Short, because each word mattered to me
I suppose most of us don’t bother to worry about our liberty until it is impinged. This can be the smallest thing, such as the desire to keep some our lives private from prying eyes to the freedom of to be tried by jury. There is a growing argument in the UK that many of these basic rights are being impinged and the politics of the United States is based around the ideals of the freedom.
The idea of freedom was used to fight the cold war, an argument that we all of course simply have to agree with. But this casual link between freedom and liberalism leaves us with one of the most complex questions which faces contemporary politics. For example, surely the ends of liberalism and equality of opportunity are almost identical, as are the end of economic liberalism and equality under the definition of liberalism according to Milton Freedman. Yet despite this, many pure or neo liberals, or right wing Tories as we would call them in the UK, simply define equality as the state taking a step too far. That the state is interfering with our everyday activities and thus our liberties impinged.
The argument is far more complex, but in the UK we must also consider that the UKs three main political parties have already cherry picked the best bits of liberalism. Furthermore because liberalism is such a diverse subject, just because one form of liberalism is essential does not mean others offer the best form of theory for its specific subject area. This was best defined yesterday by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of the world’s leading market libertarian, Ruprort when she challenged the assertion that “The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit” continuing that “Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster.”
Dear NHS supporter,
I would like to invite you to the third SAVE OUR NHS HULL AND EAST YORKSHIRE meeting, 6 PM on Monday 20th August at the Unison Building on Alfred Gelder Street, Hull. We will be discussing our action plan for the coming campaign.
Our campaign group is a mixture of all of the best campaign talents in Hull and East Yorkshire, brought together to fight the £94m cut in our NHS trust budget. In our last meeting we called for a rebate against the £94m cut, due to the unique social and economic challenges facing Hull and East Yorkshire.
It has become clear that under government legislation and cuts, by 2017 the NHS in our area will be unsustainable, leaving the door wide open to private health care under the Health and Social Care Act. I ask you not to think if you and your family can afford health insurance, but how the poorest in society and the chronically ill will fare in 2017. In Ireland health care insurance cost £100 a month, ask anyone who has worked for minimum wage, there was nothing left at the end of the month, never mind £100 to cover health care insurance.
We will be reserving the first 5 minutes of the meeting for someone to talk about their positive experience of the NHS or negative experience of the cuts, if you are interested in speaking to us please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first two meetings have been lively and full of debate; so far over 50 people have attended representing 20 community organisations. Please pass this email on to anyone who may be interested, all are welcome.
Remember, if health care workers speak out they put their livelihoods in danger, if we don’t speak out now- then no one will and we face losing our NHS for good.
Co-Chair Save our NHS Hull and East Yorkshire
Groups Represented: Haltemprice and Howden Constituency Labour Party, East Hull Constituency Labour Party, Hull Trades Council, Hull Socialist Workers Party, Hull Communist Party, GMB, Unison, UCL, Hull & East Yorkshire Green Party, The Co-op Party, Hull City Council Labour Group, NUT, Unite, Hull West and Hessle Constituency Labour Party, UCU, Hull Fabians, ALPC.
14 August 2012
Save our NHS- Hull and East Yorkshire
Over the past few weeks I have been part of a team of 30+ running a campaign in Hull to fight against £94m of government cuts in NHS services. Of course, the cuts go far wider and deeper than just these £94m but, given the reforms that the coalition have legislated for which will allow competition and thus privatisation we have decided to start with our local NHS trust.
It started with a petition stall, which turned into a full scale rally with over 200 in attendance, a vote of confidence for the NHS. Following the rally we called a meeting, we asked for “all the campaigning talents of Hull” to attend. So far 50 people have attended the first two meetings representing 20 organisations.
In addition we have also had the local media onside, including the Hull Daily Mail and Radio Humberside, from interviews we have conducted we secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of the NHS trust and the medical director. The meeting, which took place on Friday morning, answered a number of questions we had and set a clear direction for our campaign.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking to put together a number of arguments, which will argue that the cuts in our health service are unjust, heavy handed and unsustainable. We will argue that these cuts are just the beginning and will ultimately result in reduction in healthcare outcomes. But ultimately, we will argue, and I will call for a rebate for our NHS trust, due to the unfair nature of the cuts and the specific social and economic challenges which is faced by our NHS trust.
4 April 2012
During my research in China I discovered that 50% of graduate’s can’t find a job on leaving uni, part of China’s future problems but then I was a tweet from Diana Johnson MP (one should point out she is my old boss) about finding work in Hull. From my experience finding work in Hull is hard, I know graduates in call centres and as a region we are being hit with multiple factory closers and public sector cuts. Some examples include BAE, Commit which was started in Hull and the 20% tax on caravans levied recently a sector which employed 1,000 Hull workers. Whilst to their credit local politicians have not towed the government line of relying on the market to attract work but used their office, this even includes the odd Conservative but mainly Labour.
So let’s look at two statistics, graduation employment and work in Hull. On the graduate front 70 people now apply for each job, with a decrease of 7% in jobs available, the vast majority now insist on a 2.1 and some work experience, when I looked at graduate jobs in Hull just 14 came up on the search and most of them didn’t really look like you needed a degree. Then if we look at the number of people fighting for each job in Hull, we are the top in the whole country with 80 people fight for each post, this is almost a freak, most of the top ten worst have between 25-40 people for each role, only stoke comes near us with 73 per role.
I don’t have the stats to hand, but when I ran for parliament I put together a briefing note on to my campaign team and I remember writing that in the constituency I ran in unemployment was about 2.5%, however I suspect this has gone up.
In 1970 and the same city in 2010…..
3 April 2012
This is the ancient Chinese city of Shenzhen, on the South East coast of China and dates back as far as 5000BC. In 1979 this small fishing city about the size of Leicester had a population of 350,000 however in 1980 it was granted special economic zone status and with government support, by 2010 had grown to a population the size of 10 million people, the 5th biggest in China and 29th in the world.
Between 1980-1997 growth averaged at around 15% and since then has steadied at an impressive 5% (we would kill for that in the UK right now.) In 2009 the City has a GDP of $130bn meaning this city has an economy comparable to New Zealand or Hungary. Its close links with Hong Kong allows the city to have a vast trading and financial sector as well as manufacturing and high tech. However from the UK perspective the largest growing sector is service industry, which of course the UK is dependent on, more evidence that the UK needs to diversity as developing states develop their own service industry.
However the city does have some problems, high unemployment for example, however the city has been given every chance it needs with high speed rail, sound road networks, air links and higher education. It is said the 20% of Chinas PHD holders have worked in Shenzhen, can you think of any UK city that comes near any of this? Thought not.
3 February 2012
It was just your typical Thursday night in front of an American TV cop drama, the criminal a witness to a murder was made to give evidence to avoid charges of tax evasion, to which my partner (yes some bloggers have partners) asked “why do Americans pay tax, it is not like they have a welfare state.”She has a point, what on earth do the yanks do with all that money and why do they have so much debt? The above graphic shows where much of US government spending goes, much on defence to fight conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and much on welfare. But there are two further statistics which simply amaze me, firstly that the USA pays much low contribution of tax and as such the US government only spends 29% of its GDP on the government, much lower than rivals and second how high the USA debt is, that in 2012 it almost has as much government debt than its GDP. Simply stunning when you consider the position the USA was in at the turn of the century.
Just my opinion- but this is the failure of right wing economic policy, which the UK government is trying its hardest to copy. Obama’s government is producing growth and employment, two things the UK badly needs.
PS- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14760684 for more
25 January 2012
The government view: if you can’t afford it then move
My view: most of the UK can’t afford to live here- so we should emigrate
Aside from being cocky- emigration is in fact a serious problem facing the UK at the moment especially whilst the economy is underperforming. This chronic problem stems in part from the financial sector, whilst banks refuse to lend (whilst in profit) the economy won’t grow, the knock on effect of low job creation. A problem compounded with government cuts at a time when we need a private sector boom.
Those who can’t find work will do almost anything and many young educated intelligent people who worked hard to be tomorrow’s community and business leaders are finding their careers unfulfilling and their prospects uninspiring. For those who can find quality employment fuel and food prices are greatly increased from what they where 5 years ago and wages have not gone up in line- the simple fact is- for those who work the hardest, the rewards in the UK are simply not there (unless you work in banking, that is.)
Like in the 1980s the UK is producing a lost generation, but there is one big difference- globalisation.
Young people are now accustomed to travelling; we are now understand and embrace multiculturalism, most of us have been abroad and some of us have left the EU. Additionally the internet has bought a world of research material, information and opportunities to our figure tips.
As the economy has globalised, our ability to move around the world has increased.
Simply put- if the UK isn’t offering young people what we need- then we will move away- and we are doing in our droves.
This isn’t about the greed of the individual, how, in any liberal society can we argue against an individual wanting to improve their lot through hard work? Emigration is a founding cornerstone of the USA, where people travelled in search of a better life.
This is about the UK economy, with a chronic lack of quality employment and business opportunity when people leave our soggy shores it is highly unlikely they will return. We are denying the UK thousands of talented young people, who all they ask in return, is a quality job with a quality wage with some prospects.
You think this isn’t happening- go and look at your facebook page- how many of your friends list are either abroad, have been or are seriously considering it? Of my 210 friends I counted 25 on this list- all of them are aged between 20 and 40 and they are the kind of people any UK business would be crying out for.
Take note, Dave.
A few people have contacted me over the past 24 hours to ask me clarify a position as a result of a question asked in the House of Commons.
Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): if the Prime Minister was killed in a terrorist attack, who would take charge of the Government? Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that it would not be him, as he leads a party that has less support than the UK Independence party?
The Deputy Prime Minister: As he knows, appropriate arrangements would be made in that very unfortunate event. I must say, however, that his morbid fascination with the premature death of his own party leader is a subject not for me, but for the Chief Whip
Apart from the fact he dodges the question ……
Both men are in this instance correct. (Read more for why and the solution)