UK Newswire Archive
The Calais Olympic opening Day celebrations
Hi, yesterday, the 28.07.2012, saw the opening of Games without Borders in the French Port town of Calais. Here, only 21 miles from the English Coastline ( on clear days, you can see the white cliffs of Dover), life or, I should say, survive around 150 to 200 Migrants daily repressions by French and, when in the port area, English authorities. Yesterday, we had enough. So, we started the Calais Olympics. With around 60 Migrants, NO Border activist and other associations, we had a mix of Demonstration, Sport and Fun. Here a summary of the Day. At 13.30 was Food Distribution at the former French Customs house, afterwards assembly. At around 14.30, we started marching. First stop was the police station, where we was greeted by French Riot Police, CRS. They behaved and, after putting Stickers with the Names of two Migrants ( Ismael and Nurdin) who died not long ago under suspicious circumstances up, we continued our marsh to the Town Hall. There, a wedding was under way, so, the boys in blue hold us well in distance. After delivering our message, we then continued to a nearby Park. There, we had a couple of games, for example Badminton, Football and so on and a great 400 meter run. Some people had tee shirts with UKBA, CRS or PAF ( French Border Police) on and tried to stop the runners. After around one hour, we decided, to walk on. Back on the road, lots of plan less cops and we entered the centrum of Calais. And on we went, a noisy, leaf letting crowd in the middle of tourists and calaisians alike. It was great. Then, we arrived on the Tourist Beach. There, we swam a couple of rounds, watched from police on a boat. Every time, the police boat came nearer, Migrants hold in unison their hands up. What was the police thinking? That we swim to England? Who knows. Well, later we got Food, Soft drinks and Beer. The Day ended with nice Music, swimming and a lot of new friendships.
29-07-2012 11:03The Head of a voluntary association who was a key member of the Future NHS Forum during the government’s ‘pause’, colluded with a private healthcare lobby group to agree a message, promoting the benefits of competition in the Health and Social Care bill, a newly discovered document has revealed. When the government decided to take a ‘pause’ in response to the increasing resistance to the Health and Social Care bill being rushed through parliament, the Department of Health set up the NHS Future Forum to front the so-called ‘listening’ exercise. The participants in the forum, were made up of individuals from across the NHS spectrum, without private sector inclusion, however, a certain Sir Stephen Bubb, was appointed by David Cameron as chair of the group on choice and competition.
Sir Stephen Bubb is head of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), which had been campaigning for a bigger role for the voluntary sector in the public services, a key part of Conservative party’s ‘Big Society’, mantra. Mr Bubb, had according to the newly released book by Nicholas Timmins ‘Never Again?’ - been in touch with Andrew Lansley before the ‘pause’, to see what could be done to promote the idea of ‘voluntary sector providers in the reforms’
His appointment according to the Timmins book, was requested by Health minister Simon Burns, who asked him to ‘chair the competition work group.’ The eventual clearance for his position came from No10, which was presumed to be by David Cameron. His appointment was canny, because the private sector were unable to get into the forum as members and Mr Bubb’s role for increasing the voluntary sector’s involvement in the ‘choice’ process, crossed over with the same desire’s of the private sector. However, if Sir Stephen Bubb thinks the voluntary sector will have the same chance as the private sector he is severely misguided. His involvement as pro-competition spokesman did indeed go far beyond the voluntary sector he represented. The newly discovered document handed to Social investigations, reveals his collusion with the director of the trade and lobby group of mostly private companies, the NHS Partners Network, which took the form of an agreed set of tactics.
The document titled: NHS Partners' Network: Director's update on the NHS Reforms was produced on the 20th May 2011, just as the ‘listening exercise’ was coming to a close, bringing together the various lobbying processes that had taken place for the members eyes only. Under the title ‘in terms of direct discussion’, David Worskett the director of the network informs us of how, early on in the pause, he had one ‘lengthy’ discussion with Sir Stephen Bubb at which ‘we agreed on the approach he would take, what the key issues are, and how to handle the politics.’ He has, he concluded, ‘not deviated from this for a moment throughout the period.’ The listening exercise it seems was fully underway.
This damning statement, confirms what Mr Worskett said, as revealed in Mr Timmins book that ‘throughout the forums deliberations, Bubb was “our only real route in”. He “fought valiantly to ensure that an element of competition remained in the system”, resulting in what David Worskett saw as a “pretty pro competition…and that was mostly, though not entirely down to Steve Bubb.”
Indeed, not only did Mr Worskett get through to Mr Bubb, but so too did other members of the network. According to the second bullet point of direct discussions, ‘a number of members secured individual meetings with him, thus reinforcing and validating the messages.’ Not content with this, a second ‘lengthy meeting took place in May 2011, a week before the network document was written, which took place under the ‘auspices of "Reform"’, the right-wing think tank, according to the update. The discussion involved other ‘all like-minded’ people and included ‘David Bennett’, the chair of Monitor, the industry regulator, who he claimed had also ‘consistently taken ‘the same line throughout.’
His ability to get the message across was appreciated by Mr Worskett who concluded: ‘…the arguments in favour of choice, competition, plurality and economic regulation put forward by the small handful of like-minded members ably led by Sir Stephen Bubb have often carried the day and won more support than we might have expected.’ By all accounts the lobby group have achieved what they said they had in their 2010/11 Annual Summary, which stated: 'Following the UK general election 2010, our main areas of activity have included: influencing the development of the NHS reforms.'
The NHS Partners Network have not finished there, having recently submitted their paper in a review set up by Andrew Lansley to look into whether healthcare providers are able to fully participate in providing NHS services.
In their submission, the partner network complained that local NHS organisations are using ‘local or known organisations, rather than considering the opportunity to develop new relationships’, and that the’ structure and decision making systems are not inclusive of all providers on an equal basis.’
Heading the review is David Bennett, who attended the ‘lengthy’ meeting of 'like-minded' people, with Sir Stephen Bubb. Mr Bennett has previously and predominantly worked for global consultancy company Mckinsey & Co as a director, and without any previous experience in government, became the Chief policy Officer to Tony Blair. McKinsey & Co, were responsible for many proposals drawn up in the health and Social Care bill and despite leaving the company 8 years ago, his communication with the company hasn’t stopped.
Researcher of Green Benches blog Dr Éoin Clarke, obtained letters between Mr Bennett and Nicholaus Henke of McKinsey & Co, using the Freedom of Information Act. The correspondence revealed a cosy discussion between McKinsey & Co and the Department of Health (DoH) suggesting an informal meeting to discuss the passage and implementation of the NHS bill. In addition, Mr Bennett felt it perfectly acceptable to receive hospitality from McKinsey & Co in June 2011, just after the listening exercise had finished, where he flew business class to New York, stayed at a five-star hotel and attended a lavish banquet. Not very becoming of the head of a regulatory body of our NHS.
Naturally, the government and their apparatchiks will dismiss any consideration of bias under the marketing speak of ‘promoting the ‘interests of patients’, and ‘choice.’ However, one quote made by David Bennett in an interview with the Times and highlighted in Nicholas Timmins explosive book reveals just how bias the head of the ‘independent’ review will be. “We did it in gas, we did it in power, we did it in telecoms. We’ve done it in rails; we’ve done it in water. So there is actually 20 years experience of taking monopolistic markets and providers and exposing them to economic regulation.”
Of course this could read, there has been 20 years of handing over public resources into private hands raising the cost of living for the consumer and increasing subsidisation for the taxpayer, it just depends if you see the world through ideologue or economic fact. Indeed Mr Bennett was involved in the process that led to the decision process to set 49% of hospital income from private sources. How can a man with such clear bias be the head of Monitor, and a review process which will be making changes that will place private companies on an ‘equal’ footing with other NHS providers. The answer is it won’t, and his position as head of Monitor is just another piece in the jigsaw of handing the NHS over to private companies, one which Stephen Bubb has played a key role.
Do you think Stephen Bubb and David Bennett resign?
Note to editors: The NHS Partners Network membership largely consists of private healthcare companies, who are well connected to our parliamentarians. Six of their members have direct financial links to MPs, former MPs, and Lords providing a well-connected source to parliament. These include Circle who have Conservative MP Mark Simmonds on their team as a strategic advisor, who also acts as Vice Chair on the Associate Health Group. Care UK, whose Chairman John Nash donated £21,000 to run Andrew Lansley’s office when he was shadow health secretary, and Barchester Health, who have Baroness Ford as their chairman and Mike Parsons as their Chief Executive, who was voted the 2nd most influential person in healthcare by the influential healthcare magazine ‘HealthInvestor’ members in their top 'Power Fifty' awards. For a full list of our parliamentarians connections to private healthcare: http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/nhs-privatisation-compilation-of.html
29-07-2012 10:07Smash EDO Press Release
4:PM Friday 27 July 2012
Contact: Andrew Beckett or Sam Hayward - 07526557436
Smash EDO website: http://www.smashedo.org.uk
CASE NAME: R-v-Nero and Pidwell
VENUE: Brighton Magistrates Court, Edward Street, Brighton
DATE: 31 July 2012 – 2 August 2012
Some people from Autonomous Nottingham attended the Lincoln Underground Collective skill share today. About 25 people turned up for an afternoon of discussions and presentations on anarchism, antifascism, alternative education and community organising. Well done to LUC for putting on a great day!
The afternoon started with an introduction to anarchist theory and practice given by a local member of the Anarchist Federation. This included a discussion about workfare, something that LUC are currently campaigning on. Given the broad range of people present, including socialists and other non-anarchists, some discussion was had around the usefulness or otherwise of standing in elections. This was particularly relevant to opposing fascists, such as the English Democrats who are standing a candidate in Lincoln at an upcoming byelection.
That moved us along nicely to the next subject of antifascism. A member of LUC sporting an Antifa shirt gave a good introduction to militant antifascism and why anarchists think fascism must be confronted ideologically to counter recruitment in working class areas but also physically to stop them gaining a presence on the streets. The rise of fascism in European countries such as Greece and Hungary was mentioned and that, although fascist groups are not very strong here, they are still a threat because mainstream parties take on their policies to avoid losing votes.
We had a break for a great homemade vegan food and some good conversations. People played on the community gamelan and checked out the stalls as well as one of the LUC's amazing artwork.
After the break we heard from a member of the Social Science Centre, a not-for-profit cooperative univerisity where all classes are participative and collaborative, a response to the ever more ludicrous university system that students now have to pay £9,000 a year to be trained up for capitalist work in.
This was followed by a talk by us on what Autonomous Nottingham have been up to, what's worked and what hasn't and what we've learnt about community organising. We invited people to share their own experiences of community organising and discussed ways that we could collaborate with Lincoln people in the future.
The final 20 min was set aside for us all to share our reflections on the day. It was great to meet up with people from Lincoln and discuss our politics and ideas for action together and make the vital links we need to sustain our movements and resistance. I look forward to meeting you all again in the future!
28-07-2012 19:22A few hundred people marched from one park in the east end to another park in the east end.
28-07-2012 18:12PLOs are intellegence gatherers, as well as there to disrupt/pacify demos. They were allowed to mingle on the Olympic demo. We need to make sure this doesnt happen again
28-07-2012 06:55“Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas:
Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López”
Today, with urgency, we are called upon to mobilize, with our whole being, solidarity and support for our Zapatista sisters and brothers of the community in resistance of San Marcos Avilés
Between thirty and fifty people were arrested today en-masse as a result of their participation in the traditional monthly critical mass.
The helicopter was already tracing circles above Waterloo Bridge at 6.30pm. The mass left the meeting point earlier than the usual 7.30pm. A van with police inside was emitting some unintelligible words and there were police on bikes, too, something unseen in years now, even since the House of Lords decided that the mass was indeed not a protest.
Some people crossed Blackfriars Bridge, some others Southwark Bridge. London Bridge was blocked by police to traffic when the Critical Mass arrived there. A police officer said to all there: “Guess what's waiting for you on Tower Bridge!” There were some scuffles and what looked like an arrest. A small portion of the mass sneaked through the line on the pavement, which was then joined by the rest in the City.
The mass then proceeded without major incidents until Rick Roberts Way. All riders that had reached thispoint were kettled under section 12 of the "Public Order Act", for disobeying the order apparently given by police to stay South of the river, and about an hour later, arrested, taken to a police station in Central London in a bus hired by police, and have their bikes put on another bus.
27-07-2012 20:28Following the recent leak of documents and internal emails between HLS/LSR Associates and their customers in March 2012. The campaign has been contacted by one of the newly exposed REACH customers - Nalco - after protests against them in the UK and the USA.
This letter was written by a friend of Osman Rasul Mohammed, an Iraqi Kurdish asylum seeker who plunged to his death from a seven storey towerblock in Nottingham two years ago. He had spent nearly ten years fighting for asylum after repeated refusals of his claim. Denied the right to work or access state benefits, he was living on the street off £20 a month and food parcels supplied by a charity.
To Osman Rasul Mohammed
Today is two years since you died Osman. Today is two years you have not been with us anymore. It is strange to see that when supposedly you jumped from a 7th floor building, how many newspapers and organizations reported and spoke about your death. Today two years later, no one seems to speak about you anymore. It might be that they do not care about you anymore. You are no news for the newspapers or organisations. Because you are already dead.
I am here to give you a voice. To speak loudly to others about what happened to you because I do want your death to value for something. I want your death to be useful for others. You died after almost 10 years waiting to become legal in this country. You died in the most horrible way no one could really face.
On the 25 July 2010, at more or less 5pm, you went up to a building on the 7th floor and after two hours, you died. The first report was that you had killed yourself. And the final inquest said that it was not clear if you had jumped or it had been an accident. A witness had claimed that she saw you trying to hold into something when you were falling.
In this inquest, it came out that since the first moment you were in that building, you had a group of people shouting at you from the street to jump down. It seems that this group of people shouted at you for most of the two hours.
The final result from the inquest said that it was not clear if you died by accident or intentionally but it was a pity that this group of people had not been arrested for wanting you to die.
I am not the person to decide what this group of people should face. But I tell you something Osman, even if your death is not news anymore, I still remember you and I still remember your struggle for being able to have a decent life in the UK. The people responsible for your death are not the people who shouted at you but the those who declined you an opportunity to provide you with a life in the UK in the first place. I wish you were here with all of us.
You were from Kurdistan/Iraq and you were so scared of being deported back! You were so scared of what your life had become. I still remember you telling me about your fears of a possible deportation and how you spoke to me about the future you were expecting to have with your two children and now, all your dreams are gone. You were telling me about your fears and dreams just 24 hours before you died. When you died you were just 27 years old. So young.
Today after two years of your death I still remember you. And I want others to remember you and to make sure that no one forgets the struggle people like you go through.
To you Osman and to all the people who are in the same struggle you were in. Because I do hope your death teaches us something and it is not just a sensationalist news story when someone dies.