Recent Articles

Nine things you can do to halt Lansley’s destruction of our NHS

by Éoin Clarke     May 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

1. Submit a freedom of information request. You’ll receive an answer within 20 working days and if you ask the right questions you could transform supporters of the NHS’s ability to fight Lansley’s privatisation. I use “whatdotheyknow” for my queries as they are the most user friendly way of submitting a query. You can also browse the other types of queries asked there to give yourself ideas about how to word yours.

2. Choose a NHS provider, not a private one when you get your choice of operation. Under Labour legislation you have the right to insist that you are given the choice of opting to be treated by the NHS. So, if your operation or consultation letter arrives with no NHS choice, you can insist on being given one. This will keep demand/custom within the National Health Serivce and make it harder for Lansley to justify flogging it.
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Labour’s last ditch attempt to expose the NHS Risk Register today

by Éoin Clarke     March 5, 2012 at 8:30 am

Today the Information Rights Tribunal will meet to hear the Department of Health’s Appeal against the legal decision of the Information Commissioner to require publication of the NHS Transition Risk Register for its NHS reorganisation.

The Information Commissioner’s judgements follow FoI requests made by John Healey MP, the former Shadow Health Secretary, in November 2010 and the Evening Standard in February 2011, respectively.

The Tribunal will be held in public.
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The NHS London Risk Register that exposes Lansley

by Éoin Clarke     February 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

This is the link to the London NHS Risk Assessment that was sent to the central DoH civil servants drawing up the Risk Register & Report.

You can read it here.

Earlier in the week I revealed that the Risk Register reported that costs could not be controlled as GPs inexperience in Commissioning as well as Private Providers not offering competitive rates meant that costs could ‘surge’. You can read my report here.

I have selected 3 screen prints from the report to save you slogging your way through it. See below for the first one.

London NHS’s Risk Register categorically warns that the ‘deteriorations in the financial positions of one or more NHS organisations’.  

That jargon is put simply is saying that Practices could go bust or require central intervention to prop up their financial position.  The screen print from the Risk Report also warns of economic ‘slippage’ & ‘cost pressures’ arising.

This is quite explicit that the financial viability of the Tory NHS bill is seriously questionable.

This screen dump from the London NHS risk report categorically states that Commissioning groups (GPs) may ‘not be able to secure [services] […] within the running cost range’.

The potential consequences raised by the London report are that ‘quality’ of health care may be ‘poor’. The London report also says that there may be a ‘skills deficit’ among commissioners (GPs). This chimes with my report that GPs did not have the required experience.

Now the government needs to publish the full risk register so that we can see the true horror of the damage their bill will cause to our NHS.

Please ask your MP to sign this EDM calling for the Risk Register to be published (here).

Why hasn’t Cameron disowned Anne Widdecombe’s ‘cure gays’ article?

by Éoin Clarke     February 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

The Daily Epxress on Wednesday gave a platform to Anne Widdecombe to peddle her ‘cure gay people’ mantra. You can read it here.

A man who wants to be a woman will receive not only the necessary operations but also a huge amount of psychological support and counselling.

So will the infertile who desperately want children. Yet the unhappy homosexual should, according to gay activists, be denied any chance whatever to investigate any possibility of seeing if he can be helped to become heterosexual.

Not only is this a breach of the ethical standards of journalism, it is an incitement to anti-gay verbal and physical attacks.
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YouGov changes that deflate Labour’s polling

by Éoin Clarke     January 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

YouGov polling made two changes to its methodology recently that have the effect of reducing Labour support in their polls by 1-2%.

1) YouGov weight their sample by Newspaper Readership (and have always done so) – but recently the number of ‘Daily Mirror’ readers in their sample has been cut sharply. YG are simply updating their readership weightings. This has the effect of reducing Labour’s support to the benefit of the other parties since about c.60% of Daily Mirror readers vote Labour.

2) YouGov used to weight all of the ‘others’ (UKIP, BNP, SNP, Plaid, Greens) together in one lump based upon the % others got at the 2010 General Election. They have changed this to weight the Scottish & Welsh nationalists separately. This, especially in a year of assembly elections, has the effect of hurting Labour support, more so in Scotland.

YG say that they had some issues in attracting satisfactory weightings of SNP voters. It is my belief that Labour’s traditional strong showing in their Scottish heartlands has been tempered somewhat since the Holyrood campaign of 2011.

A chunk of Labour’s boost in the typical YG poll used to (2010) come from their often 50%+ showings in Scotland but that has been markedly reduced as Scottish voters in many ways still think and reply to polls with their Holyrood cap on.

It might also be mentioned that ICM polling assume that 50% of the ‘Don’t Know’ replies they receive from poll respondents will return to the party they voted for at the last election.

This, especially in the case of the Liberal Democrats has the effect of boosting them in ICM polls by 2.2% usually to the expense of Labour since voters have left yellow to the ratio of 2:1 in favour of Labour over the Tories. It is one of the reasons that Labour have always scored less high with ICM post 2010.

As Labour now hover on 40% with YouGov, just a few months ago the same polling company would have been recording 41-2% for Labour (or thereabouts) based upon the same responses from their poll respondents.

Who will point out George Osborne’s extra spending?

by Éoin Clarke     January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

On the 22 June 2010 George Osborne said he would spend £697bn in this financial year. That has changed fairly dramatically since then.

His deficit reduction strategy masquerades itself as Geddes Axe but it bears more resemblance to Timmy Mallet.

Someone needs to stand up and point out that George ’emperor’ Osborne isn’t wearing any clothes.
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Ten policies announced in Ed Miliband’s speech today

by Éoin Clarke     January 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Today Ed Miliband gave a speech on the economy. Here are ten policy proposals he put forward.

1. A Living Wage – The speech that preceded Ed’s focused upon the living wage and Ed made it an early theme of his own speech. Ed went much further than before in lending his support.

2. Tuition Fee reduction of 33-40%. It looks unlikely that Ed will go further but he did firm up his idea that he raised at the last conference.
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Ed Miliband tried to persuade against Iraq

by Éoin Clarke     January 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

The rights and wrongs of the Iraq invasion are more of an historical debate now than a piece of current affairs, but I am moved to write this piece after feedback I received at the weekend from 65 former Labour party members & voters (here) who had quit the party.

The number 1 reason voters deserted the Labour Party based upon the 65 responses I received was the Iraq war.

I wonder if revelations that Ed Miliband attempted to prevent the war in Iraq will cause any former party voters to rethink? 

The release of the Chilcott Inquiry’s findings are imminent, and it was during the course of research for a piece I am writing on that that I came across Mehdi Hasan’s piece (here).

I came across a piece by Mehdi’s by chance, and it is one that I had not seen before (which surprises me in itself), but it is interesting because it argues that Ed Miliband tried to persuade Gordon Brown to prevent No. 10 from supporting the March 2003 Iraq Invasion.

Medhi argues that Ed rang up Gordon Brown from Boston and attempted to dissuade him.

Ed Miliband was not an MP at the time, but he did use his first speech as leader of the Labour Party to apologise for the Iraq war and condemn Labour were wrong to support the invasion of Iraq (here)

Cameron has a history of mocking people

by Éoin Clarke     January 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

2009: Cameron mocks Peter Mandelson as ‘an alien life form’ (here)

2010: Cameron mocks Speaker John Bercow as a ‘dwarf’ (here

2010: Cameron jokes about pleasuring Peter Bone’s wife (here

2011: Cameron mocks a Labour Woman MP telling her to ‘Calm Down Dear’ (here)

2011: Cameron mocked Dorries as being ‘fustrated’ (here)

2012: Cameron mocks Balls and Tourette’s sufferers (here)

Ten admissions the Labour party should own up to before voters will listen

by Éoin Clarke     December 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

1. New Labour had run out of ideas & steam by 2010. 

2. We deserved to lose the 2010 Election.

3. We, New Labour, breached your trust by mismanaging European expansion in 2005 & and the Lisbon Treaty.
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