A good start – Kingfisher rising!

SCBU

Just got back from Dorchester where a couple of thousand people marched against the closure of the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital; estimates vary between one and three thousand. Unless you believe the Echo who put it in the hundreds, odd since they are publicly supporting the campaign.

Conspicuous by his absence was ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, who has been hedging his bets, he would not have had a pleasant experience, we think. The march was good-natured but shows the strength of feeling in West Dorset about keeping our health services local, it was organised in a week and people required little prompting to turn out.

This is a grass-roots phenomenon bubbling up from the ground. The left are running to catch up; what will it take to get the unions to put their weight behind this? The workers at the hospital would be a good place to start. It’s all very well going to the capital a couple of times a year and trudging round in a giant police kettle, which just confirms the centralisation of power and frankly, is an exercise in hand-wringing. Here is an opportunity to strike back against austerity and let’s face it, save lives.

A couple of things have occurred to us and need to be widely appreciated:

  • It’ been pointed out by a comrade who is a practising midwife that the loss of Paediatric services and the Special Care Baby Unit will make the maternity ward untenable.
  • Next to close will be A & E.
  • They can then have another go at shutting the pathology lab which was only saved after a similar public outcry last year.
  • Then why not just sell off the rest?
  • We are under no illusions. This is a planned, progressive asset-strip. Letwin would not dream of associating himself with this campaign if he didn’t personally believe it was doomed to failure, so the decision has already been taken, somewhere, and the consultation exercise is just to soften up the public.

That doesn’t mean we are going to allow it to happen, if enough people get out to stop it. The health service is a pyramid with a three-cornered base. At its apex are the managers, politicians and ultimately, their corporate masters. At the base are the medical staff, support staff and the patients – all workers and taxpayers. Unite the base and we will cut the top off!

Autonomy film show in Bridport, Sat. 2nd May 2015.

1505 Four Horsemen (1)

Events organised by others.

23rd April.
Frome Friends of Palestine. Peace Building in our Community – Stories from three Palestinians. The Ammerdown Centre, Ammerdown Park, Radstock, Somerset, BA3 5SW Tel: 01761 433709

Between Frome and Radstock.

Bar opens 7.30, starts 8:00. Admission free.

​Sat 25th April.
38 Degrees NHS Day: Meet Bucky-Do Square at 11am to leaflet and get signatures for petition*, drawing attention to what is happening to the NHS and to encourage Election candidates to see the groundswell against privatization.​

*didn’t we do all that 5 years ago? – ed.

28th April
South Somerset Peace Group. Journalism and Solidarity, Passion and Bias. Minster Rooms, Ilminster. 7.30pm ; all welcome – £3 appreciated, including tea/coffee .

Industrial dispute at Refresco-Gerber, Bridgwater, Somerset: Press release from Unite the Union. Support needed!

Please support this major strike in a Somerset manufacturing plant in any way you can. This is a David and Goliath struggle against a vicious multi-national company going all out to weaken or smash trade union organisation. Please share far and wide.

Don’t vote, picket!

Picture by Roy Winter

Press release from Unite the Union: Friday 13th March 2015
Angry strikers set to escalate dispute:

250 Bridgwater fruit-juice makers resolve to see out their David and Goliath struggle against foreign-owned company to bitter end

Picture by Roy Winter

Fifty Unite the Union demonstrators, a familiar sight at the Express Park roundabout at the north end of the Bristol Rd in Bridgwater for months now, were still in determined mood yesterday. This was their seventh 36-hour strike protest against plans by Refresco-Gerber to radically worsen pay and conditions at the factory, which produces household-name fruit juices. At least three more stoppages have been planned for the next two weeks. Unite the Union officer Roy Winter said:

“Our members contribute their working lives to this factory, which makes a handsome profit for Refresco-Gerber. Unfortunately, under new owners whose HQ is now in Rotterdam, those profits are not enough: the plan is to double or treble them at the expense of Unite members sick pay, shift allowances, pay protection. We are talking here of corporate greed, nothing more or less. Refresco-Gerber is making a bad mistake. There has been a recognised union organisation here for nearly fifty years: Unite the Union will not walk away from this dispute until the company agree an acceptable settlement.”

Picture by Roy Winter

Two mass meetings will be held on the 16th & 17th March to inform Unite members involved in the dispute of the latest negotiations.

Future 36-hour strikes are set for:

  • Wednesday /Thursday the 18th/19th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
  • Tuesday/Wednesday 24th/25th March, 0645am to 1900pm;
  • Wednesday/Thursday 1st /2nd April, 0645am to 1900pm.

Trades unionists are welcome at picket lines, key times are 7am/7pm. For further information please contact Roy Winter on 07720 705078 roy.winter@unitetheunion.org

Autonomy Films and Bridport UNITE Community Group film show Saturday 28th March 6:45 for 7:30pm

1503 Sell Off

Other Events locally

19th March 2015.

Film – Life in Hebron. 7:30pm St Catharine’s Hall, Park Road, Frome BA11 1EU. Bradford on Avon friends of Palestine. £3 Proceeds go to bringing the Freedom Theatre of Jenin to Frome.

21st March.

Demonstration – UN Anti-Racism Day. Assemble 12 noon at the Town Pump, march to the war memorial and brief rally. Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland TUC, Unite Against Fascism Dorset Socialists and Dorset IWW.

CAAT conference. 10am – 5pm, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, UK £7 waged / £3 unwaged (Includes tea, coffee and a light vegetarian lunch).

24th March. Talk – Democracy and War Today. 7:30pm, Minster Rooms, Ilminster. South Somerset Peace Group. All welcome – £3 appreciated, including tea/coffee.

25th March. Public First – Local democracy petition, signature gathering, South Street, Dorchester.

28th March. Disco – Frolic for the NHS at the Con Club, North Street, Bridport 9.30pm.

2nd April. Transition Town Bridport – Talk with Carloine Walker ‘The Circular Economy’. WI, North Street, Bridport. 7.30pm. £3 or £1+2Nets.

8th April. From Page to Screen – The Grapes of Wrath. 11am Bridport Arts Centre. £6/£4.

14th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on human rights and general issues at Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis 7pm

15th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on environmental issues at Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester 7.30pm

Autonomy film show in Bridport Saturday 10th Jan 2015

Saturday 10th Jan 2015 6:45 for 7:30pm, The Town Hall, Central Bridport. Sell Off. The Abolition of Your NHS. Plus Reel News short film, 20mins.

1501 Sell Off

Our future film dates:

Saturday February 14th.

Saturday March 7th. International Women’s Day

19th January. Bus Action Group Demonstration outside the council offices in Dorchester, 9:30am. Details; Bus Action Group (West Dorset), Facebook page.

Public Consultation on Slyer’s Lane wind farm, closes 20th December 2014

From West Dorset Pro Wind Facebook group

Application Number: WD/D/14/002611 Case Officer: Andrew Martin Tel: 01305 252227

For the application & to comment online West Dorset District Council “Planning Application Search”
http://webapps.westdorset-dc.gov.uk/PlanningApps/Pages/Planning.aspx?App=WD/D/14/002611

By post: Mr Martin, Case Officer, Planning Department , West Dorset District Council, South Walks House, South Walks, Dorchester DT1 1UZ

If you are writing your own letter make sure you include the application number and your address. Everyone 18 and over in your household can have his/her own say. You can use the same envelope or email address. Save a copy of what you write and use it to contact your local councillors and your MP. Check out the documents online or view at the Council offices on request.

It is an election year. With UKIP and others, there is a new level of climate change denial, a threat to cancel all targets on greenhouse gas emissions and plans to stop the development of renewables both wind and solar in its tracks.

Roll of dishonour, M.P.s with their hands in the N.H.S. till.

Crooks

Untie the Onion has helpfully produced a list of honourable members who stand to profit from flogging off our Health Service. No surprise to find ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, and the sinister Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax amongst this shower of shit.

Check and see how bent yours is:

1. David Cameron – Prime Minister

Handed a peerage to nursing andcare hometycoon Dolar Popat, who has given the Tories more than £200,000 in donations.

2. Andrew Lansley – Former Health Secretary & architect of privatisation

Received a £21,000 donation in Nov 2009 from John Nash, the former chairman of Care UK.

3. Harriet Baldwin – Tory whip

Former executive at JP Morgan, a major player in private healthcare.

4. Greg Barker – former Energy Minister

Held shares in Quester VCT 5 plc ,a venture capital firm with multiple investments in healthcare companies.

5. Henry Bellingham

Former director of Lansdowne Advisory Ltd, which has shares in private healthcare company Circle.

6. Jake Berry

Has registered interests in legal firm Squire Patton Boggs, which workd with multiple NHS trusts on PFI and PPP programs.

7. Graham Brady

Former advisor to PA Consulting, a management consultancy company which has worked with the NHS’s new Clinical Commissioning Groups.

8. Simon Burns – former Health Minister

Attended an oncology conference paid for by Aventis Pharma – a five-day trip to the US funded by a leading drug firm.

9. Nick de Bois

Was the majority shareholder in Rapier Design Group, an events management company heavily involved with the private medical and pharmaceutical industries.

10. Steve Brine

Received almost £15,000 in donations from James Lupton, the chairman of investment bankers, Greenhill Europe which has a global network of corporate relationships in the healthcare sector.

11. Aidan Burley

Received six bottles of wine from Hitachi consultants for a speech in 2011. Hitachi Consulting UK built an online ‘portal’ for NHS commissioners to help them monitor performance.

12. Damian Collins

Spent almost a decade working for marketing agency M&C Saatchi, whose clients include PPP healthcare, AXA insurance, Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Merck

13. David Davis – former shadow home secretary

Received a payment of £4,250 for a six-hour speaking engagement for private health insurance company Aviva.

14. Jonathan Djanogly

Received £1,900 from Huntleigh Healthcare Ltd, which manufactures medical and orthopaedic equipment and instruments.

15. Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax

Received £14,000 in a series of donations from Derek Luckhurst, chief executive and owner of care home group Agincare.

16. Iain Duncan-Smith – Work and Pensions Secretary

Has shares in hygiene technology company Byotrol plc, which sells products to the NHS.

17. Philip Dunne

Was a non-executive director for investment firm Baronsmead VCT 4 plc, which had multiple investments in private healthcare companies.

18. Michael Fallon – Defence Secretary

Former director of Attendo AB, – a Swedish private health company.

19. Mark Field

Was a board advisor to Ellwood and Atfield; a recruitment firm which recruit for NHS positions and private healthcare.

20. Liam Fox – former Defence Secretary

Received £5,000 from investment company IPGL Ltd, who purchased healthcare pharma company Cyprotex.

21. George Freeman

Has shares in Hill House Assets Ltd, formally private health firm 4D Biomedical Ltd.

22. Mike Freer

Provided marketing advice to Care Matters, a financial planning company for care homes.

23. Richard Fuller

Worked for L.E.K consulting, which has six ‘partners’ in European healthcare.

24. Richard Graham

Received £3,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

25. William Hague – Leader of the Commons

Received a £20,000 donation from MMC Ventures, which parts owns The Practice plc which runs 60 GP surgeries.

26. Philip Hammond – Foreign Secretary

Beneficiary of a trust which owns a controlling interest in healthcare and nursing home developer Castlemead Ltd.

27. Mark Harper

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

28. Nick Herbert

Received £15,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

29. Jeremy Hunt – Health Secretary

Received £32,920 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

30. Margot James

Had a key role at marketing giant WPP Group, which had a long list of healthcare clients.

31. Sajid Javid – Culture Secretary

Received £11,000 from Moundsley Healthcare Ltd last year.

32. Jo Johnson – Downing Street policy adviser

Received £6,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

33. Kwarsi Kwateng

Worked as an analyst for for Crispin Odey’s hedge fund Odey Asset Management.

34. Mark Lancaster

Former adviser to property venture capital firm Company Palmer Capital Partners Ltd, a funder of Danescroft Commercial Developments, which has worked in the healthcare sector.

35. Dr Phillip Lee

Has worked as a freelance or Medical Solutions Ltd, which provided medical cover for events.

36.Oliver Letwin – former shadow chancellor

Was a non-executive director of N.M. Rothschild Corporate Finance Ltd, which invests heavily in healthcare.

37. Peter Lilley

Non-Executive director of management software firm Idox plc, which provides services to the NHS Health Libraries Group and NHS Education for Scotland.

38. Tim Loughton

Received £350 for training sessions with Cumberlege Connections, a political networking firm that works “extensively” with the pharmaceutical industry.

39. Mary Macleod

Was a senior executive at Andersen Consulting/Accenture, which has profited from big PFI deals.

40. Francis Maude – Cabinet Office Secretary

Was a director of PR firm Huntsworth plc, which was part of lobbying group Healthcare Communications Association.

41. Maria Miller – former Culture Secretary

Former director of Grey’s Advertising Ltd, an advertising and brand company which worked extensively with clients in the healthcare sector.

42. Andrew Mitchell – former International Development Secretary

Was a strategy adviser to global management firm Accenture, which has worked extensively with private healthcare companies and the NHS.

43. Penny Mordaunt – Communities Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Hanover, where she had a range of healthcare clients.

44. Brooks Newmark – former Charities Minister

Partner in the Allele Fund, which invests in healthcare startups.

45. Jesse Norman

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

46. Stephen O’Brien

Received payments totalling £40,000 from Julian Schild, whose family made £184million in 2006 by selling hospital bed-makers Huntleigh Technology.

47. George Osborne – Chancellor

Received donation through Conservative Campaign Headquarters from Julian Schild – see above.

48. Priti Patel – Treasury Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Weber Shandwick, which does PR for big healthcare and pharmaceutical firms.

49. John Redwood – former Cabinet Minister

Advised the private equity company which runs Pharmacy2u, the UK’s largest dedicated internet and mail order pharmacy.

50. Jacob Rees-Mogg

Partner of Somerset Capital Management LLP, which has healthcare investor Redwood Emerging Markets Dividend Income Fund as a client.

51. Sir Malcolm Rifkind – former Foreign Secretary

Chairman of advisory board at L.E.K. Consulting LLP, which helps private healthcare firms identify “new business development” and “opportunities with the Government”.

52. Amber Rudd – Energy Minister

Received £3,000 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

53. David Ruffley

Received £10,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

54. Mark Simmonds – former Foreign Minister

Was paid £50,000 a year as a “strategic adviser” to Circle Health.

55. Chris Skidmore

Received £3,500 for speeches to STAC Consultancy, which specialises in the launch of pharmaceutical products.

56. Julian Smith

Received a £2,500 donation from Principle Healthcare Ltd in September 2014.

57. Nicholas Soames

Received £2,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

58. John Stanley

Consultant on financial services to FIL Investment Management Ltd, which invests in healthcare.

59. Andrew Tyrie – select committee chairman

Attended the Ryder Cup as Secretary of the Parliamentary Golf Society, with travel and accommodation paid for by U.S. healthcare services company Humana Europe.

60. Robin Walker

His office received a £2,000 donation from Redwood Care Homes, which owns multiple care homes.

61. David Willetts – former Universities Minister

Has shares in Sensortec, a company that owns Vantix which was working on a contract for a new product to detect MRSI.

62. Rob Wilson

Had registered shares in Vital Imaging, a private screening company.

63. Tim Yeo

Also attended the 2008 Ryder Cup, courtesy of Humana Europe.

64. Nadhim Zahawi

Non-executive director of recruitment company SThree, which specialises in the Ppharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

65. Menzies Campbell – former leader

Non-executive director of Scottish American Investment Company plc, which took over one of the care homes when Southern Cross collapsed.

66. Vince Cable – Business Secretary

Received a donation of £2,000 from Chartwell Care Services, which is 100% owned by Chartwell Health & Care PLC. It also owns Chartwell Private Hospitals plc, which provide day case surgery to NHS patients.

67. Nick Clegg – Deputy Prime Minister

Received a donation to his constituency office for £5,000 from Alpha Medical Consultancy.

68. Simon Hughes – Justice Minister

Received £60,000 donation to his constituency party from the founder of Alpha Hospitals, a private hospital firm.

69. Stephen Lloyd

MP for Eastbourne. Received £544.92 aggregated over time for office equipment from Platon Medical Ltd – who provides Ear, Nose and throat devices.

70. Robert Smith

Has shares in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

71. Jo Swinson – Business Minister

Received a donation of £2,000 September 2013 from private optician firm, Peter Ivins Eye Care.

– See more at: Dorset Eye