the Disillusioned kid: NH$
| Email | Home | Linkage | Profile |

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I don't really understand why unions feel the need invite government ministers to address their conferences, as if they're going to spout anything but propaganda. That said, if you are going to invite them, it's a great opportunity to bring them down a notch. Patricia Hewitt the minister responsible for the National Health Service has received a distinctly frosty reception from both Unison and the Royal College of Nursing.

The reason for anger amongst nurses is not difficult to find. As a result of a looming budget deficit, the NHS is haemoraging staff at a disturbing rate. NHS Watch was set up in early April to keep track of job losses accross the service. At the time of writing, the total stands at 10,349. Unsurprisingly a lot of nurses are looking at those figures and wondering if they might be next and that's before we even start thinking about the ramifications for patient care. Rather more surprising is Hewitt's assertion that the NHS has witnessed its best years since its inception.

Hewitt has also done little to endear herself to healthworkers by blaming them for the NHS' current difficulties, suggesting they are a consequence of recent pay rises. Cynics have pointed out, however, that the ever increasing involvement of private firms in the NHS might just have had an impact. It goes without saying that private firms are not getting involved in the health service to help people. They're there to make money; as businesses that's their raison d'etre. As such, the idea that privatisation (whether it's called that or not) is in patients' best interests is dubious at best.

I'm not a great believer in old-fashioned nationalisation. Why would we expect large faceless bureaucracies to operate in the interests of normal people? Nevertheless, it should be pretty obvious that the profit motive is almost certainly worse and takes away even the pretense of democratic accountability, which of course is part of the reason why it's so popular in some circles. The current drive to integrate the private and public sectors is in many ways the worst of all worlds, but does do a very good job of moving public money into private hands. Which is all well and good if they're your hands, but not quite so good if you die in a hospital corridor waiting for a nurse.

Side Projects

Carnival of Anarchy
The Peace Pipe
UK Watch Blog


Against the Current
Culture hits and gendered bits
Daniel Randall
In The Water
Mike Wood
On The Barricades
Pizarro's Sword
Space Cat Rocket Ship
Surveillant Assemblage
TashCamUK FotoPage
The Naked Lunch
The Peace Pipe
The World of the Dynamite Lady


Anarchoblogs Blog
Arte & Lingua
Barker in Valencia
Blood & Treasure
Bombs and Shields
Born at the Crest of the Empire
Chase me ladies...
Chicken Yoghurt
Craig Murray
Dead Men Left
Disreputable Lazy Aliens
Empire Notes
Friends of Al Jazeera
Global Guerillas
Guerillas in the Midst
I Blame the Patriachy
Informed Comment
Janine Booth
Lenin's Tomb
Life of Riley Blog
Media Watch Watch
Neil Shakespeare
NO2ID NewsBlog
One Hump or Two?
Otto's Random Thoughts
Pitch In For Uzbekistan
Run over by the truth
Solidarity With Iraqi Workers
Shut Up You Fat Whiner!
Sudan: Passion of the Present
Talk Politics
The Anthropik Network
The Daily (Maybe)
The Devil's Kitchen
The Disillusioned
The f-word
The Head Heeb
The Killing Train
The Revenge of Winston Smith
The Socialist Unity Blog
The Wicked Truth
Theory of Power
Things I Don't Have Time For
This (Fresh) Gringo
This Is My Truth
Thumping the Tub
Time The Dreaded Enemy
UK Watch Blog
UK Poli Blogs
Under The Same Sun
What Fresh Hell Is This?
Where is Raed? (RIP)
Who Are You to Accuse Me?
Words and Rocks
Z-Net Blog


Asbo Community Space
Eastside Climate Action
Faslane 365
No Borders
Nottingham Student Peace Movement
Refugee Forum
Stop the War
Sumac Centre
The Demo Project

Ivory Towers

Anarchist Studies Network
Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
Postanarchism Clearinghouse


Anarchist FAQ
Chagos Discussion List
Chagos Support Forums
Electronic Intifada
Future of Iraq Portal
Index of Political Blogs
Indymedia UK
Iraq Occupation Focus
Refuser Solidarity Network
Socialist Unity Network
The New Standard
UK Chagos Support Association
UK Watch
Weekly Worker

The Progressive Blog Alliance

Register here to join the PBA.