Posts Tagged ‘Nurses’

We Own It Appealing for People to Attend Planned Protest Against NHS Privatisation

January 20, 2023

I’ve also had this email from the pro-NHS, pro-nationalisation organisation, We Own It about a planned demonstration they’re holding against the privatisation of the NHS in February. They’re appealing for people to go to it. I can’t, due to expense and illness, but I’m putting it up here in case there are people interested in it, who may be able to attend.

‘Dear David,

BREAKING: private health companies donated £800,000 to the Conservative Party over the last decade. Now we know why the government is doing nothing about NHS privatisation!

A recent Oxford study linked NHS privatisation to the preventable deaths of 557 people.

It is time to make the government feel the power of organised people over organised money.

Can you sign up to become one of 557 people in Parliament Square from 2 – 4pm on Saturday, 25th February demanding an end to NHS privatisation?

So far, 541 people have signed up. We need 89 people to reach our final goal of 630 (that is, 557 people representing the victims of NHS privatisation, 43 people to help carry signs and banners and 30 stewards to help manage the event).

Sign up to become one of the remaining 89 people on Saturday 25th February in Parliament Square

You are involved in our NHS campaign because you believe that our NHS should work for people, not the greedy private companies that donate to the government.

Unite the Union, Just Treatment, Doctors for the NHS and Socialist Health Association fully agree with you. That is why they are now supporting our action.

It is time we make the government feel the power of organised people over organised money.

We want to bring together 557 people representing the 557 people whose deaths are linked to NHS privatisation to put on a powerful display that can get into the papers.

More press coverage means more pressure on the government. The more of us there are at the action, the more likely the action is to get press coverage.

We need 89 more people to reach our goal. Can you sign up now to join us?

Sign up to take action from 2 – 4pm on Saturday 25th Feb in Parliament Square

Because of the incredible efforts of our NHS nurses and ambulance workers who are fighting to save our NHS, the government is already feeling pressure.

With the recent study that links NHS privatisation to 557 preventable deaths, there is no better time than now to pile onto that pressure they are feeling.

The government already knows that over 75% of the public, according to our last poll, want to end NHS privatisation. But they don’t feel that people will fight to see that happen.

You can show them from 2 – 4pm on Saturday 25th February in Parliament Square that you will.

The more people join this action, the more powerful it will be. The more powerful it is, the more likely it is to receive coverage from the press.

This coverage will pile on the pressure on the government and start forcing them to take action.

I will stand up and fight to force an end to NHS privatisation

We need 557 people to represent the 557 people whose deaths are linked to NHS privatisation, according to a recent Oxford study.

But we need even more people to make sure the action is big and effective. So after signing up, please send the link to your friends and family, especially those who live in London and ask them to sign up too.

Thank you so much for always standing up against NHS privatisation.

Cat, Johnbosco, Matthew, Kate – the We Own It team

PS: 30 years ago today the British Coal and British Rail (Transfer Proposals) Act 1993 was passed, paving the way for privatisation of our railway. We’ve put together a list of 30 top failures of rail privatisation from the last 30 years. Take a read and share with friends and family.’

38 Degrees Email Appealing to Public to Write Letter Supporting NHS Pay Rise to Jeremy Hunt

January 18, 2023

I’ve just got this email from 38 Degrees requesting people to writer to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt asking him to abandon his opposition to the NHS workers’ demands for a pay rise. I’ve written an email as they’ve requested. If you also feel that our great medical professionals and the other staff deserve their rise, please feel free to do so as well.

David, today and tomorrow, nurses in England will be striking. [1] We know they don’t want to do this – but government inaction, pushing our NHS to breaking point, has left them with little choice.

The good news? Things might be swinging our way! Reports are emerging that the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, is working with NHS unions to try and get more money for NHS staff. [2] But it’s also claimed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt are refusing to budge. [3]

The Chancellor holds a HUGE amount of power over the purse strings. If we want him to stop dragging his heels, thousands of us need to speak up now.

David, you are one of 75,000 of us who signed the open letter in support of striking NHS workers. [4] If all of us bombard the Chancellor with messages telling him to listen to his colleagues, and invest in our nurses and NHS staff, we’ll be impossible to ignore.
David, will you email the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, today to demand he ends his holdout and offers NHS workers a proper pay rise? It only takes a couple of minutes and there are some pointers to help you write your message.

EMAIL JEREMY HUNT NOW

Thanks to pressure from hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees supporters, in 2021 we helped force the Government to triple its pay offer to NHS staff. [5] We can do it again, but only if thousands of us speak up together in support of striking NHS workers.

If you’ve never sent an email to an MP before, don’t worry, it’s easy and even a short message could make all the difference. Here are some tips for what you could say:

  • Share your story if you are an NHS patient: if you’re waiting for treatment and are happy to talk about this, it will be even more powerful.
  • If you work in the NHS, you could mention it – personalised stories will go a long away
  • Talk about why you back our NHS heroes: even if it’s a line or two, the Chancellor needs to know why the public are backing NHS staff
  • Remember to be polite: There’s a real person at the other end reading your email!

So, David, will you join in and send one of the thousands of emails landing in Jeremy Hunt’s inbox on the day NHS nurses go on strike? It only takes a couple of minutes and there are some pointers one the page to help you write your message

EMAIL JEREMY HUNT NOW

Thanks for all that you do,

Jonathan, Mike, Veronica and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: Nurses’ strike: New dates as union escalates dispute
[2] The Guardian: Revealed: cabinet split over NHS pay disputes piles pressure on Sunak
[3] See note [1]
[4] 38 Degrees: We support striking NHS staff
[5] 38 Degrees: Pay Rise Posters
Times: 38 Degrees full-page ad
BBC: NHS workers in England offered 3% pay rise

Robert Reich: Corporate Profits Are Driving Inflation, Not Worker’s Wage Demands

December 20, 2022

I noticed yesterday that the government had fallen back on the tired old excuse for not paying the striking nurses a fair wage, that it was ‘inflationary’. But it’s not wage demands from employees that are pushing prices up, it’s corporate profiteering. The American left-winger Robert Reich, who I think was something in the Obama or Clinton governments, posted this on the community page of his website this morning:

‘Corporate profits accounted for roughly 11% of price growth from 1979 to 2019. Today, record corporate profits account for 53.9% of price increases. Folks, inflation isn’t the result of workers asking for fairer wages. Corporate greed and unchecked monopoly power are to blame.’

Quite. And I’m absolutely sure it’s exactly the same over here, because of the nature of multinational capital and the way we’ve blindly followed the Americans since Thatcher read Von Hayek and thought it was a good idea.

The only solution is to get the Tories out and return to a properly mixed economy.

Desperate GB News Tries Red Scare Against Rail Union

December 16, 2022

Oh ho! The news team at right-wing news outlet must be scared. RMT’s Mick Lynch has been laying waste all before him in interviews and debates, and so the alternative to the ‘woke, wet’ BBC is falling back on the old Thatcherite tactic of crying ‘Communism!’ Looking through YouTube this morning I found a piece put by them asking if the RMT aren’t trying to bring down capitalism with an interview with a Soviet historian. Ah yes, we’re back to the old Zinoviev letter of 1925 or whenever, the notorious MI5 forgery which painted the Labour party as in league with the Soviet Comintern. Or to the 1980s, with Arthur Scargill as an agent of Moscow. We’ve already had Sunak’s government tell the nurses that they’re doing the work of Putin.

No, Mick Lynch isn’t trying to bring down capitalism. He’s just trying to get all his union’s members a fair wage, and proper management and investment of Britain’s railways.

No, the nurses aren’t doing Putin’s work. They’re trying to get a living wage for their members. What they aren’t telling you on the news, or at least, I haven’t seen it, is that a quarter of NHS trusts now have food banks for the nurses. Abominable. And they want proper management and funding of the health service.

This means reversing privatisation in those industries.

But this isn’t Communism. It’s not total nationalisation of the economy, or the transformation of Britain into a one party state.

It’s common sense.

38 Degrees Petition to Expel Tory PPE Profiteer Michelle Mone from the House of Lords

December 2, 2022

As you can see, I’m clearing the backlog I’ve built up of various emails from the petitioning organisations and activist groups. I got this one on Monday about Lady Michelle Mone, who pocketed a very tidy sum from recommending to the government a company producing faulty PPE. This has caused immense outrage, and people want her out. I concur, and I’ve signed the petition. If you’re as annoyed at this piece of Tory cynicism and venality as I am, I hope you will too.

David, it’s all over the news. Conservative Peer Michelle Mone is under fire for reportedly pocketing £29 million from the taxpayer by supplying dodgy PPE during the pandemic that was deemed totally unfit for purpose. [1]

Ministers are being asked to explain how they let our nurses and NHS staff go without proper PPE, all the while handing over hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money, to a reportedly dodgy company linked to a friendly Conservative Peer. [2]

What’s missing is pressure from us, the British public who want her kicked out of the Lords and taxpayers who want our money back.

Since we launched the petition a few days ago, more than 85,000 of us have added our names calling for Michelle Mone to be kicked out of Parliament and to hand back EVERY PENNY of the £29 million that she reportedly took from the taxpayer, at the very least.

Right now, your name is missing, David.

Will you help make it to 100,000 signatures by the end of today and send a message from the British public that they can’t ignore? Add your name with one click by hitting the button below:

To: The Lords Conduct Committee

Expel Michelle Mone from the Lords immediately

ADD MY NAME

Corruption has no place in politics. Conservative peer Michelle Mone is reported to have secretly pocketed £29 million of public money during the pandemic for unsafe PPE that couldn’t even be used – all while our NHS heroes were putting their lives on the line – including by wearing DIY PPE to protect themselves and the public during the pandemic.

We – the undersigned – are calling on the Lords Conduct Committee to investigate and expel Michelle Mone from the House of Lords and ensure that every penny in profit that she took from the taxpayer is repaid immediately.

ADD MY NAME

Or if don’t want to sign, you can tell us why here:

I’M NOT SIGNING THIS PETITION BECAUSE…

Thanks for being involved,

Tom, Jonathan, Ellie, Kate and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] The Guardian: Revealed: Tory peer Michelle Mone secretly received £29m from ‘VIP lane’ PPE firm
[2] The Guardian: Ministers face pressure to explain PPE Medpro contracts decision
The Guardian: PPE Medpro declines to say how it would repay millions if told to do so

Short Questionnaire by 38 Degrees Seeking People’s Views on the State of the Health Service

November 25, 2022

Here’s another email I got from the internet petitioning organisation seeking to gauge people’s views on the current state of the health service, and the particular issues they are most concerned with, as part of a wider campaign to defend it. Two of the questions, not on this email but there if you answer the questionnaire, ask you if you would be willing to speak to TV, radio or the press or talk about it on social media, and ask you for your telephone number if you would like to be part of that aspect of the campaign. I filled it out, as I am very concerned and angry about how they’re treating the NHS, but clearly not everyone will want to take it that far or give their home phone numbers.

‘David, the 38 Degrees community has been campaigning for YEARS to get the NHS the funding and workforce plan it desperately needs. It’s why we drove an ambulance with our message to Rishi Sunak across the country over the summer. [1] Now, we need to think about our next move.

If we’re going to keep fighting for what’s best for our NHS, it’s going to take all of us getting involved. And that means we should all have a say in what we do next. By taking this quick survey we’ll know what’s really important to all of us, and then together we can plan our next big NHS campaign.

So, David, will you take a quick survey and have your say on what we should do next? It takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Things are so bad that ordinary people can’t help but speak up. A 77-year-old patient caught Prime Minister Rishi Sunak off guard by telling him to “try harder” to improve nurses’ pay, and a patient told Health Secretary Steve Barclay that he was doing “bugger all” about long ambulance waits. [2]

38 Degrees has a proud history of campaigning to protect our NHS. From fighting for a fair pay rise for NHS staff, to ensuring the NHS is properly funded and staffed, as well as opposing plans to raise the age limit for free prescription charges – we’ve fought relentlessly for an NHS we can all be proud of. [3] And with so many challenges left that fight is far from over.

By sharing your opinion in this short survey, we’ll be able to prioritise the issues we campaign on together. But to make the best plan we can, we need all of us to share our views.

So will you take this short survey today to help us keep fighting for the future of our NHS? It only takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Thanks for your support,

Flo, Mike, Jonathan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] Express & Star: Ambulance protest greets Tory Party members at hustings
[2] The Guardian: Woman confronts Steve Barclay on NHS outside hospital
Evening Standard (paywall): Rishi Sunak told by patient to ‘you are not trying, try harder’ to give nurse’s pay rise
[3] 38 Degrees: NHS Staff Pay Rise Campaign
38 Degrees: We need to properly fund and staff our NHS now!
38 Degrees: Keep prescriptions free for Over 60s

Our Nurses Are Striking against Real Starvation Wages

November 25, 2022

According to the news, the NHS nurses are going on strike on the 15th and 20th of December. I don’t want the nurses to strike, but I don’t blame and absolutely support them. Or rather, what I should say is that I don’t want the nurses to have to strike. Because I don’t believe they have a choice. I went to one of the fringe Labour meetings online a few weeks ago. I can’t remember whether it was organised by Arise or the Labour Assembly Against Austerity. Not that it really matters. One of the speakers was a medical professional or activist with the NHS. And what she said was really chilling. One quarter of the country’s NHS trusts – I don’t know whether this is Britain as a whole or just England – were running food banks for their nursing staff. For the nurses! And we have student nurses considering dropping out, because they can’t afford to feed themselves and study! And that obese abomination Therese Coffey wanted the NHS budget cut further. Like all the other right-wing Tories, including Farage, who boast about they’re going to cut waste. The Irish vlogger, Maximilien Robespierre, asked in one of his videos whether she was the most odious Tory politician. She had responded to an interviewer’s question by saying that if nurses didn’t like it, they should look for work elsewhere. It’s the standard Tory answer that you hear trotted out whenever there’s a strike. Presumably Coffey thinks we could get more poor immigrants to work for cheap wages to replace them, as one of these horrors suggested we could do to plug the labour shortage in other industries. I’m sick of Coffey, sick of Hunt, and sick of the Tories full stop.

Defend the NHS!

Pay nurses a living wage!

Tories out!

Message from the Megaphone: Triple Lock Pensions Reinstated, But People Still Need to Join a Union against Tories

November 18, 2022

I got this email from the Megaphone yesterday, with which I absolutely fully agree.

‘Dear supporter

Today the government announced in its Autumn Statement that the state pension triple lock will be reinstated for 2023.

Unite’s petition to defend the triple lock gathered over 20,000 signatures and demonstrated how strongly workers feel about the issue.

This is therefore an important victory which will mean that the state pension is protected against soaring inflation during the current cost of living crisis.

However, the campaign for a new workers’ economy must continue.  The full package of measures announced in the Autumn Statement amounts to a new austerity budget.

Commenting on the Autumn Statement, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“Our economy is broken. This Autumn Statement is not for working people. The chancellor has taxed income over wealth, backed City bankers instead of nurses and chosen profiteers over public services. He has made political choices based on rules that he himself has the power to change.

“Austerity and tax rises for workers will do nothing to create decent jobs or put money in our pockets. As a country, we must now begin a discussion on how to do things differently. We need different rules and to make different choices. We need an economy that works for all.”

To fight back we need a united, organised working class.  This starts with joining a union and getting actively involved.  You can join Unite today with membership options for those in work, out of work and retired from work:

https://join.unitetheunion.org/

In solidarity

Unite for a Workers’ Economy

Website
Twitter: @UniteEconomy
Facebook: Unite4WorkersEconomy
Instagram: Unite4WorkersEconomy

Yes, it’s a recruitment drive by Unite. But the message being given by the left generally is that with the Tories’ new austerity drive, working people do need to join unions and do need to unite to resist them.

Graham Linehan Talks to Nurse Elaine Miller about Gynecological Problems Caused by Gender Transition

October 31, 2022

I realise that very many of my readers don’t agree with my gender critical views. However, I felt I had to put this video up because I don’t believe there is enough awareness of the issues it addresses. Elaine Miller is a nurse specialising in gynaecological problems, and here she talks about the severe problems that can arise from gender transition surgery on trans-identified women. One of the criticisms of the current trans movement is that the affirmative-only care being lobbied for by trans activists plays down the severe side effects that the surgery may cause. To its critics, this model of care stresses only the positive benefits, telling patients that such surgery will allow them to lead their authentic lives and that everything will be fine and dandy for them. In some cases this is true. In many others, it isn’t. Miller states that from the available evidence, which is deeply flawed and biased towards surgical conversion, it appears that the operations have a thirty per cent failure rate. This is far higher than would otherwise be permitted for other surgical operations. Mastectomies may have the result of causing tendonitis, so that some patients are unable to raise their arms above their shoulders. It may also cause persistent pain, and there is also the problem of loss of sensation in the chest area. The effects of testosterone include menstruation ceasing, so that young women taking the hormone may experience the health problems of post-menopausal women. It also causes the uterus and other sexual organs to atrophy and stick to other organs. It can also cause painful spasms of the uterus. Many young trans-identified women undergo hysterectomies, not because they really want these organs removed, but because they are in so much pain with them caused by the testosterone.

She also talks about some of the serious medical consequences that may come from legal, but not full biological transition. It has happened that trans-identified women have become pregnant without them being aware that they have or could, with the consequence that they need gynaecological care although they identify as men. She talks about a case like this in America, where a transman presented themselves at the hospital with abdominal pain. The transman had also legally transitioned, so that their birth certificate recorded that they were male. By the time people realised that she was trans and in labour, tragically the child had died.

I am not trying to scare anyone by putting this information up, but I do think people should be aware of it. These possibilities have to be properly discussed with patients, to the point where I think it’s a reasonable position that such surgery should only be performed on those who absolutely need it.

Questioning the Supposed Link Between Slavery and Black Obesity

October 29, 2022

Sorry, folks, but I’m returning here to the something my favourite right-wing YouTube historian posted yesterday. Lenny Henry is the co-editor of a book that’s recently been published on the dire state of Black Britain, Black British Lives Matter, and Simon Webb has been reading it. He posted two videos attacking what he considered to be a couple of its untruths yesterday. One was a demolition of a list in the book of Black people, who have supposedly died in police custody. Except that many of them didn’t. One woman in particular, who the book claims died in 1986, really only died in 2011 or so, according to Wikipedia. The other video concentrated on a chapter about Black British health. Four times as many Black mothers die in childbirth as White mothers. Webb states that one of the causes of this is likely to be obesity. The book notes that a higher number of Black people are obese than Whites, who in turn have a higher level of obesity than east Asians. Webb likes this, as it fits in with the Bell curve and the statistical distribution of intelligence between races. Blacks are thicker than Whites, who are in turn thicker than east Asians. Now according to Webb, the book claims that Blacks have higher levels of obesity because they were fed scraps and other bits of rubbish, like molasses, by the plantation masters when they were slaves. Webb criticises this by saying this makes as much sense as blaming the rise of obesity in working class Whites on the highly calorific food working class people traditionally ate. He argues he could use that to excuse himself getting fat, but it’s still within his power to change his diet.

Now I think here he does have a point. I don’t think you can blame slavery for Black obesity, or not entirely, for the following reasons:

  1. At some point in the 18th century, the plantation masters started giving their slaves plots of land on which they could work on Sundays growing their own food. This was partly a ploy so that they didn’t have to give them so much rations. But it resulted in the development of a market economy in the Caribbean, with the enslaved population producing food which they sold at Sunday markets.
  2. African slaves also took some of their own foodstuffs to the New World. I’ve only read of this in the context of Black American cuisine, but apparently the slaves in the southern US also included food plants from their west African homelands. My guess is that something similar also happened in the Caribbean.
  3. In the 19th century the British deliberately set about improving the slave diet. Yams were introduced from Polynesia and the British government also started laying down regulations on the amount of food the planters had to give their slaves. This consisted of so many plantains, so much fish and ‘farinaceous material’ – presumably wheat and cereals – per week. I’m not a nutritionist, so have no idea whether the prescribed amounts would have been enough. But the legislation is contained in the British parliamentary papers on slavery compiled in the 1820s, and anyone interested could use them very productively as a research tool.
  4. Even if there is a link between slavery and obesity in Blacks, this would only apply to people of West Indian descent. Or rather, it would only have a racist context for those enslaved by the British. It wouldn’t apply to recent African immigrants, unless you wish to argue that they are inclined to obesity because of the diet their enslaved ancestors were fed by their African masters. African societies also owned slaves, the proportions varyiing between 30 to 70 per cent of the population according to culture. And they were fed scraps. In West Africa, people received food in relation to their position in the social hierarchy. The master of the house ate first, and passed his scraps on to his favourites, who in turned passed theirs down to their social inferiors, with the women getting whatever was left. Akapolo slaves in east Africa were also fed poorly, and expected to eat their food off the floor, rather than from pots.
  5. The ideal of beauty in some west African societies is for plump and fat women. In some west African cultures girls are taken to a special hut when they hit puberty where they are fattened up ready for marriage. And if I remember correctly, this has been an issue of feminist concern.

There’s also a class factor at work here, I feel. The British diet traditionally contained a lot of calories and stodge because most people did physical work. Now we live more sedentary lives and so don’t need as much rich, fatty food. This would also apply to people from the West Indies, where much of the work would also have been veery physical, particularly during slavery.

Then there is the question of the amount of healthcare Black women receive compared to those of Whites and other races. Thomas Sowell in one of his books on race debates this issue. He notes that Black mothers have a higher incidence of complications and mortality than Whites, and receive less care than Whites as well. But Mexican mother receive the least healthcare, but have much less infant mortality than Blacks. He therefore argues that the amount of healthcare isn’t the cause of Black infant mortality. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there wasn’t a genetic predisposition towards obesity in Blacks in the same way that there is in people of South Asian origin, who have a higher rate of heart disease than Whites. And if Blacks are genetically more predisposed to complications in pregnancy, in the same way that they suffer higher rates of sickle cell anaemia, then it simply means that Blacks need higher levels of medical care in pregnancy. Or perhaps different kinds of medical care to search for particular kinds of complications than Whites. The fact that Black Americans have higher rates of infant mortality than Mexicans despite receiving more medical care isn’t an argument for complacency and saying that somehow it’s all their fault. Clearly Black women need particular care during pregnancy, and there are initiatives to make sure they get it. There was an article on the local BBC news for Bristol a few months ago stating that a couple of Black nurses had started a scheme to combat the higher rate of deaths of Black mothers. That’s clearly welcome and necessary.

But blaming all of this on slavery is bad history and worse race relations. And it may be doing actual harm by preventing historians and healthcare specialists examining other, possibly equal relevant causes of Black health problems.