"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Saturday, 7 August 2010

More NHS Cuts

A week ago I wrote that I was worried that our democracy was in danger because Commissar Lansley was pushing through his changes to the NHS without parliamentary approval. Now it appears that UNISON is to request a judicial review to halt the NHS cuts that David "I will cut the deficit, not the NHS" Cameron has fully endorsed.

"The government's white paper will change forever the NHS as we know it. These sweeping changes were not part of any party manifesto and it is outrageous that these changes are being brought in without consulting the public, patients, staff and unions," said Karen Jennings, Unison head of health.

"The NHS constitution enshrined in law the right to consultation and yet, in writing to NHS managers, Sir David is working on the premise that the consultation is only about the best way to achieve pre-determined outcomes - this makes it nothing more than a paper exercise and a sham.
In a frighteningly autocratic and politically-motivated response to Unison Sir David Nicholson said

"he was unwilling to reconsider his position and that he intends to carry on with his proposals"
Make no mistake, this is a civil servant saying that changes to the NHS must be started now, before proper public consultation and before parliamentary approval. This autocratic civl servant, no doubt under pressure from the extreme right-wing forces in the government, are changing our country in an authoritarian and non-democratic way. What else will these right-wing extremists do?

What about our democratic right to withdraw our labour? During the election, aware that Cameron would head the most right wing government we have ever seen, one of the themes of my campaigning was that I was sure that the only way that Cameron could push through his changes was to ban public sector strikes. Since Osborne was using the term Emergency Budget I was sure that Cameron would accompany it with a bill to restrict public sector strikes. I was a little premature, since the main cuts are due in the public spending review due to published in the Autumn. However, the government's vast army of spin doctors are at work persuading employers that they need these new changes. The BBC are reporting that a ban is imminent:

"Mike Emmott, CIPD employee relations advisor, said: "It is also incumbent on the government to consider the policy options open to it for reducing the risk of disruptive and damaging industrial action by public service employees, such as banning strike action of those involved in the delivery of essential services.""

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