Politics and Insights

newtonCredit: PA Images

Last month I reported about the issues raised by the Department for Work and Pensions’ ESA65B GP’s letter template, which was only recently placed on the government site, following a series of Parliamentary Written Questions.

Campaigners and MPs have called for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) standard letter to GPs to be scrapped after it emerged that ill and disabled appealing against unfair work capability assessment (WCA) decisions were left in near destitution after their GPs refused to provide further ‘fit notes’, because they were advised they did not need to by DWP officials.

It emerged that ministers ordered changes to the standard-issue letter to remove references that made it clear to GPs they may have to issue a medical statement if their patient wished to appeal against a WCA decision. The DWP claims this was not intended to dissuade GPs from issuing fit…

View original post 1,922 more words

Advertisements

Pride's Purge

UPDATE: We now have no less than Professor Stephen Hawking expressing public concern about the threat to the NHS by Kaiser Permanente – see here.

Kaiser Permanente is a private healthcare organisation based in California.

But unlike many other private healthcare companies in the US, Kaiser provides a complete model of integrated pre-paid insurance along with healthcare which is supposedly provided free at the point of need.

This is a system much like our own NHS but with three major differences – Kaiser’s healthcare provision is much more expensive than the NHS, the healthcare provision side is run for profit and unlike the NHS its cover isn’t comprehensive – it only covers those people who are in work.

Despite that, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt seems to love Kaiser. He and other ministers have personally visited the company at its California headquarters – several times in fact:

View original post 271 more words

Westminster Confidential

dsc_8416 Guy Opperman – the current pension minister who says it is too expensive to pay the 50s women.

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The fact that 50s women  were robbed of their pensions  by raising the pension age is undeniable. But the biggest argument against putting this right has been the cost – a fact perpetually used by the present pensions minister, Guy Oppenman, who quotes the £70 billion plus figure.

Recently I discovered that successive governments had taken a decision  NOT to top up the fund as originally proposed by William Beveridge when the welfare state was set up in 1948.

What I did not know was how much money was lost. Now thanks to an extraordinary paper prepared for the National Pensioners Convention by a social security expert Tony Lynes,and still on the web, I now know. And it is staggering. You can read it here.

The paper…

View original post 399 more words

Jeremy Corbyn is too nice, is he going to fight back, why is he letting them lead the agenda. If Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic, this Jewish boy will eat his Kippah if I had one.

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

The largely-fictitious ‘anti-Semitism-in-Labour’ controversy is clearly never going to be allowed to die. I have no doubt more examples will be brought to public attention in the final days before the Local Elections in May, and most accusations will stem from heavily-distorted information, just as Mike Sivier can testify from what happened a year ago.

In case anyone is just back from a five-day holiday to Mars, the present storm of outrage is about a notorious mural on Brick Lane in London.

Mural

The artist who painted the mural is an American called Kalen Ockerman – alias ‘Mear One’. The mural is widely-held to be anti-Semitic in intent.

Back in 2012, there was a discussion on social media about having the mural removed. Jeremy Corbyn left a comment on the discussion thread defending its presence on freedom-of-speech grounds. This comment has ‘mysteriously’ been dragged into the cross-examination of…

View original post 1,501 more words

The SKWAWKBOX

col2.pngAs the Daily Mirror observed on Monday, Kensington and Chelsea council has – unsurprisingly – been relieved of any responsibility for the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy:

mirror rbkc relievedThe Mirror also mentioned, in passing, that the Gold Command that has taken over the operation is headed by Chief Executive of the City of London John Barradell, but without any further comment on the matter.

But should survivors and local residents be concerned at this development?

Theresa May spoke in Parliament about the urgency of restoring the faith of those affected by Grenfell – and the wider population – in government and distrust of authority is a serious issue for those hit by the fire and its aftermath.

But the City of London’s (CoL) involvement in the operation raises serious questions about levels of accountability and transparency – because it has few obligations to either and a long history of…

View original post 492 more words

The SKWAWKBOX

As the SKWAWKBOX showed yesterday, Theresa May unforgivably used the Grenfell Tower tragedy as cover for her inability to reach an agreement with the DUP’s Arlene Foster, by claiming the further delay in the announcement of a deal was because of the terrible fire.

Foster flew home to Northern Ireland and the Tories claimed juniors were hashing out the final details.

But this morning, the Conservatives are spreading word to their activists to prepare for a new General Election – which can only mean there is no deal, or at best a slim and receding prospect of one.

Arch-Tory site Guido Fawkes gave the game away:

wickham.pngOf course, the article does not admit it’s because May is useless and the DUP negotiations are failing, but he does make the astonishing claim that CCHQ (Tory headquarters) were ‘caught unprepared’ by May’s announcement of the last election:

on the hopThe carefully-crafted and completely false…

View original post 226 more words

Grenfell Action Group

babel

When we published our two recent items on Fire Safety in the Grenfell Tower area we expected to see some serious repercussions. Our earlier complaints to Siobhan Rumble had, of course, been copied to senior figures at RBKC, including the Director of Housing and the Cabinet Member for Housing, so we fully expected to see evidence of some kind of seismic upheavel following our revelations. Nothing of the sort happened. There wasn’t so much as a peep out of Coleridge or his deputy Laura Johnson.

We did get a reaction from Rumble herself. Following her earlier failure to provide us with contact details for Steve Cunningham, the Station Manager at North Kensington Fire Station, she did so immediately, once she had been publicly embarrassed by our first blog.

Unfortunately, and for reasons that we don’t fully understand, we got a very poor response from Mr Cunningham, who seemed inclined to…

View original post 1,138 more words