Monday 24 June 2013

The Guardian: a national treasure

The journalism at the Guardian these days is more than first class. It’s outstanding. Bringing us the Snowden revelations about the disgrace of our Secret State, and now the horror of the covert Met Police operation against the Lawrences. Amusing to know that there are snoops out there who are even now reading my Blog. Will be good for them. Indeed it is not the first time I have been snooped on.

I discovered some years back, from the memoirs of a former spy for BOSS that they had been watching me!
In the 70s I was the Secretary of the Medway Town's Amnesty International Group (my very first third sector job; and as a volunteer to boot!). We were active in supporting the "Pietermaritzburg 13" imprisoned on Robben Island. I knew and supported a number of their relatives who had fled to the UK, and obviously harried the wretched apartheid regime. I regard this as a badge of honour. Good luck to Edward Snowden who has shown courage in revealing just how far snooping has gone.

When you have an over powerful State ready to spy on all of us, having intrepid journalism is ever more essential.

And whilst on the subject of newspapers, the story about the BMA in the Times is a hoot. So these guys think that competition is unacceptable but they are happy to see us all paying charges for health care. One of the core points made in the report of the group I chaired on “choice and competition" was that the core principle of the NHS; that it is a free and universal service will be undermined if we don't accept that greater choice and competition will help ensure better use of scarce resources. So don't be fooled by the BMA; they have demonstrated their true colours. They don't believe in a free NHS. This is the underlying principle of the 1948 reforms. Let's defend that to the hilt. Ironic that an organisation that represents the private Sector (doctors are not public sector employees but self employed contractors) has such a bizarre view. There is in fact nothing wrong with doctors as private contractors. The BMA needs to stop this campaign on charging now.

End of rants!

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