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How to use the 38 Degrees election hub

March 2nd, 2015 by

There is great new website to use in the lead up to the General Election. This website will help you connect with other 38 Degrees members in your area to share ideas and plan activities.

If you were a part of the TTIP day of action in 2014 or the ‘Save our NHS’ day of action in February 2015 you will be familiar with this website and should already have an account.

If you don’t have an account it’s really easy to set one up. Just follow the two steps below.

How to set up an account  

[1] Go to: http://election.38degrees.org.uk

This will take you to the ‘Welcome’ page. In the bottom left hand corner of the page, type your postcode into the box and then click the orange button ‘find my constituency.’

Election hub - welcome page

[2] Once you’ve typed in your postcode you will be taken to the page for your constituency. On this page, please type your name (first and last), email address and a password into the form. Click the orange ‘Submit’ button to enter these details.

Election hub sign-up page

[3] You’ve now ready to use the website and connect with members in your area!

How to get the most out of the website

This website will help you to connect and plan with other 38 Degrees members in your area.

You can use it to:

  • List an event that you are organising so that others can find out about it

  • Find out about, and RSVP, to other events happening nearby

  • Join discussions about upcoming events (like the ‘Save our NHS’ day of action)

  • Take part in general planning discussions

At any time you can edit your profile (e.g. update your email address and phone number) and your notification settings. Click on the pencil symbol next to your name in the top left hand corner of the screen and make the necessary changes. Press save.

Election hub - edit your profile

The more people regularly using the tool and connecting with other members the more impactful we can be in the lead up to the general election.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Save our NHS: what a brilliant day!

February 28th, 2015 by

38 Degrees members were part of something big today. Together 38 Degrees members stood up for the NHS all across the country. Here’s a look at what’s been happening:

Over 11,000 of us hit the streets, adding name after name to a petition telling all our local politicians to save the NHS. Here’s a first look at pictures!

We’ve signed up young and old, neighbours and strangers:

A collage of members' pictures from today

We’ve all been united by a love of the NHS:

A picture of a member from Tredegar

And now we’re making plans to get back out on the streets again:

A collage of members' pictures from the day

Christine from Camborne says: “It was fantastic to speak to so many people who, like me, feel so passionately about the NHS and don’t want to see it broken up and sold off to private companies. The NHS is so important and so valued – it’s vital we continue to get out on the streets and make our politicians take notice of how strongly the public feels about the NHS.”

If you agree with her, you can set up a date and time to hit the streets again by clicking here. We may have got wet, we may have got cold, but here’s to a brilliant day.

As 38 Degrees member Jane said on Twitter: “I’ve been collecting signatures for 2 1/2 hours and loved every second. Everyone is adamant about keeping our NHS!”

If you’d like to see the full story of the day, click here: https://storify.com/38_Degrees/save-our-nhs-day

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Tips for talking to the media: ‘Save our NHS’ day

February 27th, 2015 by

Here’s a rough guide for things to say to the media if you meet any journalists when out collecting signatures for the ‘Save our NHS’ petitions. But remember, you don’t have to be an expert on the NHS. The most impactful messages are your personal stories.

What is happening today?

This Saturday, 11,000 38 Degrees members are out in high streets across England talking to people about why we love the NHS.

We’re collecting signatures for our local ‘Save our NHS’ petition. The petition calls for an end to privatisation and a properly funded NHS.

NHS experts have made it clear that it’s make or break time for our health service. So that’s why today, we’re kick-starting a huge campaign to save our NHS this election. Politicians need to know that if they want our vote in May, saving our NHS needs to be their top priority.

Why are you out on the streets to save the NHS?

Over the last few years our politicians have turned their back on the principles our NHS was built on – an NHS that’s owned by all of us, that works to save lives, not make money. They’ve chosen to under-fund vital services and sell others off to private companies.

Recently we’ve started to see the result of these political choices – crises in A&Es across the country, elderly people waiting on hospital beds because of a lack of care in their community, and patients waiting weeks for a GP appointment.
So that’s why we’re out on the streets today and we will be again and again in the run up to the election.

What would you like people listening or reading to do?

We’re asking anyone who wants an NHS that’s there for everyone when they need it, to join us today. Just go to 38degrees.org.uk/nhs to find an event happening near you.

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TTIP: Leaked text analysis by John Hilary, War on Want

February 27th, 2015 by

This week leaked documents published by the BBC show that our NHS hasn’t been taken out of TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership. Unless our health services are fully excluded from TTIP there’s a huge risk of further privatisation of our health services as US corporations try to profit from our NHS.

John Hilary, Executive Director at War on Want has put together the following analysis for 38 Degrees members. It helps explain exactly what this new document means for our NHS under TTIP – and why our health service is still under threat.

TTIP and the NHS

John Hilary, War on Want

This week has seen the latest UK government attempt to convince people that the NHS is safe from the dangerous Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and USA. The initial services offer of the EU was published online by BBC Scotland on Thursday, outlining the many sectors that will be irreversibly opened up to US corporations if TTIP goes through. And with it comes another government reassurance that the NHS could somehow be protected, even though health services are on the table to be traded away.

The first thing to say is that there is nothing new here. The EU services offer has been freely available on the internet since last May, so this is less a news story and more a spin operation. It follows the publication of a letter from the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, to trade minister Lord Livingston in January which also tried to convince people that the NHS is safe from TTIP. They are clearly rattled by the level of public anger that the issue has inspired.

The second point is that the ‘protection’ highlighted to the BBC relates only to how US corporations will be treated once they are already providing health services. In the jargon, this is the ‘national treatment’ provision that requires foreign companies to be treated at least as well as domestic firms once they are operating in the local economy. The protection does not apply to whether the market should be opened to them in the first place, or whether we can bring it back into public hands. Any such protection would have to be written into the ‘market access’ column of the schedule of commitments that the BBC has published, which it isn’t.

So here is a blow-by-blow account of why we are right to be worried about the NHS in TTIP:

1. Health services, medical services (including midwifery and physiotherapy) and dental services are all included in the TTIP negotiations. The EU’s draft offer says this clearly, and the EU trade commissioner’s letter has also confirmed that health services are on the table. The only sector that has been excluded from the TTIP talks is audio-visual services, as a result of dogged insistence by the French. All other services are in, and can be traded away for further liberalisation if the US negotiators so demand.

2. The NHS is also open to attack under the new investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) rules that TTIP would introduce between the EU and USA. For the first time, US corporations would be able to bypass our domestic courts and challenge health policy decisions before ad hoc arbitration tribunals, and to sue us for hundreds of millions of dollars in ‘damages’ as a result of future policy changes that might affect their bottom line. The chief EU negotiator and UK government ministers have all admitted that such challenges would be possible under TTIP, just as Slovakia has already lost a multi-million dollar case to Dutch insurance company Achmea for reversing the country’s earlier privatisation of health insurance.

3. Proponents of TTIP argue that the NHS could be protected by a safeguard on services supplied ‘in the exercise of governmental authority’ that was first introduced in the 1994 General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Yet this safeguard is worthless in protecting public services in the modern era, as the definition of services supplied ‘in the exercise of governmental authority’ requires them to be supplied (a) not on a commercial basis, and (b) not in competition with any other service supplier. As trade experts have confirmed over many years now, the NHS does not qualify for this protection on either of the two counts.

4. One thing that individual EU member states can do is to register their own special reservations for particular services in the schedules drawn up by the negotiators. Yet the UK government has a historical reservation in place only for ambulance services and for ‘residential health services other than hospital services’ – and even these are now under attack. Under TTIP, US health care companies would have the right to supply hospital services or social services.

There are many reasons why we should oppose TTIP, including the presence of other key services such as education, water and rail transport in the deal, and the deregulation agenda that is at the heart of the negotiations. Exempting the NHS will do nothing to address those concerns, or the loss of one million jobs that official estimates say TTIP will bring. That is why all progressive forces in the UK and across Europe are now calling for the outright rejection of TTIP, and its replacement with a new generation of trade deals that put people’s needs before the blind pursuit of corporate profit.

John Hilary is Executive Director of War on Want, and author of the briefing The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A charter for deregulation, an attack on jobs, an end to democracy, available in nine European languages via waronwant.org/ttip.

 

War on Want will be running a national gathering on TTIP in Manchester on 21 March 2015, and all 38 Degrees members are warmly encouraged to attend. Details of how to register for this free event are online here: http://www.waronwant.org/news/events/18257-ttip-building-the-fightback

 

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How to guide: collecting signatures for the NHS

February 27th, 2015 by

 

Many people will sign the petition because they already agree with us, and some people will simply walk past you or say no. But others will want to talk to you a bit more about it before signing. We’ve produced answers to some of the most common questions that get asked.

Remember, this is a tool for you to use in conversations. You don’t need to memorise it or quote it word for word; it’s there for you to use if you want to.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be an expert.  Talk about your experience of the NHS and why it’s important to you. Talk about why a health service that’s free at the point of delivery is important, and ask people what kind of a world they want to live in.  You could talk about how a health care system should be focused on saving lives, not making money.

Here are some ideas for answers to some of the tricky questions that people may ask you:

Q. What do you want?

A. This is a petition to every candidate to be our MP in the general election in May. We want them to promise that they’ll do all they can to protect our NHS from privatisation. That means stopping privatisation, making sure it has the money it needs, and stop it being undermined by international corporations.

Q. How will I help save the NHS by signing a petition?

A. In the lead up to an election it can make a huge difference. Now’s the time to take advantage of the fact that they have to listen to what we say.  Politicians are fighting over who’ll win the election here and experts say it might come down to a few votes. They’re desperate to impress us. They know that votes will be tight – so let’s show them how many of us will be thinking about the NHS as they weigh up who to vote for.

Q. This won’t help. Politicians say one thing before the election and another after. Don’t they?

A. Yes, we’ve experienced disappointments from a lot of politicians, haven’t we? That’s exactly why we have to put this pressure on politicians in public, and spread the word as far as we can. And we won’t be taking them at their word; we’ll be following up this petition with other ways to pile on the pressure – like public meetings – before and after the election. We can make sure they’re held to account.

It’s already happening. In the last few years, more and more services have been quietly privatised. Everything from GPs, to ambulance services, to whole hospitals are now privately run for profit.

Q. I heard the NHS costs 2 billion pounds a week to run. Isn’t that too much?

A. It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But the USA – which has a private healthcare system – spends almost twice as much per head on healthcare as us. The UK was recently voted the most efficient health care system in the world by an international panel of experts.

Private companies have one job: to make money. Too often their idea of “waste” is “anything that gets in the way of turning a profit.” We think that the health service should be about saving lives, not making money. But more importantly, the NHS is the safety net that means that none of us have to worry that we can’t afford to get ill. It benefits us all.

In general, it’s hard to find an A&E department that isn’t under strain, a GP with appointments to spare or hospital staff who aren’t under pressure. And the main reason the NHS is in crisis is because it’s been run down and neglected by politicians.

Q. There are other more important things to spend money on (housing, education etc)

A. Housing is important. Education is important. But our NHS is really important too. People shouldn’t go through life worrying that they can’t afford to be sick.

Here’s some facts and articles about what the politicians are doing to our NHS:

  • NHS experts have made it clear that it’s make or break time for our health service. Politicians need to know that if they want our vote in May, saving our NHS should be their top priority. [1]

  • In 2012 the government made big changes to the NHS. Since these changes have come into force, a third of all NHS contracts have gone to private firms. [2]

  • Over the last few years politicians have turned their back on the principles our NHS was built on – an NHS that’s owned by all of us, and works to save lives, not make money. They’ve under-funded vital services and sold others off to private companies. [3]

  • Recently we’ve started to see the result of these political choices – crises in A&Es across the country, elderly people waiting on hospital beds because of a lack of care in their community, and patients waiting weeks for a GP appointment [4]

  • Billions of pounds is lost from corporations and wealthy individuals not paying their fair share of tax. If our politicians cracked down on tax dodging, we could afford to fund our health service properly. [5]

  • 26 countries – including France, Germany and the US – spend more money on their health care than the UK. [6]

  • December last year saw news reports of police regularly having to take people to hospital because of shortages in available ambulances. [7]

  • In December the Independent reported that cuts to social care has led to thousands of patients taking up hospital beds because they cannot access care in the community. [8]

  • GPs received £943m less funding in the last three years, and studies show that less GP care means more people heading to A&E. [9]

NOTES:

[1] http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/85-of-gps-believe-nhs-will-be-privatised-within-ten-years/20007870.article#.VPCwAfmsVqU

https://www.politicshome.com/health-and-care-home-affairs/articles/story/38-believe-coalition-health-reforms-negative

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30397329

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/oct/17/nhs-cuts-impact-on-patients-revealed

[4] http://www.itv.com/news/2014-12-17/there-is-absolutely-a-winter-crisis-says-senior-nhs-consultant/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ae-creaking-under-pressure-admits-4823760

[5] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fatcat-fund-managers-dodge-700million-5187932

[6] http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3063

[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30580783

[8] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/english-aes-reach-breaking-point-after-worstever-week-9936870.html

[9] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/03/doctors-accuse-coalition-spending-cut-surgeries

http://www.channel4.com/news/accident-emergency-nhs-gp-shortage-government-intervention

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

March for the NHS this Sunday in Tredegar

February 24th, 2015 by

The People’s March for the NHS is coming to Wales this Sunday. Will you join in?

At midday, NHS campaigners are coming together in Tredegar – birth place of NHS founder, Nye Bevan – for a day of celebration of our NHS. And they want 38 Degrees members to join them.

Will you join in and show your support for our NHS?
WHERE: The Circle, Tredegar
WHEN: 12 midday, Sunday 1st March
Click here for more information and to sign up.

If we want an NHS after May’s general election we need to be campaigning now. Why? Because our governments have pushed our NHS to breaking point: selling parts off to private companies and cutting funding in important areas.

This election is a chance to change this. On Sunday, hundreds of us are coming together to celebrate our NHS. Together, we can kick-start a huge campaign with a simple message to the people who want to be our MPs after May: ‘Save our NHS’. And what better place to kick off the campaign than Nye Bevan’s birth place?

Together, we’ll march along a 15 minute route from the clock tower to Bedwellty House. Then there’ll be inspiring speeches, West End theatre performances, historical talks, children’s activities and a BBQ! Can you join us? Click here to read more information about the day and say you’ll be there.

Together, we built the best healthcare system in the world. It belongs to all of us and we’re all proud of it. It looks after us at our best and worst moments. But if we want our children and grandchildren to still have an NHS in ten years, we need to make it this election’s top issue. The more people who come along on Sunday, the bigger our impact on future MPs!

“The NHS is for the people by the people and now the NHS can only be saved by the people.”

These are the words of the group of mums who walked from Jarrow to Westminster last August to protect our country’s most treasured public service. Now, as the general election approaches, we need to ramp up the campaign to save our NHS. Let’s come together this Sunday in Tredegar to celebrate our NHS’ founding principles – free and available to those who need it. Click here.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

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Save our NHS day press releases

February 24th, 2015 by

You can copy and paste the template press releases below into an email to local journalists to tell them about your local ‘Save our NHS’ event. Remember to change the red text in square brackets to the details of your local event!

You should find contact details for your local papers here. Or if that doesn’t work,  Google “the name of your local paper + news desk” and you should see the contact details for the editor.

When you need to see how many people have signed your local ‘Save our NHS’ petition, click here.

——

TEMPLATE PRESS RELEASE TO SEND AFTER THE NHS DAY OF ACTION

Remember to include any clear pictures you took on the day in your email!

Contact: [your name, your phone number and your email address]
For immediate release

Locals turn out for ‘Save our NHS’ day

[Area] residents took to the streets on Saturday for a day of action to save the NHS.
[A rough number of how many people were there on the day] in [area] met in [location(s) of the day of action] to gather support for their campaign.

The day of action, coordinated by campaign group 38 Degrees, was held across England with more than 10,000 people taking part.

Locals encouraged local residents to sign the ‘Save our NHS’ petition to all candidates standing to be an MP in [constituency name]
.
[X,000] people in the area have already signed the petition, and local campaigners estimate that [X] more signatures were added on Saturday.

The petition asks each MP candidate to commit to protecting the NHS from privatisation, make sure it has the funding it needs, and keep the NHS out of the TTIP trade deal with the US.

[name] , a 38 Degrees member from [area] , said “[This quote is the place for you to write about why you went on the day of action. Here’s an example: “The NHS is there in our hour of need, no matter who you are. That’s why I went out on Saturday to spread the word about our campaign and collect signatures on our local petition. We’re showing our local candidates that if they want us to take them seriously, they need to prioritise the NHS.]

David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: “The fact that so many people took to the streets on such a bitter winter day proves how much we all care about the NHS.

“The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world, and it belongs to all of us. But too many politicians have ignored the doctors and nurses on the frontline. They’ve turned their back on the principle of an NHS owned by all of us that works to save lives, not make money.

“Candidates should take these petitions very seriously. If they want to represent local people in Parliament, that starts with listening to the issues they care about – like the NHS.”

The local petition to save the NHS is at: www.38degrees.org.uk/nhs

Notes to editors

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

——

TEMPLATE PRESS RELEASE TO SEND BEFORE THE NHS DAY OF ACTION

Contact: [your name, your phone number and your email address]
For immediate release

Locals to take to the streets in [area] for ‘Save our NHS’ day

Local people in [area] will be taking to the streets on Saturday 28th February for a day of action to save the NHS.

The day of action, coordinated by campaign group 38 Degrees, will be held at [write in the location and time of your meet-ups here] and is open to all.

They will join more than 9,000 other members of 38 Degrees protesting on the same day across the UK.

[x,000] people in the area have already signed a petition to all of the candidates standing to be an MP in [constituency name] in May’s general election. The petition asks each candidate to commit to protect the NHS from privatisation, make sure it has the funding it needs, and keep the NHS out of the TTIP trade deal with the US.

[name], a 38 Degrees member from [area], said “[This quote is the place for you to write why you care about the NHS and why you want to challenge your local MP candidates by taking part in the day of action. Here’s an example: “We all need the NHS at our best and worst moments in life. That’s why I’ll be going out this Saturday to spread the word about our campaign and collect signatures on our local petition. Wolverhampton’s day of action will show our MP candidates that if they want to sell off or run down our NHS, they’ll have a fight on their hands.”]

David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: “This day of action should send a clear message to politicians: you’re being watched by millions of us fighting to protect our NHS.

“The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world, and it belongs to all of us. But too many politicians have ignored the doctors and nurses on the frontline. They’ve turned their back on the principle of an NHS owned by all of us and working to save lives, rather than to make money.

“People in [area] will be standing with thousands of people across the country to say that we love our NHS too much to let it be sold off to the highest bidder.”

The local petition to save the NHS is at: www.38degrees.org.uk/nhs

Notes to editors

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

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Send your local paper a press release about the Save our NHS day

February 23rd, 2015 by

If “no recipients for your location” or “we couldn’t find that location” appeared on the previous page, that means we don’t have your local papers saved on the 38 Degrees data base. So instead, Google “the name of your local paper + news desk” and you should see the contact details for the editor.

You can then copy and paste the press release below into an email. Remember to change the text in square brackets to the details of your local event!

When you need to see how many people have signed your local ‘Save our NHS’ petition, click here.

Save our NHS Day press release:

Contact: [your name, your phone number and your email address]
For immediate release

Locals to take to the streets in [area] for ‘Save our NHS’ day

Local people in [area] will be taking to the streets on Saturday 28th February for a day of action to save the NHS.

The day of action, coordinated by campaign group 38 Degrees, will be held at [write in the location and time of your meet-ups here] and is open to all.

They will join more than 9,000 other members of 38 Degrees protesting on the same day across the UK.

[x,000] people in the area have already signed a petition to all of the candidates standing to be an MP in [constituency name] in May’s general election. The petition asks each candidate to commit to protect the NHS from privatisation, make sure it has the funding it needs, and keep the NHS out of the TTIP trade deal with the US.

[name], a 38 Degrees member from [area], said “[This quote is the place for you to write why you care about the NHS and why you want to challenge your local MP candidates by taking part in the day of action. Here’s an example: “We all need the NHS at our best and worst moments in life. That’s why I’ll be going out this Saturday to spread the word about our campaign and collect signatures on our local petition. Wolverhampton’s day of action will show our MP candidates that if they want to sell off or run down our NHS, they’ll have a fight on their hands.”]

David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: “This day of action should send a clear message to politicians: you’re being watched by millions of us fighting to protect our NHS.

“The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world, and it belongs to all of us. But too many politicians have ignored the doctors and nurses on the frontline. They’ve turned their back on the principle of an NHS owned by all of us and working to save lives, rather than to make money.

“People in [area] will be standing with thousands of people across the country to say that we love our NHS too much to let it be sold off to the highest bidder.”

The local petition to save the NHS is at: www.38degrees.org.uk/nhs

Notes to editors

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

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Your Decision: 20th Feb 2015

February 23rd, 2015 by

Every week a group of 38 Degrees members vote on which issues our movement should prioritise and which campaigns to get behind. Here are the results for last week.

Protecting the NHS by stopping the government’s dangerous plans like privatisation and closing A&E departments has come top this week followed closely by cracking down on tax dodging.

The next biggest issues were: campaign to save Independent Living Fund, and campaign for education policies that enable every child to reach their full potential.

You can see how 38 Degrees members voted on other issues on the graph below. The blue on the graph shows how many people answered ‘a lot’ in support of the campaigns listed, the red represents people answering ‘a little’, and the green is ‘not at all’.

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38 Degrees members stand up for Andy Tsege on his 60th birthday

February 21st, 2015 by

This is a post written by Yemi Hailemariam who started the campaign to save her partner Andy Tsege.

—————————

On the day that my partner Andy Tsege spent his 60th birthday in secret detention in Ethiopia his family, friends and supporters gathered to demand his release – more than 70,000 people joined our campaign, and many came to Downing Street to add their voice.

Andy never wanted a fuss on his birthday, but this was not a usual birthday.

Even though Andy is locked away from his family, we wanted it to be a celebration – so we had birthday cake and balloons outside Downing Street. The children from our kid’s school even came to sing happy birthday!

If Andy had been here, we would have celebrated at our home in London. But Downing Street was where we need to be on that day. With the help of Jeremy Corbyn MP and 70,000 people who joined our campaign, we delivered a strong message to David Cameron – you must act now to free Andy and bring him home to our family.

I want to thank everyone who has spoken out to defend Andy – everyone who signed the petition, everyone who spread the word on social media, and everyone who came to Downing Street to show their support.

We know that the UK government has tried to duck responsibility at every turn. But together we all made sure that there is no doubt – the government’s continued failure to help Andy is unacceptable. He is a British citizen, and David Cameron must act to bring him home.

Thank you so much for everything you have done to help our family – we have to keep up the pressure until Andy is freed, and every bit of support helps strengthen our cause.

Yemi

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Campaigns by You

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