For Sale – Hospitals and Schools
For the Benefit of the Conservative Party
It is a testament to the Labour movement that ordinary people accept the norm that they have a right to education and free health care. Indeed, it is such an intrinsic part of their lives, that many have become complacent, younger generations almost believing it was always thus, when in fact this has all happened within living memory, and can be forgotten just as quickly.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either form human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity” (1)
So while, we go about ordinary lives, quietly, innocently even, working, bringing up families… a government without a majority is taking advantage, by stealth.
Reports show more hospitals are considering private ownership. My own local hospital is Weston General Hospital. “Weston Area Health NHS Trust has announced that, as a small DGH (district general hospital), it is unable to achieve the Foundation Trust status that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA) mandates that all NHS acute (hospital) Trusts must achieve by April next year. As a result, it is inviting ’expressions of interest’ from the ‘health market’:
The Guardian has reported how conditions in private hospitals have deteriorated so much that NHS have stooped referring their patients there due to damning reports on lack of basic hygiene. This is a national scandal and must be halted.
The Mount Alvernia hospital in Surrey, run by BMI Healthcare, one of Britain’s biggest private healthcare providers, agreed to suspend surgery earlier this week after the damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.
Care failures cited by the CQC report included a surgeon who operated without gloves in blood-stained shirt sleeves, and a child who was not seen by a paediatrician for seven hours despite their condition deteriorating.
The Local Schools’s Network reports how individuals have been able to benefit at least half a million pounds and probably much more, while those working with children see their pay frozen. Such “consultants” can set up lucrative businesses, for example a Ms Griffin, in which she is listed as a consultant at the DFE and a Director of Griffin Taylor Consultancy Ltd. And here is some information about her company’s financial position. As it is an exempt small company, with only two directors, facts are limited but one thing seems clear, the DFE consultancy business is a very comfortable one.
Some schools who have had experience of such pressure have taken the alternative option to form co-operative schools rather than to hand over such assets to private companies. Local Schools should be run as consortia, working together, not competing for profits and results.. schools should be about children, and their needs. Furthermore, Harold Wilson’s Open University was intended to provide access to life-long learning for all, and not to be subject to unaffordable tuition fees as introduced by the Coalition.
What we see happening is privatization of the NHS and state education, owned by us, you, me, and were intended for future generations. These are services built by thousands of working people: teachers, lecturers, nurses, midwives, doctors, cleaners, construction workers, electricians, IT specialists, cooks – those who are seeing job cuts and wages frozen. Now these precious state assets have become a source of income for friends and contributors to the Conservative Party via Hedge Funds.
It is a myth that private outperforms public. How do you measure performance of organizations such as the NHS or state education – by a healthy, well educated, highly skilled and employed workforce – or by the off shore bank balance of Conservative friends? The newly privatized organizations are answerable to their owners, not their users, their workers, or citizens contributing to society for mutual benefit, whatever their skills are.
The evidence shows a deterioration in quality, where the profit motive is a priority. Labour must commit to a reversal of privatization of public services, and to bring again into democratic ownership and control, our essential utilities and public transport. We must ensure that such services are exempt from US Trade agreements, and this is a platform on which Labour can challenge the likes of UKIP.
Please sign this petition to exempt the NHS, and support the challenge to exempt education too.
After all, the purpose of government is to assist people in achieving a civilized society, and to allow all that live in that society. It’s not just to line their own pockets. It’s time to put an end to it, if it’s not too late.
- This Day in Quotes: Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom
- Two More Hospitals Considering Private Ownership: The Skwarkbox Blog
- The Penalties of Ostrich Politics and Willful Destruction of the NHS and Welfare State
- Guardian: NHS stops referring patients to private hospital after damning report
- Time to Shine a Spotlight in the Academy Brokers, Local Schools Network
- Academisation and Demolition of our Education System
- Think Left: Co-op Schools, an Alternative to Academies?
- What now for Failing Schools?
- We are the conservatives now – the fight to save good local schools: Local Schools Network
- Are we Already in the Post Democratic Era? Think Left
- Think Left Must address the Elephant in the Room
- Exempt the NHS from US Trade Agreements