Lobbying: “The Next Big Scandal” (and its influence on NHS privatisation)

This is my latest letter to our local MP, John Glen, regarding a promise made by David Cameron concerning the “next big scandal”.

 

Dear Mr Glen,

Before the last election Mr Cameron promised there would be no top down reorganisation or privatisation of the NHS. He also pointed out that ‘Lobbying’ would be the next big scandal and promised to do something about it.

Three years after the last election, I note that a disturbing number of contracts in the privatisation of the NHS (part of a massive top down reorganisation) have gone to companies that have been generous donors to individual MPs, government ministers or the Conservative party in general. I also note that a disturbing number of MPs and Lords, not just Tory, stand to gain financially from the outsourcing of NHS services.  It would seem then that Mr Cameron’s prediction is about to come true. I am sure that you want to avoid this as much as ordinary ‘hard-working ‘ citizens, whose tax payments will fund this scandal.

I am therefore keen to ensure that the government fulfils its commitment to create a statutory lobbying register. If it is not legislated for in the next parliamentary session, I am sure that you will be concerned that the government may miss its chance to implement this pledge, which was in the coalition agreement.

Please can you ask the minister in charge, Chloe Smith, to seek an assurance that the legislation for it will be announced in the Queen’s Speech?

Also, if you have not yet done so, please sign EDM: 222 Register of Lobbyists.

This, on its own, will not be sufficient to prevent the scandal but will be a small first step and will indicate that the government is serious about this particular promise.

Many thanks,

Colin Lawson.

NB: Abundant evidence to substantiate the conflicts of interest, lobbying and political donations that are a part of the NHS ‘reforms’ is in the public domain but I can provide details if you so wish.

Some evidence from 2012: Special Report –  Selling the NHS: how parliament and the healthcare industry got cosy

NHS is threatened by ‘legalised corruption’ March 2012

 Unhealthy influence: The rise of the NHS Partners Network  Social Investigations, March 2013

The Chair of the committee that advises on business appointments to departing senior civil servants is a director of a company that has won a contract related to the Health and Social Care Act in which he voted in favour.  Social Investigations, April 2013

Latest on Conflicts of Interest:
CCG head awards “£70,000 contract to a firm where he is medical director.” http://bit.ly/14BELbz 

BBC News – Conflicts of interest ‘rife’ among new GP commissioners

GPs need protection against conflicts of interest, say legal experts  Pulse, 4th April 2013

GP duty of candour undermined by ‘inappropriate’ gagging clauses in CCG constitutions  Pulse, 5th April 2013

And, in case anyone wasn’t paying attention:How the BBC betrayed the NHS: an exclusive report by ‘Open Democracy’ on two years of censorship and distortion

Healthcare trusts seek big increase in income from private patients, raising fears of two-tier service  Observer 6th April 2013

1,000 GPs gagged by CCGs from talking about local health services  D Telegraph 6 April 2013

More than 100 lobbying professionals still hold parliamentary passes: Senior managers at interest groups and businesses still have passes despite coalition promises to change perception of lobbying  10th April, Guardian

 

The outrageous arrogance of Boris Johnson

This is just a quick comment on the staggering arrogance of Boris Johnson who, according to some reports, is planing on replacing David Cameron as PM and has the support of Rupert Murdoch.

Let’s remind ourselves that Murdoch is a non UK citizen, who does not pay UK income tax, but who has been shown to have corrupted UK politics and has exerted a power over UK politicians that has subverted our  democratic process. None of this is in doubt – the evidence was always there for those who were paying attention and is now 100% clear after the Levenson proceedings.

Murdoch’s papers  (among others) have clearly been involved in corrupt practices and there is even the case of Daniel Morgan, a private investigator who was said to have been close to exposing important police corruption when he was murdered in a pub car park. The News of the World was directly or indirectly involved in this affair and the resulting failure of all attempts to convict the chief suspect,  a private investigator working for News of the World. The result of the web of corruption between Police, journalists and private investigators means that a murderer and corrupt policemen are still at large and we are no nearer the truth of what happened.

So you would have thought that any politician with a sense of propriety and rule of law would have kept a healthy distance from Rupert Murdoch. But no, Boris Johnson invited Rupert Murdoch as his personal guest to join him at the Olympics for the swimming finals. It is impossible to view this behaviour as anything other than arrogance of the highest order – it represents two fingers to the law, to democracy and to the people of the UK.

If this turns out to be part of a plan to rehabilitate Murdoch and the beginning of a campaign to replace Cameron with Johnson it will show that the arrogance of these two men shows no limit.

Boris Johnson, Rupert Murdoch and the arrogance in the mayor’s choice of guest

So, bumbling Boris Johnson is lovable and funny? Well, have I got news for you

Met to review Daniel Morgan murder over claims of News of the World link

Justice for Daniel

Daniel Morgan (private investigator)

Network of corruption which lies at the heart of  claim in the House of Commons by Labour MP Tom Watson that Rees was targeting politicians, members of the royal family and even terrorist informers on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s News International. (Guardian June 2011)

Boris and Climate
While talking about Boris Johnson its worth noting that he chose Mathew Ridley to give the keynote address at a debate in the “The Environment Imperative” series. Mathew Ridley was promoted as “a renowned science writer, journalist, biologist, and businessman”.   There was a much longer introduction to Ridley given at the beginning of the debate but neither mentioned that the best description of Matthew Ridley is “failed banker”. Ridley was chairman of Northern Rock when it collapsed and came very close to bringing down the financial system of the western world. In fact this neolibertarian pundit who believes in small government that doesn’t interfere in business and finance had to go to our government for a £27 billion bailout. Funny none of this was mentioned.

London has many world class climate experts and environmental scientists that Boris could have chosen, Mathew Ridley is not one of them.

Two fingers to a rational, reasoned, evidence based debate.

Check the references below for further information.

Why is Boris Johnson promoting climate change “sceptics”?

The Man Who Wants to Northern Rock the Planet

Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist is telling the rich what they want to hear

The revolving door between healthcare companies, lobbyists, think tanks, special advisers and government

The revolving door between healthcare companies ( in black), think tanks ( in grey) and government is shown in the chart below. It spreads through Labour as well as the Conservatives. It started under New Labour and under the Coalition it is out of control.  All areas of government have been penetrated by industry sponsored think tanks, lobby groups and special advisers with their feet firmly planted in financial interests.  It is clear that health policy in particular must be deeply compromised by these cosy links. Where are the patients in this process??  (Note the chart is a little out of date – Tony Blair has moved on to more lucrative pastures. But nevertheless we can be confident that the situation has not improved.)

(Click chart to enlarge)

Private Healthcare Network (thanks to Spinwatch and Open Democracy)

The Plot against the NHS

Watch this video for more info on the work of Lobbyists

Andrew Lansley bankrolled by private healthcare provider (Slightly old news but still relevant)

Investigation reveals extraordinary extent of international management consultant’s role in Lansley’s health reforms

The Health Service is being privatised! I don’t remember voting for that, was there a referendum?