Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quote of the Day

Alan Milburn says Labour’s scaremongering campaign for an unreformed NHS will not win election…

“It would be a fatal mistake, in my view, for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the National Health Service but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming. Look, reforms are not easy, but the Labour Party is not a conservative party. It should be about moving things forward not preserving them in aspic. You have got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign, and maybe it will have the same outcome. I don’t know.”

WATCH: Angry Burnham’s Newsnight Nightmare

Andy Burnham’s car crash with Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark is well worth a watch:

A very tetchy Shadow Health Secretary began the interview by admitting “there is a role for the private sector”, then piled into the Tories for putting “all services” at the hands of the market. As Kirsty politely pointed out, only 6% of NHS services have been outsourced to the private sector, and the vast majority of that was done by Burnham’s Labour government:

When Wark asked for “a straight answer” on how much Labour would allow to be outsourced – “a number, a number please” – Burnham refused, saying: “I’m not going to put a number on it” and that responsibility for this was at local level. The Tory outsourcing so aggressively decried by Burnham is just 1.5% more than he implemented, and he won’t even commit to reducing it. 

Perhaps Burnham’s bad mood was something to do with this morning’s front pages, which report Labour figures have responded to his big speech yesterday by laying into the party’s NHS strategy.

As Miliband centres Labour’s election campaign on the NHS, public satisfaction is at an all time high

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Exclusive: Massive NHS Network Failure: “Most Users Affected”

nhs

Another day, another NHS crisis. TechnoGuido can reveal there has been a massive internal IT failure causing chaos in hospitals across the country. The NHS internal broadband network known as N3 has gone down with most users affected nationwide. The N3 network connects over 1.3 million NHS staff and supports both the Electronic Transmission of Prescriptions and the NHS Care Records Service. It is also the means by which NHS staff connect to the internet.

An NHS source tells TechnoGuido the problem “seems to be nationwide and most users are affected”There are rumours NHS staff are resorting to fax machines…

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cameron: “Disgraceful” Miliband “Did Say Those Words”

Time and time again Miliband refused to tell Andrew Marr if he used the word “weaponise” to discuss cynically politicising the NHS. The PM isn’t going to let him forget it:

“I heard that Ed Miliband had used this remark about ‘weaponising’ the NHS and that is why I put that to him in the House of Commons because frankly I think it was an appalling thing to say. The NHS is not a weapon… Having watched that exchange on Andrew Marr where he was wriggling like an eel, it is absolutely clear to me that he did say those words and that is why he wouldn’t deny it. And I think in one moment we learned more about Labour’s attitude to the NHS than we’ve learned perhaps for five years. They just see it as a political weapon and frankly I think that is disgraceful.”

Ed has to do better than “I can’t recall”…

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ex-Shadow Health Minister: NHS is our Best “Lethal” Weapon

Diane Abbott – who was appointed a Shadow Health Minister by Ed Miliband – was moonlighting as ever on the BBC last night, and discussing her party leader’s toxic ‘weaponising the NHS’ quote. Ed has yet to deny he used the unfortunate turn of phrase, and dear old Diane went in with two left feet:

“The NHS has the power to harm Tory MPs. It is lethal because the public understand it. And it is actually now our best card.”

Remember how Andy Burnham sobbed and accused others of politicising the Mid-Staffs. Well this is how former members of his team discuss peoples lives as a political weapon…

Hinchingbrooke Hospital Was Privatised By Burnham

What of Labour’s response to this morning’s news that Circle in Hinchingbrooke, the first privatised NHS hospital, wants to exit their contract. Despite Andy Burnham’s repeated attempts to distance himself from the hospital, he made the decision to put the contract out to tender to private companies when he became Health Secretary in 2009. Circle themselves sayit was clear by the end of 2009 that Hinchingbrooke would be run by a private company”. Hinchingbrooke hospital was privatised by Labour…

That said, Circle’s record at delivering value for taxpayer money has not been bad:

“Since Circle took on Hinchingbrooke in early 2012, the hospital has been transformed. Hinchingbrooke faced closure. It was described as a ‘basket case’.  We invested in the quality of care, in staff and in facilities. Now, it has won a number of awards. It consistently hits the most important outcome measures, including low mortality rates, excellent patient feedback, and meeting all major waiting time targets. In the first two years of the franchise, Circle made financial savings significantly above the NHS average. We have saved the taxpayer approximately £23 million.”

Circle were losing money, that is unsustainable for an enterprise mutual or otherwise. Companies will always fail in free markets, the difference is they foot the bill rather than the taxpayer…

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Envy of the World Update

nhs

36 hours after the Tories launched their election campaign, these are the headlines in the popular press. It could hardly come at a worse time for the Sun to inform its 2 million readers that under Cameron:

  • A&E waiting times at worst since records began
  • Record low Christmas performance for major A&E units
  • 21,000 patients waited 12 hours on trolleys in two weeks up to Christmas
  • Number of people using A&E over Christmas period up 70,000 on last year

Andy Burnham is gleefully touring the TV studios this morning demanding a summit where he can tell Jeremy Hunt how he “repeatedly warned throughout this Parliament that severe cuts” would cause an A&E crisis. Forget the actual long-term structural causes, this is a political gold mine for Labour…

Pic via @DavidPrescott

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Miliband’s New Year Message Seems Familiar

Seems like Team Miliband have decided to play soundbite bingo for their New Year message:

“We have the chance- all of us together- to fight for a new plan that cuts our deficit responsibly, without threatening our NHS or short changing our children and their future.

But if we could walk through those fires, we surely can meet the problems of our time. We can build a country that works for everyday people. Change is possible if we reach for it. If you are one of the millions of people who think Britain can do a lot better, I am with you. I am with you and this year, together, we can bring about the change we need.”

The only problem is he is yet to reveal what this plan actually is…

The whole message is almost identical to Cameron’s 2010 New Year message on the eve of the last election:

“David Cameron says 2010 should be ‘year for change’. Laying out his priorities, the Tory leader said he aimed “to create a fairer, safer, green country where opportunity is more equal”. He pledged to protect the NHS and strengthen the economy by instigating “responsible economic policies”. 

And did Labour say at the time? According to the BBC, they ‘said the speech lacked specific policy details and was “full of platitudes”.’ Ooops…

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Osborne’s Kwasi NHS Spending Pledge

Kwasi Kwarteng isn’t backing down from his comments splashed in the Indy that NHS spending will have to be cut to clear the deficit:

“My general point was that if you’re going to have a serious debate about deficit reduction, everything has to be on the table. Now I’m not saying we’re going to cut the NHS, what I am saying is that there’s a serious deficit problem and you have to start thinking quite radical things if you are serious about dealing with the deficit. The alternative is to keep borrowing money indefinitely.”

Osborne has just announced £3 billion worth of extra cash for the NHS…

Monday, November 10, 2014

Red Prince Vows “End to Tory Privatisation of NHS”…
…But Takes Donation From Boss of Top Private Contractor

“We have a chance to stop the Tory privatisation in its tracks,” Will Straw told voters in Rossendale as he launched a petition calling for “an end” to private firms making profit in the NHS. Labour’s Red Prince even invited Tessa Jowell along for the photo-op where he vowed to “remember, remember the NHS this November”. One thing Straw didn’t remember was a £5,000 donation he trousered from his dad’s best mate via his local CLP. The donor, Patrick Carter, just happens to have made his millions as the £799,000-a-year boss of McKesson UK, which is one of the primary NHS contractors. Labour’s star candidate in Rossendale is against private businessmen making money from the NHS, except when he’s taking cash from them…


Seen Elsewhere

Javid: Let Tories Campaign For Out Vote | House
Ministry of Justice Loses Death Inquiry Data “In the Post” | TechnoGuido
Europe’s Crisis is Cameron’s Opportunity | Speccie
Sajid Javid is the Ultimate Thatcherite | Buzzfeed
Ed Argar Selected in Dorrell Seat | Leicester Mercury
88% of New Labour MPs Are Union Bods | Mark Wallace
Massively Popular Porn Site is Infecting Users | Techno Guido
Newspapers No Longer Willing to Toe Party Line | Roy Greenslade
Introducing the New CapX | CapX
Burnham’s Newsnight Debacle Dissected | Dan Hodges
How I Survived Dry January | Nigel Farage


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Dan Hodges on Labour unity

“We’ve heard a lot over the past few years about how Miliband has united Labour. But he has not united Labour. He has pacified Labour. He has placed it into a medically induced coma following the trauma of the party’s 2010 defeat.”


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