38 Degrees member and Co-Chair of the NHS Consultants Association, Dr Clive Peedell, has been running alongside fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson since 10th January to show opposition to the Government’s NHS reforms
They are running from NHS founder Aneurin Bevan’s statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health in London in just six days. We were lucky enough to get a message from the man himself!
‘Bevan’s Run started on January 10th from Bevan’s statue, Cardiff, with the aim of reaching the Department of Health at Richmond House, London, on Sunday January 15th.
The aim is to raise public awareness of the damaging effects of the Health and Social Care bill on the NHS and to add to calls for its withdrawal.
Myself and co-runner Dr David Wilson will be delivering 3 “Bevan’s Postcards”, which outline the reasons why the bill should be withdrawn, to David Cameron’s constituency in Witney, as well as the Department of Health and 10 Downing Street. The postcard can be viewed here.
Lots of aching muscles, but ice baths helping a lot!
Further details about the run can be found at Clive’s blogsite
Bevan’s Run can be followed on Twitter @cpeedell and by using the hashtag #bevansrun.
There will be more news on this blog about the NHS Campaign soon.
38 Degrees members from Jeremy Hunt’s constituency in Surrey got together to talk about Murdoch’s proposals to buy out 100% of BSkyB.
Photograph by 38 Degrees
One member, David Morgan, had arranged a meeting with his MP, Jeremy Hunt. He wanted to ask why other local members were concerned about Murdoch’s plans and to show Jeremy Hunt that other constituents shared his concerns. David also gave Jeremy Hunt our petition which has now been signed by nearly 40,000 of us.
David said “it was important to me to make sure that Mr Hunt understood my concerns about the importance of plurality of quality media in this country. I took the opportunity to let him know about the general perception that many people have that the current government somehow ‘owes’ Mr Murdoch a favour.”
In the meeting with Jeremy Hunt, David explained that he and many others had concerns about the Murdoch takeover proposals. David and Finn, another local member who joined the meeting, said that Jeremy Hunt “bristled” at the suggestion he may not be completely impartial and assured them that he would be entirely unbiased.
Photograph by 38 Degrees
We got together in a cafe opposite Tesco in Haslemere where Jeremy Hunt was holding his surgery. Over a cup of tea, we chatted about why we were concerned about Murdoch’s powergrab. People’s main worries included Jeremy Hunt’s lack of impartiality, the process itself (especially Jeremy Hunt letting Murdoch have extra time to make changes to his bid) and threats to a free and democratic media in the UK (especially if he starts ‘bundling up’ Sky TV with subscriptions to his newspapers, for example).
Other members also shared their reasons for getting together. Celia said it had been a “very valuable experience to meet with other 38 Degrees members to discuss issues and confirmation of direct and personal strength of feeling”. Ian said, “pleased to meet up with other members and to help get the message across – emphasising concerns regarding future of journalistic freedom and access to information by public and how this might be reduced if Murdoch is allowed to take control of BSkyB.”
In November 38 Degrees handed in 60,000 messages to Ofcom asking them to get the bid in front of the Competition Commission. At Christmas an Emergency Petition was put forward pointing out that Jeremy Hunt would not make an impartial judge. On New Year’s Eve Hunt got Ofcom’s report and has been sitting on it ever since.
It has now emerged that Hunt has been havingmeetings with Murdoch’s people. He could be trying to find ways to make a deal with Murdoch’s advisers.
Now it’s our turn to get involved. Together we can get in touch with our MPs and ask them to put pressure on Hunt to ensure the report goes public and into the hands of the Competition Commission. But we don’t have long.
This is a fast moving campaign that needs quick responses. We’ve already had success in standing up to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB power grab and now we need to do it again. To take action click here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/hunts-secret-meetings
George Osborne has been splashed across the papers the past couple of days in his new starring role as the Artful Dodger. Together, we came up with the idea for a cheeky ad to get people talking about tax dodging and we’ve done just that. We’re exposing the scandal of tax dodging and making sure we all know the truth about how much we really lose each year to super-rich tax cheats. We always said we wanted to get everyone talking: politicians, journalists and members of the public.
Photograph by 38 Degrees
The past few days have been really exciting: the phones in the 38 Degrees office haven’t stopped ringing. On Tuesday morning, you might have seen David on Sky News or BBC News talking about our ads. In fact our ads put a government minister right on the spot in a Sky News interview. Our advert was held up to challenge them directly with the presenter asking “why are you fiddling about with VAT when tax dodging costs us £120 billion?”
Together, we’ve pushed the issue of tax dodging up the agenda and the media and blog coverage over the past few days proves it. Here are some of the highlights:
This morning our “George Osborne The Artful Dodger” tax dodger ad was meant to run in the Metro, Guardian, Indepdendent and the i.
It has become clear that the Daily Mail group of newspapers (which includes the Metro) pulled out of running our ads at the last minute – they were meant to appear in the Metro this morning but there was no sign of them. We’re trying to find out what their excuses are and will update this blog post with the latest developments.
The Telegraph also refused to run the ad.
You can view the ad here: on page 28 of the i, page 18 of the Independent and page 14 of the Guardian.
Update 3: If you want to complain about our ads being pulled you can email the editors at the papers that didn’t run the ads here: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daily Mail); email@example.com (Daily Telegraph); firstname.lastname@example.org (Metro)
Update 4: We’ve just heard from the Metro why they refused to print our ad. Here’s a copy of the email they sent:
“I gave it the OK before Christmas, but said it would have to be pulled if there was any controversy, and now Conservative HQ are on the attack over the ‘tax dodger’ claims.
“I don’t have a problem with the group advertising with us but obviously we don’t want to run anything that could be viewed as libellous.”
And here’s David’s response:
“It’s a bit implausible that they were genuinely worried about libel – we had been told that the adverts had been looked at and approved by their libel lawyers several days earlier, they’d been looked at and approved by 38 Degrees libel lawyers several days before that, and several other papers felt comfortable running them.”
On New Years Eve we handed in the first batch of signatures for our emergency petition demanding Murdoch’s BSkyB takeover is sent to the Competition Commission for a wide-ranging and impartial investigation. We launched this petition after Vince Cable got stripped of responsibility for the deal, and Jeremy Hunt took charge instead.
We teamed up with global campaigning organisation Avaaz, and between us we had over 70,000 signatures on the petition — a great response, especially considering it was Christmas.
There’s already been some media coverage, and we can expect more to follow as officials and politicians get back to work in the coming days.
There was news yesterday that heads of the BBC, Channel 4, the Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror and Daily Mail have all signed a letter to Vince Cable telling him to block Rupert Murdoch’s power grab of BSkyB.
38 Degrees members have been leading the way with this campaign. Last week we handed in an open letter with nearly 19,000 member signatures and this week we’ve seen various media groups echoing our message. More and more people are joining in but that’s no reason to let up.
We need Vince to know that when he makes the right choice he has our support. You can email your MP in 2 minutes to get them on board and tell Vince that we don’t want the Murdoch empire to gain in strength.
Over 30,000 of us have signed the petition so far and we’ve been raising funds for adverts when Murdoch submits his merger proposal. The more of us they hear from, the more impact we’ll have. Click here to email your MP:
38 Degrees members have been leading the way with this campaign. Last week we handed in an open letter with nearly 19,000 member signatures. More and more people are joining in but we need to keep increasing the pressure.
We need Vince to know that when he makes the right choice he has our support. You can email your MP in 2 minutes to get them on board and tell Vince that we don’t want the Murdoch empire to grow in strength.
Over 30,000 of us have signed the petition so far and we’ve been raising funds for adverts when Murdoch tries to get permission to go ahead with his buyout plans. The more MPs hear from their voters, the more pressure they’ll feel to tell Vince to stop the buyout. Click here to email your MP: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/stop-murdoch-power-grab
Tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members emailed their MPs after the Conservative Minister, Jeremy Hunt, launched an attack on the BBC by announcing plans to cut the licence fee in 2012.
38 Degrees members have been adding their MPs’ replies to this page on our website, and we’ve now got replies from most MPs. Quite a few MPs have also sent their constituents a reply they received from the Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, after writing to him about the BBC.
Here’s the letter the Minister, Ed Vaizey has been sending to MPs:
Rupert Murdoch’s plans to take control of BSkyB and buy out the remaining 61% would be a bad move for the British media. It would give the Murdoch empire had an even greater stranglehold on the UK press and could lead to greater levels of rightwing bias, like Fox News in the USA.
It was with a huge sigh of relief that his first bid was rejected by the board of BSkyB, but it won’t be long before he makes a second offer.
But together, we can help stop Murdoch’s plans from going ahead. Sign the petition to Business Secretary Vince Cable, telling him to make sure the deal is properly investigated before it goes ahead: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/murdoch/
There are just two days of this election campaign left now, and the result’s still looking too close to call. That means we can be sure that the right-wing press will be doing all they can to install their man in Downing St. We need to do all we can to show what they’re up to and stop them gaining momentum.
If by any chance you’re in central London lunchtime today,Tuesday, there’s a “Flashmob” to highlight what the tabloids are up to outside Parliament. It promises “the biggest rolled-up tabloid newspaper sword fight in the world EVER” as a way of saying “yes to hope and no to tabloid fear”.
This could be a great chance to get the rest of the media to report the backlash against Murdoch. It also sounds like it could be fun! Here are the details as posted on the event page on facebook:
FLASHMOB – The Hung Parliament party – Yes to Hope and No To Tabloid Fear!
HOPE vs FEAR? We know which side we’re on. We’ve had enough of The Sun, The Mail and other rags scaremongering and doing their worst to steal our hopes for change.
Let’s come together to be heard — let’s all FLASH-MOB in Westminster near Parliament TOMORROW (Tuesday) lunchtime! (precise venue will be sent out in next 10 hours)
RSVP NOW to the right of this page… go on! RSVP! you know you want to — and invite your friends! (the latest forecast is sunny)
Come prepared to do battle, with a ROLLED-UP COPY of your (least) favourite TABLOID RAG — and don’t forget a nice bit of lunch!
Arrive nonchalantly just beforehand – and at 1pm exactly, let’s scream our hopes out loud and start the biggest ROLLED-UP PAPER SWORD-FIGHT ever!
After we’ve vented our democratic passions at the tabloids, let’s put what’s left of them in a pile in the middle of the space, and all SIT DOWN for a quick HUNG PARLIAMENT PARTY if we like — a picnic lunch and a chat about the change we want to see!
After all, our politicians will have to do the same if no-one wins an overall majority in Thursday’s election – and that might be no bad thing…
My scream is going to be “FOR HOPE AND DEMOCRACY!” What’s yours?
looks like Avaaz, 38 Degrees and Liberal Conspiracy networks are piling in!
(Remember: this is not a demonstration or organised protest — it’s a spontaneous, friendly and self-organising flashmob, and it will start and finish within a few minutes. There shouldn’t be any trouble with the authorities, and of course, let’s all conduct ourselves in a respectful, peaceful and law-abiding way! — and make sure our rolled-up tabloid papers do damage to each other, NOT to us. If the police approach you and ask you to stop, it’s a good idea to do as they say. We’re all responsible for our own actions and safety.) Anyone who wants can join in a litter-pick afterwards — we’ll recycle the battered tabloid rags so they go to a good cause!