By Tim Hardy
Now that the Liberal Democrat opposition in the Lords to the Health and Social Care bill has proved toothless, the only thing standing between the bill becoming law is the final vote in the Commons. Cameron hopes to push this through in the next fortnight.
MPs will be asked to vote in ignorance of the real dangers to patient care introduced by Lansley’s chaotic reforms since the government is refusing to publish the risk register report.
The information tribunal is currently deliberating after a two-day appeal in which it heard that there is no evidence releasing the NHS risk report would damage ministers’ advice, contrary to the claims of the government. It is possible that Lansley will continue to refuse to publish the document even if they deny his appeal and rule that he has acted illegally.
Disappointingly, an ostensibly progressive newspaper follows up on its previous smear of critics of NHS privatisation by running an editorial supporting the governments’ refusal to release the NHS risk register. Perhaps the Independent, owned by the world’s 358th richest man, should consider changing its title to something that more accurately reflects its political interests.
Today is a day of protest for the NHS, starting with a human chain around St Thomas’s Hospital, 11.45-14:00 (meet outside A&E St Thomas’s Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 9RT).
Unite have organised a lobby of Parliament from 1.00-5.00pm at The Library, Central Methodist Hall, Westminster, London SW1H
A student feeder march for the Rally for the NHS form from 4.30pm for a 5pm departure from ULU. The Facebook page is here.
The TUC Save Our NHS rally continues the events at Central Hall, Westminster from 6.00pm-7.30pm.
For those who cannot make it in person, the event will be livestreamed and there is a list of suggested activities to show support.
38 Degrees also have free leaflets and posters if you want help getting the message out to your local community.
An attack on the NHS is a full on assault on everyone in our society. We have less than two weeks to show the government that they have no mandate and no support for these changes. Our NHS is not for sale. Let’s make sure our voice is heard.