Posts Tagged ‘Therese Coffey’

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!

Therese Coffey as Gigeresque Horror

October 30, 2022

Here’s another picture suitable for Hallowe’en – Therese Coffey portrayed as something from H.R. Giger’s fevered imagination. I was inspired by one of the paintings in the Giger Necronomicon, and Coffey has such vile views and policies that it seemed suitable. She gave an answer to a interview question that was so ‘orrible and disgusting, that the left-wing vlogger Maximilien Robespierre wondered if she was even human. Good question. Certainly there’s nothing humane about her attitude to the poor and sick. Don’t have nightmares!

Open Britain’s Scathing Criticism of Rishi Sunak’s Government

October 26, 2022

Here’s another piece I got yesterday from the pro-democracy group Open Britain, giving their damning opinion on our new, unelected Prime Minister and his wretched cabinet.

‘Dear David,

Here we go again. Rishi Sunak claims that he is a unifier, that his administration will be a fresh start, and that he will bring “integrity, professionalism, and accountability” to office. Unfortunately, his words are already conflicting with his actions.

Sunak may have seen off Jacob Rees-Mogg today but he went on to reinstate some of the most dangerous ideologues from the Johnson and Truss administrations. It doesn’t look like the fresh start we’ve been promised. 

Dominic Raab, a man dead-set on dismantling our human rights framework with a bill that the Law Society says would “damage the rule of law” and “prevent access to justice”, is back in post. Even Truss saw the danger of this bill and it’s astonishing that it now looks to be back on the agenda.

Suella Braverman, anti-woke culture warrior and architect of the reprehensible Rwanda-deportation scheme, is back as Home Secretary. Just six days ago she resigned from office after breaking ministerial rules and jeopardising national security. Don’t forget, Braverman is a former chair of the European Research Group and her reappointment shows that the group’s stranglehold on government priorities did not depart with Liz Truss. 

Michael Gove, Therese Coffey, Kemi Badenoch, Steve Barclay and others have also returned. It looks like this cabinet will be more or less a hybrid of Johnson and Truss’ senior teams…the very people who got us into this mess.

But what about Sunak’s programme for government? Well, we still haven’t heard much at all about what his plans are. Perhaps we will get some early clues at PMQs tomorrow, but it is astonishing that he has been installed in Number 10 on the say-so of about about 160 MPs with almost zero discussion of the plans he has to fix the economy and restore political stability. Surely a sign that our democracy is not exactly in tip-top shape.

And while all this was going on in Downing Street, in Parliament the Second Reading of the Retained EU Law Bill was taking place. If passed, that bill will automatically scrap regulations and protections associated with the EU, and give ministers massive powers to replace them with whatever they want. It will put all kinds of regulations in danger, including environmental rules, food safety standards, worker protection laws, and more. It will be a disaster for businesses and will undermine our democracy (Ministers should not have that much unchecked power).

We can be grateful that Boris Johnson isn’t back in office, but this cabinet and these bills remind us that not much has really changed. We’ll be watching what the new PM does over the coming days and weeks, but the early signs are that the chaos will continue and that our campaigning will be as important as ever.

Nothing that has happened in the last 48 hours or so has persuaded us that this is what the country needs. We are still firmly of the opinion that the only credible route to sustainable political stability is to let the people decide how we should move forward. We won’t stop pushing for a general election.

All the very best,

The Open Britain Team

‘We Own It’ Meeting Yesterday to Defend the NHS – A Brief Review

October 21, 2022

The pro-nationalisation, pro-NHS movement ‘We Own It’ held a Zoom meeting yesterday about the need to defend the health service from the Tory’s pernicious ongoing privatisation and discuss the demonstrations and protests they were organisations. It was hosted by the very well-informed and genial John Bosco and had a range of excellent speakers. It was to last from 6 pm to 7. 30, but I left after 50 minutes. This review thus necessarily does not cover the full event and all its speakers. Those I heard were Kate Osborne MP, Ben Goodair, the scientist behind the research showing that privatisation and outsourcing is actively killing people, Ron Mendel, an activist from my home city of Bristol and Zack Palansky, the deputy leader of the Green Party and member of the London assembly. And what they had to say was chilling.

Kate Osborne reminded us that a few years ago, Jeremy Hunt sold off the blood department of the NHS to the investment company, Bane, which then sold it on for a tidy sum. As a result, there’s a crisis in the blood section of the NHS, which has been forced to issue an ember alert. As for present health secretary, Therese Coffey, she is actively campaigning for the cash-starved NHS to get less money. She urged people to expose the false narrative that private industry is aiding the NHS. It isn’t. And to show how desperate conditions are for workers in the health service, one quarter of NHS trusts are running food banks for their own staff.

Ben Goodair’s work showing that outsourcing has actively produced excess deaths was published in the Lancet. Much of his talk was about the methodology they used to research this. He stated that one in ten patients in the health service is now being treated by a private healthcare company. He and his colleagues looked at the impact of privatisation by examining the use of private companies hired by the CCGs, the collections of doctors that Blair set up to control doctors’ spending. Not all CCGs used private healthcare companies. Many don’t, or only use to them to a small extent. But the study found that where they were used extensively by the CCGs, deaths rose significantly the next year.

Ron Mendel is an American, now living in my fair, home city. He has personal experience of the immense cost to the patient of private healthcare. He was speaking from Israel and Palestine, where he has been trying to work for peace between the two communities. He revealed that in Bristol, the Integrated Care Trust is currently running at a £36 million deficit. According to research by the University of Glasgow, between 2012 and 2019 there were 344,000 excess deaths.

Zack Palansky made it very clear that he and his party were fully behind the principles of the NHS: that it should be universal, publicly funded and free at the point of use. He stated that dental care needed to be defended as well as health – an important point now that, thanks to Thatcher’s privatisation and its consequences, millions of people don’t have an NHS dentist. He also pointed out that in 2015 Catherine Lucas, their leader, had launched an NHS reinstatement bill in the Commons to reverse the privatisation of the NHS. The Green Party, he declared, would reverse the 2012 Health and Social Care Bill. This is the pernicious bit of legislation that exempts the government from providing healthcare, the fundamental duty of the health secretary when it was founded by Nye Bevan. And he also stated that party leaders and MPs should join workers on picket lines.

We Own It as a whole stressed, they were not party-political and stated that many Tory voters wanted the privatisation stopped and the health service properly funded. But they recognised that most of the people campaigning were on the left. As well as urging their supporters to sign their petition against privatisation, they are also planning to set up a mass demonstration against it in Parliament Square on 25th February next year. They want at least 557 people there, to represent the 557 people who have needlessly died due to NHS privatisation.

The meeting was extremely well attended. There were 315 people there, from all over the country, and part of the organisers’ message was that these should be active in small groups in their local areas. If people are able to do this, it means that the organisation’s impact may be greater than those numbers suggest.

We Own It are doing great, important work as the NHS comes under attack from the Tories. We need the lie that outsourcing and privatisation is helping the health service to be absolutely refuted and political leaders who are willing to stop and reverse it.

Sketches and Cartoons of Truss and Cabinet

October 20, 2022

One of the things I’ve been doing over the past couple of days is making straight and satirical sketches of our former Prime Minister and her cabinet of horrors. I was going to wait a while until I had worked out a few more ideas for cartoons, but after today’s news of Truss’ resignation, I thought I’d better put them up while they’re still relevant.

And as Truss has finally given in and resigned, I thought this piccie of her being dragged off by the mental health experts would be the most suitable. If you can’t read it, the caption reads, ‘They’re Coming To Take Her Away’.

Then there are these sketches of Truss as the latest incarnation of Pinhead from the Hellraiser 2022 film, and Therese Coffey as two characters from the 1984 version of Dune: Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a man so fat he needs implanted anti-gravity devices to get around and has a horrible skin disease on his face; and a guild navigator, who are so mutated that they are carted around in large, enclosed vehicles.

Then there are these sketches. One is Coffey again, this time depicted as a Lovecraftian horror, and the other is of Jeremy Hunt. And I intend to send him up later.

And lastly there’s this one of Jacob Rees-Mogg. This is also a preparatory sketch for another cartoon.

Picture of Therese Coffey as the Butterball Cenobite from ‘Hellraiser’

October 14, 2022

I couldn’t help noticing a certain resemblance between our Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Health Service, Therese Coffey, and the Butterball cenobite from Clive Barker’s 1980s ‘Orror flick, Hellraiser. So, I thought I’d put the two images together.

Therese Coffey.

Butterball Cenobite

Therese Coffey Monstrosity

Don’t have nightmares, as they used to say at the end of Crimewatch UK.

Satirical Sketches of Truss, Kwarteng, Coffey and & Kenneth Williams

October 14, 2022

Brian’s suggestion that now ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng should be nicknamed ‘Khazi’, after the Khazi of Kalabar, played by Kenneth Williams in Carry on the Kyber gave me a few ideas for more sketches. I sketched Williams as the Khazi, and then drew him as Julius Caesar in Carry On, Cleo, because that’s the movie I mostly remembered the flared nostrils and arched delivery from. I’m afraid neither of the sketches are exactly like Williams, though the sketch of the Khazi is the better of the two. Now that Truss has stabbed Kwarteng in the back, it seems particularly serendipitous that I did the sketch of Caesar, with the bug-eyes staring down at the protruding dagger. So, I’ve done a small sketch of Kwarteng as Caesar. Below that sketch is Coffey as the Butterball cenobite from Hellraiser. And after seeing the photo of Truss with the mad staring eyes and open mouth as if she’d just gone utterly bonkers on the cover of Private Eye, I couldn’t resist sketching her being dragged off to the psychiatric ward. I’d like to work some of these up into proper sketches later. I hope you like them.

Sketch of Truss, Kwarteng, Coffey and Friend

October 12, 2022

I made this sketch of the three leading Tories yesterday with a view to drawing a satirical version of them all later on. The figures underneath them is the Butterball cenobite from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. I included him because I thought there was a certain similarity to Coffey. I based the picture of Truss from a photograph of her on the cover of last week’s Private Eye, which showed her in a pose that truly suggested she was wide-eyed and bonkers. She doesn’t always appear like that, obviously, but she’s still pretty bonkers.

Kwasi Kwarteng – Diversity Hire, or Just Another Member of Truss’ Government of Mediocrity?

October 2, 2022

It’s been a few days since I commented on a video by Simon Webb of History Debunked, so here’s one now. A few days ago, he put one up questioning Kwarteng’s qualifications for office as Chancellor of the Exchequer and wondering if he was only chosen because he was Black. Was his appointment simply a case of Truss giving him a job in order to show how diverse her government was? Given how disastrous the minibudget is, Kwarteng does not strike me as a brilliant economist. But then, neither does Truss herself, who strikes me as another absolute mediocrity. The same with Therese Coffey, who I wouldn’t trust to run a corner shop or local whist club. As for Jacob Rees-Mogg, I think he’s cleverer than the rest in that he has clever people working for him and is sufficiently slick with his patrician diction and general demeanour to conceal his absolute incompetence from much of the public. But none of them, absolutely none of them, strike me as intellectual powerhouses. Quite the opposite.

Readers of this blog of a certain age and taste in comedy will remember Glasgae toon’s guerrilla philosopher, Rab C. Nesbitt, and his biting view of Scots politics and the treatment of the poor and the underclass from the bottom of a pint glass. In one episode, Nesbitt crossed paths with the local Tory politician, a political nonentity looking forward to great things because Tory prime minister John Major was in office, and ‘this is the age of the mediocrity’. Ah, how that was the joke at the time! John Major was the grey man, a boring, uninspiring individual following the all-too vivid figure of Margaret Thatcher. Major himself wasn’t economically deft or competent, as his privatisation of the railways and the collapse of the pound during Black Wednesday showed. But compared to Truss and her crew, he was statesman of positively Churchillian proportions.

A week or so ago I went to an online meeting where members of the Labour left, like Richard Burgon and members of the TUC responded to Truss’ minibudget. They pointed out what a right-wing nightmare it was, along with her highly authoritarian attempts to strangle the unions with fresh legislation. Truss was promising nothing to the British working class except more poverty while massively cutting taxes for the rich. But the panel was also encouraged by the fact that people were determined to resist, and mobilising strikes and protests up and down this Sceptred Isle. And as for Truss and the rest of the minions, they saw them as the last of the Thatcherite True Believers. Thatcherism has run its course. It’s now looking threadbare. People are abandoning it. And Truss and co are the last of the market fundamentalists, more right-wing than Thatcher herself. And that’s saying something, given how she was a fan of real Fascists like General Pinochet!

If I read what the Labour people were saying rightly, this means that, as the last of the true-blue Thatcherites, Liz, Kwarteng and co are the scrapings from the bottom of the Tory barrel. In which case, Kwarteng didn’t get his post because he’s a diversity hire. He got his job because he shared the views and the same lack of ability as Truss and the rest of her followers.

And unfortunately, that means we’ve got to suffer his and Truss’ doctrinaire incompetence.

Their colour is immaterial. All that matters is their grotesque hatred and victimisation of the poor to benefit the extremely, obscenely rich.

Get them out now!

Drunk Tory Calls for the Privatisation of the NHS

September 29, 2022

This comes from the Daily Blase’s channel over on YouTube. Edward Lee, Tory MP for Gainsborough, staggered to his feet in the House of Commons today and said the quiet part out loud. Directing his remarks at health secretary Therese Coffey, he declared that it was not the fault of the healthcare workers that the NHS was in the state it’s in. It’s the fault of the institution itself. The NHS was the last example of collectivist socialist government. It should be abolished and replaced with the social insurance programmes France and other countries have, because they have better health outcomes than we have. Why, he concluded, should only the rich have private healthcare? To this Coffey responded by saying that the government didn’t view it that way.

As Mr Blase said, the florid-faced Tory blamed the NHS for its problems, rather than 12 years of Tory austerity. He’s quite right. We used to be ahead of much of the continent in health outcomes, but thanks to cuts and privatisation we’ve fallen below the other countries. And this is a direct result of forty years of unquestioned Thatcherism and the stealth privatisation Thatcher inaugurated. He also said that Coffey doesn’t really have any real difference of opinion to him. She’s just embarrassed he spoke so plainly about Tory policy. Again, he has a point. But it’s not just the Tories that wanted to privatise the NHS. Nick Clegg when he was Dodgy Dave’s deputy prime minister also thought it would be a good thing if we changed to a continental style insurance system.

This is an extremely right-wing government. Far more right-wing, it’s been said, than Thatcher’s. Get them out.