addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1linklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo
A former member
Post #: 2
The NHS is in severe financial trouble and will soon be insolvent. This is due to a very simple reason. Too many people taking services out of the NHS but do not pay in so it is now on life support. In the US such a system would be bankrupt before it even would get started, because we would have to cover 20+ illegal immigrants in the US. Illegal immigrants already are putting hospitals out of business close to the border as it is right now.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,549­


"I read in The Daily Mail" oh god, hannity.
To ManyPhones 6 months ago 8 approval

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,550

I Was Treated to a Foreign First World Public Health Care System
Last Friday I learned what it was like to be part of a civilized, first world health system
Katharine Zaleski.Senior Editor Huffington Post, Special Projects
Posted: July 10, 2009 10:55 AM

Last Friday I learned what it was like to be part of a civilized, first world health system.

I was in England, staying at my godmother's house, when I got slammed by one of my chronic migraines. When I get migraines I usually resign myself to a dark room, take my medication and wait for the nauseating pain and blurry vision in my left eye to dissipate.

As I rummaged around my suitcase to find my salvation, high doses of Trexamet and Naprosyn, I discovered that I had forgot to pack them in my rush to the airport. Not having my medication doesn't mean enduring one bad headache. It means enduring about three days of completely crippling head pain. Instead of panicking over my fate, I picked up the phone and called my doctor in NY. I thought she'd be able to call in a prescription. No dice. She actually didn't even call me back. Plus, as my godmother reminded me, she wouldn't be able to call in a prescription because she's not part of the British health system.

So I resigned myself back to my dark room, put a cloth over my head and tried to do what my mother always tells me: "go to another place." Well, my godmother came upstairs shortly afterward and suggested that she could take me to that other place... a National Health office.

Since I thought getting an appointment there would require a referral, at least a day's wait and an exorbitant amount of money, I told her not to bother. She called anyways, got me an appointment for the next hour and we were off to the neighborhood clinic.

It was amazing. I filled out paperwork with my New York address, waited five minutes, met with the doctor, got a prescription, walked downstairs to the pharmacy under the clinic and was back at my godmother's house an hour later. Believe it or not, I didn't have to pay a cent for the visit. I did, however, pay a "private" prescription price for the medication that added up to about $30 dollars.

I'm not denying that there are problems with the British system. My problem wasn't life threatening, but it was temporarily crippling. For people with deadly diseases like cancer there are documented frustrations over access to certain treatment. My great-uncle actually got sent home from a British hospital because there weren't enough beds that day. He was scheduled for open heart surgery... an operation he endured the following week.

There will always be problems in a system that takes care of millions, but that shouldn't preclude us from not giving millions their rights to proper health care. What Obama said about energy applies to health care: "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." From my experience the British system was good. It was also good to my great-uncle. Even though he was sent home, he was treated. His immediate family didn't have to haggle with insurers or cut costs. His country took care of him. America should be able to do the same.

Follow Katharine Zaleski on Twitter:

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,551

Kiefer Sutherland is the grandson of Tommy Douglas, a Canadian political leader who is widely considered the father of Canada's public health care system. In 2006, Kiefer recorded a video tribute to his grandfather and his activism, a portion of which is excerpted here.

As someone who has seen both the Canadian and American health care systems up close, Kiefer is a proponent of Canada's progressive public health care system.

This video was not edited to manipulate his words or imply an endorsement of any particular American health care proposal. I included the URL for because their plans are consistent with the vision of Tommy Douglas on behalf of which Kiefer Sutherland speaks so passionately and effectively. It's fair to say that Mr. Sutherland would prefer either a public option or a single payer system to the corporate-dominated health insurance regime we have in America today.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,921
Date: 12 March 2013 02:27:29 GMT


The government are pushing through a bill that will end our NHS as we know it. From April 1st privatisation will become mandatory, and our NHS will become a profit driven enterprise ahead of being a free health service for all. Corporations (like Virgin) are just queueing up like vultures to dissect it.

Please help save it while you still can. Sign the 38 Degrees petition below. Write or call your local MP. Write to the media. Visit or attend your local group's planning meeting (see website for list). If not, attend your local anti-cuts group. Encourage your GP, or any friends you have in the medical profession to speak out now. Attend ongoing protests to save Lewisham A&E, and other under threat hospitals. Pass on this email to all your contacts.

The clip above is the trailer of the new Ken Loach film called The Spirit Of 45. It's a documentary of the period when the NHS was formed. It is released this weekend.

Do all you can, because once it's gone...
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,923
Ken Loach new film "Spirit of '45"
Ken Loach film Spirit of '45 previewed in Cardiff­

Ken Loach film Spirit of '45 previewed in Cardiff
6 March 2013 Last updated at 19:56 Help Ken Loach, one of Britain's most celebrated and controversial film directors, was in Cardiff for a preview of his latest film, a documentary about post war Britain.

Loach shot to fame in the 1960s with gritty dramas like Come Home, Cate and Kes.

Carwyn Jones, of BBC Wales, went to meet him.

Ken Loach concerned for Bristol peace activist Tom Woodhead after "mock execution"
Follow us: @thisisbristol on Twitter | thisisbristol on Facebook
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,926

Join the thousands of people campaigning to stop the cuts at the Whittington Hospital on a march through Islington on 16 March. We will be meeting at 11.30 at Highbury and Islington Station.

In 2010 we saved our A&E unit. Now the hospital is planning more attacks on our health services – reduced maternity services, ward closures, fewer beds for the elderly, 570 job cuts and no onsite accommodation for nursing staff. Please support the campaign and help spread the word.

Battle bus rolls again as film director Ken Loach backs protest to defend the Whittington Hospital

Published: 15 March, 2013

FILM director Ken Loach has delivered a clarion call urging supporters of the NHS to join the march tomorrow (Saturday) to defend the Whittington Hospital.

Boardroom bosses want to sell off a huge chunk of public land in a move that would dramatically change the face of the Archway hospital. At least 570 staff posts – including 200 crucial nursing roles – would be lost in the shake-up and the total number of beds halved.

When: TOMORROW Saturday, March 16, 2013

HIghbury tube 11:30 am = 12 Noon departure
Saturday 16 March Defend Whittington Hospital march Highbury Corner to­ Alasdair on 07904 296701

The Tribune will lead the massive march with our Routemaster battle bus and Whittington Wild Cats marching band in what will be an unmissable day of action.

Mr Loach said: “I have been a patient at the Whittington, including using A&E, as well as my family. I have very good memories of the service. It provides a fundamental service for people.

“We need to save the Whittington facilities and the NHS at the same time. The NHS is on its sick bed and unless we fight for it very hard it will no longer be there when we need it. I support the campaign to preserve the values of the NHS.”

The Tribune revealed in a front-page exclusive in January how the Whittington sell-off was agreed by the board without consultation with the public, governors or MPs. The decision has sparked a storm of anger that saw 600 people pack a public meeting last month. Thousands are expected to join the march from High­bury and Isling­ton station at 11.30am, ending with a rally outside the hospital entrance with 25 speakers, including campaigners, union chiefs, politicians and Chavs author Owen Jones.

Hetty Bower, the 107-year-old NHS campaigner, will be joining the march and be on board the Tribune bus. She said she would be marching for the NHS “as long as my legs can carry me”. Space will be available on the Tribune bus for tired legs.

Whittington Hospital chairman Joe Liddane said the board “appreciated people walking on our behalf”.

But he defiantly defended a move to shift care out of the hospital, adding: “Everyone buys into the argument of delivering care in or near to people’s homes. You free up space that way.”

Critics say their experience of community care cannot match the outstanding service provided by the Whittington. The sell-off and reduction in scope of the hospital would lead to the bit-by-bit closure of the Whittington and contracting of services to profit-making companies, campaigners say.

The Tribune can disclose this week that Whittington’s care in the community service has recently been replaced by a private company, Healthcare At Home.

The move has stoked fears that profit-making firms will take over more of the Whittington’s services as they are split up and hived off “into the community”. The changes are being driven by a bid to save £70million over five years so the attempt to become an independently-run foundation trust hospital can be accepted.

The march will be joined by GMB, Unite and Unison unions and protesters from hospital campaigns across London.


Meet Director Ken loach: http://barnetalliance...­

Barnet Spring march
Date and time:
Saturday, 23rd March 2013 at 11am.

Meeting place:
Finchley Central Tube station (tbc).

March begins at 12 noon and proceeds to Friern Barnet Community Library.

March for Our Barnet, for public services, against cuts and privatisation, against the One Barnet programme
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,927
As Ken Loach's film on post-war Britain shows, the Spirit of '45 has not been lost in our age of austerity
Don't give up on the NHS - don't let an unelected govenment destroy it!
The Independent ‎- 5 hours ago

How impossible it would be today: the creation of a welfare state in Britain where extreme social inequality is the norm. In his film The Spirit of ’45, released yesterday, Ken Loach tells the extraordinary story of that year, when Churchill, who had led this country through its “darkest hours”, was soundly defeated in the election that saw Clement Attlee, the determined Putney boy, ushered into Downing Street. Britain was exhausted. There was very little food; there was huge debt; the pleasantries of life which wartime had dried up were still just a memory. And yet, within five short years, the new government managed to transform the nation into something that resembled a socialist democracy.

In the January 1947 edition of The Picture Post, the outline of a welfare state is clearly laid out: free healthcare, free schooling, housing, the promise of work and security if you are unable to earn. The public utility companies were nationalised. They belonged to us. It was nothing short of a revolution. Even when the Tories returned to power in 1950, they did not change the new status quo. It was to be the world I grew up in, one where social mobility prevailed and the gap between the pay of the banker, doctor and schoolteacher was nothing to be remarked on.

I assumed that some version of this would last forever but, like most people, I bargained without Mrs Thatcher. “This idea had been bouncing around my head for some time,” Loach says. “I was asked if I would do an archive documentary. I think it’s apposite now. We are now in the midst of a great depression and a recession – as we were at the end of the 1930s. There is a large amount of anger at the cuts and at the destruction of the NHS. You wonder, as the remnants of a civilised society are destroyed, whether people might consider an alternative.”

Would they? In my work as Boris Johnson’s food adviser (I chair the London Food Board), I became aware of the startling rise of food banks about a year ago. I started to meet children who were coming to school having had nothing to eat since the night before, and in many cases all they had even then were chips and ketchup, or a doughy cheap pizza. I talked to teachers who said that some of their pupils were so distraught with hunger that they could barely sit still. No one takes any responsibility for this; instead, what we tell ourselves are the old truths of the world of a welfare state. “Everyone has enough money to buy enough food” is one popular myth. “Everyone can get a good education and rise from the top to bottom.” Both assumptions are as untrue as the oft-quoted mantra by politicians that “we are in all this together”.

After the war, there was indeed an overwhelming sense of “all being in this together”. Families collectively had suffered the deaths of loved ones and no amount of money could protect you from the terrors of the Blitz. These shared horrors spawned the need to make a better world, for all. But the horrors of today are not shared. As George Osborne puts the final touches to next week’s Budget, I wonder if he considers what it might be like to be forced to make a choice between paying the electricity bill to keep your family warm, or being able to afford something to eat. No politician has a clue what it is like to have to go to bed at 8pm in the winter because you’re too cold to do anything else. No politician knows what it is like to be a teenager who has no money at all, unless their mother can spare a pound or two from the child benefit, so you hang out on street corners because there is nowhere else to go.

I am friends with a woman called Angela who lives in Crystal Palace. She escaped a brutal marriage, lived in a hostel for two months and was moved to her council flat last August. She has two teenage children and a little baby of four months. In all that time, Angela and the kids have lived, slept and eaten in their living room because their three tiny bedrooms have been so damp that they all got ill if they spent more than 10 minutes upstairs. It was horrendous: huge black mushrooms of damp covering every surface. They have a broken chest of drawers. There is no wardrobe: their clothes are in black plastic bags on the floor. And there they might have stayed, on their allocated spaces on their two double beds, Angela fighting depression, her teenage daughter struggling with eating disorders, her intelligent teenage son studying to pass his science exams so he can be a doctor – because the social services in that area had not the money, time or resource to help. If it had not been for Kids Company, which took one look at the situation and set about fixing it, Angela and her family might well have quietly rotted away.

Meanwhile, through my letter box in west London come endless appeals to send money to children who are hungry and traumatised in other parts of the world.

Angela believes that our society sees the poor as almost criminal. I’m not sure that criminal is the right word. But there is no doubt that we do not want to know about what is happening under the surface of our society and that we hate the poor because they show us so clearly how unfair and unjust Britain has become. Far easier to deny our Angelas, telling ourselves that she is the architect of her own misfortune because, thanks to welfare, everyone in Britain has excellent life chances. In 1945, Angela’s father might have served on the battlefield alongside members of the ruling class. Now, our society’s battlefields are inhabited by only one class of people: the very poor and the very disadvantaged.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,930
Healthcare in the USA
No sytem at all; and no delivery of health services at all....

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,939

Spirit of 45 - NEW Film on NHS
What is it - how did it come to be?
http://www.thespirito...­­­­­ http://socialistresis...­

Britains most Important film director produces his most timley piece
Spirit of 45 - Go see it in cinemas, now!

Ken Loach has regularly managed to produce works of art on TV or the cinema which are engaging narratives but unlike most film directors he expresses working class lives and struggles in an unsentimental but positive way. Once before with the Cathy Come Home TV film which led to the creation of Shelter the housing charity he has managed to have a massive political impact. Perhaps the Spirit of 45 is beginning

Reflections on Ken Loach, The Spirit of 45

‘We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, now we are the builders’ Nye Bevan, May 1945

What a remarkable achievement by Ken Loach to produce a film that is having such a positive political impact writes Dave Kellaway. Unlike nearly all other film directors Ken is not just a film maker but somebody who intervenes regularly in the political debate and supports real struggles. His only rival might be Michael Moore on the other side of the Atlantic but with all due respect the latter’s politics is a little less developed. Many filmmakers make films with progressive messages that inspire people to think critically about the world but they usually keep well away from the messy world of politics. Apart from anything else such engagement can make their next film’s funding problematic .

For this film Loach obviously worked in a collaborative way with a whole series of experienced political activists – nearly all of whom are clearly left of ‘one nation’ labour. With them he has developed an articulated campaign for getting the biggest possible reaction to the movie. Hence the brilliant website packed with educational material that is understandable and accessible to the general public, students, teachers or activists. His media promotion was successful with appearances on Question Time, Newsnight, Morning TV and radio as well as the Evening Standard. Then there was the launch in 40 cinemas with a live Q and A session. He has put himself forward as a promoter of the campaign for the June 22nd People’s Assembly against Austerity which is almost a political sequel to the film. He encouraged people to distribute material at all the screenings. Finally he has made a public appeal for a new Left Party which 2000 people have already signed up to after one week. Again although this call is not crudely put into the film it is a logical conclusion to the points made by most of the participants towards the end. Apart from showing Ken Loach and his team’s political skills the whole operation just shows the space that exists for a new Left Party and the sort of political intervention we could be making through such a party. Already in the film you see the sort of people, coming from different political traditions, that could be among the cadre or leaders of a Left Party even if some of them are not necessarily enthusiastic at the moment for this project (e.g. John Rees from CounterFire).

Bureaucratic authoritarianism

The film is also politically astute in the way it reaches out to people who have different judgements on the utility of the current Labour party. It is the opposite of sectarian. It could easily have shown more explicitly how the whole way in which the Welfare state was set up was a classic example of the limits of bureaucratic social democracy, that the rule of capital was shaken a little but not really challenged, indeed that capitalism itself benefited from the planned rebuilding of the infrastructure in those years. You could also have explained in more detail how the lack of independent working class self-organisation meant the welfare state was never really owned or run by working people. Consequently given the difficult economic conditions it was easy for the Tories to return in the next general election since the Labour government was identified with the continued rationing, a certain bureaucratic authoritarianism and with austerity.

Yet that would have been a different film for a different purpose or period. Today many of the fortresses of the labour movement have been dismantled through deindustrialisation and defeat. Union membership is half what it was in the 70s and we all know what has happened to Labour. In many ways we are at a rebuilding phase of the labour movement. A large part of the population, particularly those are just factually unaware of the significance of the founding of the Welfare state. People under the age of 40 cannot even remember when electricity, gas, coal, rail, iron and steel, road haulage, telephones and so on were publicly owned. My daughter, who is 21, saw the film with me and was amazed about how much could be changed in such a relatively short period of time. Several generations have been brought up on the Thatcher and Blairite ideology of public sector equals wasteful and inefficient and the private market and entrepreneur as being effective and dynamic. The current crisis is lifting some of these illusions but vivid lessons from history put some flesh on a possible alternative. People need to grasp the fundamentals of the difference between th spirit of 45 and the neo-liberal ideology and offensive led by Thatcher and continued by Blair. So this is the right film for this period, the art of politics is all about timing.

Indeed the strength of the film is the way it makes government policies and projects such as the NHS or house building into processes that go to the heart of people’s lives – to health, shelter, security. Key statements about the reforms are interspersed with wonderfully edited interviews with working people who explain how they slept five to a flea-ridden bed or how profit in the mines led workers not to shore up the tunnels resulting in needless deaths. A doctor recounts how after the formation of the NHS the women he was visiting still could not understand that he would be able to see the other member of her family who was ill because it was now all free. A South Wales miner movingly talks of the death of his mother in childbirth through lack of care. Anger, hope and celebration are all there but also some bitterness is expressed at the limits of the change where for example the brutal private coal managers are recycled into the leadership of the NCB.
Powered by mvnForum

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy