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Archive for the ‘38 Degrees Blog Posts’ Category

Blogs by the 38 Degrees team, volunteers and members.

NHS England: petition hand-in

November 19th, 2014 by

This is a guest blog from Tamasin Cave at Spinwatch. 38 Degrees members have teamed up with Spinwatch to uncover the truth on NHS England’s big spending.

“Today I went to NHS England to hand over our 75,000-strong petition demanding that they come clean about how the executives are spending NHS money. Because the people that Jeremy Hunt put in charge of our NHS won’t tell us who they’ve been giving big chunks of NHS money to. They won’t say how much is being given to private lobbying firms or profit-hungry management consultants.

This is a very different NHS England from the one NHS England promotes. Earlier this year, for example, it launched something called NHS Citizens, the express purpose of which is to listen to people’s views on the NHS, get them involved in decision-making and create a ‘new culture of collaboration between NHS England and the public’. ‘NHS England wants you to be actively involved at its very heart,’ it says. It’s ‘all about listening,’ says Simon.

And NHS England, like all other government agencies, is required every month to make public all its spending over £25,000. It never has. This summer, when asked about the anomaly, NHS England said it would publish the data in September. We are still waiting. Now NHS England knows that a lot of people care about where the money is going – so this might be the tipping point for them finally publishing the information.

Let’s hope that NHS England is listening. And then does what it should have been doing all along: tell us how they are spending our money.”

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Rochester & Strood: Candidate scorecard

November 19th, 2014 by

The results are in! Hundreds of people in Rochester & Strood have been ranking the by-election candidates’ plans on local and national issues.

Together, 38 Degrees members in Rochester and Strood have cut through the media circus and political spin. The scorecard makes it easy to understand what the candidates really think about the issues that matter in the area – Medway Maritime Hospital, tax dodging, Lodge Hill, jobs.

Together, after a member meet up, a poll, and commenting on a draft document of questions, 38 Degrees members came up with questions to put to the candidates. The candidates answered, then everyone was invited to rank their answers between 1 to 5 on the 38 Degrees website.

Here’s how they all compared:

What do you think? Comment below…

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

(not) Contacting Julian Lewis MP

November 19th, 2014 by

Julian Lewis: MP for New Forest East.

This is what he looks like when he wants to talk to someone:

And this is what he looks like when his constituents try to talk to him:

He’s famously uncontactable – if you want to get in touch, you need to write to him at the House of Commons.

So if you’re a New Forest East constituent, and you want to have a chat to your MP, here you go:

Here’s his House of Commons office number: 020 7219 4179

And if you can’t get through, try the House of Commons switchboard: 020 7219 4272

Or his constituency office: 023 8081 4817

And if you like writing letters, here’s the address:
House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

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All eyes on your MP

November 18th, 2014 by

Urgent: on Friday, MPs will vote on a new law to rein in NHS privatisation. If it passes, it would scrap the worst parts of the Health and Social Care Act – the terrible law which is forcing the steady privatisation and break-up of our health service.

The new law will also keep the NHS out of TTIP – the US-EU trade agreement that threatens to lock privatisation into public services. It’s simple: this new law would be great for our NHS.

Can you sign a petition to your MP asking them to turn up and vote the right way on Friday? MPs aren’t used to being the target of petitions: the last thing they want is hundreds of their constituents banding together. So the bigger this petition is, the more likely your MP is to listen.

Click here to tell your MP to vote to save our NHS on Friday.

Since the Health and Social Care Act passed in 2012, 38 Degrees members have watched in horror as health privatisation has gathered pace. In just one year, over £10bn of NHS funding ended up in the hands of profit-hungry companies. Our health service is under threat.

And now, with the government refusing to keep the NHS out of TTIP, it’s in even more danger. If TTIP goes through, and the NHS stays in the deal, it’ll be open season for private healthcare companies.

It’ll be a hard vote to win. But our NHS is worth fighting for even when the odds are against us. And win or not, politicians need to know that 38 Degrees members haven’t given up or gone away – we’re still here, we still care, and we’ll take every opportunity to get rid of privatisation in our NHS.

So let’s send each and every one of our MPs a clear message: we believe in a public NHS that provides decent care for everyone, whenever we need it. We will never sit back while our health service is under threat – and we will take every chance we have to try and save it.

If your MP’s a speaker there’s no petition for your area. Read why here and see what else you can do to support the campaign.

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Rochester & Strood: People-Powered Question Time tonight

November 18th, 2014 by

At 7pm tonight, the by-election candidates will be in the hot seat. They’ll be face-to-face with the voters at the People-Powered Question Time at the Corn Exchange in Rochester.

The audience will get to vote on what they think of the candidates’ answers as they go, so the politicians won’t be able to just drone on.

Can you make it tonight?

What: People-Powered Question Time
Where: Corn Exchange, Rochester High Street, ME1 1LX
When: Tonight at 7pm

RSVP on Facebook here or just turn up:

And if you can’t make it in person, how about joining in online? Online viewers will be able to ask questions and vote on the answers too. You can join the online debate live from 7pm tonight:

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Rochester & Strood: Rate the candidates

November 18th, 2014 by

If you live in Rochester, Strood or the Hoo Peninsula, do you know who you’ll vote for on Thursday?

We’ve had to work together to cut through the spin in this by-election. The media only want to talk about immigration and the EU and are silent about things people really care about – the NHS, tax dodging, jobs. So 38 Degrees members have been quizzing the candidates directly on the issues that matter locally.

Now we have their answers. Are they any good, though? Let’s find out!

Let’s rate how good the candidates are on the issues we actually care about. It’s really easy: click the link, score their answers ‘issue by issue’ on a scale from 1 to 5, and then see at the end which candidate you agree with most.

Ready? Click here:

Rate that candidate

The candidates’ answers are anonymised, so we’re rating policies not personalities. The candidate that comes top for you might be predictable – or it might be a complete surprise!

And the more people who rate the candidates, the clearer the picture will be of who ranks top on the issues Rochester and Strood really cares about.

The election’s on Thursday. If you’re not sure who to vote for yet, or if you’re not sure if you’re going to vote at all, here’s a way to see if you think any of them are worth your vote.

Click here to use this simple tool to rate the candidates:

PS: A few candidates (including UKIP and the Lib Dems) didn’t want potential voters to read their answers. So they aren’t in the Rate That Candidate tool. 38 Degrees members in Rochester and Strood (and around the country!) asked them to answer the questions – and got a flat no. Want to tell them how you feel about them not being involved? Click here to send them an email:

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Save our NHS: 644 petitions – but not your constituency

November 18th, 2014 by

Hello! Wondering why you’ve ended up here?

If you live in:

  • Bristol South – your MP is Dawn Primarolo
  • Epping Forest – your MP is Eleanor Laing
  • Chorley – your MP is Lindsay Hoyle
  • Buckingham – your MP is John Bercow
  • Eltham – your MP is Clive Efford
  • Rochester and Strood – you don’t have an MP right now!

That means that 38 Degrees members in your constituency aren’t signing one of the 645 petitions across the country asking MPs to vote to reverse the worst bits of NHS privatisation on Friday. Why? Because Dawn Primarolo, Eleanor Laing, Lindsay Hoyle and John Bercow are speakers in the House of Commons, which mean they don’t get to vote. And Clive Efford is the MP behind the law they’re voting on, the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill, so he’ll be fully onside! And if you’re in Rochester and Strood, well – ain’t no MP at the moment.

So although you can’t get your MP behind this campaign, here’s a way to help other 38 Degrees members’ turn up the heat on their MPs. If you use Facebook or Twitter, click the buttons below to share the campaign with your friends, family and followers. At least some of them won’t live in one of the five constituencies!




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Banks vs the NHS

November 14th, 2014 by

The banks are in the news. They’ve been rigging the markets, and have been fined £1.1 billion by UK regulators because of their bad behaviour.

That’s a lot of cash. And the Government is about to decide what happens to it. So let’s make sure the money gets put to good use – by funding our NHS.

Our health service is under increasing pressure because of funding cuts, and services are being squeezed. George Osborne is about to make a decision about how the banking fines will be used. The Government want us to think that they care about the NHS. So let’s make them put their money where their mouths are and use this money to fund it.

If enough of us sign the petition today we could make it too embarrassing for Osborne to say no.

Click here to sign the petition to the Treasury today.

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Privatisation in the NHS

November 14th, 2014 by

Next Friday, MPs will vote on a law to stop the privatisation that is tearing apart our NHS. They’ll be voting on a proposal to curb the worst parts of the government’s Health and Social Care Act – that’s the law that is seeing the break-up and sell-off of our beloved healthcare system.

It’s going to be a hard vote to win. But it’s also a huge opportunity: if enough of our MPs vote the right way we could stop one of the biggest threats to our health service. And we need to make sure MPs know that 38 Degrees members are still watching their moves on the NHS.

Right now, 38 Degrees members are emailing their MPs asking them to turn up next Friday. If you’d like to email yours too, click here.

Since the Health and Social Care Act passed in 2012, 38 Degrees members have watched in horror as health privatisation has gathered pace. In just one year, over £10bn of NHS funding ended up in the hands of profit-hungry companies. Let’s make sure our MPs know that we believe in a decent healthcare service that provides decent care for everyone. Please email your MP today.

You can see the bill’s passage through Parliament here.

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Kickstarting local 38 Degrees groups!

November 13th, 2014 by

From Matalan to TTIP, 38 Degrees members have shown there’s appetite to get more involved in our local communities. Across the country members have spoken about the need to establish local 38 Degrees groups, networks and activists.

By setting up local groups, together we’ll take our influence on MPs, councillors and big business to the next level.

The staff team have put together a pilot training course to give you the tools and confidence to set up a local group in your area. The first round of training will be held in November for Greater London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland

London is already booked out so places are limited and filling up fast. But don’t worry if you miss out this time, there’ll be more in the new year.

At the training you’ll join other like-minded 38 Degrees members and learn some of the cutting edge tactics and techniques to get your group established and campaigning.

From the latest technology to understanding why people act together to make change. Together we’ll build the skills, confidence and knowledge to start making the world a better place. We’ll discuss what makes campaigns successful, as well as develop some practical skills to run your group.

Local groups and networks are already starting to raise profile in their communities. Barbara, who came along to a similar training day in Bath before their local group got up and running, had this to say:

“The local group in Bath is already gathering steam. Over 50 people came to the first meeting and we’re already busy planning what to campaign on. The training really helped get this off the ground.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, the local 38 Degrees group have campaigned against TTIP with a human billboard and organised a panel event with over 500 attendees, live streamed around the world!

The potential for your group is limitless.

Click on your region to RSVP for a training day!

The Midlands -29 November 2014

 the North West -29 November 2014

Scotland - 29 November 2014

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