Tag Archives: mps

STOP! Paying for MPs to get Pissed – let’s spend it on the#NHS

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#isupportjuniordoctors

Nothing insenses me more than when a group of experts are bullied into agreeing to something which they know is wrong by a government desparate to make good on a shoddy election promise – on paper rather than practice.

And so today we have a strike by junior doctors who are worried that the terms and conditions they thought they had signed up to when they started their careers – is being ripped up and replaced with a new contract which, in its heart, is about doing more with less, for less.

Having squeezed all the juice from the apple – Mr Hunt and David Cameron are now attempting to squeeze juice from the remaining pips! And it is an utter disgrace.

I have used the NHS alot lately and so understand that it is climbersome, slow and at its best when dealing with life or death emergencies. The rest of us – form an orderly and long queue please.

So, I am all for new ideas and reforms. But they must be sensible and reasoned and funded properly.

Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors
Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors

 

This is NOT what we are getting from Jeremy Hunt. His proposals are designed to spread what is currently done over 5 days over 7. Let me tell you – the NHS in some parts is struggling with 5 days – never mind 7.  WE MUST NOT make Doctors pay the price of over funded and bad management of NHS boards.

I am not saying I don’t disagree with the Conservative aspiration of a fully functioning 7 day health system. It is inevitable.

However, where I am very angry with Jermey Hunt is that he is trying to impose this new way of working – without fully resourcing the other bits required to make the new term and conditions feasible and the aspiration achievable.

On the Andrew Marr show on Sunday 7th February Mr Hunt refused to say that Doctors were not responsible for the 11,000 deaths which are supposedly down to the “weekend effect”.

This made me so angry and the reason is – because it is a total LIE. 11,000 people are NOT dying because everyone packs up at 5pm on a Friday evening in the NHS. In fact, it would appear that Wednesay stands accused of being statistically the worst day to be in hospital. Do we avoid getting hit by a Larry on Wednesay the?

The truth is – you find trends in any data which may not accurately reflect the situation – certainly not to allow you to then base a concrete finding upon eg: if we look at those who died on Wednesay – you might find a majortiy white, male, under 6ft, with blonde hair and green eyes. However if you fit that description- and get hit by a car – you are not MORE likely to survive because it’s Tuesday! It will depend on a variety of other factors directly relating to that incident.

But Jeremy Hunt and the Government are trying to skew the statistics to create fear and get the public on their side. That is shameful and unforgivable.

When I think about how much MPs earn and the fact that as well as everything else the tax payer funds them for – just remember – at any point – MPs are getting pissed in the House Of Commons bar – or some other little function and you are subsiding it or paying wholly for it.

Instead of paying for MPs to get pissed – why isn’t that money used to get more Doctors, Nurses and other NHS specialists?

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Syria: The Complexities Of Bombing

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We are in the middle of a heated debate in the UK as to whether we should or should not use our armed forces to bomb Syria.  Whether we do or wether we do not will be decided by a vote of our MPs on Wednesday.

Let’s be clear.  If Paris had been London – the discourse would be very different and it is important that we take this opportunity to be thankful that we make such decisions with a cool head and not as a reaction to horrific events.  That said – we need to realise the real dangers we face as British citizens – like the horrors that we saw on a beach in Tunisia – or that of in France.  The Russian flight that was blown up over Egypt’s Sinai desert could well of been a British flight.  Wether we like it or not – we are targets – wether or not we bomb in Syria.

There are those who are totally opposed to bombing.  I understand their concerns.  However, the truth is that bombing HAS worked.  It decimated their high command; helped halt their advance and in many cases pushed them back;  spreads fear and dread throughout the ranks of Daesh who worry that every time they step outside or jump into a vehicle – they could be killed or maimed.  That in turn helps disrupt their mobility and ability to hold gatherings outside of their strong hold and if they need to communicate over long distances – they take a chance with their lives or use technology which can be intercepted and used against them.

 

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Bombing Has Limitations

That said, bombing has limitations.  We know already that there is a complex network of tunnels and command centres placed underneath the houses and hospitals of innocent Syrian people.  The extremists use these dug outs knowing that if and when they get bombed – they survive but the innocent men, women and children above ground die; their deaths then captured and edited into slick horror videos distributed to easily suggestible men and women around the world who do not comprehend the context of how they actually died.

The real question for MP’s to ask of the Government on Wednesday is not just whether we should bomb Syria.  Whether we do or do not will not make much of a difference. This fact we know. We also know Daesh will be defeated in Syria and Iraq.  Maybe not next week, next month or next year. But they will.  And we know this because – they are a death cult. They are only interested in death.  And before they die they want to ensure they subjugate, kill, terrorise  and torture anyone under their control. This is not something desired by the masses – no matter how deep rooted they are to a religion.  Daesh has limited appeal.

 

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Even the use of the word “defeat” is a simplification.  Like defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan!

So, when we say “defeat” what we actually mean is turn them from a group which controls large swathes of a country and its population – into a small group of bandits and guerrillas who still hold the same ideology but terrorise on a much smaller scale and are dealt with at a local level before eventually being replaced with some other ideology and becoming a footnote in history.

The real question for MP’s to ask of the Government on Wednesday is: What do you think Syria will look like in 1, 3 & 5 years time and what do you base this on?  (as apposed to what do you want it to look like). What is our end game?   When Daesh is defeated – what could fill the vacuum?  Who are they? What are their aims? How far are you prepared to go militarily – understanding that bombing has its limits?  Weapons? Training? Our soldiers?

The West is adamantly opposed to Russian backed President Bashar al-Assad – yet backs the free Syrian army – which is adamantly apposed by Russia and President Bashar al-Assad.  In order to root out Daesh we may need to work with Russia and Assad – how do we feel about this?  Will  we need to adjust our policy to Assad – what about the thousands and millions killed or made refugees by his Government – what are our “lines to take” when answering their questions?  Can we feasibly have two opposing policies operating at one time?  With Assad – but against? With Russia, but against?

 

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Prime Minister David Cameron speaking about the Paris attacks in the House of Commons (PA) – flanked by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

And when Daesh are finally sent scurrying off into the desert – who will replace them?  Do we know? Do we think we know? Have we post-Daesh plans?  What do we do if Assad tries to reclaim control of the country? If we commit to side fully with the free Syrian army and this group of 70,000 militants ready to rout out Daesh from places such as Raqqa – what happens if they are then bombed by Assad or Russia?  What if we find ourselves backing an army which finds itself fighting against Assad and Russia.  Where are the lines drawn? When do we STOP?

So, whether we bomb or do not bomb Syria will probably turn out to be of less importance than wether we are or are not prepared for the end of Daesh control in the region and whether we finally find the stomach to square up to President Putin – when he tries to exert control in the region.

Let us not forget the lessons from history.

 

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Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife leaving the town hall in Sarajevo moments before they were assassinated – which in part, led to the start of WW1.

 

 

 

 

Rosa Prince Standing Down: Interviews with Retiring MPs

The House of Commons sits for the first time in the new Parliament.  May 2010 Image: Catherine Bebbington
The House of Commons sits for the first time in the new Parliament. May 2010
Image: Catherine Bebbington

Monday Matters is broadcast on 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne & Swale.

On the latest show, Jason McCrossan was joined on the phone by the Telegraph’s Political Editor Rosa Prince @RosaPrinceUK who is Assistant Political Editor for The Telegraph and was a member of the award-winning team which exposed the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal.

She has written a book about MPs when they retire – it’s called: Standing Down: Interviews with Retiring MPs.

https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/bo…