Some of you may be wondering how the Blog is voting on Thursday?
Here’s an extract from an article in today’s ‘Independent’ newspaper, I’ve edited it.
In fact, I’ve been publishing information about Lynton Crosby, the Tories Australian Election guru, since he was appointed 18 months ago.
You can read them on my other blog;
Which has charted the pressure on the NHS and the threat from privatisation for profit.
He’s been a lobbyist for private healthcare, which really isn’t much of a surprise;
A firm run by the Tories’ election chief, Lynton Crosby, devised a plan to lobby David Cameron to expand the role of private healthcare in the UK.
A strategy paper, drawn up by Mr Crosby’s firm CTF Partners and seen by The Independent, proposed targeting key government figures, including the Prime Minister, to enhance the “size, acceptability and profitability of the private healthcare market”. It also stated that “insufficient public funds” were a strategic “opportunity” for private healthcare firms. It added the campaign’s long-term strategy should be “achieving decision-maker recognition that health investment in the UK can only grow by expanding the role and contribution made by the private sector”.
Lynton Crosby, the Tories’ election strategist, the party has been attempting to narrow its focus to core issues Under Lynton Crosby, the Tories’ election strategist, the party has been attempting to narrow its focus to core issues (PA)
The emergence of the document, just four days before polling day, has been seized on by Labour as evidence of the links between the Conservatives, private healthcare firms and the man entrusted to secure an election victory for the Tories on Thursday.
CTF Partners’ website says Mr Crosby’s “intuitive sense of delivering the results that are needed” has been “finely honed through his many years of providing high-level advice to prime ministers, premiers, and leaders of business”.
“David Cameron has serious questions to answer,” Labour’s shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said. “It looks increasingly like Lynton Crosby’s lobbying firm led a drive to ensure private health companies were the big beneficiaries of David Cameron’s health policies.
“Cameron must now come clean on the impact of Lynton Crosby’s business interests on Tory policy.”
Extracts from Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners' document to help private health care providers Extracts from Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners' document to help private health care providers
The presentation is believed to have been made in the autumn of 2010 by CTF Partners to a group of large UK private healthcare providers called H5 Private Healthcare Alliance accounting for 80 per cent of the UK’s private hospitals and 85 per cent of all private beds.
Slides from the presentation show that CTF believed H5’s mission should be to ensure “better healthcare” through private hospitals “playing their part complementing the NHS”. It suggests H5 should act as a “campaign body” to “secure and grow private healthcare’s place in a growing UK health sector”. The document states H5 must “persuade politicians that this is achievable and sustainable”.
The presentation also included research by CTF into public attitudes towards private healthcare. This, it said, showed the public could be persuaded of the merits of private healthcare as long as it was not seen to be “anti NHS”.
“Our analysis of the research tells us the best arguments to use in positively positioning private healthcare against the NHS,” it states. It then lists short waiting lists, choice, access to the best professionals and high-quality care as among the attributes that the public associate with private healthcare.
Mr Crosby has faced accusations in the past that he could use his position as the Tories’ chief strategist to advance the interests of his firm’s other commercial clients. This has always been denied by Mr Crosby and CTF Partners. But with the future of the NHS a central part of the election campaign the Conservatives will be uncomfortable with the evidence that CTF had drawn up plans for H5 to lobby government on behalf of private healthcare companies.
It is not known what lobbying work, if any, CTF did for H5 after its presentation. The contract ended in June 2011.
The NHS is facing financial and organisational collapse after 5 years of ConDem coalition government.
The Tories promise of increasing spending on the NHS by up to £8 Billion in five years time is completely unfunded. The only place the money is coming from will be privatisation and the Private Finance Initiative.
The vote on Thursday is make or break.
Labour isn’t perfect, it’s certainly not the party I would want it to be but it’s the best alternative to the Tories we have.
I’m voting Labour.
(a don’t stop till you drop production)
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