Sunday, 19 July 2015

People power - coming together to design the UK society in which we want to live

Disabled people, unemployed people, students, Muslim people, students, elderly people, and the sick have all been the subject of our governments vile and disgusting, demonising attacks and their latest target is our Drs. As a part of our governments campaign for a seven day NHS, which we already have, secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt announced he would be introducing new contracts for consultants that would force them to work weekends. But the truth is we already have drs, nurses, radiographers, surgeons, anaesthetists, porters, cleaners, healthcare workers and consultants working 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.  The campaign to deliver a 7 day NHS is nothing more than an insulting attack on our NHS staff. It wants to demonise them in the eyes of the public, in pursuit of it’s ultimate goal to privatise our NHS. This is evidenced by the barely publicised announcement last weekend that a new parliamentary committee has been set up to look into the possibility of privatising our NHS.

Another part of the true agenda is the announcement from NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens that the NHS will need an additional £30billion by 2020 in order to maintain it’s current level of service and that £22billion of this would come from efficiency savings. The truth is that £22billion worth of efficiency savings is unachievable and Mr Simons knows it. The plan is to declare the current model for our NHS unworkable when NHS England fails to make those efficiency savings, at which point it will be handed over to the private sector to run. When Aneurin Bevan set up our NHS, he declared that it would continue for as long as there were people willing to support it. Sixty seven years later our NHS is on a cliff edge and in dire need of people to support it.

There have been a number of demonstrations and other campaigns against the governments plans to privatise our NHS, but the vast majority of the public seemed unconcerned or unmoved by these plans. Our NHS does not belong to the government and they certainly don’t have a mandate from the public for their intentions. Our NHS belongs to us and I suggest it is not for us to give away what has been freely given to us. Our politicians in opposition have proven themselves both unwilling and unable to challenge the governments plans, so that responsibility falls to us the people. I believe that the majority of the public are both unaware of the governments true intentions and of what privatising our NHS would actually mean. They don’t know that a two tier healthcare system would be created, with world class healthcare available for those who can afford it and little or no provision for those who cannot. The majority of the public don’t realise that there will be no more free healthcare. Access to everything from the ability to see a GP to major lifesaving surgery will be dictated by the providers of an individuals health insurance policy.

At the same time, our government is driving a counter productive and ideological program of austerity against our young people, disabled people, poor people and those who are least able to defend themselves, while handing out tax breaks to the rich and multi national corporations. All public sector workers have endured a five year pay freeze and our chancellor has just awarded them a 1% pay increase, while MP’s have been awarded a 9.6% increase, despite 88% of respondents in a public survey objected to the rise. In 2014, an estimated £122billion in tax revenue went unpaid, while our public sector services are being annihilated. Britain has the sixth richest economy in the world, yet 13.7million of it’s citizens are living in poverty and 4million of those are children. In the 2015 general election 33.4% of those eligible to vote felt so disconnected and unrepresented by the candidates, that they did not cast their vote. The election result produced a conservative majority government that only 24.7% of the electorate voted for. Overall, the results were the most disproportionate of any election in our history.

Our politicians are not listening to us and appear to have forgotten to whom they are supposed to serve. In response, a new group is being setup. It’s purpose will be to provide a platform for UK residents who are concerned about the situation to come together to discuss, debate, design & build a better, fairer UK society in which we all want to live and where everyone will be treated equally. Meetings of the new group will take place online as webinars and plans are in place for the first meeting to take place during the last week in July. Anyone may join, by sending an email to in order to be added to the list of invitees.

Although the group will have one facilitator of the meetings, it has been designed so that there are no group leaders. All group members will have an equal voice and an equal opportunity to participate in the groups discussions, debates and activities. Members will make all decisions, from naming the group to deciding it’s ultimate goals and everything in between. The group will not be associated with any other groups or organisations and will raise their own funds on an as needed basis and as it’s members see fit. This will be a mass movement of the people, coming together to decide the role and makeup of the kind of UK society in which we want to live.   

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