Media Savvy

Who’s been saying what..?

It is offensive to see people criminalised and imprisoned for using stimulants many politicians admit to having used, especially when countless experts and ceaseless inquiries found drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy less harmful than alcohol. It is one more reason for the disconnect between politicians and the people who put them in power.

Ian Birrell, Guardian, 19 February 


The horror story of cruelty and neglect in Mid Staffs arrives as a ready-made justification for this government’s fragmentation of the NHS. You don’t need much political nous to detect Jeremy Hunt and his press softening up the public for the idea that the private sector now taking over many NHS contracts will better prevent such outrages in future.

Polly Toynbee, Guardian, 7 February


For far too long the [health service] debate in England has been comically simplistic. Tony Blair framed the argument during his second term in power as ‘reform versus anti-reform’, as if there were only one available change to the NHS – the one that he happened to advocate. David Cameron copied precisely the same language in justifying his current upheaval.

Steve Richards, Independent, 6 February


Some MPs and lords have had their offices funded by healthcare companies, some have been paid thousands to attend speaking engagements on behalf of firms that are now bidding for NHS business. Parliamentarians have been allowed to vote on reforms that they stand to benefit from, astonishingly an action that is permissible at national level but unlawful within local councils… For now our health service is in the hands of Tory Jeremy Hunt, a man who co-authored a 2005 book backing a ‘denationalised NHS’, and the outlook is horribly Orwellian and bleak.

Sonia Poulton, Sunday Express, 17 February


For some, lifelong methadone is necessary, for others, methadone in combination with rehabilitation and recovery in its many formats should be available and should be treated with the expertise and dignity offered with all other health and care interventions.

Roy Robertson, Guardian, 20 February


The constant cry from Labour, the public sector unions, local authorities and many commentators is that the cold-hearted Coalition is engaged in a ‘slash and burn’ policy that will end in the wholesale destruction of the welfare state…The truth is that this is utter nonsense. In fact, Britain’s monstrously swollen state still devours almost half the nation’s output.

Alex Brummer, Daily Mail, 25 February


Now here’s something to warm the heart. A bunch of medics from Liverpool have set up an organisation called ‘Street Doctors’, where they go out and teach gang members how to staunch and sew up stab wounds. The obvious downside to this pioneering initiative is that we will probably, as a consequence, be left with more living gang members than would otherwise have been the case. They do not seem to have thought about that.

Rod Liddle, Spectator, 12 February


Payment by results does not reward organisations for supporting people to achieve what they need; it rewards organisations for producing data about targets; it rewards organisations for the fictions their staff are able to invent about what they have achieved; it pays people for porkies.

Toby Lowe, Guardian, 1 February