Kate Hollern: A snapshot of Cameron’s NHS in Blackburn

A snapshot of Cameron’s NHS in Blackburn

I spent an hour and a half in Barbara Castle Health Centreyesterday waiting for treatment. As I sat in the busy waiting room a number of patients came over and said hello. The stories I heard from fellow patients were awful and put into context what is happening on the ground as a result of the Tories top-down re-organisation of the NHS.

One case in point was Jean who is 75, riddled with arthritis, needs her leg dressing twice a week after hurting it months ago. She has to carry the dressings to the Health Centre and struggles due to the arthritis in her hands.  She used to have a district nurse call at her home but it was stopped and she was told she had to make her own way to the Health Centre, at £ 7 for taxi’s each time she is struggling.

I asked her why the home visits stopped. She told me that sherecently had to open a bank account so got a taxi to town. When she told the nurse that she had been in town she was told that if she could get to town she could get to the Health Centre. Surely this is wrong, for a lady who has worked hard all her life to be treated this way. I am sure the stress emotionally and physically cannot be good for her.

There was another lady, with both legs heavily bandaged and on two walking sticks, she was obviously in a lot of pain. She had a similar story, only she had to go to her father when he died. Subsequently she was told that she obviously was not housebound so could get to the health centre. She says not only was it expensive to get to the health centre but also very painful.


I am organising an event at King Georges Hall in November and inviting older people for a cup of tea, cake and some entertainment. The idea is to tackle social isolation and help people have some enjoyment and make friends they have yet to meet. I am now worried that I will be encouraging people into a situation that could cause them to lose medical services they currently receive.

Surely people should be helped to leave their home occasionally and not be worried they will lose support they need.


Kate Hollern:The truth is that working people cannot afford five more years of David Cameron.



Listening to David Cameron  last Wednesday you might be left with the impression that the economy has been fixed and that life is getting easier for most people. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth

Under the Tories and Liberals working people are £1,600 a year worse off. Just think about it – when did you last get a pay-rise? The Tories are now trying to con people into another five years of misery by unfunded pie in the sky pre-election tax cuts promised for six years time..

David Cameron in 2008 said “You can’t talk about tax reduction unless you can show how it is paid for, the public aren’t stupid”. But’s that’s exactly what he did on  Wednesday.

These “tax cuts” are an unfunded spending commitment of over £7billion, hardly spare cash.

How are the Tories going to pay for it?  We can only assume that they will yet again hit the poorest hardest, we are sure to see yet further attacks on public services, Fire, Police Health and Councils.

The only thing we have learnt for sure this week from the Tories is that they’re going to cut tax credits for millions of hard working people. This announcement on Monday means that a one earner family with two children on £25,000 a year will lose £495 by 2017/18.

So while working families see their incomes decrease, Wednesday’s announcements means that the Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister will see their incomes increase by 2020/21. And let’s not forget that the richest one per cent will keep a £3billion tax cut. This doesn’t look like “we’re all in this together” to me.

And if there is one decision taken by the Tories that tells us all we need to know about their priorities and who they stand for, then their tax cut for millionaires is it.

Labour will balance the books as soon as possible in the next Parliament, but we will make fairer choices. A Labour Government would cut taxes for millions on middle and low incomes with a lower 10p starting rate of tax and reintroduce a top rate of 50p for those earning over £150,000.

The truth is that the Tories will never build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few.

The truth is that working people cannot afford five more years of David Cameron.


Finally! Exposed! The Deficit Myth! So, David Cameron When Are You Going to Apologise?

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”
– Winston Churchill

‘As a Conservative I have no pleasure in exposing David Cameron’s deficit claims’ – says Ramesh Patel, writing in the Economist recently.  ‘However, as long as the party continues to talk down the economy via the blame game, confidence will not be given an opportunity to return. For it is an undeniable and inescapable economic fact: without confidence and certainty there can be no real growth.’

Patel then goes to set out why he thinks that Mr Cameron and his chums have got it so wrong.  You could call it an ‘Eton Mess’!

‘Below are the three deficit claims – the mess. The evidence comes from the IMF, OECD, OBR, HM Treasury, ONS and even George Osborne. The claims put into context are:

The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.

After continuously stating the UK had the biggest debt in the world George Osborne admits to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt in the G7? Watch: Also, confirmed by the OECD Those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.

Its common sense, in cash terms a millionaire’s debt would be greater than most people. Therefore, the UK would have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because, we are the sixth largest economy. Hence, its laughable to compare UK’s debt and deficit with Tuvalu’s who only have a GDP/Income of £24 million whilst, the UK’s income is £1.7 Trillion.

Finally, Labour in 1997 inherited a debt of 42% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crises 2008 the debt had fallen to 35% – a near 22% reduction page 6 ONS Surprisingly, a debt of 42% was not seen as a major problem and yet at 35% the sky was falling down?

Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.

Firstly, the much banded about 2010 deficit of over 11% is false. This is the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was -7.7% – OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2012 page 19 table 1.2

Secondly, in 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget ) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% – a reduction of a near 50% – Impressive! Hence, it’s implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008. See HM Treasury. Note, the 1994 deficit of near 8% haaaaaah!

Thirdly, the IMF have also concluded the same. They reveal the UK experienced an increase in the deficit as result of a large loss in output/GDP caused by the global banking crisis and not even as result of the bank bailouts, fiscal stimulus and bringing forward of capital spending. It’s basic economics: when output falls the deficit increases.

Finally, the large loss in output occurred because the UK like the US have the biggest financial centres and as this was a global banking crises we suffered the most. Hence, the UK had the 2nd highest deficit in the G7 (Not The World) after the US and not as a result of overspending prior to and after 2008- as the IMF concur.

Our borrowing costs are low because the markets have confidence in George Osborne’s austerity plan and without it the UK will end up like Greece.

Yes, the markets have confidence in our austerity plan and that’s why PIMCO the worlds largest bond holder have been warning against buying UK debt.

The real reason why our borrowing costs have fallen and remained low since 2008 is because, savings have increased. As a result, the demand and price for bonds have increased and as there is inverse relationship between the price of bonds and its yield (interest rate) the rates have fallen. Also, the markets expect the economy to remain stagnate. Which means the price for bonds will remain high and hence, our borrowing costs will also remain low.

Secondly, the UK is considered a safe heaven because, investors are reassured the Bank of England will buy up bonds in an event of any sell off – which increases the price of bonds and reduces the effective rate. Note, how rates fell across the EU recently when the ECB announced its bond buying program. Thirdly, because, we are not in the Euro we can devalue our currency to increase exports. Moreover, UK bonds are attractive because, we haven’t defaulted on its debt for over 300 years.

David Cameron would like people to believe the markets lend in the same way as retail banks lend to you and I.

Overall, when the facts and figures are put into context these juvenile deficit narratives and sound bites (“mere words and no evidence”) simply fail to stand up to the actual facts. The deficit myth is the grosses lie ever enforced upon the people and it has been sold by exploiting people’s economic illiteracy.

So, David Cameron when are you going to apologise?

Cameron is playing the blame game to depress confidence and growth to justify austerity. Secondly, to use austerity as justification for a smaller state to gain lower taxes. Thirdly, to paint Labour as a party that can not be trusted with the country’s finances again. Therefore, we Conservatives will win a second term because, people vote out of fear. The latter strategy worked the last time in office (18 years) and will work again because, in the end, elections are won and lost on economic credibility. Hence, as people believe Labour created the mess they won’t be trusted again.

Finally, as the truth is the greatest enemy of the a lie I urge you to share this on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, text and email etc etc. So the truth can be discovered by all. Finally, have no doubt, people have been mislead by the use of the following strategy:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” Joseph Goebbels.’

Mr Cameron – even your most steadfast supporters cannot accept the policies you are implementing – it’s time to say goodbye!

Obama’s victory is bad news for Cameron

As we all wake up to hear the good news from the USA – a second term for Barack Obama and the Democrats- our Prime Minister must be feeling pretty downhearted.  He would clearly have been hoping for a Republican victory to give him at least one friend!  Yes – life must be getting pretty lonely for David Cameron and the ConDems.  Across the world people are rejecting right wing policies and austerity measures which have caused hardship and stunted attempts for economies to come out of recession.

 Times are hard in the US, just as they are here in Britain, but Obama’s appeal to all people to work together as one will help send a positive message across the globe about what we can achieve by working together to make society a better place for everyone.  It’s commonly said that all politics in the US is right wing, yet everything I hear from Barack Obama shows that he truly is a democratic socialist who is committed to making America a better place rather than trying to dominate the world.

 Cameron talks about us being ‘all in it together’ but nobody believes him and nobody is listening anymore because we all know that it’s not true and Cameron and his millionaire croneys have felt no pain at all since they plunged this country into a double dip recession (in spite of claims that they’d ‘sort the mess out’ our debt is now higher than it was when Labour left office).

 Cameron might as well face it now – his days are numbered.

Trust Cameron on NHS? Not on your nelly!

Today’s announcements in the media by Tory PM David Cameron will I’m sure be laughed at by the demoralised staff in our NHS.  His suggestion that nurses will carry out hourly ward rounds, and that they need to learn that ‘caring is their main job’  and his proposed survey asking them if they would be happy to let their relatives use the same services is at best a complete insult to the fantastic hard work and dedication of our nurses – under ever more pressure , and at worst just another attempt to divide and rule the NHS as well as undermining public confidence – all more evidence of the Tory agenda ultimately to privatise the NHS through the back door.

Let’s face it – no one ever really trusted Cameron’s promise to protect the NHS and the real terms cuts now being made are clear proof of his real intention.  Cameron and his incompetent Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, are determined to pursue a badly thought out NHS restructure which is costing £100s of millions in redundancy payments to doctors and bureaucrats who went on to get good jobs elsewhere, and at the same time their claimed ‘protection’ of NHS budgets is in reality a cut as inflation will mean that the cost of providing services will exceed budgets. 

So before everyone starts believing the Tory press rhetoric it’s worth remembering a few facts – under Labour 149 new hospitals were built, under Labour deaths from heart disease fell by 40% (that’s 180,000 lives saved), 99% of suspected cancer cases were seen within 2 weeks and began treatment within a month – saving 60,000 lives (a pledge scrapped by the Tory led Government) and significantly there are now 80,000 more nurses than there were under the last Tory Government.  And under the last Tory Government NHS waiting lists rose by 400,000, over 284,000 had been waiting for more than six months and nurses struggled to cope in crumbling buildings that hadn’t had investment for decades.

When the elections come round again it will be time to judge the Parties on record not rhetoric – so remember these facts because I’ll be amazed if Mr Cameron has genuinely discovered a heart and his actions match his words!

When will David Cameron do the honourable thing?

So, now it’s the turn of the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, John Yates, to resign. Last night, it was the Commissioner himself, Sir Paul Stephenson, and, on Friday, it was Murdoch’s senior colleagues, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton. Some of these were pushed and some jumped but this storm of resignations illustrates the seriousness with which the News of the World phone-hacking scandal is now being seen throughout the nation.

But, what about the Prime Minister’s position in all this? Andy Coulson resigned from his position as Editor of the News of the World in January 2007 after two journalists working for that paper were sent to prison for hacking into the voicemail of members of the Royal Family. Less than 6 months later, in July 2007, David Cameron gave him ” a second chance ” and appointed him to be the Conservative Party Communications Director and, after the General Election in May 2010, he appointed Andy Coulson to be the Director of Communications for the Prime Minister – a job that placed him at the very heart of the government machine. David Cameron made this appointment despite, as we now know, receiving advice from both senior members of the Liberal Democrat Party and the Editor of the Guardian newspaper that Coulson would eventually be found to be implicated to a much great degree than he had previously admitted in illegal activities at the News of the World

Sir Paul Stephenson made the point in his resignation speech that he sees no real difference between his own error of judgement in appointing a former senior executive from the News of the World to be his media advisor and what David Cameron did with Andy Coulson but that there are occasions when responsibility has to seen to be accepted by the most senior person in the organisation. In contrast, the Prime Minister has, so far, refused to even apologise for his decision. So, while the nation watches with astonishment as this scandal unfolds, the Prime Minister ducks and dives and refuses to even accept that he has made an error in judgement.

As Ed Miliband keeps saying ” the Prime Minister just doesn’t get it!”

I think you’ve got a bit too much time on your hands Dave!

As if we needed to see much more evidence of the shallowness of Tory Leader, David Cameron’s campaign, I’ve heard it all this morning after seeing a clip of his wife’s comments on ‘David – the real man!’

A few months ago our Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown got up and spoke of his passion for the Country, and his workaholic nature – because he believes in improving society for the good of everyone.

What was the best Mrs Cameron could come up with?  ‘He flicks the channels on the TV too much and he’s always playing with his Blackberry.’  So, whilst Dave Cameron is trying to decide whether to watch Coronation Street or Eastenders and checking whether one of his mates has sent him an email or not our Gordon Brown is tackling weighty issues such as investment in the NHS and securing Britain’s economic recovery.

What do you think?  Who would you trust?

Tories forced to reassess their chances as Cameron nowhere to be seen

As the dust settles on the magnificent victory by Labour’s Mustafa Desai in February’s Queen’s Park by-election there were glum faces amongst leading Tories, Michael Lee and Michael Law-Riding at the count.  Why could this be?

Sources close to the local Tory party have admitted that they had informed Conservative Party Central Office in London they were poised to win the seat. As a consequence, plans had been made for David Cameron to visit Blackburn on Election Day.  However, when by mid morning it became clear that their initial predictions had been a might over optimistic, a mad panic ensued as the visit was hastily called off and a chastened Mr Cameron was told to stay away.  In the end the Conservatives finished a poor third with only 15% of the vote.  In the supposed Tory stronghold of Guide it is believed that they received barely thirty votes.

The by-election results sent a clear message that the people of Blackburn are continuing to reject Cameron’s Tories.  Maybe Mr Law-Riding who previously thought that he had the Blackburn seat “sewn up” will be reassessing his chances after this disaster!