This weekend I went to Lincoln, a city I first visited during my homeless days back in the 1980s. It gave me a chance to meet some old friends and make a video combining my two main passions… Left wing politics and social/mental health care. What’s not to like?
Taking up the slack
Saffron Cordery is the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, the membership organisation for NHS hospitals, mental health, community and ambulance services. These guys really do know what they’re talking about.
According to Cordery, writing in The Independent just after the general election, Boris’ government, for all its fine words is setting the NHS and Social care up to fail, not least in respect of older people.
Not that this comes as any great surprise to those of us who’ve been watching developments since 2010. The Tories, with the help of their LibDem enablers, have been stitching up our NHS, ready to sell it off to the highest bidder for years.
“Although quality of care once you’re in the system has held up remarkably well, timely access to treatment in the NHS has been slipping for years, despite frontline staff working harder than ever – so hard, in fact, that they’re in danger of burning out. Demand has been steadily outstripping supply; gaps in the workforce have widened substantially; our assets have deteriorated; and financial investment has been lower in the past decade than at any point in the NHS’s 70-year history.”
For all his fine words, Mr. Johnson is well aware that his promise of funding falls way short of the amount currently provided to our country’s flagship health service. Even if he restored funding to previous levels the backlog of neglect and decay, of equipment and buildings upgrades would mean a significant cut in comparative terms.
Last July Boris promised the nation that he had “a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity they deserve“.
The tories may be promising money but they’re hardly making much of an effort.
Of course, they can’t make too big an effort because the money’s already earmarked for tax cuts and perks for big corporations. Which is why the health, mental health and social care sectors are to be left to pick up the slack.
If you thought the last 10 years were bad, just watch this space. There’s far worse to come.
Welcome to the Twenties
It’s 2020! Welcome to the Twenties!
What a decade it’s been. We began 2010 in the throes of recession thanks to a global recession that began in 2008 with the American sub-prime mortgage and investment fiasco and quickly spread across the globe. By 2010 our economy here in UK had suffered massive damage but we had a working welfare state to protect our citizens from the worst of the crisis.
Then, in May of 2010 the real British catastrophe began, The ConDem government introduced austerity and so began a decade long process of starving our social safety net of funds while throwing massive tax cuts at the wealthy. Ten years on and our vital services are almost unrecognisable, they’re so depleted by years of Tory and LibDem cuts and back door privatisation. And now, in the closing weeks of 2019 a new disaster has begun to bite.
Boris Johnson has such a huge parliamentary majority that he can do whatever he wants and make no mistake, he will. He’s already made it clear that he plans to ‘review’ the relationship between the government, parliament and the judiciary in such a way that he and his ministers will be able to rewrite any law they choose without recourse to anyone – not even the law. Privatisation of the NHS is increasing quickly now and manifesto promises about minimum wage rises and working peoples’ rights are already being fudged. The new decade looks set to be a whole lot worse than the one we’ve just left.
If this nation is to survive the next ten years and still retain even a modicum of decency, if we are to maintain anything close to the social safety net we have taken for granted for so many years we need to come together as one. We need to put the differences of the last few years aside, forget the petty prejudices and paranoia centering around race, religion, country of origin or social status and work together for the good of the whole community.
Many of us are working hard to do just that. Join us – help keep UK society together until the storm of this far right government is over. It’s a storm we need to face together or few of us will survive it at all.
Stand up. Be counted. It’s a duty!
I may be unusual but I’m convinced that it’s a duty owed to my society to stand against injustice. It’s not enough quietly to disengage from abusers, to say nothing in the face of racism or to walk away from the impoverishment of our neighbours.
Perhaps Desmond Tutu put it best…
“If you are neutral when the elephant stands on the mouse’s tail, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Stand up. Be counted. It’s a duty!