Health Privatisation, It’s International.

There was hardly any outrage in the air when the Health and Social Care act of 2012 was passed. The act stipulates that NHS doctors take control of their budgets as well as permit them to buy services from private companies. Another stipulation is to allow hospitals to use up to 49% of hospital beds […]

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Picketline Pat and his black and white cat

No privatisation of the Royal Mail! We’ve lost enough already. www.salmanshaheen.com

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Michael Meacher: Ed Miliband moving Labour in the right direction

With the Labour Party conference in full swing, socialists and trade unionists will be seizing on every word spoken from the podium, looking for signs of what kind of government Miliband might lead. But one Old Labour MP who was in government with Wilson and Callaghan, and again with Blair as Minister of State for […]

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Why Lansley’s patient vouchers will (probably) cost the NHS more than they save

For once, just for the sake of argument, let’s take Andrew Lansley at his word and assume that however keen he is on getting private providers in to do the work of the NHS, he’s not doing it because he’s corrupt, or because his wife is, or because he’s ideologically hell-bent on privatising whatever he […]

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Cable to unions: have your right to strike (but don’t even think of using it).

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has just provided yet more evidence that he is, in fact, an odious little shit. In a speech to a union conference, he warned that if widespread public sector strikes take place (which seems likely), the government would enact new anti-strike legislation. This is part of the speech obtained by the […]

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Southampton: Tory council cuts real pay by 20% while boasting of lower taxes

Traffic wardens, refuse workers and other low paid workers in Southampton have gone strike in response to a particularly savage attack on pay. The council plans to cut pay by 4.5-5.5 per cent this year- effectively cutting workers’ incomes by a tenth, once inflation is taken into account. Workers pay will then be “frozen” for […]

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Teacher’s right to private sexual conduct worth less than school’s ‘reputation’, says teaching regulator.

A primary school teacher has avoided being barred from teaching following revelations in the press of her sideline as a dominatrix, the TES reports. Faith-Anne Lesbirel, a primary school teacher, was exposed by a tabloid newspaper in 2008 as none other than ‘Mistress Saffron’, a dominatrix offering her services for money online. [Lesbirel] insisted her fetish activities […]

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I’m sure it’s just a coincidence

BBC headlines today: A better-funded, better-staffed NHS coinciding with more people being happy with the care it provides? My god. It’s almost like there’s some kind of ‘causal relationship’ between how well you fund and staff a public organisation and the quality of service which it offers. But I’m sure that’s just crazy talk.

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The ‘Big Society’: companies to be main beneficiaries.

When explaining the Conservative vision of the ‘Big Society’ to the public, Cameron and co. have always emphasised the role to be played by the voluntary sector (after all, most people would agree that charities are generally a good thing). The state, they claim, often ‘crowds out’ other non-government organisations that are better suited to the task of […]

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New Year’s Eve at Twickenham Train Station

Scene in Twickenham train station: well dressed woman in mid-thirties shouting at gigantic pink railway employee through three inches of Perspex. Woman’s daughter has phoned mother in tears after being fined for travelling on the wrong ticket. Woman: You people have no idea customer service, you just sit there you fat lump Railway employee: I’m […]

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