demand for these orders to be imposed on patients en masse, rather than discussed with them individually as required by law, has been withdrawn – but we have found that this is not the case.

Kate Masters, writing in The Independent, stated: “There appears to have been a national directive for doctors to put emergency plans in place for people at risk of becoming very unwell if they catch Covid-19, even without them being able to engage in the process. Just a few simple pieces of information would help patients and medics. These include the facts about DNACPR, including that they can be made without your involvement if you don’t want to discuss the matter, and that full information must be provided as to why this decision has been made on your behalf.

“Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has refused my request to provide this information on the NHS website… Instead, he has said the information currently available is sufficient. In fact, the information … is confusing about DNACPR and gives a misleading impression. It says “you can change your mind and your DNACPR status at any time”. This is just not right. Except in the special circumstances where a patient makes an advance decision to refuse treatment, DNACPR status is not something a patient always chooses, but is often a decision made by the treating team after consultation with the patient and, where appropriate, relevant family members.

“The legal requirement to consult gives the patient or family the opportunity to seek a second opinion if they are concerned about the decision or think it is premature or inappropriate.

“I am prepared to go as far as I need to ensure people are given access to this information about their rights. That’s why I’m now planning to take Hancock to court over the matter. I am raising funds to pursue the case using crowdfunding, and encourage you to add your support.”

Meanwhile, families whose loved ones have died of Covid-19 are demanding an independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the crisis, with 500 relatives of people who have died during the pandemic launching the Covid-19 Bereaved Families’ campaign.

And healthcare staff are also demanding a public inquiry – into the deaths of hundreds of their colleagues and failings of PPE (personal protective equipment).

The Doctors’ Association (DAUK), supported by the Good Law Project and charity Hourglass, is calling for a judicial review into the decision by the government not to hold a public inquiry into the planning, procurement, and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care staff.

Nursing Notes tells us: “With healthcare being left “wearing visors made by teenagers on 3D printers” and “care workers being told to share the same mask”, the group has raised concerns that the inadequacy of PPE may have contributed wholly or in part to the tragic deaths of health and social care workers.

“At least 245 health and social care workers are known to have died from COVID-19 – with some figures suggesting … dramatically more.

“Despite a petition receiving over 120,000 signatures supporting a public inquiry, there has been no formal response from the government.”

Let us hope that all these groups and individuals get to have their day in court – before Johnson succeeds in his plan to stifle judges’ ability to force his government to abide by the law.

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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‘Don’t sue whistleblowers’, Labour is warned. Fine – we haven’t heard of any yet

The story about Panorama, alleged Labour Party anti-Semitism, and the so-called “whistleblowers”is proliferating crazily, so it’s practically impossible to write anything constructive about it right now.

However, stories about the “disaffected former employees” featured in the documentary are mistaken when they refer to these people as “whistleblowers”.

To be whistleblowers, they need to fulfil certain criteria – and leaking a shedload of information that was taken without consent – as far as we can tell – from their former employers doesn’t qualify.

So when Emily Thornberry said:

“We shouldn’t be going for the messengers, we should be listening to the message”

and

“Nobody can pretend there isn’t an ongoing problem in the Labour Party with antisemitism”

she is mistaken.

Labour would be well within its rights to pursue all of the people who used information taken from the party in contravention of the Data Protection Act, it seems to me.

Not only that, but I reckon the party would also be justified in taking out litigation over the way those people have used this information to present what may be an entirely false argument that Labour has a serious problem with anti-Semitism.

Panorama spent a significant amount of time discussing the case against Jackie Walker, who was expelled from Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism.

But comparison of these claims with the facts has shown that the Panorama version of events doesn’t stand up – as the BBC admitted in a correction of a previous version of that claim, sent to a Twitter user, at least 10 days before the programme was aired.

If the rest of the claims of anti-Semitism against current – and former – party members is as flimsy… I reckon these so-called “whistleblowers” may find themselves in deep trouble – soon.

So I have to question the motivation of anyone who tries to stop Labour from taking out litigation against them.

Source: Labour’s antisemitism row at ‘tipping point’ as party warned not to sue whistleblowers | Politics News | Sky News

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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Will Damian Green retract ‘lie’ claim about porn found on his computer?

[Image: Reuters.]

Mr Quick makes a good – and timely – point.

Tories who are defending Mr Green have given up trying to claim that police did not find pornography on a computer in the First Secretary’s Parliamentary office in 2008.

Instead, they have admitted practices that suggest serious data protection breaches (Nadine Dorries), or suggested that the indecent material could have somehow downloaded itself onto the computer as if by magic (Eleanor Laing).

Neither seems plausible, but both seem to clearly accept that images were found on a computer for which Mr Green was responsible.

So Mr Green’s claim that Mr Quick was lying now appears to be highly actionable.

I wonder how he’ll respond.

A former senior police officer has demanded cabinet minister Damian Green publicly retracts a claim that he lied about pornography being found on a computer in the MP’s office in 2008.

Bob Quick said he would consider legal action against the first secretary of state if he did not do so.

In a tweet, Mr Green had described Mr Quick as “untrustworthy” and accused him of making “untrue” allegations.

Mr Green denies downloading or watching pornography on his work computers.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Quick said: “Damian Green called me a liar in the statement he tweeted on 4 November 2017. That is completely untrue.

“Everything I have said is accurate, in good faith, and in the firm belief that I have acted in the public interest.”

He added: “I am in no way motivated politically and bear no malice whatsoever to Damian Green.

“This is despite unfortunate and deeply hurtful attempts to discredit me.”

Source: Ex-police officer demands Damian Green retracts ‘lie’ claim – BBC News


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Our Mayfly prime minister’s #Brexit speech should get her squashed like the bloodsucking bug she is

Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday will set out her approach to Brexit and be keenly watched by ministers across the EU. Some of them may bring popcorn [Image: Hannah McKay/PA].

Theresa May seems determined to make as many mistakes as she possibly can.

If she continues with this bid to be one of the shortest-lasting prime ministers in UK history, we’ll be calling her Theresa Mayfly. In fact, let’s start now.

The gist of today’s (January 16) Guardian story appears to be that she is threatening the EU with the possibility that the UK will take its trade to the US, under a new agreement.

What, like the now-defunct Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

That project would have been an agreement between the US and the EU to cut the cost of trade – but the price would have been high.

The quality of goods would have been cut to the lowest common denominator – a considerable fall for products made in the EU, including the UK.

Working conditions would have been devalued, meaning workers in the UK would have lost many of their valued working rights. Mrs Mayfly is already working hard to strip you of those rights in any case.

And – crucially – the agreement would have given multinational companies the right to take national governments to court if any legislation they passed was likely to interfere with their profits. This would have sealed privatisation into the National Health Service, to name one obvious example.

TTIP was stopped because an international protest was launched against it, in which ordinary people came together across national borders to stand up for their rights, for the high quality of their goods, and for corporations to be put in their place.

It seems Mrs Mayfly is threatening to take those things away from UK citizens, despite the obvious and demonstrable public feeling.

If so, then the EU nations will laugh at her – and encourage her to continue.

Her threat will not harm them, you see. It will harm ordinary British people – like you.

It will give American corporations the opportunity to asset-strip the UK for anything worthwhile and leave a worthless husk in its place.

And it will give the EU nations opportunities they would not otherwise have had, if the UK did not enter into such a devastating deal.

If Theresa Mayfly makes this threat – and tries to follow up on it – she’ll have to go.

Theresa May will aim to strike a defiant tone in her upcoming Brexit speech on the risks to the rest of the EU of giving Britain a raw deal, echoing the combative approach taken by the chancellor.

In a speech by the prime minister on Tuesday that will be watched closely in EU capitals, Downing Street is keen to impress that there are potentially lucrative economic opportunities elsewhere, weeks before the UK is expected to trigger article 50.

There has been no decision about whether to publish a document setting out May’s approach to Brexit negotiations or let the prime minister’s speech stand as the plan, as she promised to MPs.

May is likely to emphasise Britain’s enthusiasm for pressing ahead with negotiating trade deals with countries including the US.

Source: Theresa May’s speech to warn EU of risk of giving UK a raw Brexit deal | Politics | The Guardian

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Is this the kind of NHS hip replacement operation that Lord Carter thinks is too pricey?

Earlier today, Vox Political reported that Labour’s Lord Carter had claimed some hip operations were “costing more than double the amount that they should, with some expensive replacements not lasting as long as cheaper ones”.

A quick stroll through the Internet has now turned up an example of the kind of operation it is likely he meant – and, don’t be surprised, it’s by a private healthcare company.

The report is a few years old (from 2012) but there’s no reason to believe standards have improved at all. Here’s what the Daily Mail had to say about one person’s experience:

Mrs Collett had been sent to the Haslar Hospital in Portsmouth, under a contract agreed between the NHS and Netcare, a South African health company.

When she came round from the surgery, she was shocked to be told she’d suffered a third-degree burn to her foot, which was scorched almost to the bone.

But worse was to come. She was also in constant pain from her hip replacement.

Within two months, it dislocated twice.

Mrs Collett says a GP told her the prosthesis in her leg was too short and was also loose because insufficient cement had been used to fix it.

The Mail reckoned 17 per cent of hip replacements were being carried out privately in 2012. It seems doubtful that this number has fallen in the years since.

Private healthcare is now monitored by the Care Quality Commission – but that organisation has itself come under fire for failings of its own.

A report by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, dated August 2014, states very clearly that the NHS is gambling with patients’ health every time it passes them on to the private sector:

The same requirements to report incidents do not apply to private providers as they do to the NHS, which in itself makes it hard to monitor how safe or otherwise private services are. Information about clinical negligence claims against private providers are not publicly available, as they are in the NHS.

Patients themselves have fewer rights in the private sector. Whilst there is a general requirement to operate a complaints procedure, unlike the NHS complaints procedure, those used by private providers afford no statutory rights to the complainant and there is no recourse to the Health Service Ombudsman in the case of private care. There is no statutory requirement to provide for independent advice and support with complaints which is the case with the NHS. Consequently it is much harder to hold a private provider to account.

Even taking legal action for clinical negligence against a private provider is more problematic than with the NHS, where everything is overseen by the NHS Litigation Authority. A claimant against a private provider can be faced with complications over whether it is the hospital or the individual surgeon or sub-contractor who is liable.

All too often, in addition to the patient who is harmed through no fault of their own, it is the NHS which ends up picking up the pieces (and the tab) when things go wrong in private healthcare.

Worse still, the Conservative Government is clearly complicit in this failure of care:

Bizarrely, as recently as [2014] the Government passed the Care Act, which exempted providers of privately funded care from the new criminal offence for providing false or misleading information to the regulators. As if this could only happen in a publicly run service.

So, if you’re an NHS patient sent to a private hospital for a hip replacement, you could come out in worse condition than you went in, with very little ability to gain financial redress or even to have the mistake corrected – and this is the way the government wants it.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Don’t be naive, Len – Cameron WANTS to lock privatisation into the NHS

140703NHS-TTIP

Unite’s secretary general Len McCluskey would be naive indeed to think David Cameron is ever likely to heed his call for the National Health Service to be kept out of the EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

McCluskey has warned that the NHS could be sued by American healthcare multinationals if a UK government tried to return services to state control; they would argue that such renationalisations interfered with their potential profits, in breach of the trade agreement, as has been discussed on this blog in the past.

His appeal misses the point. The entire thrust of Coalition government policy is to ensure that the NHS becomes vulnerable to just such pressure, in order to ‘lock in’ the privatisations inflicted on us by Andrew Lansley’s horrifying Health and Social Care Act 2012.

One has to look no further than Vince Cable for confirmation of this. The Whig business secretary (you can’t call him a Liberal Democrat any more, and as a commenter pointed out today, the government as a whole behaves more like the old-style Whig Party from the 19th century. If the cap fits…) told The Independent: “There is no suggestion whatever that the TTIP negotiations could be used to undermine the fundamental principles of the NHS or advancing privatisation.”

What he means by this is that – as far as he is concerned, advancing privatisation is a fundamental principle of the NHS since Andrew Lansley’s hateful Act of Parliament. Therefore the TTIP agreement can only contribute to that project.

He said: “Our focus for health is to enable our world-class pharaceutical and medical devices sectors to benefit from improved access to the US market.”

If we have world-class healthcare already, why do we need access to a market-driven system that can only drag us down into mediocrity? Clearly he is not talking about healthcare at all; he is talking about the health service as a source of profit. The “benefit” he describes can only be profit – income for shareholders in private companies that could not be accrued while they were excluded from NHS work.

Everybody involved in this betrayal should be imprisoned as a traitor, with Cable and Lansley first to be sent down.