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Blogs by the 38 Degrees team, volunteers and members.

NHS England: they’ve published their spending!

December 1st, 2014 by

NHS England – the people Jeremy Hunt put in charge of our NHS – kept promising to show us how they’re spending NHS money. They said they’d publish their receipts by 1st November, but we were left waiting.

So 38 Degrees members teamed up with transparency campaigners Spinwatch to pressure NHS England executives to open up.

All other government departments and their agencies publish monthly reports on all their spending over £25,000 – so why not NHS England? As Spinwatch say, “This was a commitment to transparency. But unlike all other government agencies, NHS England has never published details of where its money is going.”

75,000 of signed a petition calling for NHS England to publish their big spending. And they have! Just two days after Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch handed the petition straight to NHS England, they’ve published their spending details online. You can take a look here.

Here’s what Tamasin said: “I had been trying to get the data out of NHS England for nearly 3 months. They released it 48 hours after we delivered the petition. Thank you to the 75,000 people who were bothered by the lack of transparency and signed. The data is full of information, and I urge anyone to take a look at it. We can finally see where the money is going.”

Spinwatch have already been digging into the data, and there’s an article in the Guardian which gives loads of detail on who NHS England have been giving big chunks of NHS money to. It’s well worth a read – click here to read it. Here are some of the findings:

  • Care UK, one of the country’s biggest private health firms, received £112m from the NHS in a single year, 90% of which was for the provision of healthcare.
  • A string of controversial firms are retained by the central NHS board. Serco, admonished by MPs after it was revealed to have altered data about out-of-hours doctor services in Cornwall, was paid £10m by NHS England for providing healthcare.
  • And G4S, the troubled outsourcing firm, took £3.5m for medical services. Atos, the French IT company that ran fitness-for-work tests which ministers criticised for “quality failures”, received £2.7m last year.

Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch, told the Guardian: “The figures do begin to give us an accurate picture of the continuing cost of the reforms, the sums being spent on the new market in health services, and the flow of money to the private sector. In the data, there are bodies that evidently cost millions to set up just last year that don’t even exist today.”

What do you think of the NHS receipts? Is there a campaign 38 Degrees members could run? Comment below to share your thoughts and join the conversation.

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Banking fines go the NHS!

December 1st, 2014 by

On Sunday Chancellor George Osborne announced the government would put the £1.1bn from banker fines into NHS funding. Hurrah!

This is a huge victory for 38 Degrees members, who called for this as soon as the fines were announced. Within a few days 120,000 of us signed a petition to the Treasury.

It seems the government are slowly waking up to the fact that people want a properly funded NHS and the rich banking industry to pay its fair share.

Here’s a few pictures of 38 Degrees members, Sandra and Rachel, braving the rain to deliver the petition to the Treasury:

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TTIP: evidence to MPs

November 26th, 2014 by

Thanks to everyone who told David Babbs, Executive Director of 38 Degrees, what he should say to a group of MPs quizzing him on the TTIP campaign. These are some of the results.

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TTIP: Angry MPs

November 26th, 2014 by

Yesterday I was shouted at by a group of MPs.

I’d been asked to explain to the Business Select Committee why 38 Degrees members are so worried about TTIP. But once I got there, they didn’t seem to want to hear why we’re against further privatisation of our NHS. Or why we want to stop American corporations having the power to sue our government in secret courts.

Instead they attacked 38 Degrees members for wanting to have a say. They kept arguing that 38 Degrees members didn’t know enough to have valid opinions about the deal. And when I said we don’t trust politicians to deal with something as important as this behind closed doors, the chairman told me to shut up!

BBC radio put together a short report about what happened. It’s just three minutes long, and well worth a listen:

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Nicola Sturgeon: stand up to TTIP

November 25th, 2014 by

New First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently backing a dodgy EU-US trade deal which will take power out of Scotland, and put it in the hands of big American business. The deal, TTIP, will allow big US corporations like McDonald’s to sue our governments if they don’t like our laws.  How can that be in Scotland’s interest?

It’s Nicola Sturgeon’s first week in power, so a huge petition now will be perfectly timed to influence her while she’s new in the job. Please can you click here and sign the petition calling on her to change her mind.

It isn’t all bad news from the Scottish Government. They have said they will push to exempt the NHS from the privatisation that the TTIP deal could bring – that’s great. But they’re refusing to come out against the bit of the deal that could allow corporations to sue governments. Nicola Sturgeon’s been campaigning for independence – that’s not what independence looks like to most people.

The Scottish referendum brought out the best in our democracy - and not because it gave power to big corporations. But because it saw thousands of us taking action in our local communities, thousands of us registering to vote, and making our voice heard on the future of Scotland.

We need more of that – what we don’t need is to hand the keys of our democracy to big American business. Click here to sign the petition against TTIP to FM Nicola Sturgeon.

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Your decision: 22nd November

November 24th, 2014 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 campaigning against tax dodging by big companies.

The next biggest issues were: the government cracking down on charities’ freedom of speech, fracking and green energy cooperatives.

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 orange represents people answering ‘a little’, and the grey is ‘not at all’.

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We love our NHS poster – and ad!

November 21st, 2014 by

Here’s a poster you can put in your window:

And this is the advert 38 Degrees members paid for to go in the Guardian newspaper this morning, telling MPs we’re watching them:

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Save Our NHS petitions straight to MPs

November 21st, 2014 by

This morning 38 Degrees members delivered the Save Our NHS petition directly to MPs in parliament.

On behalf of over 230,000 38 Degrees members, Raj, Andy, Amanda, Rachel, Jane and Pamela handed MPs certificates with details of the number of constituents who’d signed their petition.

The petition box with the running total of signatures overall.

Members deliver the petition to MP for Newcastle Central, Chi Onwurah.

Members deliver the petition to MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas.

MPs queue to receive their petitions.

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A law to reverse NHS privatisation: how MPs voted

November 21st, 2014 by

Here’s how MPs voted at the second reading of the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill. If they weren’t in Westminster at all, they don’t appear on this list. Data sourced from the parliamentary record.


  • Abbott, Ms Diane
  • Abrahams, Debbie
  • Ainsworth, rh Mr Bob
  • Alexander, rh Mr Douglas
  • Alexander, Heidi
  • Ali, Rushanara
  • Allen, Mr Graham
  • Anderson, Mr David
  • Ashworth, Jonathan
  • Austin, Ian
  • Bain, Mr William
  • Balls, rh Ed
  • Banks, Gordon
  • Barron, rh Kevin
  • Beckett, rh Margaret
  • Begg, Dame Anne
  • Benn, rh Hilary
  • Berger, Luciana
  • Blackman-Woods, Roberta
  • Blears, rh Hazel
  • Blomfield, Paul
  • Blunkett, rh Mr David
  • Brennan, Kevin
  • Brown, Lyn
  • Brown, rh Mr Nicholas
  • Brown, Mr Russell
  • Buck, Ms Karen
  • Burden, Richard
  • Burnham, rh Andy
  • Byrne, rh Mr Liam
  • Campbell, rh Mr Alan
  • Campbell, Mr Ronnie
  • Carswell, Douglas
  • Caton, Martin
  • Champion, Sarah
  • Chapman, Jenny
  • Clark, Katy
  • Clarke, rh Mr Tom
  • Clwyd, rh Ann
  • Coaker, Vernon
  • Connarty, Michael
  • Cooper, Rosie
  • Cooper, rh Yvette
  • Corbyn, Jeremy
  • Creagh, Mary
  • Creasy, Stella
  • Cryer, John
  • Cunningham, Alex
  • Cunningham, Mr Jim
  • Cunningham, Sir Tony
  • Curran, Margaret
  • Darling, rh Mr Alistair
  • David, Wayne
  • Davidson, Mr Ian
  • Davies, Geraint
  • De Piero, Gloria
  • Denham, rh Mr John
  • Dobson, rh Frank
  • Docherty, Thomas
  • Donohoe, Mr Brian H.
  • Doughty, Stephen
  • Dowd, Jim
  • Doyle, Gemma
  • Dromey, Jack
  • Dugher, Michael
  • Durkan, Mark
  • Eagle, Ms Angela
  • Eagle, Maria
  • Edwards, Jonathan
  • Efford, Clive
  • Elliott, Julie
  • Ellman, Mrs Louise
  • Engel, Natascha
  • Esterson, Bill
  • Evans, Chris
  • Farrelly, Paul
  • Fitzpatrick, Jim
  • Flello, Robert
  • Flint, rh Caroline
  • Flynn, Paul
  • Fovargue, Yvonne
  • Francis, Dr Hywel
  • Galloway, George
  • Gapes, Mike
  • Gardiner, Barry
  • George, Andrew
  • Gilmore, Sheila
  • Glass, Pat
  • Glindon, Mrs Mary
  • Godsiff, Mr Roger
  • Goodman, Helen
  • Greatrex, Tom
  • Green, Kate
  • Greenwood, Lilian
  • Griffith, Nia
  • Gwynne, Andrew
  • Hamilton, Mr David
  • Hamilton, Fabian
  • Hanson, rh Mr David
  • Harman, rh Ms Harriet
  • Harris, Mr Tom
  • Havard, Mr Dai
  • Healey, rh John
  • Heath, Mr David
  • Hendrick, Mark
  • Heyes, David
  • Hillier, Meg
  • Hilling, Julie
  • Hodgson, Mrs Sharon
  • Hoey, Kate
  • Hollobone, Mr Philip
  • Hosie, Stewart
  • Howarth, rh Mr George
  • Hunt, Tristram
  • Huppert, Dr Julian
  • Irranca-Davies, Huw
  • Jackson, Glenda
  • James, Mrs Siân C.
  • Jamieson, Cathy
  • Jarvis, Dan
  • Johnson, Diana
  • Jones, Graham
  • Jones, Mr Kevan
  • Jones, Susan Elan
  • Jowell, rh Dame Tessa
  • Kane, Mike
  • Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
  • Keeley, Barbara
  • Kendall, Liz
  • Khan, rh Sadiq
  • Lammy, rh Mr David
  • Lavery, Ian
  • Lazarowicz, Mark
  • Lefroy, Jeremy
  • Leslie, Chris
  • Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma
  • Lewis, Mr Ivan
  • Long, Naomi
  • Love, Mr Andrew
  • Lucas, Caroline
  • Lucas, Ian
  • MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan
  • Mactaggart, Fiona
  • Mahmood, Shabana
  • Malhotra, Seema
  • Mann, John
  • Marsden, Mr Gordon
  • McCann, Mr Michael
  • McCarthy, Kerry
  • McDonagh, Siobhain
  • McDonald, Andy
  • McDonnell, John
  • McFadden, rh Mr Pat
  • McGovern, Alison
  • McGuire, rh Mrs Anne
  • McInnes, Liz
  • McKechin, Ann
  • McKenzie, Mr Iain
  • McKinnell, Catherine
  • Meacher, rh Mr Michael
  • Meale, Sir Alan
  • Mearns, Ian
  • Miliband, rh Edward
  • Miller, Andrew
  • Mitchell, Austin
  • Moon, Mrs Madeleine
  • Morden, Jessica
  • Morrice, Graeme (Livingston)
  • Morris, Grahame M. (Easington)
  • Mulholland, Greg
  • Murphy, rh Mr Jim
  • Murphy, rh Paul
  • Murray, Ian
  • Nandy, Lisa
  • Nash, Pamela
  • O’Donnell, Fiona
  • Onwurah, Chi
  • Osborne, Sandra
  • Owen, Albert
  • Pearce, Teresa
  • Perkins, Toby
  • Phillipson, Bridget
  • Pound, Stephen
  • Pugh, John
  • Qureshi, Yasmin
  • Raynsford, rh Mr Nick
  • Reckless, Mark
  • Reed, Mr Jamie
  • Reeves, Rachel
  • Reid, Mr Alan
  • Reynolds, Emma
  • Reynolds, Jonathan
  • Riordan, Mrs Linda
  • Robertson, Angus
  • Robertson, John
  • Robinson, Mr Geoffrey
  • Rotheram, Steve
  • Roy, Mr Frank
  • Ruane, Chris
  • Ruddock, rh Dame Joan
  • Russell, Sir Bob
  • Sarwar, Anas
  • Sawford, Andy
  • Seabeck, Alison
  • Sharma, Mr Virendra
  • Sheerman, Mr Barry
  • Sheridan, Jim
  • Shuker, Gavin
  • Skinner, Mr Dennis
  • Slaughter, Mr Andy
  • Smith, Angela
  • Smith, Nick
  • Smith, Owen
  • Spellar, rh Mr John
  • Straw, rh Mr Jack
  • Stringer, Graham
  • Stuart, Ms Gisela
  • Tami, Mark
  • Thomas, Mr Gareth
  • Thornberry, Emily
  • Timms, rh Stephen
  • Trickett, Jon
  • Turner, Karl
  • Twigg, Derek
  • Twigg, Stephen
  • Umunna, Mr Chuka
  • Vaz, Valerie
  • Walley, Joan
  • Watson, Mr Tom
  • Watts, Mr Dave
  • Weir, Mr Mike
  • Whiteford, Dr Eilidh
  • Whitehead, Dr Alan
  • Williams, Hywel
  • Williamson, Chris
  • Wilson, Phil
  • Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
  • Wishart, Pete
  • Woodcock, John
  • Wright, David
  • Wright, Mr Iain

Tellers for the Ayes: Nic Dakin and Tom Blenkinsop


  • Baldry, rh Sir Tony
  • Baldwin, Harriett
  • Bray, Angie
  • Chope, Mr Christopher
  • Davies, Philip
  • Dunne, Mr Philip
  • Eustice, George
  • Goodwill, Mr Robert
  • Gyimah, Mr Sam
  • Hands, rh Greg
  • Heald, Sir Oliver
  • Letwin, rh Mr Oliver
  • Nuttall, Mr David
  • Patel, Priti
  • Penning, rh Mike
  • Poulter, Dr Daniel
  • Swayne, rh Mr Desmond
  • Vaizey, Mr Edward

Tellers for the Noes: Anne Milton and Mr David Evennett

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Rochester & Strood: People Powered Question Time

November 20th, 2014 by

On Tuesday evening, over 250 people filled the Corn Exchange in Rochester for a People Powered Question Time.

It was standing room only as 38 Degrees members and residents in Rochester & Strood quizzed the by-election candidates on their plans for the NHS, Medway Maritime Hospital, Lodge Hill and much more.

Green candidate Clive Gregory, Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurt, Labour candidate Naushabah Khan and Liberal Democrat candidate Geoff Juby all came to speak to local people. Unfortunately, UKIP candidate Mark Reckless said he didn’t want to speak with 38 Degrees members. So we empty chaired him.

Faisal Islam, political editor of Sky News was chair for the evening and made sure that candidates answered our questions directly and didn’t waffle!

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

The hustings event was people-powered. That means that we gave the candidates instant feedback on what we thought about their plans for Rochester and Strood. Everyone in the audience had YES and NO flashcards. If we liked what the candidates were saying, we all held up our YES cards. If we didn’t like what they were saying, they knew about it.

This way, we made sure that the candidates trying to be MP knew exactly what local people wanted them to do, or didn’t want them to do.

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

“Exactly what do you mean by affordable housing? Affordable to who?”

“Do you support excluding the NHS from the TTIP trade deal?”

“Are you going to spend more money on the NHS?”

“Where do you stand on the Lodge Hill development?”

These were just some of the questions that people in the audience put to the candidates.

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

The People Powered Question Time was our chance to get beyond party-political spin and the issues that have dominated the headlines in the run up to the by-election. Instead, the debate focused on the NHS, schools and the environment.

In a survey of 38 Degrees members in Rochester and Strood, over 90% said they cared ‘a lot’ about the NHS, tax-dodging and privatisation of public services. Fewer than 40% of people said they cared ‘a lot’ about the EU or immigration.

By the end of the evening, we had a much clearer idea of where the politicians stood. We also heard from the independent candidates Stephen Goldsbrough, Chris Challis and Mike Barker, and Hairy Knorm Davidson of the Monster Raving Loony party.

Rochester & Strood by-election hustings

There was quite a bit of media coverage of the evening. The Mirror were there Live Tweeting, and Sky News did a live broadcast in the middle of the event.

Together, 38 Degrees members made the People Powered Question Time a massive success. Volunteers helped with the roving mic, welcoming people, manning a stall with t-shirts and badges, and leafletting the event for weeks beforehand.

What we did together in Rochester & Strood is an example of the type of hustings events we could put on around the country before the general election. People, power, change!

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