Tag Archives: Rufus Hound

Meet the pain management nurse who is set to unseat Iain Duncan Smith

Kathryn Anderson

Kathryn Anderson

Gratitude is due to Andrew Sharp for notifying Vox Political of the one major omission in our story about the challenge to leading members of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition government by members of the National Health Action Party in next year’s general election.

Iain Duncan Smith will be challenged for his Chingford and Woodford Green constituency – not by a major media figure like, say, Rufus Hound, nor by a leading member of the NHA Party… but by a pain management nurse from North London.

Kathryn Anderson works at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital – but wants to make sure the people of Chingford and Woodford Green have a chance  to express their “disgust” at what she calls the work and pensions secretary’s “totally dismissive” attitude towards unwell, disabled or disadvantaged people who need assistance.

Who better to ram that point home than a nurse who spends every day working with people who suffer the chronic pain that is habitually dismissed as non-existent by the man this blog likes to call RTU (Returned To Unit – Army terminology for a failure)?

He might not say it himself but the work capability assessment his Department for Work and Pensions has forced on sick benefit claimants is nothing more than a crude essay in disability denial, written for him by an insurance company that earned a criminal conviction in the USA for using the very same formula to refuse claims on its policies.

“Just because this is considered a safe Tory seat doesn’t mean Iain Duncan Smith shouldn’t be challenged, and challenged fiercely,” the NHA Party candidate told the Chingford Guardian on Monday.

“As the deeply unpopular Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, he has shown just how incredibly cruel and vicious the Tory party can be, introducing the bedroom tax and making horrendous cuts to welfare and in the process, destroying lives. He has been far more interested in supporting the wealthy elite than supporting the vulnerable.

“It is also very clear that Iain Duncan Smith cares little for the NHS. The combination of his support for NHS cuts and privatisation, and his welfare reforms, are leading to an even greater reliance on healthcare support for those most in need.”

If Kathryn Anderson wins the seat, not only will the Monster of the Coalition Government be removed from Parliament, but a critical propaganda victory will be won – simply because she isn’t a political ‘Big Beast’.

She’s a nurse, from a London suburb.

Now, Labour is also fielding a candidate against RTU. Bilal Mahmood isn’t a ‘Big Beast’ either, but in the case of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, this is not an attempt to win a symbolic victory; rather it is a concession that a Labour victory in such a Tory heartland is nigh-on impossible. We should not dismiss Mr Mahmood’s abilities or intentions, but it is incumbent on all of us to admit that he has an uphill struggle ahead of him.

This is something the naysayers – who popped up after Monday’s article – failed to grasp when they claimed the rise of the National Health Action Party showed that Labour had become impotent: The chances of Labour winning in Chingford are tiny. The blue-rinsed brigade would rather chew off their own writing hands than get into bed with a Red.

The NHA Party offers an acceptable alternative. Its members are mainly doctors and other medical professionals who are deeply concerned that a major Conservative Party policy will bring nothing but harm to the nation as a whole – and habitual Conservative voters may sympathise wholeheartedly with that point of view.

Look at Lord Tebbit. He reckons he has been a lifelong user of the NHS and the only member of his family ever to have enjoyed privatised medicine is his dog!

As far as the good of the National Health Service is concerned, the aim of the 2015 General Election must be to remove the Conservative Party from office (and, in the main, from Parliament altogether) and then to remove the private sector asset-strippers from the publicly-funded system. That should come above all party political allegiances.

That is why Vox Political, which supports Labour, is happy to call on all those in Chingford and Woodford Green – and in all the other Tory-held constituencies where an NHA Party challenger has arisen – to support them in their campaigns. In particular, help them overcome media resistance.

Tory-supporting money owns most of the press, and this means dissenting voices that offer an alternative to the Conservatives are likely to gain only a fraction of the Tories’ column-inches or TV exposure. Social media and people power can change all that.

If you live in Chingford or Woodford Green and you want people to know there is a viable alternative to Iain Duncan Smith, then spread the word – not just once, but often, until the message gets through that they don’t have to be the quiescent sheep that Tory High Command wants them to be.

Use the social media. Use newspaper letters pages. Phone in to radio and TV political programmes. Cause a stir.

Of course, if NHA Party candidates unseat RTU, David Cameron and all the rest, it means Labour will be more likely to win the election anyway, so Yr Obdt Srvt will get the desired result. But some readers have expressed misgivings about Labour’s will to go through with the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act.

The presence of NHA Party members in the House of Commons will hold Labour to its word.

If you live in a Tory ‘stronghold’ constituency, this is your best chance to save the NHS.

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Rufus Hound to be candidate for National Health Action Party in the euro elections


Here’s the press release from the National Health Action Party, announcing that TV comic Rufus Hound will be a candidate for them in this year’s European Parliament elections.

Vox Political reported, late last year, how Rufus spoke passionately and eloquently on the BBC’s News Quiz about his fears for the future of the National Health Service under the Conservative-led Coalition government.

Rufus Hound will exclusively [exclusively? it’s all over the Interweb!] reveal he plans to run as an MEP for the National Health Action Party.

The actor, comedian and TV presenter, who’s currently rehearsing with Robert Lindsay for the upcoming West End play Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, is a well known NHS supporter and in a recent episode of the News Quiz on Radio 4 he launched a blistering attack on the government’s privatisation of the NHS.

Tonight [January 25], he’ll tell Jonathan Ross:

“I think I’m going to run as an MEP (Member of European Parliament). I’m going to run for the NHA (National Health Action Party) because the NHS is being privatised. The NHA is run by doctors and they’re not people who want to be politicians. I don’t want to run as an MEP, I really don’t. I want to dick about with this man (Robert Lindsay) because that’s a lot more fun, but I’m looking around for who is stepping forward and telling people about it and nobody is.”

The National Health Action Party was launched by doctors, health care workers and ordinary people just over a year ago in opposition to the government’s sneaky privatisation of the NHS and amid warnings of the disastrous impact of the government’s NHS reforms.

On Thursday one of our founding members, Dr Louise Irvine, who helped lead the successful campaign against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to save Lewisham Hospital, announced she was standing to be an MEP for London in May’s euro elections.

Dr Louise Irvine said today:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Rufus Hound has offered to stand for the NHA in the London euro election. It’s fantastic that he’s prepared to take action to help defend our NHS at a time when it’s in grave danger.  Together we can alert the public to the gravity of the threat to the NHS from this government with its programme of cuts, hospital closures and privatisation and to send a powerful message to politicians in Westminster and Brussels that people will not stand by and let their NHS be destroyed.

“It’s scandalous that most people don’t even realise that the government’s Health Act removed its “duty to provide” healthcare for you and your children.

“We also want to raise awareness of the imminent danger posed to the NHS by the EU/US trade agreement which will allow American companies to carve up the NHS and make the privatisation process irreversible.”

The NHA Party is led by the former independent MP for Wyre Forest, Dr Richard Taylor, who won a seat in two successive general elections over a local hospital issue, and by oncologist and co-chair of the NHS Consultants’ Association, Dr Clive Peedell.

Dr Clive Peedell said today:

“Rufus is so passionate and knowledgeable about the NHS and I’m delighted that he shares our view that the Coalition’s NHS reforms will transform a cost-effective public system of health care into one that will be more expensive, inefficient and unequal, wasting billions of pounds of tax payers’ money to implement while making patient care worse and corroding public trust in the NHS. With Rufus on board, we hope to spread that message far and wide.

“The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats outrageously broke their pre-election pledges that there would be no top down re-organisation of the NHS and no NHS privatisation. Yet this is precisely what their legislation and reforms are doing. There has been a shocking failure of democracy.

“We set up the National Health Action Party because we believe the NHS is under so much threat from commercialisation and privatisation, in which the Labour Party was complicit. We believe that a new political party is needed to defend the NHS and its values.

“None of us want to be politicians, but we have no choice but to engage with the political process to raise awareness of these crucial issues, which affect everyone in this country.

“A strong electoral result will put pressure on the Government to reverse its damaging reforms and exempt the NHS from the catastrophic EU/US Free Trade Agreement. The very survival of the NHS is at stake.”

Our entertainers give us facts while our politicians have nothing to say

Speaking their mind: Rufus Hound and Kate Nash had the courage to speak their mind about the NHS and education - but they don't have enough influence to change government policy. What will it take?

Speaking their mind: Rufus Hound and Kate Nash had the courage to voice their opinions about the NHS and education – but they don’t have enough influence to change government policy. What will it take to make that happen?

This could have been designed to follow my rant about politics being about perception: In response to a news report that NHS doctors’ surgeries have been found to be filthy, radio listeners were treated to a lengthy monologue on why the media are running down the health service to make it easier for the government to sell it out from under us.

This lesson was delivered, not by an eminent politician, but by the comedian Rufus Hound. He was speaking on Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

And he said: “Does this not scare anyone, though?

“There are a lot of stories coming out at the moment about all the ways that the NHS is failing. At the same time there is privatisation by stealth. Now, if you’re a conspiracy theorist, maybe those two things just resolve themselves. If you’re a normal person, you’ve got to become a conspiracy theorist, haven’t you?

“The number of contracts being put out to private companies has gone up through the roof. All of the pre-election promises of no privatisation of the NHS, and that the budget would be ring-fenced – it was ring-fenced but not in real terms, so it is a cut in the truest sense…

“The NHS is being sold out from under us, and yet all the stories that come out from the powerful oligarchs who run the media are either about how it’s failing and how much better off we’d be if it was privatised, or why privatisation can’t happen quickly enough for any one of a number of other reasons.

“The reason those surgeries are filthy is, there’s not enough investment to keep them clean and tidy. The argument isn’t ‘privatise’; the argument is ‘invest more’.

“In the Olympics, there was that big moment where they had ‘NHS’ and everybody stood up and applauded, and I think it was Norman Lamont who said, ‘The nearest thing the British people have to a religion is the NHS’ – and we’re just letting it go.

People should be on the streets.

“And I realise that, for this to make the edit, it should have a punchline.”

He knew, you see. He knew that this great speech was in danger of being lost if it wasn’t sufficiently entertaining.

Thank goodness producer Sam Michell kept it in, but it should not be up to an entertainer like Rufus to tell us these things. Such matters are the province of politicians. The simple fact that our representatives aren’t “on the streets” with us about this says everything we need to know about them.

Here’s another example: Education. I was in the unfortunate position of having to sit through Andrew Neil’s This Week on Thursday evening. I’m not a fan of that show, but it meant I was lucky enough to see former pop starlet Kate Nash, there to talk about her film (The Powder Room) and modern manners, slip in a quick observation about education that undermines everything ever said by Michael ‘rote-learning-is-the-only-way’ Gove.

She said, “There are certain things we need to be addressing, that are being completely missed – and that’s to do with education being inspiring and interesting for young people, rather than just about purely passing tests and pressure.”

She hit the nail on the head without even looking; Gove couldn’t find it with a map and a guide.

Again, she is an entertainer; she should not be having to say these things, but we should be glad that she did. The moment was glossed over entirely in the BBC News website report of the debate. Perhaps we should be happy that they didn’t edit the comment out altogether (it starts around two minutes, 15 seconds into the video clip).

We are left with politicians who refuse to do their duty and defend our services from those who would destroy them, and celebrities who are left to pick up the slack – if, with a biased media, they can find a way to keep their words from ending up on the cutting-room floor.

What hope can we possibly have that anyone with any clout will defend our beloved, but beleaguered, taxpayer-funded services?

Worst of all is the fact that it falls to people like myself to even write about these matters, and we all have lives of our own. Rufus and Kate made their speeches on Thursday; it is now Sunday, and I could not have written this article any sooner.

We’ve all heard that a lie can travel around the world several times before the truth has got its boots on. This is because the liars own the media, and those of us who are interested in the truth have small voices, are easily ignored, or can be dismissed because “it’s only entertainment”.

At least high-profile figures have a better chance of being heard. There will be those telling Rufus and Kate and who knows who else to get back in their box and shut up, but I won’t be one of them. I think we should be “on the streets” with them.

I’m wondering if any more members of ‘The Great And The Good’ will have the bottle to speak their mind.

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