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When Tories claim NHS money was wasted, show them this

by Newswire     July 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

John Appleby, Chief economist at the The King’s Fund and a columnist at the British Medical Journal today ripped apart claims made by Fraser Nelson at the Spectator on the NHS.

In a series of tweets he replied to and dissected each claim one by one.

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UPDATE
Fraser Nelson adds

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And gets this reply

Rod Liddle apologises for ‘black savages’

by Sunny Hundal     May 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm

First, professional troll Rod Liddle wrote:

I was slightly puzzled by the early media reports of the appalling murder in Woolwich and particularly the wrangling over whether or not this could be called ‘a terrorist attack’. Does it make much difference? Two black savages hacked a man to death while shouting Allahu Akbar; that’s really all you need to know, isn’t it?

Then, today, after outrage on Twitter, the Spectator editors deleted the word ‘black’, and Liddle offered this apology

To avoid the ludicrous phrase ‘men of Muslim appearance’ I originally used the word ‘black’ to describe the appearance of the knifemen. If anyone took that wrong way, I’m very sorry.

This is only slightly ridiculous than the original comment (by everette tforge service). Why is it necessary to refer to their appearance at all?

Do we describe the pigmentation of every criminal in the UK?

PS – Rod Liddle never got back to us earlier about whether he wrote these racist messages on the Millwall FC website under a pseudonym.

Boris to spend £160k asking why he’s not more popular

by Sunny Hundal     April 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

London Mayor Boris Johnson is spending £160,000 of taxpayers’ money to learn why more Londoners don’t think he’s listening to them.

No, seriously.

The details were revealed today by London Labour, who said they were “stunned” that Boris was wasting money on such research while cutting London’s police and fire services.

Details of the research project are outlined here by the Greater London Authority.

The aim of the £160,000 research project is increase the “perception that the Mayor listens to the views of London”.

The aim is to raise “awareness, knowledge and therefore satisfaction with the mayor”. It will cost the Greater London Authority £160,000.

In other words Boris is spending £160k of our money to find out how he can look more in touch and popular. The annual survey of Londoners’ views in 2011 suggested 20% felt informed about the work of the mayor and the GLA, compared to 37% in 2007.

Leader of the Labour Group on the London Assembly Len Duvall AM said:

At a time of austerity and deep cuts to our police and fire services, I am stunned that Boris is spending £160,000 on surveys to find out what Londoners think about him. What planet is he on if he thinks this is a priority, it is completely egotistical. Does this have anything to do with him going for a national seat in London?

It isn’t the first time Boris is accused of wasting money on vanity projects.

He launched a ‘New Bus For London’ – which cost over £11 million for the first five vehicles versus £350k each for off-the-shelf hybrid double deckers

He also blew tens of millions of our money on a cable car ride across the river, which hardly anyone uses and has to be subsidised by taxpayers.

Best summary of Osborne’s position on the economy

by Sunny Hundal     April 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Good news Tories, the deficit is actually up*!

Welcome to the ‘deficit-deniers’ club. A bit late but you got here eventually. We’re especially glad that George Osborne has also joined us.

The economist Jonathan Portes has offered the pithiest and the best summary of Osborne’s true position today:

We reduced the deficit by a third in our first two years in government, mostly by massive cuts to public investment, which we now understand were a big mistake and have damaged the economy. We’ve also now realised that trying to reduce the deficit further while the economy isn’t growing is self-defeating, so we’re not even going to try to get back on track until it does grow. We won’t miss our fiscal targets, since we no longer really have any. If the IMF understood that we’re not really going anywhere, perhaps they would stop telling us to change course.

Boom!


* technically the deficit is down, but only thanks to lots of accounting tricks.

BBC: only short-clip of ‘Ding dong’ to be played

by Sunny Hundal     April 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

The BBC has officially announced that it will only play a “short clip” of the ‘Ding Dong the Witch is dead’ song if it reaches the top 40.

A statement by the press office states:

The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned. On Sunday, the Radio 1 Chart Show will contain a news item explaining why the song is in the charts during which a short clip will be played as it has been in some of our news programmes.

A longer blog by Radio 1 controller says:

On one side there is the understandable anger of large numbers of people who are appalled by this campaign. On the other there is the question of whether the chart show – which has run since the birth of Radio 1 in 1967 – can ignore a high new entry which clearly reflects the views of a big enough portion of the record buying public to propel it up the charts. Above all, in the middle of this furore is a grieving family.

Nobody at Radio 1 wishes to cause offence but nor do I believe that we can ignore the song in the chart show, which is traditionally a formal record of the biggest selling singles of the week. That in turn means that all songs in the chart become an historic fact.

I’ve therefore decided exceptionally that we should treat the rise of the song, based as it is on a political campaign to denigrate Lady Thatcher’s memory, as a news story. So we will play a brief excerpt of it in a short news report during the show which explains to our audience why a 70-year-old song is at the top of the charts.

A short clip? The song is only 51 seconds long!

Local newspapers across UK less glowing about Thatcher

by Sunny Hundal     April 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

While the national press has mostly been over-the-top glowing about Margaret Thatcher, apart from the honourable exception of the Mirror, local newspapers are less flowery today.

While not exactly negative, they do a better job of reflecting that Thatcher’s legacy was not welcomed by a significant portion of the population.

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(ht Sands Media Services)

Margaret Thatcher Dies

by Newswire     April 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the first and only woman to ever serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has died at the age of 87.

This tweet seems apt

Today will be summed up by this pie chart created by Martin Belam

Doctor to run from Leeds to Sheffield to save the NHS

by Newswire     March 31, 2013 at 10:16 am

The National Health Action Party leader Dr Clive Peedell will literally be running to save the NHS next week – in an ultra-marathon from Leeds to Sheffield.

The consultant oncologist, who co-founded the NHA Party last November following serious concerns about the Coalition Government’s NHS reforms, will be running an ultra-marathon on April 6th to draw attention to the introduction of Health & Social Care Act – and the role of the Lib Dems in allowing it to pass into law.

Dr Clive Peedell is also highlighting the need to oppose controversial NHS competition regulations which currently force Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to put services up for a bidding war with the private sector rather than allowing them to choose for themselves if they want to use publicly provided NHS services.

There is now a crucial vote on these amended section 75 regulations in the House of Lords on April 24th.

Dr Peedell says:

As the new legislation takes effect on April 1st 2013, it signals the end of the English National Health Service as we know it. We will have an English Health Service, not an NHS.

To mark this momentous point in the history of the NHS, a mock death certificate of the NHS will be signed at the start of the “Cleggython”, which aims to raise public awareness of the role the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats have played in dismantling and increasingly privatising our NHS, despite having no democratic mandate to this.

He will be running 35 miles from the Department of Health in Leeds to Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency, dressed up as David Cameron.

Fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson, who will be running alongside, will be dressed up as ‘Cleggy’ the poodle.

The astonishing collapse in British construction output

by Sunny Hundal     March 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

This is shocking news and should be, in theory, a big wake-up call for George Osborne.

BBC News reports:

The output of the UK’s construction sector dropped sharply in January from a year earlier, figures show. Construction output for the month was down 7.9% compared with January 2012, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index suggested the sector has contracted every month since October last year.

And more from Twitter

Wonder if George Osborne will do anything to reverse this steep drop.

Last time, construction was blamed for pushing the UK back into a double-dip recession. Don’t count out the triple-dip yet.

Update:

Anti-cuts Birmingham group runs blockade on budget day

by Guest     March 3, 2013 at 10:05 am

by Kara Moses

On Tuesday over 100 people gathered in Birmingham to blockade the the council house in a determined fight back against the drastic cuts – £625m over the next few years – being voted through by the city council meeting inside the iconic building.

Blockading began at 8am with fencing, rubbish and giant planters being piled up at the car park entrance. Over the course of the day around 100 people blockaded every entrance to the council house by linking arms and courageously resisting police and councillor’s attempts to break through and enter.

A few scuffles broke out but no one was hurt or arrested. Blockades continued right up until the budget meeting started, councillors having been snuck in through back entrances by police.

This was the latest in a series of recent actions taken by a rapidly growing anti-cuts movement in Birmingham. This movement has seen hundreds of people mobilising, new local groups being formed across the city and previously insular groups uniting to work together.

After an occupation of the council house balcony on the day of the Labour group meeting, Facebook followers of Communities Against the Cuts which led the occupation doubled to more than 300. In January an emergency public meeting called by CATC and other groups drew in 175 people to discuss the impact of the cuts on Birmingham and what could be done to fight back.

Working groups and local action groups were formed from the meeting and the movement has been growing since.

This movement is inspiring and empowering people in Birmingham and beyond. There is already talk of similar actions around Sheffield council’s budget meeting in March.

This is only the beginning of a long-term strategy of resistance. On March 16th a city-wide anti-cuts conference is being held to discuss and decide where to go next, including plenary, discussion and workshops.

This is being held on the same day as a national Councillors Against the Cuts meeting and will involve a delegate swap to engage in dialogue with councillors who are taking a stand against the cuts.

Those in or near Birmingham are encouraged to attend, and those outside of Birmingham to join or form your own local groups and cross-city meetings to organise and plan your resistance.

www.savebirmingham.wordpress.com
http://communitiesagainstthecuts.com
www.councillorsagainstcuts.org
CATC on Facebook


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