Posts Tagged ‘Wasserman’

‘I’ Newspaper: Thatcher Wanted to Abolished Welfare State and NHS Even After Cabinet ‘Riot’

November 27, 2016

The I newspaper on Friday (25th November 2016) carried a report that recently released cabinet papers reveal that Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe continued to plan for the abolition of the welfare state and the privatisation of the NHS even after the rest of the cabinet violently and vehemently rejected her plans. Here’s what the paper wrote

Thatcher’s plan to abolish the welfare state outraged MPs

The Prime Minister tried to advance incendiary proposals despite uproar in Cabinet. By Cahal Milmo.

Margaret Thatcher and her Chancellor Geoffrey Howe secretly sought to breathe new life into incendiary plans to dismantle the welfare state even after they had been defeated in a cabinet “riot”, newly released files show.

Shortly after she came to power in 1979, Mrs Thatcher instructed a Whitehall think-tank to put forward proposals on how to shake up long-term public spending based on the free market principles she spent her 11 years in office seeking to apply.

But what the Central Policy Review Staff (CPRS) put forward in 1982 was the most radical and vexing blueprint of the Thatcher era, including a call for the end of the NHS by scrapping free universal healthcare, introducing compulsory charges for schooling and sweeping defence cuts.

The proposals proved far too militant for the “wets” in Mrs Thatcher’s frontbench team and were shouted down at a meeting in September that year which Nigel Lawson, the then Energy Secretary, later described in his memoirs as “the nearest thing to a Cabinet riot in the history of the Thatcher administration.”

A chastened Mrs Thatcher, who later claimed she had been “horrified” at the CPRS document, responded to the leak of a watered-down version of the paper by using her speech to the Conservative Party conference in 1982 to insist that the NHS is “safe with us”.

But Treasury documents released at the National Archives in Kew, west London, show that the Iron Lady and her first Chancellor did not let the project drop and planned behind the scenes to “soften up” the ministers in charge of the main departments targeted by the CPRS.

In November 1982, a memo was sent informing Sir Geoffrey that Mrs Thatcher had set up meetings with her Health Secretary, Norman Fowler, Education Secretary Keith Joseph and Defence Secretary John Nott. The memo said: “This series of meetings is designed to soften up the three big spenders. Without their support the operation will not work.”

The document details a political pincer movement between No 10 and the Treasury with Sir Geoffrey asked to ensure that no department’s funding was ring-fenced – although there was recognition that the Prime Minister’s public position on the NHS made that difficult. It said: “Your main aim, I suggest, should be to ensure that no sacred cows are prematurely identified. Given the Prime Minister’s concern about the NHS, this may be difficult.”

The files suggest the ploy met immediate opposition. A later Treasury memo said: “DHSS [Department of Health and Social Security] officials say there is no chance that Mr Fowler would agree to further study of this idea. I imagine that in the circumstances, and especially given the Prime Minister’s speech at Brighton, it is difficult to press them.”

The documents go on to reveal that Sir Geoffrey had a certain ambivalence towards how the Thatcherite project should proceed.

When the Adam Smith Institute came forward with a project to set out a plan for radical Whitehall restructuring to be enacted after the 1983 general election, Sir Geoffrey accepted the concerns of his political adviser that the scheme would fail.

Sir Geoffrey Wrote: “Every proposal will be seized on and hung round our neck. I see v great harm.” (p. 16).

This gives the lie to Thatcher’s claim in her autobiography that when she reviewed the NHS, she found it to be basically found, and only felt that it should have given more space to private industry. It also shows that Leon Brittan was also lying in his autobiography when he also claimed that the Labour party had lied about the Tories planning to abolish the NHS. They had considered it in 1983, and again considered it four years later in 1987.

As for the cabinet rebels who ‘rioted’ against Thatcher’s scheme, from what I’ve read they were motivated not from principle but from the realisation that if she tried to carry out her plans, they’d all be out of a job come the next election.

This did not stop the Tories carrying on the piecemeal privatisation of the NHS. Thatcher carried on chipping away at it. So did John Major, and it was kicked into a higher gear by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. And now David Cameron and his wretched successor, Theresa May, have nearly completed the job.

I also like to know who the members of the CPRS were, who recommended the complete dismantlement of the welfare state. At the moment, ideological thugs like them hide behind their extremely low profiles. If the politicians, who’ve embraced their ideas are attacked on lose their seats, these people are nevertheless safe, in that they slink off and get another seat at the governmental table somewhere else. Mike on his blog pointed out how Wasserman, one of the architects behind Thatcher’s plan to privatise the NHS, was also one of the official invited back to advise Cameron on how to ‘reform’ it, in other words, privatise more of it.

It’s about time the shadowy figures behind these ideas were named and shamed, as well as the foul politicos who back them.

Secular Talk on Donald Trump’s Confused Position on Healthcare

February 11, 2016

This is an interesting piece. Kyle Kulinski takes apart The Donald’s weird and confused answer on the question of healthcare in the Republican presidential debates. The moderator notes that Trump has said that he wants to repeal Obamacare, and opposes the introduction of universal healthcare, because it would lead to massive tax rises across America. So she asks the obvious question: What would he replace it with?

At which point, Trump starts humming and ha-ing, stating that there are a lots of examples of what could be done. He would repeal Obamacare, but make sure everyone was covered. He would introduce greater competition, and go back to free enterprise. He states he would repeal the arbitrary red line about insurance, and then criticises the insurance companies for pushing up the cost of healthcare to unaffordable levels, and profiting from it. He then states that the costs would come down if they were forced to compete, and praises the excellent saving schemes for medical care. He then talks about people dying in the street from lack of healthcare, and states it’s a disgrace.

Kulinski states that he’s arguing for two different things here at the same time. He’s arguing for universal healthcare coverage, which would be Obamacare. And then he talks about free enterprise and repealing the existing system. Kulinski points out that despite Obamacare, the American healthcare system is still free enterprise. And 40-45,000 Americans die each year because they can’t afford medical treatment.

Kulinski also points out that it’s the same tactic Trump has used regarding the situation in Syria. He has stated that America should not get involved, and Putin should be allowed to go to sort out ISIS and the other terrorists. Then, a little while later, he demands America should go in and stop Putin. It appeals to do different sets of voters, who just hear the pieces they want to hear, and don’t think about the contradictions.

As for repealing the artificial red line about insurance, that means he wants to allow the citizens of one state to buy insurance in another. This means that eventually all the insurance companies will go to the state with lowest tax rates. But it appeals to the same people, whose complete absence of reason and logic makes them cheer at signs saying ‘Get government out of my medicare’, despite the fact that medicare is a government system.

This is another important piece to watch, as it has implications beyond the Tyrant of Trump Tower. Insurance costs have spiralled out of control immensely in America, and 20 per cent of Americans can no longer afford their medical care. This is why Obamacare was brought in, and why Bernie Sanders is extremely popular with his proposal for universal healthcare.

The libertarian Right, on the other hand, really can’t accept that there’s anything wrong with a private healthcare system, or that it’s made healthcare unaffordable. They’re recommending instead ending insurance coverage, convinced that this will make healthcare cheaper. This conveniently forgets that the reason why the insurance companies moved into healthcare, was because Americans could not afford their medical bills.

Remember: this is the kind of system the Tories wish to introduce into England. Jeremy Hunt wishes to sell off the Health Service. One of the other Tories drones said that if they were re-elected, then it wouldn’t last another five years. They’d just reduce it to a central clearing house for insurance. Maggie Thatcher was looking into privatising it, but realised that it would be extremely ‘courageous’. Wasserman, one of the two apparatchiks involved in the proposal, is now a member of Cameron’s task force looking into it.

What is going on in America will come to Britain if the Tories have their way. It will mean that 20 per cent or more of Britain’s won’t be able to afford healthcare coverage, and will die in the street.

Don’t take it. Vote them out before it happens.

Labour: Tory Councillors Reveal Plans to Privatise NHS

April 21, 2015

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Yesterday’s I newspaper also carried the story that a group of students had carried out a survey showing that Tory councillors were in favour of further cuts to the NHS, the introduction of charging and its partial privatisation.

The students identified themselves as members of the Labour Party. They surveyed 115 Tory councillors, and found that 26 backed charging for some NHS services; 12 supported the further expansion of the private sector into the NHS, and six wanted to cut the budget for the NHS.

The paper went on to quote a speech Ed Miliband was to make later that day to the Scottish TUC, stating that Cameron

‘poses a risk to the very fabric and foundation of our NHS… The Tory plans on the NHS are a double deceit. They are not being straight about their extreme plans to double the cuts to public services next year. And they are not being straight when they promise to protect the NHS, but cannot say where a penny of additional money will come from. This double deceit is a double danger to the NHS. They have extreme spending plans and they can’t tell us where the money is coming from.’

The paper reported that the Tories fought back by quoting another survey of 460 family doctors, showing 28 per cent planned to vote for the Tories, while only 13 per cent would vote Labour and 7 per cent Lib Dems. They also claimed that Labour’s remarks were untrue, as they had promised to increase funding to the NHS by £8bn.

Labour is quite correct about the Tories’ plans to privatise the NHS. There are 92 Tory and Lib Dem MPs, who either own or occupy senior positions in the private health care companies hoping to gain from the privatisation of the NHS and its further marketization. A string of Tory ministers, including the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, have said that they are in favour of the NHS’ privatisation. In fact Lansley spoke at the Tory party conference a few years ago on a presentation on increasing private enterprise in the NHS, sponsored by one of the private health care companies. One other Tory MP even admitted that if the Tories won a second term, the NHS would cease to exist within five years.

As for the claim that they will increase funding to the NHS by £8bn, the Tories most definitely have not said from where they intend to find the money. Nor did they make any mention of it at all until they started lagging behind Labour in the polls. It really does look like a ‘back of the envelope job’, a spurious promise that they have actually no intention of honouring.

The Tories have a long history of plotting the privatisation of the NHS, and lying about. In the mid-1980s Thatcher suppressed a Tory report arguing for its privatisation. One of the report’s authors, Wasserman, is an advisor to David Cameron on the NHS. Somehow I don’t think he’s changed his tune in the past thirty years or so.

In the 2010 election, the Tories promised that they would ringfence NHS funding and would not privatise it. They lied. For all their claims, NHS funding in real terms has fallen. See the stats Mike over at Vox Political has published on this. As for their lies, it’s so egregious that the Tories are embarrassed by the sheer number of broken promises. They have thus taken to removing the promises they made at the last election from their website.

They are liars, who cannot be trusted. If they get in power, that £8bn will mysteriously vanish, and the NHS will be privatised.

Vote them out on May 7th.