Oct 17

I know I have sent Liberal Americans vile views of President Barry Drone Strike and I have shouted down all attempts to talk up Labour as though the 13 years of Govt that recently ended were an aberration. However others would say that those politicians whilst merely incompetent were working within the bounds of the possible in our frozen systems of Govt given a nihilistic press run by rich people who don’t care how poor the common man is.

Thus the answer to what can we expect from a Capitalist society is now a dawning one. What can we expect our politicians to do in the mire of vested interests and impenetrable contradictory rhetoric. Certainly not what the Baby Boomers granted themselves leaving us with the tab. I think it’s no accident politicians suddenly appear who at least are not of the generation of the self indulgent self interested like Gordon Brown was.

Certainly the UK would be in marginally better shape without Brown’s malevolent influence over the last 13 years. However it’s doubtful the levels of Private Debt would be much different. It’s also true that we would not be much more productive and unemployment would likely be higher. We would still be trying to get students to pay for their unemployment by being at Universities doing courses not worth the money for a qualification whose import into their lives is more an admission fee than accomplishment.

So what can we expect? Work to 70. Low basic pensions. Means testing. Less free bus travel. Low rates of Benefit when unemployed. Higher thresholds to qualify for incapacity benefit. Top Up Fees for health. Fuel Poverty. Higher taxes to pay off the Baby Boomer debt. Greater ghettoisation as the only people to have kids are those rich or so poor they have nothing to lose. A greater and hence more reactionary lower middle class.

The nightmare is that unless you earn well above average income any benefits you get from income will likely be eroded by taxes and fees to pay for Health and Education – the direction is clear sadly whatever the current rhetoric, we will try to make public services cheaper and the next step is…. see further Education. Really what we are seeing is an increase in the poorer classes as rich countries rich people have no attachment to locality and can feed off the world regardless of whether we can afford good houses, new cars, 5 TVs etc etc. Certainly no safety net if our genetics or immune system or luck fails us.

Would this put Capitalism in question? Probably not in an X Factor obsessed nation like Britain with incompetence as a necessary qualification to be the General Secretary of a Trade Union or a Shadow Chancellor. However ask that question if France or Greece or Italy tried to do Osbornesque cuts.

This is the challenge for the non Marxist Left in a world of debt how to pay it back and create sustainable public services in a modern Capitalist Society. The best chance to have done so was 8 years ago. We may never have that chance again and so please keep praise for Labour’s achievements measured and condemnatory of the Cost. That cost is to be measured in a decline to the lives of 60 million people over the next 10 years at least. That would have happened even without Osborne.

We can all smell the coffee we just won’t be able to afford to taste it  as things stand.

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Jul 09

New Labour took 13 years to descend to a gimmick cult where policy was invented almost for the sake of having something to put before the Commons every year. Bare in mind this was actually their better policy making as the worst started with a marketing one liner or one word like the Olympic obsession with ‘legacy’ over sensible uses for facilities that will make the maximum or even yield a return rather than an ongoing sore that the Dome was before it became the O2.

You’d like to think whether you agree the cuts are too small or too big or my view Britain needs to think hard for the future that in amongst all these cuts the Tories would not impose any more bullshit on the Education, Health, Justice and other systems. Well you’d be wrong. They’ve let the idealogical fruit cakes loose.

In Education’s case Gove. A nasty poor hating rat who wants empty bellied  poor kids stuck in crumbling buildings still scared from the last dose of Thatcherism and no investment in the 70s and especially 80s and 90s. Yes Education is in the hands of not even a Gimmicist like the not missed health secretary Alan “Red Alert” Milburn but a man who wants to ensure that the declining social mobility becomes extinct at least as much as an Education System can insure with his Free Schools – State funded schools for those who already have the time and money to load the dice for their off spring.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley instead of cutting into all the administrative fat created by an infantile Labour looking to create a class of people who were over paid to fund it and create a dependent class has pulled a gimmick instead. Yes after the slaughter of MRSA and C-DIFF surely blood on the hands of the last 20 years  Governments we are not going to save lives doing stuff like cleaning hospitals. We are not going to make the GMC weed out incompetent doctors – lower paid teachers are the only ones who get that honour. Nope we are transferring budgets to GPs to manage. WTF. The slaughter of creating foundation status which killed 1000s as hospitals sought budgetary independence was all for nowt. Now GPs tails will somehow reform Health by wagging the Hospitals and Health Authorities dog.

You wonder if it ever occurs to these Gimmicists that some half arsed internal market  has not worked and shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic has not worked and will not work as well as an army of immigrants with mops and cleaning products. That not having people shuffle virtual costs from one table in a database to another might work better. Might free up time for professionals to heal people and cut the massive costs of managers and other pure costs.

If parts of the Public Sector are inefficient is it any wonder with the continual gimmicks and half understood ideologies from some US Corporate sponsored conference it is subject to?

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Jul 05

With no effective opposition outside the Coalition it does seem some Tories are dusting off their Final Sol… Answer to the public sector.

Labour are pitiable opposition with their prior policy of running up debt until a future generation really does find there is no money left. Also whatever one’s fear and ideological standpoint it makes almost no sense for us to try to growth maximise when were have the worst structural problems of all the major economies in terms of Public and Private Debt and a moribund manufacturing sector. If the cuts are as envisaged last week I have to say we are taking the stagnation if it occurs for our Grand Kids if not our Kids and I can accept that. Unlike Labour I don’t hate future generations that much to just carry on piling up debt.

However if we start to see deep cuts in areas such as Welfare, Health and Education then we know the real target is to strip the poor of health, wealth and lives worth living.

The effective opposition has to come from the Lib Dems and they should not be seduced. It amazed me how Labour kow towed to Blair’s religious lunacy (his view not mine) that led to Iraq and the continuing pit of despair that is Afghanistan. Thus it is frightening to think Liberals could get sucked down this path of creating a servile poor living in brutal ghettos that would seem the only result of rolling back the state much beyond what Chancellor Osborne spelled out last week.

The two budgets that cry out for revision are arms and the Police. The idea that having masses of form filling Policemen doing beat work occasionally and Community Support Officers cuts crime better than handing out Heroin to Heroin addicts and other controlled measures is laughable. The MOD’s senior people seem to get away with what is at best incompetence at worst outright corruption in procurement. We could have spent a lot less and have a lot more from and for our armed forces. A 24/7 nuclear Submarine force that even experts are saying can stay in port and put to sea when a specific threat is identified. Afghanistan no brainer leave.

There are cuts to be made and they may even have to be made. However  when they come at the expense of already failing school, health and transport systems sorry I am against them.

It’s on you Clegg, Cable, Alexander and co.

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May 21

A care home manager who killed a patient with an over dose but was a drug addict got 10 years. You may recall the case of Jane Barton who may have killed 10s of people but was not charged. What is the difference? Jane Barton was a doctor. She should have known better. She is surely more responsible. She was not even struck off. Subject to restrictions she can kill again.

Do not forget the 1800 dementia patients killed every year by doctors with no one struck off or charged.

Never mind even when convicted of manslaughter the zero jail time in the case of Dr Michael Stevenson who killed maybe 14 and got convicted of manslaughter also and served not one day in jail.

I am not defending anyone here far from it. However if one accidental death by a non doctor is worth 10 years then surely the arrogant murder of 100s by self serving doctors is worth more or at least some jail time?

Had Nurse Baker merely been an incompetent doctor or a doctor claiming depression, rather than a nurse, she’d currently be at home not looking at 5 years inside.

Doctors should not be working under such impunity especially when they are serial killers.

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May 12

One of the oddities of a the Lib Con coalition is that it will have both a right and a so called left wing against the policies of the Govt. It also even allowing for Ulster’s support does not have a huge majority.

An argument being made by nay sayers, who are guessing, is that the activists of both parties will not wear it for long. I put the following  to someone who still supported Labour about how the activists and Trade Unionists of 1997 felt about the following Labour policies:-

  • 90 day detention and internment. A flagship policy trumpted as a triumph for democracy by both Blair and Brown.
  • Detention of young children of Asylum seekers.
  • Putting Britain at the fore front of the Globalisation movement to have our workers compete at home and abroad with low wage economies.
  • Actively helping and facilitating the US policy of rendition.
  • Knowingly receiving intelligence based on Torture
  • Going to war without the Geneva convention on our allies side.
  • Being part of a war where depleted uranium and cluster bombs were used.
  • War in Iraq. I doubt Labour activists would have considered Afghanistan  beyond 2003 as a worthwhile cause if ever given most opposed the righteous Kuwait re-capture.
  • Bailing out the banks and then letting the sponging bastards have huge bonuses. Socialism in action?
  • Applauding judges for stopping strikes.
  • Foundation hospitals, Polyclinics.
  • PFI handing more money to Brown’s rich friends in the city.
  • In 1997 they would have assumed that hospitals would be cleaned and the MRSA C-Diff murder by indifference would not have continued for years after. They were wrong but administrators and bureaucrats in the health service earn as much as 50 cleaners so be proud of ‘Your Labour’.
  • Bank of England independence probably would not have got their vote in 1997.
  • Cheer-leading for Business leaders like Willie Walsh making a point and trying to break the Unite union.
  • The re-reclassification of marijuana. The left may be against most personal freedoms but they do not live on beer alone.
  • CCTV everywhere.
  • Powers to stop and search people without reason – even Arizona has not gone that far
  • Lecturing people for their eating and drinking habits.
  • Support for Israel almost no matter what it does – a few weasel words maybe but nothing more.
  • Groveling before China’s authoritarian Govt – Brown’s ideal by some accounts
  • Religious schools
  • Sending asylum seekers back to Iraq, Iran, Zimbabwe and other hell holes.
  • Locking up children of asylum seekers.
  • Forcing Single Mums back to work – Portillo suggested it and they burned effigies Brown and they suggest people hate him because he’s not photogenic.

I’ll be adding to this list as things occur to me but the point is that activists views never count. Much of the above I find so bad that I view a vote for Labour as little better than the BNP. The BNP would counter they have not yet abused human rights as much as Labour has done even if only by de facto support and tolerance of the US doing things.

Activists and sanctimonious self important morons may bring down the coalition. However as we see with Labour activists move with the party and see power as the only goal in reality – they are fans basically and a bit like the Green and Gold at Old Trafford their protests do not stop them handing over money and being fanatical at all costs whereas the players change colour as suits their personal ambition.

I do not take activists seriously.

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Mar 24

In the same way that stating a sane opinion about recreational drugs or even prescribed drugs will get you shouted down. It does seem anyone sane who suggests that spending cuts should start at the big spenders like Health runs the risk of Opprobrium.

The Health service under New Labour has been well funded and people paid a lot more for the same work –  in Doctor’s cases less work. Yet we still have the mass slaughter of mis-prescribing which only makes the news if it involves a foreign doctor especially if he is an ethnic minority. For all the money spent cleaning has not been improved making a mockery of all the extra money and obfuscational lexicon of Trusts and Foundation Hospitals. C-Diff and MRSA should be virtual history.

Even if we cannot reduce the health budget we should be looking to get it to deliver better. If that means ripping up the innumerable bureaucratic bodies of middle class managers who seem to improve nothing but their salary then so be it. Ring fencing anything merely ensconces the lazy and flatulent structures and will inevitably lead to front line services suffering at the expense of huge salaries, pensions and pay off to the incompetent and non essential. As we see with corporates the first target to cut is the lowest paid and productive workers terms and conditions which would be a mistake in the many dirty Hospitals.

Another source of saving would be to re-negotiate the PFI contracts which guarantee returns of up to and beyond a ludicrous 30% to Brown’s money-men friends in the City. Maybe this is legally impossible but leverage can always be found by asking for the letter of contracts and threats of greater inspection.

A free service which has spent a fortune on IT should not need the hundreds of bureaucratic bodies and authorities it has. It’s an arcane bag of things not part of a developed structure or even an evolved one. More a non structure caused by the continual meddling, re-organising and gimmick cult of New Labour i.e. Foundation status, Trusts, ad nauseum…

We need a new deal on health. That doctors will provide more for their vastly increased salaries and not out-source to questionable foreign locums flying in for the day.

Most of all 13 years after it was an obvious priority we want the hospitals cleaned. Now.

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Feb 18

If you could have listed 2 things that Labour should have tackled in 1997 you might have chosen cleaning Hospitals and cleaning Hospitals. Ok you might also have thrown in paying for care of an ageing population.

New Labour spent a lot boosting doctors, nurses and building Hospitals with massive PFI returns to the Bankers. Rendered less than mute by the failure to get some immigrants with cloths, vacuums and other cleaning utensils in enough numbers – not to mention doing nothing to prevent the massive death toll from over and incorrect prescribing.

Having said that you might have felt as the country ages that the Govt would do more than just raise our retirement age! The fact they are talking care now is laughable 13 years on from their original election win. Almost like you only get sane Govt not aimed at enriching friends in the City when the finances are shot and it almost does not matter who is in power.

At the first hint of a suggestion that the idea being considered was a sum of money payable against the person’s estate on death. The Tories instantly rushed out adverts complaining about a Death Tax. That nailed it! A tax on death. Awful how could they suggest that?

How about because it’s sane. If I have to pay taxes I would happily do it when I die. Better to pay when you cannot take it with you? Surely this piece of Tory spin shows them as nothing more than opportunist chancers? Do they think that paying a sum on death is worse than paying when alive? If it was a kick in the shins the answer is no more obvious!

Honestly it may be 13 years too late but it’s a policy we can support. Now clean the hospitals and stop letting patients die for the god of PFI.

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Feb 06

Asda is the latest supermarket to mock itself with a seemingly overly strict alcohol sales policy. A 44 year old woman was refused alcohol because her son had no ID.

There is a point with these seemingly odd stories. I think it can be concluded that after years of a gap between their patronising of parents over the dangers of drugs it has been easy for anyone of 14 or older to buy alcohol – I know I was. At least that gap in Govt policy appears to be closing with the Supermarkets clearly worried they will lose licenses or face minimum price legislation that would stop them selling below cost alcohol as a loss leader and a boon to teenage entertainment.

The only problem with actually enforcing our alcohol laws is of course that alternative drugs are cheaper, plentiful and of questionable quality and as they are sold illegally. Illegal and not subject to this scrutiny.

The point is whilst the Govt is obsessed with legality people and especially kids will abuse what they can especially on our sink estates where adult examples and supervision are intermittent – something likely to get worse as we follow US style policies that lock people up at younger and younger age.

Currently Govt policy is reactive and not based on a logical rational framework. Something Home Secretary Alan Johnson boasted as he mocked the Science of harm last year. What does the Govt consider worse? Under-age drinking? Or the alternatives? It’s not a joined up policy. It seems to ignore that humans taking drugs of all legalities is older than civilisations of any sort. It reacts to headlines and parental worries.

It’s a shame we cannot move towards a German style society where people do not abuse alcohol even though they can fairly freely drink from a youngish age.

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Feb 04

It’s a horrific case but it interests me that German based Dr Daniel Ubani slaughters one of his UK patients with an accidental massive diamorphine [Heroin] overdose. It’s on the news and amazingly a coroner spotted it within a few years because the relatives rightly pursued the case.

It’s already a far bigger story than the case of Dr Barton who killed at least 3 and potentially far more. She can still act as a doctor with restrictions and will face no criminal charges. Or those who kill and continue to kill nearly 2000 Dementia patients every year in the UK by wrongly prescribing anti psychotics, not one prosecution. Not heard of anyone being struck off for what is a wilful act surely? Not heard many coroners bump their gums.

This German doctor got a 9 month suspended sentence in Germany so at least he saw a court unlike Dr Barton. Frankly were he a British doctor he’d probably get off based on the GMC’s laughable open door policy on killers – they struck Shipman off 2 years after he was convicted and just before he killed himself, which was lucky.

Calling Doctors to account in court as Germany did would be anathema to the GMC who would bleat about the undermining of their authority. In light of the Barton and Shipman cases tell me he gets prosecuted in England if he was a domestic based doctor for 1 sad death? Indeed how often does this happen with palliative care? Is this case so outrageous? Or is the nationality the question?

The coroner has demanded much tougher rules for foreign doctors working here. The British ones can carry on killing and lecturing us on our diets and drinking clearly.

Facetiousness aside it does strike me as baffling the media would jump all over this one dark skinned doctor from Germany…

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Jan 29

If we could add up the numbers of patients killed by poor prescribing and outright incompetent doctors – never mind any malicious ones. It would be 1000s of people a year. That Doctors kill more than all illegal narcotics would not surprise me. They are quite happy to blather on about our weight, butter and drinking in hysterical and insulting phrases on TV. They could save more lives by being competent themselves than any amount of shrill shouted warnings on the other stuff.

The latest Dr Death Jane Barton despite 3 of the 10 test cases being killings attributable to her has not been struck off. She was investigated over almost a 100 cases from just one small period of her employment. Do the maths on how many lives lost by her actions over a whole career.

This follows on from the 1800 dementia patients murdered by being prescribed anti psychotics when they were clearly not psychotic.

It’s only when Doctor serial killer Harold Shipman altered a will after killing 250 or more anyone bothered to charge him. Shipman was finally struck off 2 years into an indefinite sentence. Had he just kept killing he could have killed till he retired. Indeed it would be naive in the extreme to think that he is the only one, clearly that is not the case.

The message sent is provided if you don’t try to steal from your patients prescribe them as much pain killer as it will take to kill them and that is OK then.

Is there a bigger cause of premature death proportionately that Doctors prescribing palliative care?

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