Posts Tagged ‘Sky News’

GB News’ Mark Steyn Coming Very Close to Pushing Fascist Conspiracy Theories about Covid Vaccine

January 5, 2023

GB News, the self-proclaimed alternative to the ‘wet, woke BBC’, is in this fortnight’s Private Eye. The broadcaster apparently has overtaken Sky News in ratings, and has taken to pushing stupid, and potentially dangerous conspiracy theories. These include myths that the vaccine doesn’t work, or is responsible for deaths, and that there’s no need for the lockdown. Pretty much staples of the wider right-wing anti-vaxxer fringe. But one of these conspiracy theories comes very close to fascism. Mark Steyn has apparently told his viewers that the coronavirus vaccine is the cause of the falling birthrate in the west of the ‘Aryans’, who built civilisation. Firstly, as the 19th century linguist, who used the term ‘Aryan’ for what are now termed the Indo-European languages, George Muller, it’s a linguist not racial term. A dark-skinned Indian, who speaks Hini or one of the other languages descended from Sanskrit, or an Urdu-speaking Pakistani can both be fairly described as Aryans, because their languages are derived from that introduced by the Aryans, who invaded Indian c. 3000 BC. But both would be targeted by the Nazis over here because of their race. Muller stated quite clearly that conflating Aryan with race was dangerous, and it’s a pity more people didn’t listen to him otherwise the carnage of the Third Reich might have been avoided.

He’s right that the birthrates in the developed west are falling along with the sperm count of western men. This is alarming, as there have been predictions by respectable magazines and newspapers that if it continues, by 2050 half of western men will be considered clinically infertile. No-one really knows the cause of this, but it’s been suggested since the 1990s that a type of plastic, phthallates, may be responsible. Other causes are probably the industrial pollution responsible for the reproductive deformities in amphibians, which Alex Jones notoriously declared were ‘turning the frickin’ frogs gay’. These chemicals are believed to mimic female hormones, hence their damage to those animals. I’ve also seen claims that it’s all due to female hormones from the reproductive pill getting into the biosphere, but I haven’t seen any scientist make this claim. In my opinion, it comes from that part of the right which is anti-feminist and so pro-life as to condemn contraception as well as abortion. I also got the impression that all western men were affected, including Blacks and Asians, and not just Whites.

Steyn’s claims resemble the conspiracy theories that were going around the Black communities in America and possibly apartheid South Africa back in the 90s. These claimed that the government was putting chemicals in Coca-Cola to sterilise young Black men. That was totally wrong, though it was understandable given the persecution of Blacks in both those countries. Steyn’s is a first-world, White version of this. It comes very close to all the stupid and murderous conspiracy theories about the machinations of the Jews to enslave and destroy the White race, although as far as I know Steyn isn’t an anti-Semite.

He is, however, an Islamophobe. About a decade ago he was a partner with late Reaganite bloviator Rush Limbaugh and his radio station out in New Hampshire. Much of the content Steyn put out on his blogs and columns on the internet were attacks on Islam, including some of the weirder rulings made by Iran’s late Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini. He was one of those pushing the ‘Eurabia’ fear. This holds that Muslim birthrates are outstripping those of indigenous European Whites to such an extent that they will become the dominant race and religion and impose sharia law. A friend of mine told me he did some calculations, and that’s simply not going to happen. I don’t doubt that the Muslim population will expand immensely in the next decades, and this will present serious problems if the radicals and Islamists extend their influence over these communities, but it won’t lead to their population overtaking everyone else’s.

Steyn also tried to warn or scare people with the example of Feyenoord in the Netherlands. This is a majority Muslim town where some decades ago the Muslim dominated city council publicly invited the non-Muslim population to convert. I don’t know, but I think their attitude would be unremarkable, perhaps even ordinary in very pious, hardline Muslim countries like Pakistan, where non-Muslims can come under very intense pressure to convert. But obviously in the context of the non-Muslim, secular west, where religion is considered a matter for the individual’s private conscience, it’s totally unacceptable. The problem is, I don’t know how common such political moves by Muslim-controlled local authorities are. As far as I know, it only happened in Feyenoord, although I’m sure that non-Muslims living in solidly Muslim areas are under pressure to conform to their standards of behaviour.

Away from Steyn, the article describes how GB News, like Fox over in the US, threw in their lot with Donald Trump, talking him as US president until it became the ‘MAGA channel’. Their predictions of Trump’s eminent suitability for the Oval Office was definitely born out by the Orange Buffoons massive greed, incompetence and disastrous policies towards blue collar workers – more attacks on their rights, further decimation of their welfare provisions to enrich Trump’s friends and donors, and more outsourcing. As well as attempts to muzzle federal climate and environmental scientists for the benefit of the oil industry. And I could go on.

As for GB News’ attitudes over here, it’s solidly behind Farage and Brexit and resolutely against the welfare state and the NHS. If you’re a member of the working class, GB News is not your friend. But the stupid conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccine threaten to do real harm. We’ve already seen instances where people have refused the vaccine, then caught the virus and died. And Steyn’s story about birthrates and ‘Aryans’ threatens to encourage real Nazis and Fascists, who’ll target not just Muslims but Jews.

Heroic People Stop Shooter at Gay Nightclub

November 20, 2022

I just found this report by Sky News’ Bethany Minelle, ”Heroic people’ stopped attack at US gay nightclub in which five died’. There’s been yet another mass shooting in America, but according to the report at least two people stopped the gunman killing any more people. And the maximum possible respect to them. The article begins

“Heroic people” confronted a gunman at a gay nightclub in Colorado and stopped him killing any more people, police have said.

Five people died and at least 18 were injured at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

The suspect has been named as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who was taken into custody and treated for injuries.

In a news conference, officers said the gunman used a “long rifle” and began shooting as soon as he entered the venue.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said: “At least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others.

We owe them a great debt of thanks.”

John Suthers, the mayor of Colorado Springs, said their actions “clearly saved lives”.

At least two firearms were found at the scene, and the FBI is assisting with the investigation, Mr Vasquez said.

His officers are working to identify those that died, and to establish whether anyone helped the suspect.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who is openly gay, commended the “brave individuals who blocked the gunman”, describing the attack as “horrific, sickening and devastating”.

The venue called the shooting a “hate attack”. It said: “Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”‘

For more information, see: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/heroic-people-stopped-attack-at-us-gay-nightclub-in-which-five-died/ar-AA14jNUj

One of the most horrific aspects about such mass killings is that they’ve happened so regularly that people have got used to them. I don’t know how many such shootings occur each year in America, but it’s huge. And while there are areas with a high level of gun ownership which have very low rates of gun violence, such crimes are related to the easy accessibility of at least certain types of firearms. The American left-winger Robert Reich stated in one of his posts that when certain types of very powerful weaponry were briefly outlawed, the incidence of these shootings, or perhaps just the number of deaths from them, fell 70 per cent.

As for the type of maniacs who carry them out, some of them, like this scumbag, are clearly motivated by hate. Others, like those who shoot up schools, stores and bus queues, have a grudge against the world in general and simply go where they can find enough people to take out their rage on.

And after such killings you hear from the Republicans the refrain that instead of banning guns, there should be better mental health care. Well, it would probably help stop these atrocities if there was, but when in power the Republicans have always voted to cut mental health provision and funding.

And so terrible acts like this continue to break out, and it’s left to the cops and ordinary, great people like the heroes above, to stop them.

38 Degrees Petition to Remove the Ban on Onshore Windfarms

November 14, 2022

Here’s another petition I got from 38 Degrees, and it also shows up the hypocrisy of Rishi Sunak and the Tories. Sunak has been talking up the advantages of green energy at the very same time he and his wretched gang of robbers are trying to limit it. Despite its advantages, the Tories have placed a ban on onshore windfarms which this petition hopes to lift. It runs

Over 70% of us support this, so why is it banned?

“…diversifying our energy supplies by investing in renewables is precisely the way to insure ourselves against the risks of energy dependency.”

David, these are the words that our PM, Rishi Sunak, delivered to COP27 on Monday. [1] But just before this, his government announced that onshore wind farms would stay banned in England – limiting the amount of renewable energy we can generate here. [2] It doesn’t make sense!

At a time when energy bills are soaring, you would think the PM would be doing everything in his power to reduce them – instead of banning such a cheap source of energy. [3] And wind power is hugely popular here in the UK – even 84% of Conservative voters want it! [4] The Government’s decision to take it off the table is quite baffling.

Right now Rishi Sunak, his green policies and his COP27 appearance is all over the news. And we know public pressure works on Rishi’s environmental policies. In recent weeks he’s U-turned on fracking and whether or not he’d be going to COP27 in the first place. [5] Let’s add our voices together again and tell the PM that we, the public, want him to u-turn on wind power too.

David, will you add your name to a petition calling on Rishi Sunak to scrap the ban on onshore wind farms? For every 500 signatures, we’ll send him a message telling him how much bigger the petition has grown. It takes 30 seconds to sign:

ADD MY NAME

Building an onshore wind farm and maintaining it creates less emissions than any other energy source and can be done in just a few months. [6] The areas they’re built on can still be used for farming too, so it’s a win-win situation. The need for cheap energy quickly has never been higher than now.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to re-ban fracking was the right call, but keeping the ban on wind power is not. The UK has the largest wind energy resource in Europe – so onshore wind farms should be a no-brainer. [7]

In the past few months, together we have accomplished so much for our environment: The Government released its plan to stop sewage pollution, fracking was banned – again – and just last week we were part of a national outcry that persuaded Rishi to attend COP27. [8] We only brought about this change because we did it as a community. So let’s do it again and get Rishi to scrap the ban on new onshore wind farms.

Will you add your name to the petition now? It’ll take just 30 seconds:

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Megan and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] Gov.uk: PM statement at COP27: 7 November 2022
[2] Daily Mail: Now ban on onshore wind farms will stay as Rishi Sunak axes another Liz Truss policy
[3] The Guardian: England is failing to capitalise on its onshore wind potential 
[4] Renewable UK: Polling in every constituency in Britain shows strong support for wind farms to drive down bills
[5] The Guardian: Rishi Sunak will keep ban on fracking in UK, No 10 confirms
Sky News: PM makes ‘screeching U-turn’ on attending COP27 – and all his campaign pledges are under review
[6] National Grid: Onshore vs offshore wind energy: what’s the difference?
[7] See note 4
[8] DEFRA: Consultation on the Government’s Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan
See note 5′

I’ve signed it, and if you feel the same, please feel free to do so as well.

38 Degrees Petition against MPs Taking Second Jobs or Going on Holiday While Parliament is in Session

November 13, 2022

I also had an email about this petition from 38 Degrees come through on Friday. Launched by John Clutterbuck, a 38 Degrees member, it requires MPs to view their parliamentary role as a full-time job. This is another petition I’ve had absolutely no problem signing, because this is how it should be. In the 19th and early 20th centuries there was indeed a strong feeling against MPs having careers outside parliament because of the danger of commercial corruption. But after MPs started being sponsored by the unions as part of the Labour movement, the right argued that there should be no obstacles to figures from industry sitting in parliament. And so we have the wretched situation today where something like 77 per cent of the MPs during Cameron’s squalid tenure of No. 10 were millionaires and directors of companies. It was the same over the other side of the Pond, where a Republican businessman got so fed up with this that he launched a campaign for congressmen and women to wear patches indicating which companies had sponsored their campaigns to show who they were really representing.

Get business out of parliament, and clean politics in!

I’ve therefore signed the petition, and if you feel the same way, please do so as well.

‘Dear David,

How do you feel about MP’s taking on second jobs or going on their holiday when they should be working in the Houses of Parliament?

John, a 38 Degrees supporter, thinks that being an MP is a full time job and taking on other roles or going on holiday outside of parliamentary recess can’t be good for constituents. [1]

While some MPs work second jobs in the NHS, others choose to appear on TV shows, work advising private health companies, or take holidays while they should be in parliament. [2]

John believes these types of jobs should not be allowed. He also thinks that, as with teachers, if you choose to go into politics you should accept that means your holidays have to be taken at a certain time in the year. That’s why he’s started a petition calling for the role of an MP to be considered a full time job, with stricter rules around taking second jobs or going on holiday.

David, do you agree with John? If so, use the button below to sign his petition today calling on a ban on second jobs and holidays outside of recess. It takes 30 seconds to sign:

‘Campaign created by john clutterbuck

Sign the petition

To: The Commons Standards Committee

What: MPs should not be allowed to take holiday while Parliament is sitting or take second jobs while they are a Member of Parliament. Being an elected MP is – or should be – a full time job.

Why is this important: Being an MP is a full time job. It is not something that should be done with half measures.

Right now during a cost of living crisis and government unrest, it is of extreme importance that all MPs serve their constituencies the best they can. Taking on second jobs or going on holidays outside of parliamentary recess can simply not be better for the good of constituents and the UK as a whole.

When someone decides to become a teacher, they do so knowing it means they will be limited on when they can go on holiday. If you choose to run for Parliament it should be with the same understanding.

Read more…

Sign the petition

hanks for being involved,

David, Megan, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

PS: John Clutterbuck started their petition on the 38 Degrees website.

With 38 Degrees anyone can start their own campaign with the click of a button. But that’s just where your journey begins. Creating a petition, then sharing it with friends and colleagues, can soon give you a groundswell of support. Perhaps you’ll end up changing something really important.

Use this link to get your campaign started today, it takes just a couple of minutes and we’ll support you every step of the way: https://link.38degrees.org.uk/start-campaign

NOTES:
[1] 38 Degrees: Make being a Member of Parliament a full time job
[2] The Week: The MPs earning the most from second jobs
Sky News: Matt Hancock to enter I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! jungle following Olivia Attwood’s shock
departure
Guardian: Boris Johnson is back … from his three post-resignation holidays

Rishi Sunak to Attend COP 27 After All

November 2, 2022

It seems that the internet petitions launched to get our recently un-elected Prime Minister to attend the COP27 conference have actually had an effect. According to Sky News this morning, Sunak has said that he will be going. He tweeted this morning that ‘There is no long term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend @COP27 next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.’

Sky’s Tamara Cohen in this report below suggests that Sunak’s volte-face was caused by the unexpected backlash he got from his party, including former Chancellor George Osborne, who said that he was trashing the Tories’ green legacy. This was something the Tories can be proud of when frankly there isn’t much else. They were also thinking of Boris Johnson hosting the Glasgow conference. Also, the report says, it gives him a chance to network with the other world leaders.

So, no mention of the fact that the British public were also demanding he go, and Keir Starmer criticised him for not going, which obviously also put pressure on Sunak to reverse his decision. But at least Sunak is going to attend the summit at last.

Email from 38 Degrees on the Government’s Consultation Paper on Green Energy

October 26, 2022

This came through yesterday. The internet democracy organisation is asking their supporters to fill out the government’s consultation paper on green energy, which has to be done by tomorrow. The plan has some good points, but in the eyes of the experts it doesn’t go far enough. If you click on the links, you go to the paper’s questions with 38 Degrees’ suggested answers. I’ve filled it out, and am posting it here so others may do so too if they wish.

‘Dear David,

The Government has launched an independent review into their Net Zero Strategy – the UK’s official plan to tackle the climate crisis – and they want our views. [1]

We already know these plans are not good or thorough enough. In fact it’s so weak that in July this year, the high court ruled the Government had to go back to the drawing board to properly explain how their strategy will achieve its targets. [2] They have been given until April 2023 to figure this out – a worrying fact when some of the targets need to be met by 2030!

This consultation is our chance to make the Government take the climate crisis more seriously. If enough of us share our views, we can make sure they set targets that are both realistic and ambitious. Something our country and planet desperately needs. But it’ll only work if enough of us get involved before the consultation closes on Thursday.

David, can you complete a short survey about the Net Zero Strategy – and help the Government to take the climate crisis seriously? It will only take a few minutes, and once you’ve filled it in we’ll submit it to the consultation along with the views of thousands of other 38 Degrees supporters:

SHARE MY VIEWS

So what is actually in The Net Zero Strategy? It has a ten point plan covering various aspects of British life:

  • By 2030, the Government wants to quadruple offshore wind capacity which will generate more power than all our homes use today. [3]
  • £385 million will be invested in the coming years to develop nuclear reactors to provide energy to UK households. [4]
  • New petrol and diesel vehicles will not be sold in the UK from 2030 onwards. [5]
  • And 600,000 heat pumps are to be installed into UK homes every year until 2028. [6]

This strategy may seem to push us in the right direction, but various organisations and the House of Lords have argued it does not go far enough, and focuses on the wrong areas. [7] For example. 600,000 heat pumps sounds great, but we’ll need millions of them to actually make a difference. [8] And crucially the strategy fails to mention where the funding for all of its goals will be coming from as well. [9]

So we need to push back and get them to increase their ambition! It certainly won’t be the first time 38 Degrees supporters have taken part in a consultation and pushed the Government to rethink their plans. Over 40,000 of us took part in the consultation for the privatisation of Channel 4 and managed to halt the plans to sell it off. [10] Now we need to do the same for our environment and planet – but it will only work if all of us get involved.

So, can you share your views on the Government’s Net Zero Plans via a quick survey now? The consultation closes on Thursday so we don’t have long!

SHARE MY VIEWS

Thanks for all that you do,

Simma, Megan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] Gov.uk: Review of Net Zero: call for evidence
The consultation on the Government’s site is very long and technical, so we’ve replicated it on the 38 Degrees site and only included the questions relevant to members of the public.
[2] The Guardian: Court orders UK government to explain how net zero policies will reach targets
Sky News: ‘Landmark ruling’ sees government’s net-zero strategy ruled ‘unlawful’
[3] “Point 1: Advancing offshore wind”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[4] “Point 3: Delivering New and Advanced Nuclear Powe”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[5] “Point 4: Accelerating the Shift to Zero Emission Vehicles”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[6] “Point 7: Greener Buildings”
HM Government: The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
[7] Financial Times (paywall): UK lacks ‘credible plan’ to drive net zero transition, Lords report warns
UK Parliament Committees: UK will miss net zero target without urgent action, warns Lords committee
[8] See note 7
[9] See note 2
[10] 38 Degrees: 250,000 people say: Keep Channel 4 public
Financial Times (paywall): UK government ‘re-examining’ Channel 4 privatisation plan

38 Degrees Launches Cost of Living Catastrophe Map

October 17, 2022

I got this email from internet democracy site 38 Degrees earlier this evening.

BREAKING: the Government has ripped up their disastrous mini-budget – and now they want us to pick up the pieces. [1] They’ve put our livelihoods, our homes and our futures on the line with their reckless plans, and turned the cost of living crisis into a catastrophe. [2]

But with no sign of the rescue plan we’ve needed all along, we need to show them the price we’re paying. And we’ve got just the thing.

So we’ve just launched a HUGE, ambitious new project: the cost of living catastrophe, mapped.[3]Our interactive map spotlights more than 1,000 stories from across the 38 Degrees community – and the country.These are the real lives behind this catastrophe.

This is what the map looks like

Together, thousands of us have forced the Government into the biggest U-turn we’ve ever seen – but we can go further. [4]If all of us share this map far and wide, we’ll put the stories behind this catastrophe front and centre, so journalists, MPs and the Governmentwill have no doubt that we need a proper rescue plan for the country.

So, David, will you help keep up the pressure on the Government by sharing our cost of living catastrophe map – and show the real price of this crisis?

Twitter is the best way to ensure as many MPs and journalists see this map. Just click below and retweet the 38 Degrees tweet or – if you can – ‘quote tweet’ it and share your own cost of living story. You could even tag your MP!

SHARE ON TWITTER

If you don’t have Twitter, you can share on Facebook or WhatsApp instead.

SHARE ON FACEBOOK

SHARE ON WHATSAPP

Or, if you don’t use social media, will you consider chipping in so we can help share it via online and offline ads.

Thank you for being involved,

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

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: New chancellor reverses ‘almost all’ tax measures 
The Telegraph (paywall): Energy price cap could be torn up under plans considered in Whitehall
[2] BBC News: What was in the mini-budget and what has changed?
The Independent (paywall): Kwarteng confirms further cuts of up to £18bn for public services
Sky News: Cost of living: More mortgage products now on offer – but interest rates continue to rise
[3] 38 Degrees: The cost of living catastrophe, mapped 

I’ve absolutely no problem with posting this on social media. The Khazi may be gone, but Liz Truss and her Tory hordes are still in power, and people are still hurting. And they don’t care about the poor – only about the rich, and getting re-elected.

38 Degrees Invite Water Company Heads to Fake Festival of Sewage

October 2, 2022

This is a highly amusing idea. In order to make the point that the sewage the water companies are allowing to get into the environment isn’t acceptable, 38 Degrees are asking their supporters to send the heads of their local water companies fake invitations to a festival of sewage. I go this email and invitation about it on Friday.

Coming to a river or beach near you David: SEWAGE FEST 2022!

Okay, so we’re not actually putting on a festival celebrating sewage pollution. I know, shocking. But today copies of this poster really did start appearing in Brighton, one of many beaches affected by sewage pollution this summer. [1] The message to water companies? Sort. It. Out.

The 38 Degrees community has a history of using fun and creative ideas to make a serious point – and this time is no different! With the Government asking water companies to develop better plans to tackle sewage pollution, it’s the perfect time to publicly shame them – and make sure they really do step up their game. [2]

So here’s the plan: Imagine thousands of us inviting water company bosses to ‘attend’ Sewage Fest 2022 by sharing VIP tickets with them over Twitter (after all, it just wouldn’t have been possible without them!). It’ll be massively embarrassing for them – as well as spreading the word about the campaign!

So David, will you tweet the CEO of your water company a ticket to Sewage Fest 2022 now – and publicly pressure them to clean up their act? The ticket design is below – we hope you like it!

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

So why now? Well, a few weeks ago the new Environment Secretary told water companies to produce more ambitious plans for tackling sewage pollution. [3]

It’s positive news – and only happened because of a huge amount of public pressure. [4] But with everything else going on in the world (and there’s a lot right now) we need to make sure water companies know we’re watching – and won’t accept watered down proposals!

Last week, thousands of us emailed water company CEOs demanding they make their plans as ambitious as possible. [5] But we can’t stop there. Just imagine those same CEOs being publicly invited to an ‘event’ of their own making – Sewage Fest 2022! VIP tickets too, what a treat. Together we can publicly embarrass them, making them feel the heat over their collective failure to tackle the issue.

So will you tweet the CEO of your water company – inviting them to Sewage Fest 2022 and hold them accountable for their disgusting mess? Just click below and you’ll be sent to a page where you can select your water company.

I’LL TWEET A TICKET

Thanks for all you do,

Simma, Matt, Megan, Angus and the 38 Degrees Team

NOTES:
[1] Our posters are all over Brighton – you can see examples herehere, and here!
The Telegraph (paywall): Sewage now pollutes every single beach between Brighton and Hastings
BBC News: Sussex beaches: People advised not to swim after sewage releases
The Independent: England’s most polluted rivers as sewage pumped into waterways for 2.6m hours
[2] Daily Mail: Water companies given two week deadline by government to show how they will stop sewage being pumped into rivers and beaches
Sky News: Water company bosses given 14 days to set out sewage dumping plans, new environment secretary says
[3] See note 2
[4] BBC News: Environment Bill passes following lengthy battle over sewage
38 Degrees: Stop dumping raw sewage into our seas and waterways
DEFRA: Storm overflows discharge reduction plan
The Rivers Trust: Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan still too little, too late
[5] 38 Degrees: Enough is enough: draw up ambitious plans to fix our outdated sewage system

38 Degrees Petition against Truss and Coffee’s Running-Down of the NHS

September 23, 2022

I just go this email message from internet petitioning service 38 Degrees. Their disgusted at the government’s latest ‘reforms’ to the NHS, which in fact consist of telling doctors to try harder. They make the point that it doesn’t do anything to cut waiting lists nor counter the increasing rates of burn-out suffered by doctors because of overwork. They have therefore launched this petition against it, along with a wider campaign to spread the word about the government’s dreadful NHS policies using an ambulance.

‘Dear David,

Yesterday, our fourth Health Secretary since last year, Thérèse Coffey, revealed the Government’s “Plan For Patients”. [1] It turns out, the plan is nothing more than telling GPs to try harder and giving them a new target. [2] Health groups have said it will “make no tangible difference” and have “minimal impact on the care patients receive.” [3]

This is not acceptable. New PM Liz Truss says the NHS is one of her top three priorities. [4] Yet more than six million of us are languishing on waiting lists. More than two million of us are waiting to see GPs. And there are more than 60,000 NHS vacancies across the UK, with doctors at breaking point, suffering burnout. [5]

We needed something big. This wasn’t it.

We should all be furious about this. There is no point giving GPs new targets if there aren’t enough GPs to meet them. How is a new “cloud-based” phone system supposed to put an end to thousands scrambling for appointments first thing in the morning when there aren’t enough appointments to go around?

David, 38 Degrees supporters like you have been campaigning for a better NHS as long as we’ve been around. We can’t let the Government get away with this new lacklustre plan. Will you sign the petition demanding better – then share it with your friends and family so we, the British public, can make clear that we won’t accept anything less than a properly funded NHS?

YES, I’LL SIGN

NO, I DISAGREE

Over the summer, we fought hard to show that the NHS is on a knife edge. That’s why we bought an ambulance, turned it into a mobile advert, and drove it to leadership campaign events across the country. [6] We know Liz Truss heard us, because she said on the steps of Downing Street when she became PM that making sure “people can get doctors’ appointments” was one of her early priorities. [7]

Yet this first step is embarrassingly inadequate compared to the scale of the problem. And while it can feel hopeless at times seeing what’s happening to our beloved NHS, we know we can change things if we work together. That’s why last year we fought hard for NHS staff to get the pay rise they deserve, and after initially offering a 1% pay rise, the Government increased their offer after hundreds of thousands of us spoke out. [8]

The NHS is one of the most important issues to the 38 Degrees community. We’re not prepared to stand by and let this government underfund and understaff it. Millions of people depend on the services it provides, and thousands more will suffer if we don’t speak out.

Will you sign the petition, and get your friends and family to do the same? It only takes a few seconds to add your name, and a few seconds more to ask others to do the same.

YES, I’LL SIGN

NO, I DISAGREE

Thank you for your continued support,

Jonathan, Veronica, Megan, Tash and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] PoliticsHome: Therese Coffey Sets Out “Expectation” That GPs Will See Patients Within Two Weeks
[2] See note [1]
[3] Royal College of GPs: More expectations without addressing GP workforce shortage not best way forward, says RCGP
British Medical Association: Health Secretary’s new plan brings us closer to the demise of general practice, says BMA
[4] Sky News: The economy, the energy crisis and the NHS – Liz Truss sets out three key priorities in her first speech as PM
[5] Daily Mail: NHS waiting list shoots to ANOTHER record high of 6.8million
Evening Chronicle: ‘Bad health has doubled’ in the last decade across North East – and almost half of people report struggling to get GP appointments
BBC News: NHS in England facing worst staffing crisis in history, MPs warn
The New Statesman: “This is just not safe for anyone”: the NHS doctors at breaking point
[6] Express & Star: Ambulance protest greets Tory Party members at hustings
BirminghamLive: Protestors voice anger at NHS delays and costs crisis outside Truss v Sunak hustings at NEC
[7] 10 Downing Street: Prime Minister Liz Truss’s statement: 6 September 2022
[8] 38 Degrees: NHS Staff Pay Rise Campaign

I’ve had absolutely no problems signing it. If you feel the same way about this latest assault on the NHS, please feel free to do so as well.

Internet Petition from 38 Degrees Against Bankers’ Bonuses

September 22, 2022

And I have had absolutely no problem signing it.

David, millions of people up and down the country are struggling to make ends meet. As energy, food and fuel prices continue to go through the roof, many of us will be forced to make the impossible choice between heating and eating this winter. [1]

But what’s one of the first things our new Prime Minister and Chancellor have decided to do? Increase bankers’ bonuses. [2] You can almost hear the champagne corks popping!

This is the wrong policy at the wrong time. Why should city bankers be first in line for help when millions of people around the country don’t know how they’ll keep the lights on over the coming months?

Tomorrow, our new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, may announce this during a mini-budget – but it’s not a done deal. If enough of us make some noise and tell them this shouldn’t be a priority during a cost of living crisis, then there’s still time for them to do the right thing and drop their plans.

So, David, will you tell the Government that they should be focusing on support for ordinary people around the country – not city bankers? Simply click the button below to add your name:

ADD MY NAME

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng seem to believe that if enough cash is stuffed in the pockets of city bankers, then this will ‘trickle down’ to the others. But it just doesn’t work like that. Ahead of a meeting with our PM on Tuesday, even President Biden said that he was “sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked.” [3]

These caps on bonuses were introduced to provide a more balanced economy – and to get away from a culture of bankers taking “excessive risks”. [4] If Liz Truss believes in ‘levelling up’ the whole of Britain, then she should prioritise places outside of the City of London and put ordinary people at the front of the queue for support.

Just months ago, former PM, Boris Johnson, floated the idea of increasing bankers’ bonuses. But after more than 96,000 of us took action, and after much public outcry, the plans were dropped. [5] We’ve shown that we can reflect public feeling and get the Government to scrap bad policies and we can do it again.

David, will you add your name to our petition calling on the Government to drop their plans to increase bankers’ bonuses?

ADD MY NAME

Thanks for all your do,

Tom, David, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] Sky News: Cost of living: Millions of people already behind with their household bills, new research suggests
[2] BBC News: Liz Truss defends plan to lift cap on bankers’ bonuses
[3] Twitter: President Biden
[4] The Guardian: What is the banker bonus cap and could scrapping it boost growth?
[5] 38 Degrees: Dear Chancellor: No banker bonuses while millions struggle

They’re also asking for donations. I can afford to do so, but some of you may wish to.

’38 Degrees wouldn’t exist without you, David.

38 Degrees has no big donors – we’re funded by ordinary people who care, like you. Regular donations mean that we can plan future campaigns, pay our workers a decent wage, and keep fighting for what we all believe in.

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