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NHS: huge billboard ads

February 28th, 2012 by

David Cameron is trying to ride it out. He knows his plans for the NHS are a disaster. But after more than a year of phoney listening exercises, aggressive spin and backroom deals, he thinks abandoning the plan now would simply be too embarrassing.

But there’s one thing that politicians care about more than saving face: saving their jobs. At the moment, Cameron is gambling that it’s best to force through the changes – then hope that it doesn’t cost him too many votes later on. We can shift this calculation by proving to Cameron that the NHS is already an election issue, and a losing one for his party if they refuse to listen.

Elections for the Mayor of London are fast approaching. Cameron desperately wants the Conservatives to win. Together, we can buy billboards all over the city, on the very streets where Cameron bought billboards promising the NHS would be safe with him. The adverts can warn potential Conservative voters that most doctors and nurses think the changes will make our NHS worse.

Click here to preview the powerful advert and chip in to take it to the streets.

We’ve tried everything else. Now we have to bring it back to something we know Cameron will understand – winning over undecided voters. He knows that a big national issue like the NHS could play strongly in a major local election. And that if it does, it will set the tone for a long time to come.

If Cameron sees thousands of us donating to put up adverts, it might make him finally decide the game is up. The adverts carry a simple message certain to grab the attention of the kind of voters Cameron wants to keep on board: doctors and nurses are begging him to drop the dangerous NHS plans.

If 5,000 of us chip in over the next 48 hours, we can get these adverts up next Monday. So please donate now.

Cameron knows that losing the trust of voters on the NHS is bad news. Opposition to the plans is already overwhelming among health professionals — including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of GPs. Last month, 38 Degrees commissioned an independent opinion poll of NHS staff which found that 66 per cent think these plans will make the NHS worse.

So we’ve brought in a top advertising agency to make sure local voters get the message. If we raise enough money, we can target these ads to prospective Conservative voters, and place them in high-profile, prominent locations across the capital. Best of all, our campaign won’t star an actor, but a real-life London GP and 38 Degrees member.

Imagine the stir on Downing Street when these people-powered billboards appear across the capital. Please chip in now to make it happen.

Sometimes 38 Degrees members come together to pay for things which otherwise only big companies and political parties can afford. Thousands of us chipped in to hire a crack legal team: their report made the front page of The Observer. This helped force Lansley to back away from plans to scrap his legal duty to provide our health service. Now we can take one big, bold message to the voters Cameron cares about most.

Earlier this month, thousands of 38 Degrees members voted to choose things we could do to help save the NHS. Raising money for billboard adverts, and sounding the alarm in London in the run-up to the mayoral election, were both voted into our top 5 tactics. So let’s make them happen! Chip in now.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Stand up for the NHS

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  • Common

    This is excellent work and I’m very impressed by the number of donations already given – there has been a real lag between those in the know on this issue and reaching the wider public and this is one great way to cut across that. Is there any chance of national ads in newspapers if enough funds are raised.

    DEMO TOMORROW – The Kings Fund will host “Winning Business In The NHS” for big business to come together to discuss their plans to strip our health service. STOP THE PRIVATISATION OF THE NHS  on WEDNESDAY 29 FEBRUARY 8 AM TILL 10.30 AM  The King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, W1G 0AN

  • Anonymous

    I think the doctor should be in scrubs, you’re missing a huge emotional impact there, and the dark shirt means the stethoscope doesn’t show up hardly at all.

  • http://www.summarycarerecord.info/ Dr Neil Bhatia

    A GP wouldn’t be wearing scrubs.

  • Sheffield Save Our NHS

    Please put some posters up in other cities, including Sheffield where Nick Clegg can see them and Newcastle Gateshead where the Lib Dem spring conference will be.

  • carwill

    It’s a pity we can’t put up this billboard:


  • ADD

    The poster is good but the message should be stronger:

    “The Tories will sell off your NHS and make you pay for your treatment. Kill the Bill”. That would really grab people’s attention.

  • 44aston

    Very sorry, I don’t think much of the poster, particularly the 66% NHS staff line, wrong colour, wrong place BUT have donated anyway. Handwriting looks a bit childish and no-one ever seems to mention patient opinion. Only mentioning NHS staff plays to those who complain about ‘vested interests’. The Bill is wrong so if the poster helps so be it.

  • JanetEds

    Sorry, but I think this is too little too late.

    The fact that 49% of the NHS hospitals will be available to the privates to asset strip should be the one to shock people but it hasn’t been circulated. 

    We all know this is a sell off to the fat cats.   IMO nowt to do with aging population, patients choice etc –  all c**p.

    If it happens there won’t be any NHS in ten years, just like what’s left of the Post Office is being wound down and that’s what the Tories want -  it’s been their goal for decades. 

    A few months ago there was talk of members meeting up to lobby MPs, but anything like that has stopped.  United we stand divided we fall. 

    Going to the Rally on 7th?  I don’t know.  Like to but, what where, how? 

  • Ellesar

    Love it! Have put it on my blog – which isn’t political but it is too good to pass up.

  • Val Ballard

    I’ve donated to the fund and am with you all the way but I have to say that I agree with some contributors that the poster lacks the impact it could have. All the same, I hope it works.

    Val Ballard

  • Sean

    When a few hundred people will not listen to millions telling them they are wrong, this is not the sign of a democracy, but of a Dictatorship. 
    The poster could have more weight – appealing to deaf ears will not work – we have to SHOUT. History proves you cannot reason with unreasonable people. Meanwhile, this site aside, I cannot believe the apathy of the British people, who are witnessing a smash-and-grab raid on their own property and aren’t raising an eyebrow of concern. The only effective statement at this stage is to put a million people outside Downing Street.

  • Sean


    Whatever you feel about Michael Moore, he is absolutely right about this.

  • Tracy

    Target the Lib Dem constituencies too.  Eastleigh constituency could be busy in the next few months with lots of press coverage.

  • Tracy


  • Tracy

    A television broadcast/ad would be good publicity, but expensive.

  • Corinnemoran

    huh? is that the actual poster they are gonna use? I just spent a 5er on that. God dammit. It needs to be a hell of a lot more brutal than that. I’m thinking really unflatteringly photo-shopped Tory MP’s, rooting around in the organ donation fridge and snacking on some body part with some fat-but-really-mangy cats and the blood of the nation running down their greedy faces. Howzat?

  • Anonymous

    How about using the original DC one with NHS is safe in ours hands 

    but above adding

    Dear healthcare providers

    and below adding

    to be sold off to you

  • paediatric dr

    I agree that the campaign needs to be harder hitting – there must be better stats to use than that! I’m in the RCPCH and 80% of us voted for withdrawal of the bill because we felt it would result in the NHS becoming worse. Like the suggestion ”The Tories will sell off your NHS and make you pay for your treatment. Kill the Bill”  - why not create some drafts for 38 degrees members to vote on?

  • Sheffield Save Our NHS

    For rally 0n 7th see http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/rally-to-save-our-nhs/
    Participate by going to Westminster Hall or on line.

  • Wight1984

    I’m pleased this campaign exists and I think the current billboard design is okay and fit for purpose.  I have already donated £10 to the cause.

    I would donate again if I saw a wider ranger of billboard designs.  The current theme is fine but I want to see a range of faces of doctors, surgeons and nurses all with their personal hand-written message next to them.    Putting just the one face on the message makes it feel too isolated.

    More than one design would also mean we could vary the statistic used, as others have suggested.    It would also be nice to use the suggestion of having some billboards with NHS patients (done in a similar style to the original design would still be okay).

    I’d be hesitant to use anything too cartoonish or aggressive though, I think that would turn as many people off as it would persuade.   The campaign needs to keep focused on the issue and not devolve into parody and cheap shots.

  • Jon

    Great campaign – have donated – and would like to see it in other cities. And, if you raise enough, maybe a few in central London, too, as well as a diversity of ads.

    How aboout a split screen of a uniformed nurse and David Cameron, with the simple legend reading:

    Who do you believe?

  • Itsmjr

    That poster is WEAK .

    People are asleep  -  that will not wake them up.

    No wonder the Tories are getting away with this if that’s the best we can do .

    That is really sad.

    Is 38 Degrees a self-congratulatory group ?

    For goodness sake  let’s show we mean what we are doing !

    I’m angry that I’ve sent money for such a wimpish poster

    wimpish in all the ways described earlier .

    AND  yes there should be a range of posters pointing up

    all the groups hit ,  and

    showing up the weakness of the Tories & Lib Dems reasoning .

    That which they have not got !

  • Zoho

    Dear james rees,THIS ADVERT WILL NEED UPDATING when it go’s live as the guardian ontwitter said 9 out of 10 doctors don’t want the NHS REFORMS! write at bottom cameron is dictator,non listener!

  • Itsmjr

    Dear 38-ers   what is the meaning of this Conference ?
    Open this link
    re ” Winning business in the new NHS “ 
    How will the Health Bill impact on your business?
    -  Wed. 29th Feb’12    King’s Fund, London
    at     11-13 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN,  United Kingdom !
    That’s all right then, no privatisation ?
    We need posters that shout louder than that one !
    And we need millions signing these 2 e-petitions –
    - if you have not then please sign & spread them far & wide
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670  –  “Drop the Bill”
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27426  —   Divulge the contents of the “Risk Register”
    that which Lansley wants secret, despite being told by the Information Commissioner to publish it.

  • JanetEds

    I’ve seriously wondered if the 38degrees organizers have been got at by the Government.  I phoned on 38 Degrees on Monday and asked to speak to someone re. the NHS.  That person wasn’t there.  Name and number taken.  I phoned again today – answer message.

    A year ago, there was organization of meetings together to visit MPs, now, the only thing we’ve seen in months has been Dr Chand’s e petition and now – billboards with a non rememberable picture and message.

    I keep saying that most of the public don’t know is nearly half of their NHS hospital to the private companies for their own use, that’s separate to the competition with the private sector for NHS work - released by BBC on 27th December:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16337904Half of your hospital being used by ’We Care Healthcare’ etc for their customers – that’s what would make the public sick all right.  Plus there are multiple chunks of the the 38 degrees website, all over the place.  It’s impossible to stay organized with this that and the other at the end of various clicks. 
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16337904Half of your hospital being used by ’We Care Healthcare’ etc for their customers – that’s what would make the public sick all right.  Plus there are multiple chunks of the the 38 degrees website, all over the place.  It’s impossible to stay organized with this that and the other at the end of various clicks. 

  • Thomas

    You definitely need multiple designs – just one doctor gives the impression this GP is alone in her views. I also agree that only quoting a stat about NHS staff risks the vested interest accusation. You need a series showing patients as well as a series showing doctors. However, I think you should be cautious about taking the advice to be much more aggressive. The objective of this exercise is to change minds – aggression can achieve a hardening in an opponent’s position. That is not our aim.

  • Common

    As someone who’s kicked in some money for this poster campaign I too feel the massage is not clear enough  – sorry – we need to say what it is we object to in specific terms. There are lots of good ideas floating around – mine would be in the style of a govt. health warning –

    Bottom textl:  explain the Secretary of States rescinding of his duty of universal access – this suggesting the introduction of qualifications -  such as the ability to pay.
    links to more actions, more info etc. etc.

  • Terry

    The poster needs to be tougher, and clearer. See others’ comments below.

  • Wight1984

     Agreed.   The temptation is to reduce ourselves to typical party-political mud-slinging but all that does is entrench people into established party political allegiances (and others will just tune it out entirely).

    This has to stick to a simple point that elevates itself above petty party political bickering and can be recognised as fair by people across the political spectrum.

  • Greg

    Given it’s the Lib Dem conference at the weekend and a revolt there might scupper the bill, maybe it’s time to target the Clegg or the LDs themselves? 

  • Josie Howell

    I like the posters and have donated, but I would like them to be harder hitting. I like the idea of “The Government Health Warning” idea (see below), and some showing Cameron,  saying the NHS is safe in his hands and show him dropping it and treading on it, or something? Or perhaps one imitating the old dole queue poster that the tories tried to use against labour years ago, but this time show patients queuing to get free treatment from charities (like people have to now in America if they can’t afford health insurance) and perhaps have a few bodies lying about with” could not afford operation” ticket on them?? And yes, more faces are needed in the posters of NHS staff, not a lone person. Also, if someone could show a poster that somehow depicts people getting “hit in thier pockets”which is very likely to happen, that may wake a few folk up as money speaks! .  I am no ads person, just an OAP who needs the NHS, so we must try harder. 
    If anyone is interested the Union (Unite) and the Labour Party are organising a demo on the 7th March at 6pm, opposite parliament, go online for details.
    And how about some posters around the country, if possible or some big ads in national newspapers.

  • JanetEds

    “BREAKING NEWS GPC (national representative committee for ALL GPs), is now opposed to the Health bill.The move, which has been shrouded in secrecy, was described by one member as ‘a massive step’, given the GPC’s support for the principal of clinical commissioning and its representative role for all GPs rather than simply BMA members.http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/main-content/-/article_display_list/13535410/gpc-to-call-for-health-bill-withdrawalCopied from the Guardian blog. 

  • Pankurst

    There does seem to be a lot of us although think posters/adverts are a brill idea, are not happy with the actual design of the poster. Are you doing anything about it 38 degrees now you have far exceeded your initial target and members have been so generous.  People are quite e right those statistics and a lone Doctor have little impact, most people know the royal bodies are against it and 66% is not a huge number to sway people with. 

  • Felix

    Knock knock… Is anyone there? As Pankurst just said, is anyone at 38 degrees planning to respond to the number of comments that have been made about the design of the posters?

  • Common

    Probably most of us have received an e mail saying the posters are going ahead on Monday. This is good work as it’s been done quickly and anything is better than nothing. It’s very hard to design stuff “by committee”. Also there are restrictions on what you can say on billboards – how in yer face it can be. It would have helped to understand these.

    All the same I still feel our ads should inform on facts about the Bill, as well as expert opinion. Is there time to do this James if more ads are commissioned?

    Please let us know where the ads are so that I can see one !

  • Michel Coleman

    PLEASE show the ads outside the LibDem conference in Newcastle – we need to persuade delegates to vote for their emergency motion to kill the Bill

  • Sue Dockett

    Kill the Bill Rally Kings Lynn Town Hall 7pm Friday 2nd March, organised by Kings Lynn Trades Council. Speakers from Labour Party, Coalition of Resistance, Tax Justice Network and others. 

    Let’s not forget too its the Quislings like Clegg in the Lib Dems who are collaborting to get this Bill through against the wishes of their party and the country, we need to put pressure on Lib Dem MPs too.

  • carwill

    ‘Sale of the Century’ poster. Very good:


  • JaneB

    Please can you place these ads in Gateshead outside the Sage where the Lib Dems will shortly be meeting? I think we need to be reminding them of the dire consequences of this Bill and encouraging them to use their power wisely.

  • Tom

    Ditto the billboards in Gateshead – Lib Dems are our main hope to drop the Bill. Some lovely reminders as they file into their conference of the strength of feeling against the Bill would be very powerful I think.

    Others please post if you support this idea!

  • JanS

    Yes, I support this idea. Lib Dem conference has huge potential to set things in motion to kill the Bill. Please place ads outside their venue.

  • JuliaM

    For me, what’s missing is the fact that the public has clubbed together to pay for this. I’ve just donated.

    “Dear Mr Cameron,
    You’re making a big mistake with the NHS. XXX,000 people have paid for these ads because we don’t know how else to make you listen.

    Yours desperately,
    38 Degrees believers

  • Jan

    As King’s Lynn born & bred I SO wish I could be there. Alas I’m now in Bristol but I will be there in heart & spirit tonight. Make some noise for me!!

  • Kim Tan

    I think there should be huge ads naming the Tory MPs & peers and listing their financial interests and ties to private health care companies.

  • Kaajal Modi

    Sorry for spamming guys, but I can’t see where else to post this and it’s relevant – http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/rally-to-save-our-nhs/

    Hope to see you there!

    (and I agree with JuliaM, it should say that the ads were publicly funded)

  • Wight1984

     They seem to be quite keen to not make this party-political.  I think that’s definitely the best choice.   This ought to be a campaign with broad appeal to people who vote for all parties; making it a dig at a particular party is just going to alienate people.

  • David

    Completely agree Tom. I’d plaster Gateshead with the posters. Perhaps also hold a rally outside the venue?

  • JanetEds

    38 degrees website needs to be reorganized.
    There are seperate headings for NHS Boards, NHS Action Centre, NHS Poll – they should be togeither under ‘NHS’ not split all over the place.
    ‘Tags’?  Maybe I’m in the dark ages for cyberware but I’ve recently come to understand the panel on the right of the screen, full of multi sized words, is a set of links to blogs.  I thought it was decorative to boast what we’ve been doing. 

  • Josie Howell

    Like the idea of posters saying paid for by the public.  Also, should we target Shirley Williams as it seems she holds greatest sway on the NHS rerorms with the Lib Dems?

  • JanetEds

    I don’t think anyone at the 38degrees reads this board.

    I phoned them for the third time this week and for the first time got someone re. the NHS.  Yesterday’s lad said they were overwhelmed with emails but he’d started last week and didn’t know too much. 

    They are mostly volunteers and could do with more hands on deck. 

  • Itsmjr

    Yes  Josie has a good point .  Shirley Williams does need targetting.  She is not quite what we hoped for.  She seems to want to work with Clegg. 

    The Lib Dems are self-delusional.  They seem to believe that they are going to achieve a protection from privatisation.  it is very difficult to believe that they trust the loophole designing civil service & the “NHS is safe in my hands” Cameron.  Of course he intends it to be in his hands & those of his Bullingdon friends & the millions behind him – the millionaires.

    The LibDems prefer a pretence of power than being seen to stand up for the people  -  we the voting public. It’ll be too late for us when we vote them into oblivion.

    The posters must make it clear that they are responsible.  This H&SC Bill would have been dead & buried long ago if the LibDems were not so craven. 

    So to Wight1984 : yes hit the LibDems.  Without them this bill would be dead.  the tories have no other support in the Commons  -  look at Hansards voting figures.

    Trouble is 38 Degrees has made no difference to their voting patterns, absolutely none.  Check out the LibDem votes against the H&SC Bill in the Commons AND in the Lords , AND then check how they voted to get The Risk Register PUBLISHED  -  exactly the same support for the Tories.  So 38 degrees is also self-delusional claiming it has made a difference.

    Will the posters wake up the public ?   This bill is being pushed through !

    We cannot afford to be mild in making our points.  Bullies only give way when they see they face strength !

  • Wight1984

    -Attacking- political parties is not going to convince anyone.  It’s just the sort of cheap point scoring that people already know to screen out as they go about their daily lives.

    Even if the ultimate aim is to change voting patterns, it’s still not good to be overtly party political about it.   This needs to be a campaign that everyone can relate to regardless of who they voted for in the last election. 

  • Laura James

    i say again that lib dem mps are mostly (but not all) behind the bill going thru from what i can make of their responses to my emails. the lib dems conference should be targeted – think the grass roots of the party are more aware of how people feel. not sure the public are up to speed – how can they be with the quality (or lack of) media reporting on this issue. and people worried about job security. any chance of 38 degrees doing a download of the bill board poster – perhaps some of us cd distribute it to local shops, put in our windows, etc?:

  • Itsmjr

    In talking to people I don’t find them the slightest bit oblivious to the treachery of the Lib Dems.  People don’t respond as though the danger to their future health provision due to the weak politicking of the Lib Dems is a cheap point.  Also what the Tories are up to is becoming clearer in people’s minds – at last.

    The only people who are going to stop this Bill are the Lib Dem MPs !  The only people who’ve kept this bill on the road is the Lib Dems.  Hansard has only 4 Lib Dem MPs in the Commons voted against it!   It seems the same 4 were the only ones who voted for the Risk Register to be published.  Only 2 Lords voted against the Bill!  And now Shirley Williams is going to be backing Clegg at the Lib Dem Conference!  A weak poster is going to serve no purpose.  It might even make people think that there really is nothing to worry about.

    The Lib Dems have to register that the public will hold them responsible if this bill goes through.

    I agree one has to be wary of how the attack is made, but a reminder that this Bill was not in either Lib Dem nor Tory manifesto has to be ever present in their MPs minds plus the fact that people are very unhappy, especially as neither party was given a mandate to do this.

    I also think that the campaign needs to draw out the way the bill is endangering people’s future .   A viewing of Michael Moore’s film,”Sicko”, should be compulsory, then people would wake up to the dangers.  But this poster is feeble.

  • Wight1984

    I’m sure you do know lots of people who are disillusioned with the Lib Dems and dislike the Tories.   It certainly feels widespread amongst my social circles too, however, I don’t have a lot of friends who lean to the right-wing.

    I think the issue is that attacking political parties is already well covered; we already see plenty of mudslinging about all three major political parties.  That’s just the background noise of British politics.

    To really make this stand out, it needs to be about the issue, not about the parties.   The message needs to as specific as possible, so ‘Cameron is planning to do this, we need to stop him’, not a general assault on parties. 

    Do I want the Lib Dems to feel under pressure to align themselves with public feeling on the NHS, yes.   Do I want the Lib Dems MPs and Voters to feel under attack? No.  That sort of tactic merely creates a defensive reaction and polarises opinion. 

  • carwill

    There is still not enough emphasis on educating the public about the dangers of this Bill. Dissent by doctors and nurses is being brushed aside by the Coalition as vested interests over their pensions (J Paxman interview with Lansley on Newsnight).  Yet no mention is made of vested interests by MPs and Lords from all parties who have connections with private health companies.

    Today’s Mail online has exposed the link between Lord Carter, Chairman of the NHS Co-coperation and Competition Panel and an American Healthcare firm who  paid him £799.000 last year as the Chairman of its UK branch.


    However, also worrying is the fact that the company, who already supplies information technology to the NHS and runs its national payroll, has been involved in criminal and fraud cases in the US for defrauding the state-run health programmes Medicare and Medicaid. Damages were also awarded against it after patients caught hepatitis C from routine colonoscopies.  This is the type of company we will be seeing more of if this Bill goes through.

    I have been following #NHS, #dropthebill #saveournhs on Twitter where there is a lot of information setting out the dangers of this Bill and why we should be fighting to stop it. Unfortunately, the BBC has been biased on the reporting of this Bill imo and online news sites are often different from the print editions so not everyone is getting the full picture.

    Is there any money left from the poster campaign to target the public as to why they should get involved? 

  • Rwdm

    If its not too late, include on the posters that these have been paid for by the public. And do something in Gateshead – Lib Dem supporters need to see that Shirley williams is not the saviour of the NHS from this Bill.

  • Itsmjr

     Absolutely spot on. Shirley Williams refused to reply to (?read) emails re this H&SC Bill.  She sent out her daily newsletter from the Lords !  Is she politicking?  She is with Clegg.  Is this a sort of ego relating to her Social Democrat group and her having an ego-interest in the Lib Dems ‘being in power’?   Whatever it is highly dangerous for our futures.  If you get the chance see (buy the DVD and pass it around) Michael Moore’s film ‘Sicko’  -  heaven help us !

  • Lutra

    Completely agree with Carwill (2 posts below). I know 38 degrees is falling over itself not to make this campaign party-political, but maybe it’s time to allow it to get a bit more PERSONAL (after all, Lord Carter has, ahem, “served”, under both NuLab and the Coalition (my selective quote marks indicate “fair comment”, your Lordship, if you’re reading…).

    I don’t know how to post a link on this thread, but this list of conflicts of interest (Virginia Bottomless pit, quelle surprise!) makes VERY interesting reading:


  • Sue

    I still have not received any response to e.mails sent to my local MP. Did receive one letter but it did not in any way answer my questions

  • Tsibia

    Its the last time I pay 38D to suchpointless wimpish posters

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Roddam/798910003 Martin Roddam

    Have any posters been put up today?  Locations/photos?

  • Robertchewter
  • Robertchewter

    36 degrees is described as being an ‘astrofurf’ organisation run by communists..
    well at least not paid for by huge private heath care lobbyists with glorified profit seeking self interests..

  • Robertchewter

    oops i cant count..38 degrees

  • Robertchewter

    yeah, why isnt the posters billboards stuff in the news today.i’ve looked..

  • Robertchewter

    i looked on news today..cant see anything

  • Robertchewter

    totally agree , been saying this for ages,,’who’s side are you on campaign’

  • Robertchewter

    this campaign should be right in front of public noses nit sidelined into..’any other news’

  • David

    Let’s not forget the role Nick Clegg has played in ordering his party to support these reforms, despite the huge damage that it will suffer as a result. Perhaps it is time to campaign for the Lib Dems to pass a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Nick Clegg?

    There are quite a few reasons as to why here:


    A protest rally outside the conference on Saturday in support of the rebels who are fighting to drop the Bill would be quite a good way of letting the loyalists know that the public will hold them accountable if it is passed. They actually have a chance of semi-redeeming themselves by blocking this legislation.

  • JanetEds

    I watched the Channel 4 News and there was nothing there.

    I’ve stopped watching the BBC because it’s a Government propaganda machine.  There’s no chance of anything helpful from them.  They called Occupy “Anti-Capitalist” all the way, and referred to objecters to the Workfare programme as leftwingers. 

  • Rjoconnell1976

    How about one for our Facebook accounts to go nicely at the top of our time lines?

  • Josie Howell

    I wrote several times to mine (a Tory) and some Peers, who did not respond. The few letters I had back from my MP were frankly just standard replies, a total waste of time. In  fact when I asked him to vote to publish the risk register, I told him not to bother to reply as his letters mean nothing and I knew he would not defy his party! But I suppose we have got to keep trying.

  • Robertchewter

    yes i know the bbc..during protests the lieb broadcast they were on about UK uncut occupation of fortnums..the woman kept asking how much damage the uncutters had done.and stuff about ‘police arent letting anyone in or out…at the same time she saying uncut are refusing to leave

  • stephenl

    Given that a clear outcome of the healthcare legislation is to create a two-tier NHS divided between public and private users, it seems very relevant to know how many of the current cabinet of millionaires are covered by BUPA (and will therefore be able to take personal advantage of the division into public private). Does anyone know the answer? 

  • Robertchewter

    of course and what if they hold shares or directorships or act as ‘advisers’ paid of course…

  • Robertchewter

    there is something weird going on with anti NHS US blogs….they go on about socialised medicine and communists.usual crap..but when you reply and press submit..when it appears .some of the words you used  get changed quite a bit, too..it changes the meaning of what you were trying to  get across a bit..eg ‘remember’ gets changed to ‘dredge that up’  …any ideas anyone?. not seen that happen before on any comment thread..

  • carwill

     It’s not just millionaires who have private health insurance.  Many employees are covered under their company’s group scheme as a perk.  That’s also what happens in the US.

  • Lutra Lutra

    And, unless I’m much mistaken – those policies will generally not cover pre-existing medical conditions, thereby making those employees a very unattractive proposition for those employers, even where they are prepared to waive this “perk”.

  • Carolineraffan

    I have to agree,, I thought they were much too polite! Also as I dont live in London it looked as if only one doctor was willing to    be photographed?  Still an impressive amount of money was raised showing that people are prepared to put their money where their mouths are.  CR

  • JanetEds

    I agree with quite a few here that the posters are not hard hitting enough. 

    I recall the Olympics logo – not much cop – the public came up with some excellent alternatives, so why can’t we do the same?  The posters don’t have to be all the same. 

    Any artistics out there who can submit their own work? 

  • Freddy Crabbe

    Can anybody explain in simple terms what is wrong with ‘the bill’ the fact that many people object tells me nothing save somebody has a bandwagon running (out of control)?  Huge sums of money can be diverted to other uses how do we know they have not been?  I cast no aspersions just ask questions.  Who has the answers?  

  • Gay Lee

    http://vimeo.com/35326509This little video I hope might help you understand it.

    Also I would like to say that I think the billboards idea is great and as you’ve raised so much money a. please plaster them all over Tyneside for the Lib Dem conference at the weekend and 
    b.  can we have a variety of posters? – I can think of at least 2 other images which would be great followups. Anyone agree with these 2 ideas?

  • Robertchewter

    the NHS as we now it wont be a public organisation commited to helping others and saving lives,,it will be a giant cash cow making profits for companies..

  • Robertchewter

    the vimeo link doesnt work..vimeo error

  • Ian Tovell

    Living in Gateshead, working in our local hospital and being a passionate Trade Unionist I will be taking part in a large demonstration this weekend at the Lib Dem conference being held here in Gateshead, can you tell me if there is a version available to apply pressure on the Lib Dems as they are the weak link in the coalition and where we really need to apply pressure, and are there plans to have any erected in Tyneside?

  • R W Tooze

    This government will not respond to plea`s ,We need to demand they change course.
    We pay (some of us have for a long time)for a decent NHS.This government should go to their rich tax evading friends for the necesary funds.

  • Lucy N

    You may need to ring t38 degrees up to sort this out: 0207 970 6023 asap.

  • Josie

    Just finished watching the NHS workers Demo on line, good news that Andy Burnham has said if he gets back in he will change it all back!!  We have two weeks roughly to sort this out, one suggestion is get on to the BBC (I just have) and ask why the NHS issue appears to not be getting much serious air time. They did not show the doctor at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, giving Lansley gip on Monday, why not?? Come on do it now, we have to push as much as possible.  Is there any money left from the poster campaign? If so, could we use some to get ads in national papers or to get someone on TV, what about that 4thought (can’t remember name) on channel 4?  And has anyone seen a poster yet? Keep fighting.

  • Josie

    Can 38% degrees please put all comments on NHS on just one blog heading.

  • JanetEds

    The reason you will have seen so little of the NHS on the BBC is because it is pushing a stinking propaganda campaign for the government.

    I’ve complained multiple times.  Here’s my thread to moan about it on the BBC message board:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951574?thread=8322706

    They’ve stopped making excuses.

  • JanetEds

    I’ve asked them to do it, phoned emailed.  The site is all over the place. The 38 degrees NHS Action Centre has another thread that I can”t reach from here. 

     I’m sure the organizers don’t read these comments. 

  • Lucy N

     I’ve left messages and requests for a response from BBC editors about the inadequate level of coverage in news or investigation in current event programmes during the past year – but have not received anything whatsoever. Any suggestions? It’s like punching butter.

  • Tracy

    The web page is unstructured and needs a comprehensive overhaul/update;  to maximize the efforts of people interested in any of the issues raised, otherwise a lot of people could become frustrated with it.

  • Lucy N

    I am knackered. Was at the Westminster Hall rally last night  (and the rain-sodden linking of arms at St Thomas’s earlier).  Any other fellow 38 degreers there? I wore a 38 degrees badge….with added text about representing 1000s and 1000s of the public…

    I don’t know what the media coverage was like -  but it was certainly an amazing event; the speakers were a really unusual bunch (I would have thought this was very newsworthy in itself) – yes, there were the trade union head honchos who are used to speaking to a vast audience , but there were also speakers from the BMA, various Royal Colleges, and the running doctor….the doctor who was disciplined for speaking out against what is going on, paramedics, therapists, a driver and a scientist who are experiencing the full-force of contracting-out,  David Owen…who was forthright about the failure of the Lords to chuck this bill out – and was cheered when he responded to some excellent heckling that he had “never been a Liberal”. And there was a Lib Dem dissenter MP, Andrew George. I had to go when he’d been speaking for a short while – but it was clear that there is a major disconnect between the Orange-Liberal-Tories such as Laws, Cable and Clegg and their rank and file members : don’t want to overstate this but it is important that he was clear on his astonishment at the “leaders” (I use the term loosely) backing for the destruction of the NHS’s founding principles.

    Major point raised and discussed is that the Lib Dems are, as we know, the key to this bill being enacted: it is vital that there are major visible protests at Gateshead this weekend (any 38 degreers up there should be able to register to attend the Lib Dem spring conference without any problems). Their MPs should also be written to- they do not need to respond to non-constituency correspondents but that’s no reason not to have a go.

    Here is an email address for their web site correspondence@libdems:disqus .zendesk.com.

    Will try and post some other links when I’ve had time to find them.

  • David

     I watched online- it was indeed a great event. Yes, the Lib Dems are absolutely key to this legislation going through and must be lobbied. One word of caution though: by all means show them how passionately you care about the NHS and how much you want the Bill to be dropped, but don’t attack those who are challenging the leadership. The only real low point last night, for me, was when Andrew George was booed by some audience members for suggesting that the Government needs to have a dignified exit strategy if it is to drop the Health and Social Care Bill. Much as I loathe the actions of this Government, if we want to save the NHS we should show that the public would warmly support a u-turn on this policy and that the health professions would meet with the Government to discuss an alternative way forward.

  • Lucy N

     Yes, I completely agree – that booing must have happened after I left – (not saying if I’d been there it wouldn’t have happened…but you get my drift).

    That’s why I am really conflicted when opposition politicians jeer at “U” turns – which after all are the only way to get out of such completely disastrous proposals against the common good. I mean, it’s natural to feel contempt on some level when mistakes are admitted, and a retreat signalled, but really we need guilt-ridden MPs to have an easy ‘exit-strategy” so that pride doesn’t get in the way of killing this appallingly undemocratic bill (and others like it).

  • Freddy Crabbe

    ‘Save our NHS sounds good but when I ask people what do they understand the bill will do they answer ‘Cut out layers of administration from the middle’  That also sounds good.  Is there a simple answer to a simple question?  What is the protest about exactly?

  • carwill

    Unfortunately, it will actually increase bureaucracy, and GP commissioning sounds good until you realise that it will actually be managment consultants who will be in charge.. Below are a few thought-provoking links.





  • carwill

     I have just registered a compalint with the BBC on this link and asked for a reply. We’ll see…


  • Lucy N

     Hi Freddy, our protest is against the marketisation and privatisation of healthcare. The government is proposing the outsourcing of healthcare to “any willing provider” – that means contracts will be (in effect) forcibly removed from public service and given to commercial companies who will then be primarily funded by taxpayers. This is very attractive to huge companies because like banks they will not be allowed to fail financially (even if they fail clinically) and can sponge off taxation – our money will go to shareholders rather than back in to the health system.  They are not interested in taking less money, or being “efficient” (whatever that means); such companies are in it for easy cash and not long term dedicated care of us all.  And the squeeze will fundamentally damage patient care as on top of this the government has decided that the NHS must cut expenditure by the colossal amount of £20 billion by a couple of years time. This must have an effect.

    Meanwhile privatisation will cost a great deal more than the public provision – but we will not be able to challenge costs as contracts will be covered by commercial confidentiality. The main saving will be made by axing staff, downgrading terms and conditions of service and denial of access to treatment (as happens in the US where people die through lack of provision although it is probably the most expensive system in the world). The main regulator Monitor is required to promote commercialisation – so that means no regulation of any worth at all.

    The new system will exaggerate fragmentation – by pretending to be locally responsive through GPs – who will be expected to be the primary commissioning agents for services. Sounds reasonable? It isn’t: this is wide open to corruption and incompetence. Your GP can perfectly legally deny you treatment on the NHS (which you pay from taxation) and refer you to a preferred private provider  (which you will pay for – so you are paying twice): but behind the scenes the GP could be a fundholder of that private provide (so will make twice as much dosh per patient episode). Such a “conflict of interest” is supposed to be rectified a register of interest…but how is not clear – in other words if you refuse treatment in this way you are stuck without it (and that’s apparently your choice). Also most GPs (who are in effect private businesses) do have any experience of commissioning using taxpayers money and are being forced in to large units which are then being forced to bid against private companies who have experience say in the US (and that’s another tranche of taxpayers money siphoned off).

    Superficially it always seems attractive to remove layers of management -  but there is a problem: where do you think managers have gone? It’s not that levels of management have actually disappeared: how could they when this is universal care and needs some kind of bureacracy for it to work at all. These people are not quietly packing their bags for a life of financial moderation elsewhere: they are now forming themselves into private companies to take on the management of commissioning, service provision, outsourcing of public services: they are not doing this for free – they are doing this for profit for them personally and shareholders. Remember you have already paid for this in your taxes and national insurance; this is pure smoke’n'mirrors – there will not be any savings that would benefit you as a patient or you as a taxpayer or you as an employee.

    I could go on. If you think this is acceptable then you need to learn more: just google “Privatisation of the NHS” or something similar and read it up. 

    We are not being alarmist on this web site, we are simply stating the truth. The great English public (yes, these reforms will not affect Scotland, N.Ireland and Wales….) are sleep-walking as usual into this – they just don’t know what they’ve got till it’s gone.

  • Freddy Crabbe

    Unfortunately emotive language does not provide clarity.  Does nobody understand that GPs are self employed people who are drawing a very nice income from their practice which they own on the terms that suit them, which is why out of hours medical support is sub allocated to contractors which does not guarantee that a constant standard of medical support and treatment is available 24/7.  What is the campaign against?  ’The bill’  is not the right answer.       

  • Freddy Crabbe

    I thank all of you for the education.

  • Lucy N

     Freddy, please go to Dr Chand’s e-petition and sign up.

  • Emmarocket

     My main concern about the bill was the abolishment of the government’s legal obligation to provide free NHS services, which seems to how now been removed. Aside from that, the bill paves the way to privitisation of the NHS – which already happens, by the way.  by this I mean that private companies, who operate for profit, deliver services for the NHS.  The main problem with this is a) it’s expensive, as you’re paying the costs and some profit on top, and b) it encourages poor payment of staffand poor service quality. (as they’re cost, not quality driven).I accept that this happens in public service (being a semi-public servant myself, and having worked with contractors like this) but I would very much like to avoid the widespread acceptance of this as it really is not beneficial for the patient or the taxpayer.
    Hope this helps (btw I am not an irrational hippy, just a rational, tax-paying, public serving hippy :) )

  • JanetEds

    Latest news, (from Eion Clarke)  http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/ 

    “Andy Burnham has secured a debate for the e-petition that has managed to attract more than 170,000 votes. The debate will be held on the 13 March in the House of Commons. This was secured despite the Backbench Business Committee refusing the right of the e-petition to a debate. It marks a latest of several attempts by Andy Burnham to give the NHS Bill more debating time and is considered by strategists to be a key plank if the NHS Bill is to be halted. The good news is that the debate on the 13 March 2012 will also be accompanied by a vote. It is thought that Burnham has had to use up one of the opposition days in order to secure the debate. The pressure now is on the get the Risk Register published before the debate so that it can be as best informed as is possible before MPs vote for the last time on a bill that could well become law by the 20 March 2012.”

  • carwill

    This is a good video explaining the three ways in which the NHS will be privatised.  Please ensure that as many people as possible are aware of this.