Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Let them know we are 100% behind them

British Medical Association
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Phil Gray, Chief Executive: grayp@csp.org.uk
Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association
Alison Higley, Chair: alison.higley@derbyshirecountypct.nhs.uk
Faculty of Public Health
Managers in Partnership
: Chief Executive, Jon Restell: j.restell@miphealth.org.uk
NHS Consultants’ Association
Jacquie Davis, Co-Chair: nhsca@pop3.poptel.org.uk
Royal Colleges of GPs
Clare Gerada: President@rcgp.org.uk
Royal Colleges of Midwives
Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive: Cathy.Warwick@rcm.org.uk
Royal Colleges of Nursing
Peter Carter, General Secretary: Peter.Carter@rcn.org.uk
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Terence Stephenson, President: president@rcpch.ac.uk
Ask them to call for the Bill to be withdrawn – let them know we’ll stand behind them
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
: Professor Sir Neil Douglas, Chair: neil.douglas@aomrc.org.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/zIfmyD]
The British Association / College of Occupational Therapists
: Julia Scott, Chief Executive: CEO@cot.co.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists
: Mr Peter Honeycombe, Chair, c/o enquiries@bapo.com
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
British Dietetic Association
Andy Burman, Chief Executive, a.burman@bda.uk.com
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
British and Irish Orthoptic Society
Lesley-Anne Baxter, Chair: lesleyanne.baxter@btinternet.com
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
British Psychological Society
Dr Carol Allan, President: thepresident@bps.org.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/z2QFLo]
College of Emergency Medicine:
Mr Mike Clancy, President mc.prescem@gmail.com
[Further info: http://bit.ly/zIfmyD]
College of Paramedics
David Hodge, Chief Executive c/o membership@collegeofparamedics.co.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
Institute of Healthcare Management
Sue Hodgetts, Chief Executive s.hodgetts@ihm.org.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xnZK0l and http://bit.ly/xXm1Rm]
Royal College of Anaesthetists
[Further info: http://bbc.in/zwOrtE]
Royal College of Opthalmologists
[Further info: http://bbc.in/zwOrtE]
Royal College of Pathology
: president@rcpath.org
[Further info: http://bbc.in/zwOrtE and http://bit.ly/xdW8QH]
Royal College of Psychiatrists
[Further info: http://bbc.in/zwOrtE]
Royal College of Radiologists
EGM has called for withdrawal of the Bill
[http://bbc.in/zwOrtE and http://bit.ly/ze6hRh]
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Kamini Gadhok, President: kamini.gadhok@rcslt.org
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
Joanna Brown, Chief Executive: jb@scpod.org
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
Society and College of Radiographers
Richard Evans, Chief Exec c/o info@sor.org
[Further info: http://bit.ly/xM4Tf5]
Please ask them to call for the Bill to be withdrawn
Association of Clinical Scientists
Magali Fontaine, President c/o admin@assclinsci.org
British Academy of Audiology
: Mr Gareth Smith, President c/o admin@baaudiology.org
British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Prof Cary Cooper, c.cooper1@lancaster.ac.uk
British Society of Audiologists
Dr David Baguley, Chair c/o contactcouncil@thebsa.org.uk
College of Operating Department Practitioners
: Bill Kilvington, President: bill.kilvington@codp.org.uk
Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Contact: Martin Astbury, President: president@rpharms.com
NB two members of the Board have come out against the Bill [info on web no longer there]
URGENT: Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been supporting the Bill BUT the Board wants to
gauge members’ views [http://bit.ly/wnSr4W]. The director for England Howard Duff said the
Society had decided against polling members about the Bill because it "will not enable
informed decision making". PHARMACISTS please let your views be known.
Institute of Biomedical Science
Derek Bishop, President c/o president@ibms.org
Association for Perioperative Practice
Tracy Coates, President: president@afpp.org.uk
Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists
URGENT: There is a meeting on 9th March 4pm to discuss their position. Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists please let your views be known by 12noon 9th march to
president@rcog.org.uk or iwylie@rcog.org.uk
[Further info: http://bit.ly/yjwNPw]
Royal College of Physicians of London
: infocentre@rcplondon.ac.uk
URGENT There is a meeting on Monday 27th February to discuss their position on the Bill.
Any MRCP/FRCP doctor who has not completed this survey on the Bill are asked to do so
now: http://svy.mk/x5WSXn[Further info: http://bbc.in/zwOrtE]
Royal College of Surgeons of London
URGENT: There is a meeting on 8th March to discuss their position. SURGEONS please let
your views be known BY 29TH FEBRUARY.
[Further info: http://bit.ly/yWND68]

Background information:
If this Bill becomes law, what we will witness over the next decade is:
- the increasing takeover of NHS services by private, for-profit companies;
- a significant reduction in the services available as part of the NHS;
- top up charges for services currently received as part of the NHS;
- an increasing need for supplementary health insurance.
In short, this Bill is paving the way for a commercial, insurance-based system of health care
[http://bit.ly/xmJnuF]. All this will be possible because the fundamental principle at the heart of this Bill is to remove the legal duty on the State to provide comprehensive health services - free at the point of delivery and funded by taxes - to everyone who needs them [http://bit.ly/zg9rLI]. In other words this is a Bill to ‘denationalise’the NHS.

Despite what you are hearing in the press, the Bill is making its way through the Lords largely
unaltered [http://bit.ly/mBBCG4].
Consequently, it is now down to us - the health professionals - to stand together and protect the NHS by withdrawing support for this Bill [http://bit.ly/wQk41g]. It is vital that the professional bodies listen to their members, despite direct pressure from Lansley and Cameron to be silent.
This Bill must not be allowed to become law. In practical terms, if the Bill were withdrawn, it would be possible to work with the new structures that have already come into existence.
Additions to the list and corrections to StandTogetherNHS@gmail.com please.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mark Steel Iraq was such a laugh, Lets do it to Iran

Why can't our leaders think up new stories to justify a military attack? 

Governments and commentators keen on promoting a war against Iran should be stridently opposed, not so much because of the threat to world peace, but because their reasons display a shocking lack of imagination. The most common one is that Iran has "Weapons of Mass Destruction". How pathetic to pick the same excuse twice in a row. They should make it more interesting, by revealing evidence that Ahmadinejad has built a Terminator, or plans to fill the Strait of Hormuz with a giant Alka-Seltzer so the Persian Gulf fizzes over Kuwait.

What's become of Western leaders, that they can't think up new stories to justify a military attack? Are they going to re-use all the old ones, so if this doesn't work William Hague will say "Iran is threatening the sovereignty of Prussia".

That would be more persuasive than the US government's effort, reported in the Wall Street Journal as "US officials say they believe Iran recently gave freedom to five top al-Qa'ida operatives". It's as if the last outing was such a laugh, they want to do everything exactly the same. The British are probably already on the lookout for a weapons expert with suicidal tendencies.

One part they've copied accurately from the last war is the practice of interpreting every report as proof of the existence of these weapons. For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded:
"There is certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon." So The New York Times reported this as "a recent assessment by the IAEA confirms Iran's nuclear program has a military objective".

A local book club could produce minutes of a meeting that said "Everyone enjoyed discussing Great Expectations, then retired to the Royal Oak for much deserved refreshments!" And next day half the cabinet would be on the radio saying: "This book club report confirms the Iranian navy is plotting to explode Jerusalem."

One trick they use is to insist that, even if Iran isn't building nuclear weapons, it's a threat anyway because it "aspires" to have them. But if we went to war with everyone who aspired to have deadly weapons, most teenage boys would have to be invaded, David Haye and Dereck Chisora would be overthrown and replaced by the UN, and the whole world would be on fire.

At least Hillary Clinton offered a variation, tell ing us "Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship". The only slight flaw in her argument was she said this in Qatar, so she was lucky her hosts didn't add, "Yes, what's taking them so long? Instead of fussing about moving towards one, why don't they just become one like us? Sorry, Hillary, carry on."

So, to cut out these embarrassments, they might be better off invading Saudi Arabia. Instead of the rigmarole of trying to prove a dictator has Weapons of Mass Destruction, they can say: "We know they've got 84 warplanes worth $30bn, because we sold the things to them six weeks ago."

Article by Mark Steel The Independant


A4e Claims Success In Getting Taxpayers Money Off Benefits & Into Its Own Pockets


, , ,
Emma Harrison, the woman appointed by David Cameron to help get tax payers’ money off benefits and into her own pocket, has issued a statement explaining why she has decided to pay herself a dividend of £8.6m siphoned off from her firm’s lucrative “workfare” contracts with the government.
Ms Harrison is the chairman of A4e (it means Ample for Emma), which specialises in that very modern practice known as “welfare to pocket”, which means her company is paid to reduce the amount of money the government spends on jobless people by giving it to herself instead.

A4e’s only income comes from public welfare contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions, worth an estimated £3bn-£5bn in total as part of the coalition’s new work programme, under which private companies are paid loads of cash to do nothing, while the unemployed have to work as slaves for free.
But this week, as officers from Thames Valley police raided A4e’s offices in Slough as part of a fraud inquiry, the company was forced to defend its record.
A spokesperson for the company explained:
A4e has always taken very seriously our role in giving support to unemployed families, some of whom are in desperate situations, mainly by forcing them to take jobs as slaves and spending millions of scarce taxpayers’ money on big houses and holidays for ourselves.
On the A4e website, the promotional blurb characterises what the company does –  claiming they are in the simple business of: ”improving people’s lives – especially our own“.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister, David Cameron, explained why the coalition government had decided to give away so much taxpayers’ money to private individuals:
When Labour was in power they thought the solution to every problem was to just throw taxpayers’ money at it. We, on the other hand, realise that the solution to every problem is to throw taxpayers’ money at private companies instead. Especially the ones run by our friends.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

World war 2 Hero assaulted by Greek Police

Greek protester who resisted Nazi rule turns fire on EU.Manolis Glezos,
renowned for his act of defiance 70 years ago, is now a force in Greece's civil
disobedience movement.By Helena Smith in Athens .guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 2
August 2011.
Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images.

Seventy years ago Manolis Glezos scaled the walls of the Acropolis to tear down
the swastika, hoisted over the monument that Hitler had triumphantly described
as a symbol of "human culture". This single act of defiance – the first direct
action against Nazi rule in Greece – would go on to cast the headstrong young
man as one of the country's greatest defenders of democracy. Manolis Glezos
was teargassed by a riot policeman outside the Greek parliament in March last

Today the enemy may have changed, but at nearly 89, Glezos is still fighting. For many Greeks he
has become a symbol of resistance in another, very different sort of war: one that has pitted the
near-bankrupt country against the forces of world capitalism and thrown it into an unprecedented
struggle for its economic survival.In the midst of Athens' worst crisis in modern times, Glezos says
he never thought he would see Greece come to this. "Not since the German occupation have we
been in such a difficult and dangerous situation," he laments, with an angry thump of his
hand."Economically, democratically, the Greek people are seeing hard-won rights being wiped
away. Unemployment is growing, shops are closing daily and decisions that are totally
unconstitutional are being made."

Popular icon, protester par excellence, Glezos does not require much to goad him into action. The
veteran leftwinger is a force in the civil disobedience movement shaking Greece.As a proponent of
direct democracy, the campaign that has propelled thousands of Greeks to protest against the
austerity measures meted out to rein in the country's runaway debt, demand for Glezos to be on the
frontline at demonstrations is at an all-time high."People are not going to back down. They are very
conscious of what they want," he says, seated before a desk in the book-lined study of his Athenian
home. "The summer may be here but I've been very busy attending neighbourhood assemblies to
discuss what our future tactics might be."In March last year pictures of the wiry, white-haired
activist being teargassed by a riot policeman outside the Greek parliament sent a tremor through

Europe's nascent anti-austerity movement. But, though appalled by the harshness with which rallies
have often been crushed, Glezos reserves his greatest criticism for the attitude of Germany and
Britain towards Greece. Both countries, he insists, stand guilty of "enormous ingratitude"."Germany
today lives not under Nazi rule but in a state of freedom and that it owes in great part to the struggle
of the Greek people," he said, referring to Hitler's disastrous decision to postpone the invasion of
the Soviet Union as a result of the unexpected resistance encountered in Greece. "Then there is the
issue of food. If German people are alive it is because Greek people died."Glezos has not forgotten
the howls of the starving or the images of municipal carts carrying the corpses of those who, during
the Nazi occupation, collapsed begging for food in the streets of Athens.

He knows not only because he was there; he counted them."I worked in the statistics office of the
International Red Cross and every day I would note the deaths of around 400 people as a result of
famine. We lost 13.5% of our population, more than any other occupied country, because all of our
foodstuffs, our crops, were requisitioned [by the Wehrmacht]. For those two reasons alone Germany
should help Greece."Throughout the war "little Greece" had stood alongside the Allied forces.

"Who came to England's help? Who was behind the first victory against the Axis [powers]?" he
asked, conjuring the Greeks' defeat of Mussolini's forces on the Albanian front in 1940. "Who did
Churchill so famously say fought like heroes? Britain should have tried and helped Greece at this
difficult moment. Its behaviour should have been different."Glezos, who would subsequently spend
nearly two decades in prison – often in solitary confinement — as Greece slipped into civil war and
then years of authoritarian rightwing rule, backs up his argument with figures.It wasn't just the
famine and the thousands killed in reprisals as a result of mass resistance, or the eradication of
virtually all of Greece's once vibrant Jewish community or the destruction of the countryside.

It was, he says, the other indignities suffered by Greece under Hitler. The pillaging of archaeological
treasures, the plundering of factories and homes, the looting of national resources, the crippling of
the Greek economy – following the Nazis' deliberate circulation of counterfeit Deutschmarks –
offences that were all part of what Churchill would go on to call the "long night of barbarism" and
from which it has yet to recover."To this day, Greece remains the only country in Europe that never
received reparations from Germany," added the former MP, who has long headed the National
Council for the Reclamation of German Debt. "We never got back any of the antiquities that they
took, or the buildings that they seized, or the tons of silver and nickel that they stole."If you take
into account the enforced occupation loan, I estimate that they owe us around €162bn, plus
interest." Glezos, who has proposed that Berlin fund companies in Greece and scholarships for
students bound for Germany by way of compensation, insists he is neither motivated by hatred nor

He has many German friends and every year, he says, they descend on Athens to "try and
right the wrong" by demonstrating outside the German embassy. But he is infuriated that Greeks are
invariably typecast by the German media as lazy laggards when studies show them working the
longest hours in Europe.

"The latest agreement to save Greece is all about saving banks and financial capital,
not people," he says. "After the war, we won our freedom but we emerged as vassals,
first of the English and then the Americans. Being indebted in this way keeps us in
that subordinate role. Our new masters are the troika [the EU, IMF and ECB] and
they have to go. Mark my words, the Greeks will play a pivotal role in resisting the
policies they want to impose." End.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Pensions Fight starts to Heat up again

Senior elected representatives of the largest union in the civil service, PCS, today unanimously agreed to consult members over continued campaigning against the government's cuts to public sector pensions.

The union's national executive council decided to hold a consultative ballot of 250,000 public sector members on the campaign, which could include further co-ordinated strikes and industrial action with other unions in education and the civil service.

The ballot - in which members will be able to vote by post, online or by phone - will be held in late February and early March, with a possible date for another co-ordinated strike on 28 March, followed by a rolling programme of industrial action, joint union protests and political campaigning.

In addition to PCS NUT have also agreed to ballot for further action, along with Unite,UCU, also FBU are considering joining the fight.  We urge union members of the other unions to urgently lobby there various NEC,s to join the fight.