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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Lansley’

Tell the government: the gagging law needs to be fixed or scrapped

November 5th, 2013 by

Urgent: today, Tuesday 5th November, the House of Lords starts voting on whether to put the brakes on the government’s plans to silence criticism in the year before an election.

The ministers behind it, Andrew Lansley MP and Lord Wallace, want the Lords to think all the problems with the law are fixed. But they aren’t. Legal advice and an expert civil society commission say the gagging law urgently needs to be changed: so let’s trumpet that call loud and clear.

If hundreds of thousands of us sign a petition telling the government to fix or scrap the gagging law, Lords will walk into today’s vote – and every vote after that – with a worried eye on the climbing numbers. At a glance, the strength of feeling will be clear.

The last three months of campaigning – adverts, leaflets, tetchy public meetings – have turned up the heat. There are whispers that the government’s commitment to the law is wobbling. But they’re hanging on and hoping they can rush the law through before the public outcry becomes impossible to ignore.

We may not elect the Lords, but they’re not immune to what ordinary people think. And right now, we need to make the outcry so big they can’t see past it.

Let’s show them that it’s not just charity head offices who care about this law – ordinary people all across the country also want to protect their freedom of speech.

How do we do this? The old-fashioned way: by weight of numbers.

And at 38 Degrees, we have numbers: there are nearly 2 million of us. If we make this petition big enough, we’ll be impossible to ignore.

Fix or scrap the gagging law: add your name to the petition today and then share it with everyone you can think of!

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Jeremy Hunt: Protect our NHS

September 5th, 2012 by

Breaking news: Jeremy Hunt has just been given the job of Health Secretary, replacing Andrew Lansley as the government minister responsible for the NHS.

From day one, let’s make sure he knows how important our NHS is. Let’s deliver him a huge open letter, signed by thousands of us, telling him that we’ll stand strong to protect our NHS. Let’s make it clear we’ll challenge him every step of the way if we need to.

When we reach 100,000 signatures, we’ll take out a full page ad in The Times – Hunt’s favourite newspaper – reprinting the letter in full:

“Our NHS is precious, and worth protecting. We want Britain to always have a public health service we can all rely on.

As you begin your new job as Health Secretary, we want you to know that we’re watching you. We’ll challenge you every step of the way if you try to do our NHS any further harm.”

Jeremy Hunt has heard of people power before. He’ll remember 38 Degrees members as having helped stop Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of BSkyB.  He’ll know that he should take us seriously. But he might not know yet how determined we are to protect our NHS.

Hunt’s track record as a cheerleader for Rupert Murdoch and enemy of the BBC doesn’t inspire confidence! But Hunt also knows from his previous job that people power is a force to be reckoned with – so let’s remind him that now he’s health minister we’re watching him even more closely. 


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Save our NHS: some good news

November 3rd, 2011 by

Members handing in the petition

Photograph by 38 Degrees

We had some good news last night about the NHS campaign. Here’s an email, which is being sent out at the moment, explaining what’s happened:

Good news. Yesterday we moved a step closer to stopping one of the worst bits of Andrew Lansley’s NHS plan. It looks like we are on track to stop the health minister being able to wash his hands of legal responsibility for our health service.

The Guardian reports today that the government had to make concessions in the House of Lords, “in order to stave off an embarrassing rebellion from Lib Dem peers”. There will now be further negotiations. The final vote on this issue will be in January at the earliest. It is “unlikely that the Lib Dem rebels will back down”. [1]

It’s not over yet. Nowhere near. We will need to get our independent legal experts to look very carefully at whatever the government does next. But this is a breakthrough. And a great sign of hope that people power can influence the House of Lords.

We voted together to make it a priority to stop Andrew Lansley scrapping his “duty to provide” health services. And we worked together to decide on the tactics we use to stop this happening. Slowly but surely our people powered campaign to protect the NHS is working.

38 Degrees members paid together for the independent legal advice which first set out the risks of scrapping the Secretary of State’s duties. Thousands of us signed the emergency petition last month. And thousands more of us emailed Lords and Baronesses in the past two weeks.

We have taken some nasty abuse from politicians for our efforts. Andrew Lansley stood up in Parliament to accuse us of producing “propaganda”. [2] A number of Conservative MPs contacted 38 Degrees members in their area to say we were liars. One Lib Dem Lord branded us all a “mob”. [3] But now the government has finally been forced to admit that we have a point.

This is a small breakthrough on a huge issue. There is so much more to do to protect our NHS. Over the next few weeks the NHS plan will continue through “committee stage” in the House of Lords. We will need to push for other improvements like scrapping the “hands off clause” and reining in competition.

Then we’ll have even bigger decisions to make. As the Lords gear up for final votes in early 2012, we will need to vote again on what we do together next. Should we push for further changes to Lansley’s plan? Should we decide that it’s still so far beyond improving that we have to make a last ditch attempt to stop it altogether? And if Lansley’s plans do go through, what can we do together next to prevent the worst effects?

So, lots more to do together soon to protect our NHS – but a glimmer of hope today. Let’s keep working together!

Thanks for being involved,

David, Hannah, Johnny, Becky, Marie, Cian and the 38 Degrees team

PS: 38 Degrees members have been discussing today’s news on Facebook. For example Russell says, “Winning the war is about fighting many battles…little victories, some losses…as long as we have a strong cause!” If you use Facebook you can join the conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange

[1] Guardian: NHS bill clause put on hold to stave off revolt by Liberal Democrat peers http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/02/nhs-bill-clause-hold-lords
BBC: Peace breaks out in the Lords on the NHS Bill – for now http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15563602
FT: Govt in a flap over health bill in the Lords http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2011/11/govt-in-a-flap-over-health-bill-in-the-lords/#axzz1ce2iJ1sR
Politics.co.uk: NHS reforms: How to buy time in the Lords http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2011/11/02/nhs-reforms-how-to-buy-time-in-the-lords
[2] You can read what he said, and the 38 Degrees response, here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/09/08/save-our-nhs-what-lansley-said-in-the-house-of-commons/
[3] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/38-degrees-lords-nhs-bill

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NHS Ads: Lansley has his fingers in his ears

May 25th, 2011 by

NHS Ads: Lansley Still Isn't Listening

Photograph by 38 Degrees

“When we tell him his plans aren’t working, he doesn’t seem to want to hear what we’re saying.
– Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chair of the British Medical Association, May 2011

It’s hard to listen with two fingers stuck in your ears. That’s the message 38 Degrees members have sent Health Minister Andrew Lansley this morning.

Newspaper ads funded entirely by thousands of donations from 38 Degrees members have been published in five daily papers, the GuardianMirrorMailExpress and Metro. The combined circulation is a whopping six million people. These ads were driven by people power with thousands of contributors raising over £90,000 in just a few days. And not only did 38 Degrees members fully fund the ads, they also contributed important feedback during the design process.

Lansley still isn’t listening. His sham “listening exercise” draws to a close at the end of the month and today 38 Degrees members have sent a message he can’t possibly ignore. The future of the NHS is too important for us to let it be decided behind closed doors.

The campaign to Save the NHS continues to gain momentum. Nearly 400,000 people have signed our petition. Can you help spread the word?

If you use Facebook you can post the advert to your Facebook profile.
If you use Twitter you can tweet about them.
A PDF version can be downloaded here so send it to your friends or stick it in your window to show you want Lansley to start listening.

You can find the ads in the following papers, Wednesday 25 May editions.

  • The Guardian – Page 17
  • Daily Mirror – page 25
  • Metro – page 10
  • Daily Mail – page 36
  • Daily Express – page 35


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

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38 Degrees members in action over NHS

May 6th, 2011 by

newspaper cutting of NHS protest

Here’s a great example of 38 Degrees members in action outside Worcestershire Royal Hospital. What a fantastic way of demonstrating that we want to save our NHS from Andrew Lansley’s dangerous plans.

We’re at a critical point of the campaign and the more events that are organised, the more our message gets across. It’s really important that we get around every MP so that they feel the pressure. Could you organise a visit to your MP to hand in a copy of our 260,000-strong petition?  It’s easy to organise a visit to your local MP and 38 Degrees members and volunteers can help you every step of the way. Visit this page to put your name down and find out how to get started. Look here for a step-by-step guide. .

Imagine the effect on MPs when, across the country, groups of local voters start visiting them. Events are now popping up everywhere and the amazing 38 Degrees members in Worcester have joined forces with 38 Degrees members across the country. Together, let’s make sure that Lansley’s “listening exercise” is not a spin exercise.

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

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What next on the NHS: the results

January 27th, 2011 by

As the government’s NHS changes are being discussed in parliament, 38 Degrees members are getting together on the 38 Degrees website, and face-to-face at get-togethers, to plan what we should do next.

On the 38 Degrees website, 90% of us agreed that we should be campaigning on the government’s latest plans. One member commented that “Doctors need to give their energies to treating patients rather than administering a new system”.

Lots of members had their say about which issues were most worrying.  Just at the top of the list of the most important issues is the fact that the changes are a first step towards privatisation of the NHS, closely followed by the worry that care for patients could get worse.

38 Degrees members also shared their views on what we could do together to protect the NHS. There were lots of suggestions – the top three were signing a petition, talking to our MPs about where they stand on the change and attending a “Stand up for the NHS” get-together.

If you’d like to add your voice to help decide what we do next on the NHS, you can join in at: http://38degrees.org.uk/what-next-on-the-NHS or find out about an NHS get-together near you at http://www.38degrees.org.uk/find-a-get-together/

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How healthcare lobbyists could change our NHS

January 21st, 2011 by

Here’s a video made by Spinwatch that shows how big healthcare companies’ lobbysits are influencing government on the future of our NHS:

The film asks whether Andrew Lansley’s planned reforms for the NHS are being shaped by big healthcare companies’ lobbyists.

It explains that big businesses can influence government in three main ways:

    • Funding think tanks to put together ‘evidence’ to support the view of big business
    • Pay lobbyists to put pressure on government to adopt certain policies
    • Help their employees become MPs, or advisors to government

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