Tag Archives: reaction

Reactions to NHS privatisation Bill scream how bad it is. No comment from Starmer though

Masked like a bandit, not to protect others: it seems Keir Starmer is funded by a private donor who profits from illness and injury and cannot be trusted to safeguard our NHS.

What a strange man Keir Starmer is. His name was on Labour’s amendment calling for the Health and Care Bill to go no further towards becoming an Act of Parliament – but, after it failed, he has nothing to say against the legislation.

This Writer has waited more than 24 hours for Starmer’s considered response to the progress of a Bill that will seriously harm the UK’s greatest institution – and his party’s greatest achievement. Not a dicky bird.

He seems to be almost entirely alone, though. Labour’s MPs had a ‘form’ tweet to send out:

Others had more to say:

The Open Democracy article states that, considering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has two choices: it can either support the NHS to meet its legal obligations to provide us with the healthcare we need for the years ahead – or it can reduce those obligations; reduce our rights to access healthcare.

It says the Health and Care Bill proposes reducing the government’s obligations to secure NHS care for us all, further than the Tories have gone already – and cutting our ability to get that care. This fits with the conclusions previously put forward by This Site.

Labour’s Jon Trickett highlighted something the Bill doesn’t address:

Well, I did say the Bill would not make it possible to employ a single extra nurse or treat a single extra patient. Perhaps I should have emphasized that medical staff who are already employed by the NHS would find it hard to survive on the meagre pay it provides in the future.

Trickett makes other good points:

Of course, Jeremy Corbyn warned us about the Tory threat to the NHS in the run-up to the 2019 general election, as Cornish Damo reminds us:

How curious that Keir Starmer hasn’t thought to remind anybody of that!

Perhaps he’d rather not be associated with anything said by his immediate forerunner – even though Mr Corbyn was right.

Then again, perhaps there’s a more vulgar explanation:

Is this the answer, then?

Will access to the National Health Service in England be restricted by the Tories – at the demand of their paymasters in private industries that profit from illness and injury – with only token opposition from Labour because Starmer’s paymasters are also in private industries that profit from illness and injury?

Is that why we haven’t heard a word from him about it?

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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Mike recovers from vaccine reaction. What’s been happening in the world?

Well, that was a lot of no fun.

Readers of This Site will recall I stopped posting articles on Monday, right after the piece about Dido Harding being a racist. I posted a tweet explaining that I had received my second dose of the Oxford/AstraZenica Covid-19 vaccine and was having a strong reaction against it, and that I was going back to bed.

Interestingly, the literature on reactions to the vaccine turned out to be entirely accurate; I read it on Sunday afternoon, right after having the shot and it said strong reactions could last up to four days. Yes indeed.

I didn’t stay in bed for all four days but this is the first chance I’ve had to get back to the site.

I’ll try to clear the decks of everything I was planning to write about, back on Monday (or, more accurately, Sunday). I’ll just quote from relevant news articles, possibly with a comment – as they are now “old news”, I’ll be posting more for historical interest rather than to make any hard-hitting points.

Looking to the future, I have been out of the loop for half a week, so I will be keen to find out what has been happening in the world and what you think is important (I think the signal-to-noise ratio in the news at the moment is very poor).

Let’s get back to work…

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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Theresa Mays ‘British Dream’ is a nightmare for the rest of us

Theresa May: Politically, she’s a dead woman walking [Art: Dave Brown].

To be honest, talking about it was a nightmare for her.

Theresa May’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference was a disaster from beginning to end – not just because of the stunt by ‘Lee Nelson’ performer Simon Brodkin, not because of her extended coughing fit, in which she choked on her own words, not even because, it seems, arcane forces contrived to knock an ‘F’ off the slogan on the backdrop behind her (“F off”? It’s a headline-writer’s dream).

It was a disaster because it was rubbish.

This Writer thought it might be worth examining just the start of the speech, to demonstrate what I mean.

She started by telling us her life story. Nobody cared. We didn’t care that she thought the Tories under Margaret Thatcher were the party with all the ideas. Neoliberalism is dying a slow death, determined to take as many of us with it as possible. We didn’t care that she said the Thatcher project required hard work and discipline – Tory MPs come from a societal stratum that doesn’t understand the meaning of hard work, and as for discipline, count how often they stab their leaders in the back.

Nobody cared about her platitude about a Tory promise that each new generation should be able to build a better future. If that was the promise, then it was broken before Margaret Thatcher ever stood on the steps of Number 10. She planned the impoverishment of every working person in the UK and people like Theresa May have seen that project through, almost to its successful conclusion.

So when she said that dream was what she believes in, nobody cared. In fact, it was a turn-off.

She correctly identified the reason: “40 years later, for too many people in our country, that dream feels distant, our party’s ability to deliver it is in question, and the British Dream that has inspired generations of Britons feels increasingly out of reach.”

After 40 years, the Tories had failed to deliver on its promise. In fact, they have deliberately worsened conditions for the vast majority of the population. That should have been the moment she announced her resignation, called a general election, and left the stage.

And what’s all this nonsense about a “British dream”? She repeated the phrase more than 20 times during this benighted speech, as though it meant something. It didn’t. She was simply trying to copy the success of the “American dream” as an idea in the US. But recycled ideas, bought off-the-shelf, don’t work. We all knew what she was doing and we weren’t having any of it.

https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/915618317876031489

(Although I notice the BBC seems to have swallowed it wholeheartedly, Radio 4’s PM programme happily repeating the nonsense.

At least she apologised for calling a ‘vanity’ election and running a lousy campaign.

She continued: “The choice before us now is clear. Do we give up, spend our time looking back?”

Yes. Conservatives are a backward-looking organisation that has nowhere left to go.

“Or do we do our duty, look to the future and give the country the government it needs?”

Yes – by throwing in the towel and letting Labour take over.

This country will judge us harshly if we get this decision wrong.

Yes we will.

“Because all that should ever drive us is the duty we have to Britain and the historic mission of this party – this Conservative Party – to renew the British Dream in each new generation.”

A “historic” mission to renew an idea symbolised in a phrase that Mrs May had literally just mentioned? Give us a break.

“The dream that, for decades, has inspired people from around the world to come to Britain. To make their home in Britain. To build their lives in Britain.”

And then to be accused of being illegal immigrants after somebody saw Mrs May’s racist “go home” vans a few years ago, perhaps?

So far, her speech had been easily-dispelled waffle. Apparently the next section was subtitled “The good a Conservative government can do.” Let’s look at her claims.

“Seven years ago, our challenge was to repair the damage of Labour’s great recession – and we did it.”

Whose “great recession”? It has now been firmly established that the recession was caused by an international banking crisis and had very little to do with the Labour government that was well on the way to re-balancing our finances when the Tories turned up, hand in hand with the Liberal Democrats, and flushed us all down the toilet.

“The deficit is down.”

But the Tories promised to eliminate it by 2015 – two years ago.

“Spending is under control.”

But the Tories have announced £15 billion of unfunded spending since the election.

“And our economy is growing again.”

Debatable.

“An income tax cut for over 30 million people.”

A huge mistake when you’re trying to pay off a deficit. Better to increase wages and therefore ability to pay tax.

“Four million taken out of paying it at all.”

A sign of failure. They don’t earn enough. What happened to the promise that each generation would do better than the last?

“Employment up to a record high.”

On zero-hour contracts. If everyone worked just one hour a year, the Tories would claim full employment (not my line).

“Unemployment down to a historic low.”

Because so many jobseekers have been sanctioned – some of them into the grave.

“Income inequality at its lowest for thirty years.”

The most doubtful statistic This Writer has seen in nearly a quarter of a century as a news reporter.

“More women in work than ever before.”

Forced there to make ends meet for their families, or because they cannot afford to retire.

“Over 11,000 more doctors in our NHS.”

All of whom started training under Labour.

“Over 11,000 more nurses on our hospital wards.”

And nobody taking up new training places because the Tories have poisoned nursing as a career.

“Free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds doubled.”

Postcode lottery?

“1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools.”

Have the Tories lowered standards, then?

“3 million more apprenticeships.”

How many full-time jobs at the end of them?

“Crime down by more than a third.”

Is that reported crime? Recorded crime? Or actual crime?

“More young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university than at any time in the history of our country.”

And getting hugely into debt.

“Britain leading the world in tackling climate change,”

With fracking?

“eradicating global poverty,”

By importing it all here?

“and countering terrorism wherever it rears its head.”

A sick joke. Five successful terror attacks in the UK this year – and this year isn’t over. Mrs May herself ordered the cuts that made the police less able to investigate and prevent terrorism.

“Same sex marriage on the statute book, so that two people who love each other can get married, no matter what their gender.”

This was a certainty in any case. A Labour government would have brought it in if the Tories had not.

“And a National Living Wage – giving a pay rise to the lowest earners – introduced not by the Labour Party, but by us, the Conservative Party.”

A living wage would pay enough for a person/family to be able to provide for themselves without relying on any benefits at all. The Tory living wage does not allow this and is, therefore, a lie.

“Never allow the Left to say they have a monopoly on compassion.”

Next, Mrs May moved on to a particularly cringeworthy passage in which she tried to claim that Tories fight injustice. At the end of every anecdotal example she mentioned, she said, “That’s what I’m in this for.”

No. She’s in this for power and money. We all know this because, despite calling an election to satisfy her own vanity and losing her Parliamentary majority, Mrs May did not do the decent thing – she clung on, first by lying to the Queen about having done a deal with the DUP, then by doing a deal with them, then by rigging the composition of Parliamentary committees to give the Tories a majority they do not deserve. She is continuing as prime minister because she wants power for its own sake.

Let’s move on to the reactions before I lose the will to live.

The following are trawled from Twitter and have been chosen because they are either relevant or gave me a giggle. Enjoy – you need some light relief after the above:

https://twitter.com/BootstrapCook/status/915549142541271040

And:


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A few words about respect

141224respect

Blogger kittysjones put out a very interesting article yesterday (Tuesday) entitled Greens: the myth of the “new left” debunked in which the position claimed by the Green Party – that of being the ‘true party of the Left’ – is disputed. The article states:

“The Green Party do not have an underpinning ideology that can be described as left-wing at all. Some of the links with far-right and fascist ideology are very worrying.The fact that the Greens have themselves chosen to regard the Labour Party as their enemy means that they don’t see a potential ally, yet they manage very well in coalition councils, working amicably side-by-side and cooperatively with Tory and Liberal Democrats.

“Don’t let them fail the people of Britain by voting Green next year and allowing the Tories to remain in government another five years. People are suffering and dying as a consequence of Tory austerity; we need to ensure that ends. Vote Labour. That is the genuinely socialist thing to do.”

What is even more interesting than the article (which provides evidence to support its claims) is the reaction to it by some supporters of the party it criticises.

Here’s one: “You really must be running scared to write what you know to be utter rubbish. Thank you for invoking Godwin’s law because it just makes Liebour look all the more desperate and ridiculous.” The author of this comment was unwilling to put their own name to it, being described merely as ‘A Green Nazi’ – interestingly, because Godwin’s Law is, of course, the application of an inappropriate comparison with the Nazis.

The article does indeed compare Green ideology with that of the Nazis, but it does so on the basis of clearly-referenced evidence; therefore it would be wrong to suggest that the comparison is inappropriate. On the other hand, the commenter’s inability or unwillingness to provide any evidential argument against the assertions, relying on disparagement (“utter rubbish”) and insults (“Liebour”) suggest that in fact they are “running scared”, “desperate” and “ridiculous”.

The author’s response was one to which Yr Obdt Srvt has had to resort many times: “If it’s ‘utter rubbish’ then why don’t you explain how, in what way you disagree, rather than being a fascist and proving my point, by simply stooping to insulting the author?” This reply generally provokes one of only two possible responses: Silence, or invective.

Another comment (this one by ‘Nuggy’ – again, not likely to be their real name) attempted to twist the article into a gross generalisation: “Equating all greens with Malthus is like equating all socialists with Pol Pot or Kim Il Sung.”

It was easily put down by a reference to accuracy: “I equated the cited green policies with the ideas of Malthus.” [italics mine]

There was an (unintentially?) hilarious suggestion that the article was libellous; it isn’t, as anyone with knowledge of the laws of defamation will confirm.

And then there were the insults, first mentioned in a reply to Tim Barnden (at last, someone with a real name!) who asked: “Why are you moderating out most replies Ms Jones? Are you in fact not up for a debate?”

This was a continuing theme on the comment column, and the replies indicate the kind of pressure that was being brought to bear by people claiming to represent the Green Party: “I’m up for debate, just not up for allowing personal abuse and bullying on my site… I have had hundreds of comments from largely abusive green supporters… I am getting some pretty terrible personal abuse from Green supporters. But not much criticism of the content and details in the article, unfortunately.”

The Green Party isn’t the only political organisation whose supporters behave in this way.

Vox Political has received exactly the same responses (in different contexts, obviously) from supporters of the Conservative Party (although admittedly this has tailed off considerably since VP was launched in 2011), Scottish nationalism (including the SNP), and most particularly UKIP.

Many, many examples are available if anyone wants to question the truth of this claim.

It’s simply not good enough.

Perhaps those of you who consider this behaviour to be acceptable (it isn’t) may be persuaded against it if sites like VP and kittysjones parcelled up all your abuse and sent it to the head offices of these political parties as examples of how their supporters represent them?

You see, there are rules to this kind of debate and it seems too many people are breaking them. That’s just damned disrespectful and there’s no reason anyone should put up with it.

So, if you are one of those who types out streams of profanity and hits the ‘send’ button before engaging your brain, it’s time to change your ways.

This site values informed debate. We appreciate it; sometimes it can even be persuasive (in VP‘s case this has occurred several times).

But from now on, anything else will receive an appropriate response.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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‘Purred like a kitten’ did she, Cameron? That’s no way to discuss the Queen!

kittencomment

Don’t read this on a full stomach or you may lose your lunch. It seems David Cameron has been overheard discussing how he broke the news to Her Majesty, the Queen, that Scotland had voted to remain in the United Kingdom and keep her as their monarch. “She purred down the line,” he said to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Here’s how the Daily Mirror reacted:

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