Archive for February, 2010

Stafford hospital

February 27, 2010

Having just read the Lib Dem health manifesto, and believing it to be barely distinguishable from the ramblings of the other parties, I am amazed at the facile analysis offered and the hopelessly misbegotten solutions proffered.

Tonight we have news of the disaster at Stafford Hospital for which the blame is being attributed to management. Of course the politicians will blame management but who set the targets and strategy that management was following?

The brutal, amoral, market-orientated, alien, managerialist intrusions into healthcare originate from both Conservative and Labour governments – starting with Fundholding, going on to commissioning, ISTCs, PFIs and the whole train wreck of ‘reform’, ‘choice’, ‘contestability’, PBR etc.

Buying and selling the sick and injured for profit is profoundly uncivilised, even barbarian. Every pound of ‘saving’ or profit is a pound that parliament voted from tax to be spent on patients which is wasted.

Until this homicidal ideological lunacy is confronted and terminated there will be more Staffords.

The NHS is a vital service. It is not and never can be a business. None of the conventional parties have a clue about effective reform because none shows evidence of understanding the nature of healthcare.


Let’s rain on Ashcroft’s parade!

February 27, 2010

The Independent reports today on the extent of Ashcroft’s interference in British democracy. In some constituencies, it is reported, electors receive DVDs of the local Conservative candidate, carpet bombing with billboards and leaflets and legions of staff for the offices.

This behaviour is alarmingly similar to that which we see in the USA.

Perhaps we should stop calling them marginal seats and restore the old term ‘rotten boroughs’. The Great Reform Act is being buried in a landslide of cash.

There has been talk of reform but nothing has happened. There has been talk of determining Ashcroft’s tax status but nothing has happened. This is a very mucky corner of politics and another target for independents to concentrate their fire on.

What a glorious irony it will be when some northern peasant, out of his owns means, pulls a safe seat out from under the Conservatives. Let’s rain on Ascroft’s parade!

The team more than doubles in size!

February 27, 2010

Our entire collection of cups and mugs was in action this afternoon – it has never happened before and the dishwasher is currently handling the first load.

At this extended campaign meeting we had an audio visual presentation on campaigning techniques, role playing for the door step, SWOT analysis of the conventional parties, Q&A session, brainstorming of some ideas for implementation, discussion of recent developments and then a general milling about and chatting.

Our campaign team now includes the initial group of volunteers, IT gurus, four interns (final year politics students – and another to come), meetings facilitators, a dedicated badge manufacturing facility, newsletter recipients, experienced political campaigners, lecturers – tout le monde!

In the background we have advisors on economics, Europe, green issues, education, NHS etc. – all very highly experienced and senior in their fields.

Blog hits have doubled in the last two weeks and a steady stream of responses is developing.

Confidence and enthusiasm is at a very high level.

Conservative cuts – there’s a whole generation that cannot remember!

February 26, 2010

Have a look at this site:

There’s a whole new generation of voters that cannot remember what a ghastly experience the last period of Conservative government was.

According to the above site the currently planned Conservative cuts will be even more severe than under Thatcher.

Lots of useful information about Independents.

February 26, 2010

Have a look through these web resources. There’s something for everybody.

Meet Martin Bell
The former Independent MP is undertaking a national book tour

New Website for Independent
The IN launched its new website in February for everyone interested in non-party politics

A Picture of Independents
Photographer requires independent candidates for future exhibitions

Independent Network becomes a Third Party
The IN registers as a third party with the Electoral Commission

Hansard Society Debates the Effectiveness of Independent MPs
Free debate in Parliament on 16th March featuring Dr Taylor MP and endorsed independent candidate Diane Park (Halifax)

Indie Candidates Go Blogging
Popular blogger requires information to profile independent candidates on his site

Free Book on British Democracy Avaliable to Download
X Marks the Box by Daniel Blythe avaliable to download until 3rd March

Pressing Action for Independent Candidates
IN endorsed independent candidates and Executive members on the BBC

Videos and Resources Now Avaliable from Birmingham Workshop
Download materials and watch videos from IN’s Birmingham workshop last month.

Another great meeting!

February 26, 2010

Last night my wife and I attended another very successful meeting in the constituency. Great company, wide ranging questions and excellent food.

People from all three parties are coming round to the Independent way of thinking and the numbers of people signing up to take part in the campaign is growing daily. This fits with recent polls showing the Conservative support evaporating briskly, Labour tottering along gamely and the Lib Dems doing their customary ‘best in the circumstances’.

Independents are the future of democracy!

Conservative humour!

February 26, 2010

A vastly amusing Conservative leaflet has arrived, stating unequivocally – “2010 – A YEAR FOR CHANGE IN HEXHAM.” I really could not have put it any more clearly myself, given that the Conservatives have been squatting on this constituency for almost a century – change is vastly overdue and coming!

The remainder of the leaflet is made up of a ‘Mom and apple pie’ spoof survey.

The letter concludes: “Remember – You have a real chance to vote for change at this coming election.” Readers can be reassured that, by email, I have already recommended that he doesn’t give up the day job yet.


February 25, 2010

Let’s all Twitter furiously!

ElectStevenFord is where my contributions are to be found. This is the mechanism that did so much good for Obama, especially amongst the first time and younger voters. Do become a follower at the earliest opportunity and spread the word amongst all your contacts.