Friday, 23 November 2012

Andy Burnham slams Jeremy Hunt for co-authoring a book calling for the NHS to be "De-Nationalised"


Here (click this link) is a copy of the letter that Andy Burnham has sent to Jeremy Hunt about his co-authorship of Direct Democracy's call to de-nationalise the NHS.

The latest development on the story below is that Andy Burnham has written to Jeremy Hunt to challenge him directly on his co-authorship of this book that calls for the NHS to be de-nationalised. You can read details of that here (see link). For details of the story I first broke yesterday, see below.

Jeremy Hunt is the new man appointed by David Cameron to run the NHS. As Health Secretary, he replaces Andrew Lansley who has been moved on following the shambolic and undemocratic passage of the NHS Bill. Naturally, NHS campaigners, staff and patients are very eager to hear what Jeremy Hunt has to say about the NHS.

Well, that should be easy to explain because Jeremy Hunt has put his name to two books published by Direct Democracy which deal with the NHS at length. Many thanks to @Singularity78 who helped me locate downloadable copies of the two books. The books were co-authored with Daniel Hannon MEP who famously called the NHS a 60 year mistake.

The free download of the 2005 version "Direct Democracy" in which Hunt is an author can be found here (click this)

the free download of the 2008 version "The Plan" in  which put his name in support can be found here (click this)

So, what do they say? In short, they are pretty scathing of the NHS. The one which is part-authored by Hunt advocates the de-nationalisation of the NHS and the use of a USA style insurance scheme were patients pay into their individual pots and decide how to spend it. Some of the ways both books talk about the NHS give serious cause for concern that Jeremy Hunt is now in charge of the NHS.

I will as I read through both books put some of the key phrases in this article (below).

1. Page 98 of the 2008 book mocks the NHS as "the national sickness service".

2. The problem with the NHS is not one of resources. Rather, it is that the system remains a centrally run, state monopoly, designed over half a century ago.

3. Page 78 of the 2005 book says the following "Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain"

4. Page 31 of he 2005 book says the following "They are told that record investment has transformed the NHS; but their hospital seems as grimy as ever."

5. Page 40 of the 2008 book mocked the NHS as a Quango "The NHS is one among many institutions that make up the quango state."

6. Page 74 of the 2005 book states the following "The problem with the NHS is not one of resources.
Rather, it is that the system remains a centrally run, state monopoly"

7. Page 76 of the 2005 book states "The NHS was designed over half a century ago, at a time of rationing and deep poverty. It was, and remains, a child of its time".

8. Page 80 of the 2005 book states "a 1940s monopolistic structure is no longer relevant in the Twenty-first
Century."

9. Page 74 of the 2005 book states "We should fund patients, either through the tax system or by way of
universal insurance, to purchase health care from the provider of their choice."

2 comments:

Anthony Z said...

Good detective work, but on point 1, "National Sickness Service" is a current phrase in debates about how the NHS works, which has also been used by Labour ministers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/06/politics.publicservices

Chris said...

As an aside, there's a treasure-trove of PDFs available on Carswell's website. Starting from the URL linked in the blog above:

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload13.pdf

change the number and you should find:

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload1.pdf
http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload2.pdf
...
http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload19.pdf

all download OK, then

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload21.pdf
...
http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload30.pdf

then

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload32.pdf
...
http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload36.pdf

then

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload38.pdf


For the missing ones:

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload20.pdf

I'm getting "an error has occurred while trying to process this document" which just leaves me wondering "what's in it?" Checking what happens if I use wget to download it, I get a HTML file:

http://pastehtml.com/view/caww23mk3.html

that says I'm not allowed to download that file. In that HTML file is a reference to a missing image:

/InternalSite/images/customupdate/portcullis_two.gif

Now, "/InternalSite" - if we add back Carswell's website:

http://www.douglascarswell.com/InternalSite/images/customupdate/portcullis_two.gif

that doesn't work - you get a file not found. The name "portcullis_two" to the GIF image file - I doubt very much he would be so daft as Viscount Christopher Monckton to use a portcullis image erroneously:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/11/lords-climate-christopher-monckton

Maybe document 20 came from somewhere else completely and has since been taken down?

For the other two:

http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload31.pdf
http://www.douglascarswell.com/upload/upload37.pdf

they just seem to be missing, as do document numbers up to 45 (that I've tried).

And he doesn't seem to use document 0, or "01"..."09" (i.e. prefixed by zero) which is, at least, consistent, I s'pose.