What We Learned Last Week (17/11 – 23/11)

kamsandhu —  November 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

1) 71 Coalition MPs named and shamed for profiting from NHS sell-off

Unite the Union has published a list of 64 Tories and 7 Liberal Democrats who all profited from reform and plans to sell off our NHS.

“Named on the list of 71 Coalition MPs…are David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, along with former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley – proving that corruption played a huge part in the introduction of private firms into NHS work.”

How many of them declared this clear conflict of interest while voting for the Health and Social Care Act in 2012? None seems the most likely answer.

According to the Daily Mirror, “All 71 MPs named in the dossier voted in favour of the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Act in 2012, which opened up the NHS to more private firms.”

Mike Sivier, Vox Political

Read more about this story here.

2) 10,000 students march against fees and cuts

Around 10,000 students marched on 19th November in a protest for free education.

This was the largest mobilisation since the student demos of 2010 and it largely passed peacefully.

Paint was daubed on the NUS building after a withdrawal of support for the action:

‘We did not organise what happened at the NUS but we do know students are very angry about being let down by the NUS,’ said Beth Redmond from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, which was one of the groups that organised today’s demonstration. ‘When you see the numbers here today they are in danger of becoming an irrelevance.’

There were some scuffles with police, when at one point several hundred protestors pulled down metal fences to take over the space at Parliament Square.

ALL arrestees were released without charge.


“Aaron Kiely, from the Student Assembly Against Austerity and a member of the NUS national executive, said their message was very simple: a return to free education and an alternative to tuition fees.

“Students are really angry because we go to university and then at the end of it we get an average of £40,000-worth of debt. That puts you in a hell of a difficult position when you start to think about a mortgage and a family. We need an alternative.”

Organisers say this is the start of a wave of action before the General Election.

Read more about this story here.

3) Cameron warns of ‘looming crash’

David Cameron warned that the eurozone was facing a third recession during closing speeches at G20, as unemployment and staggered growth continue to halt economic improvements. Austerity has failed to measures the PM can no longer hide, it is not working and therefore further cuts would be propagating a lie –  we can take this as the confession.

Image: The Guardian

Image: The Guardian

“The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too,” Cameron writes. “Emerging market economies which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery are now slowing down. Despite the progress in Bali [trade talks in 2013], global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty.”

Read more about this story here.

4) Iain Duncan Smith laughs during panic room woman’s challenge against bedroom tax

An unnamed woman challenged the government on Wednesday after being hit by the bedroom tax on her ‘spare room’.

“The “spare room” that the government want to penalise her for having is a specially adapted “Panic Room”. It’s there to provide a safe space for her and her child if her abusive ex-partner – who has raped and assaulted her – tries to cause her further harm.”

Incredibly, IDS argued the case FOR the government and the tax to a hearing in June where he unsuccessfully asked for the case to be dismissed.

While the case was read out in detail by Ed Miliband, according to MP Fiona O’Donnell, IDS just laughed at the story.

Read more about this story here and here.

5) Occupy Democracy returns to Parliament Square

Protestors from Occupy Democracy returned to Parliament Square over the weekend to again demand democracy and more representative and participatory Parliament.

Image: Commondreams.org

Image: Commondreams.org

The website reads:

“Last month, we occupied Parliament Square peacefully for nine days. The Establishment responded with a strategy designed to have a chilling effect – over-policing and media silence. We remained peaceful and resolute in our determination to make our point, and to demand our right to protest and assemble. Our numbers grew and we kept on with our solutions-focused programme of debates, talks and entertainment. On the final night we agreed a provisional set of demands.”

Read more about this story here.






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