29th July 2015


We were fed lies about the violence at Orgreave. Now we need the truth

This pivotal event in the miners’ strike led to a police cover-up. Only an inquiry can correct history and repair broken trust

It was a brutal police operation that defined an era – and, three decades later, many questions are still unanswered. On Tuesday the home secretary, Theresa May, met veterans of the 1984-5 miners’ strike who took part in the desperate, losing fight to save their jobs and industry from closure, to discuss the events that took place in a field at the Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham on 18 June 1984, and the aftermath.

May, who has said she will consider their request for a public inquiry, is said to have been sympathetic to the former miners Arthur Critchlow and Kevin Horne, who described Orgreave’s crushing impact on them and their communities.

On that day in 1984, 8,000 miners who went to picket lorry drivers supplying coke to the steel industry were met by 6,000 police officers drawn from all over the country, commanded by South Yorkshire police. The force included 42 officers on horseback and the first units with short shields and truncheons ever used in Britain. Their official purpose, stated in the police’s tactical manual, was to “incapacitate” demonstrators.

The news footage beamed into the nation’s homes that night is itself central to the continuing dispute. The BBC showed miners throwing stones and other missiles at the police, followed by mounted officers charging into them, and then officers chasing miners, some clearly being hit over the head with truncheons.

The miners always said the police had brutally attacked them without justifiable provocation, and that the attack felt preplanned. They complained that the BBC had reversed footage, to show miners who threw missiles seemingly before the police charge rather than in retaliation for it. That night the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was determined to defeat the strike, and with it the power of the National Union of Mineworkers, made it clear she believed in the police. This was, she famously said, “mob rule” by the miners.

Far less publicised, a year later, was the unravelling of the police case. Officers had arrested and charged 95 miners with riot, an offence of collective violence carrying a potential life sentence. Yet in July 1985 the prosecution withdrew and all the miners were were acquitted after the evidence of some police officers, including those in command, had been discredited under cross-examination.

In 1991 South Yorkshire police paid £425,000 compensation to 39 miners who had sued the force for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution. But still the police did not admit any fault, and not a single police officer was ever disciplined or prosecuted.

In 2012, after reporting by the Guardian and a BBC documentary that showed that dozens of police officers’ statements had identical opening paragraphs setting out the scene of a riot, South Yorkshire police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for possible misconduct.

The IPCC took two and a half years to read the available paperwork – which did not include any documents relating to the planning of the operation, as South Yorkshire police said they had not found any. Owing to the passage of time, the IPCC decided it would not mount a formal investigation. But in its report, finally published last month, the IPCC found “support for the allegation” that three senior police officers in command at Orgreave had “made up an untrue account exaggerating the degree of violence (in particular missile throwing)” from miners to justify their use of force and the charges of riot. The report said one of these most senior officers had his statement typed and witnessed by another officer who led a team of detectives which, the IPCC said, dictated those identical opening paragraphs of junior officers’ statements.The report says the BBC had indeed reversed footage in its news broadcast that night, an accusation the BBC has never officially accepted.

Explosively, the IPCC revealed for the first time that South Yorkshire police, when contemplating the civil claims, recognised there had been some excessive violence by officers and perjury in the trial that followed, but covered it up. The force settled the claims, the IPCC stated, “very much prompted” by senior officers’ knowledge of this misconduct.

Three decades on, former miners and their supporters in the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign believe they have been vindicated, but feel frustrated by the IPCC’s decision not to formally investigate. The call for a public inquiry, or a Hillsborough-style disclosure of all police documents to an independent panel, is backed by dozens of Labour MPs, including party the leadership frontrunners Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

May faces a difficult decision, of course, in confronting the established police narrative, which many in her own party still believe. But the campaign has already found her more receptive than might have been assumed of a Conservative home secretary. In her support for several new inquiries, the new Hillsborough inquests and criminal investigations, and a starkly challenging speech last year to the Police Federation, May has consistently been intolerant of police malpractice.

And there are wider reasons for her to set up a public inquiry or an independent panel to review the evidence. Police in many mining communities remain widely and deeply distrusted, which the acknowledgement of lingering injustice could help to reconcile, locally and nationally. More broadly, Orgreave was a landmark event in British history, pivotal not only to the ultimate defeat of the miners’ strike, but to the closure of the mines and other major industries that followed, and it is important the nation knows the truth.

Most basically, the police, who have the vital and difficult job of upholding the law, stand accused of grave criminal acts, and it is hard to justify their being tolerated just because time has passed. If May rejects an inquiry, she risks in effect sanctioning the years of lies, and sending the message she has set her tenure against: that cover-ups do work, if the lid can be kept on them for long enough.

29th July 2015


Budget 2015: Con-servative George Osborne isn’t fooling anyone – he’s quashed the aspirations of millions

The “living wage” is nowhere near as good as it seems – and the real winners today were big business and the wealthy

Nothing is as good as it seems with Con-servative Chancellor George Osborne.

The “living wage” of £7.20 an hour from next year is below the £7.85 rate outside London that experts calculate is needed now to survive.

The £9 by 2020 is less than the £9.15 needed now in London because of higher rents and other costs.

And the level is based on workers receiving the tax credits and other benefits the Treasury axeman is cutting.

The astute Resolution Foundation reckoned that £9.15 needs to soar to £11.65 when in-work social security payments are withdrawn.

So Osborne giving with one hand and taking with the other is an old Treasury trick.

I repeatedly criticised Labour’s target of the hiking the minimum wage to “at least” £8 by 2019 as pathetic but tax credits would make it worth more than that. Osborne’s £9 would be devalued.

Chairman Osborne and his Maoist two-kids policy – unless your rich – is a Budget that will crumble over the next few hours and days once the real detail is found in Treasury documents.

The big winners are companies on state benefits who’ll pocket another 2% corporation tax cut.

HSBC, a bank tarnished by tax avoidance, is licking its lips at a profitable tax gift.

Osborne’s quashed the aspirations of millions of nurses, teachers, council workers, police officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces by limiting pay rises to just 1% every year.

Scrapped maintenance grants for students from the poorest families weren’t “unfair”, as Osborne ludicrously claimed, but an aspiration ladder. A “problem” only the eyes of a wealthy Tory could see.

Grab a grant and win an inheritance tax cut is the indecent Tory politics of a Two Nation Chancellor.

And then there there is that freeze and cuts to in-work benefits – the £30-billion that puts food on the table and pays the electricity bills.

The idiocy of Osborne claiming Namibia’s roads are better than Britain’s exposed the shallowness of this Budget.

Rebranding failure on economic growth, deficit reduction and mounting debt is for the criminally gullible.

29th July 2015


Anti-corruption campaigners furious as Government considers softening Bribery Act

Businesses claim the law makes it difficult for British firms to export goods

The Government is reviewing the Bribery Act after business leaders claimed it was making it difficult for British firms to export goods.

The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, is inviting companies to comment on whether the tough anti-corruption measures are “a problem”.

Critics fear it is a way of weakening the law at a time when the Government should be clamping down on existing loopholes, and supporters of the Act say they are surprised by the move.

They warn that any attempt to water down the Act will seriously damage the UK’s credibility on corruption. They also claim it is undermining David Cameron’s tough personal anti-bribery message, which he reinforced during his visit to South-east Asia to drum up business for Britain.

Letters sent by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) invite industry leaders to comment on whether the Act has had an impact on their attempts to export. They also ask if guidance issued to help business people avoid problems under the Act is useful and for suggestions to clarify the information. BIS officials said the guidance that accompanies the Act, rather than the law itself, was the main focus.

Following widespread international criticism of the UK’s failure to reform its ineffective anti-bribery laws, the Act was regarded as one of the most controversial laws passed by the last government.

The Coalition boasted it was the world’s “toughest” anti-corruption law. But the Confederation of British Industry led fierce criticism of the Bill and argued it would restrict economic growth.

Opponents continued to lobby against aspects of it after it passed into law in 2011. They claim UK law goes “above and beyond international standards” and puts British business at a disadvantage against their competitors.

Critics say US anti-bribery law does not make facilitation payments – cash or goods paid to a foreign government official to perform or speed up their duties – illegal.

They say ambiguity about what constitutes improper hospitality threatens to embroil unsuspecting businessmen in corruption investigations.

However, the OECD called on Britain to tighten its guidelines, which it said created loopholes for corruption and bribery to go unchecked.

The Bond group, a coalition of anti-corruption campaign groups, said the Government urgently needed to consult more widely. It was also concerned about any relaxation of the law regarding facilitation payments.

“These payments are illegal in most countries. To make it legal for UK companies to pay would undermine the law in those countries as well as global efforts to eradicate corruption,” a spokesman said.

“Consulting the business community in this way sends entirely the wrong message. as to the government’s commitment to uphold the Bribery Act and any weakening of the guidance, such as exemptions for facilitation payments, will seriously damage the UK’s credibility.”

Accountant BDO claimed last year that some firms find it difficult to export because of the Act. It called for a government review and a fresh set of guidelines and recommendations “clarifying the purpose, intent and scope of the Act”.

“The UK is rightly leading the charge against global corruption, which is morally wrong and distorts markets. However, the unintended consequences of the Act can limit mid-sized businesses’ international expansion,” it added.

But the anti-corruption campaigner Transparency International said that corporate lobbying appeared to be the basis for the review rather than evidence. It said that 89 per cent of companies surveyed in the Government’s own research, released earlier this month, reported that the Act (left) had no impact on their ability to export.

The activists point out that no one has yet been prosecuted for facilitation payments in the UK and that there is a low risk of prosecution.

The Serious Fraud Office said it adopted a “proportionate” approach and would only prosecute where they say there was evidence of a systematic policy by companies rather than a one-off payment. The SFO’s budget is also under pressure from government cuts.

A Transparency International report noted: “Paying small bribes feeds a culture of corruption which creates an unstable operating environment for companies. Small bribes are part of a cycle of bribery that corrodes public and business standards and provides a climate for much larger public sector bribery and state theft.”

But Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, welcomed the review.

“Bribery is morally and legally wrong and businesses have been supportive of the principles of the Act. With the majority of other countries’ rules more flexible than the UK’s, some businesses are being put at a competitive disadvantage when operating in global markets,” he said.

“That’s why we are pleased that the Government has decided to review the impact of the Act, which we’ve long been calling for. It should focus on how to tackle corruption while protecting the UK’s competitiveness.”

Bribery: The act

The 2010 Bribery Act made it an offence to bribe and be bribed – and includes a specific ban on bribing foreign officials. It also  made it a crime if a business fails to prevent bribery on  its behalf.

The offences carry 10-year maximum prison sentences. Those convicted face their assets being confiscated and disqualification if they are directors. The Act encompasses any person or company with links to the UK, irrespective of where the crime occurs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) criticised the guidance for the Act for effectively allowing companies to escape liability by outsourcing bribery to subsidiaries or subcontractors. The guidance said companies that only indirectly benefit from bribery are unlikely to be held culpable.

The OECD was also critical of the guidance for providing high-risk examples of “acceptable” hospitality.

For instance, the guidance suggested that providing flights, accommodation  and reasonable hospitality for a foreign official  and their spouse to  visit New York to meet senior UK executives  would be unlikely to breach the law.  The OECD described this scenario as “an unadvisable, high-risk activity under almost all circumstances”.

The guidance, the OECD concluded, “creates some significant exemptions that directly contradict the spirit of the Act”.

The Serious Fraud Office says bribes are often disguised as legitimate business expenditure, including corporate hospitality, and says it will prosecute in the public interest.

29th July 2015


I Dislike Jeremy Hunt Because…

I dislike Jeremy Hunt for many reasons. I dislike him because of his scandal(s) as culture secretary and his rather close involvement with BSkyB. I dislike him due to the donations his constituency office received from a man with multi-million healthcare investments. I dislike him because of his involvement in the expenses scandal which lead to him having to pay back approximately £10,000 of taxpayers’ money, which was interestingly only half of what he owed – after all his net worth is only £4.5million, that £10,000 is more important to him that it is to the rest of the country. I dislike him because he claimed that hooliganism played a part in the death of the 96 at the Hillsborough disaster. I dislike him because he avoids tax in a way that the average man cannot. But more than anything, I dislike Jeremy Hunt because he is an out of touch, arrogant, patronising dickhead.

He recently outlined his vision for the NHS over the next twenty five years. This was followed by a petition calling for him to resign or be removed from his post. If I gave the biggest speech of my career and the next day everyone thought I should quit I would be a bit concerned. But not Jeremy. Because Jeremy knows best. How does he know so much about healthcare I hear you ask…? Well of course he spent years accruing debt whilst training. He studied hard and spent time out on placement. He wrote papers and passed exams. After five years of this when people thought he was at the end of his training he then got going with the actual hard work. He worked 45 hour weeks with on call in addition. He paid hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds out on registration fees, union fees and equipment. He swapped jobs every few months working wherever he was sent in order to get a fully rounded learning experience. Of course during this he took some more exams. Which he paid for himself. After many years of hard work and sacrifice he managed to settle down a bit and took on a permanent position, which of course comes with a high level of accountability but appears to pay well. Although the pay doesn’t really take into consideration all the extra hours worked but he enjoys his work and he understands the importance of what he does so you don’t tend to hear Jeremy moaning. So yes, that’s how Jeremy Hunt became Secretary of State for Health… Oh, no wait a minute. I’ve got this terribly confused. That isn’t how he did it at all. I must be getting him confused with some other people. They probably aren’t important. Jeremy got the job as Secretary of State for Health by getting fired as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. A much more simple route into a job. It certainly saves all that learning business. Knowledge and experience is overrated anyway.

So let’s have a look at the speech that caused the NHS to turn on him and start #imatworkjeremy and #weneedtotalkaboutjeremy trending on Twitter. There is of course not enough time in the day to tear it apart completely so I will just pick a few bits of nonsense to focus on. And if there is enough time I may even mention the bit I agree with!

There is a great soundbite in the speech where Jeremy says he is offering “more transparency for fewer targets” but then fails to be transparent enough to name any of the targets he will be getting rid of. Which is interesting as the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition brought in many new targets whilst in power – A&Es for instance were measured against eight quality indicators after the 2010 election rather just one target before. And we all know from the news how A&E departments are coping in the last couple of years. Those new targets must have made it so much easier to care for patients. “Oi, stop wasting time looking after that old lady. We have eight targets to meet now and none of them are about being caring for poorly people. Do something more focused on meeting the targets; how about taking the batteries out of all the clocks? That might help.” One of the indicators was looking at limiting the amount of people who left without being seen, regardless of what they attended with. I would have thought it might be fair to say that those people who were able to get up and leave an A&E department because they didn’t want to wait probably didn’t need to be there in the first place? Apparently not.

Jeremy talks a lot about seven day working in his speech. He seems to think that this is a new concept that nobody has thought about. He must be strolling around feeling rather proud of himself. Well I have news for you Mr Hunt… we already work weekends. Hospitals are open, with doctors and nurses and physiotherapists and radiographers (someone may need to help Mr Gove on this one) and healthcare assistants and cleaners and the list goes on and on. Sure the same service isn’t maintained at all times. Yes there is room for improvement, reducing waste and increasing productivity. But talking the NHS down just so you can try and make it look like you have improved it in a couple of years is not on. As for banning consultants opting out of weekend working this really is addressing a problem that isn’t there. So far in the 13 trusts who have responded to a freedom of information act request about this it has been shown that just one consultant out of 3755 has opted out. The image of the overpaid, underworked consultant skipping out of the hospital at 5pm on a Friday afternoon is farcical. I imagine Jeremy thinks hospitals are shut for a paid summer break too.

Jeremy likes to talk about people who die after being admitted at a weekend. What he doesn’t like to talk about is that funnily enough there are more emergency admissions over a weekend whilst during the week there is a higher rate of routine hospital admissions. So the evidence should actually read “more chance of dying if admitted with more serious condition.” He also doesn’t mention that once patients in hospital they are actually more likely to die on a weekday than a weekend.

Jeremy’s speech says that electronic health records will be seamlessly available in every setting within five years. Great. Except is he aware that hospitals are already choosing and using their own software already. And all of them seem to be different or at least the same program working in a different way. There is no seamless link between hospitals so patients are transferred with reams of print outs and photocopies. In fact in some hospitals the electronic records from one department aren’t available in another. Not to mention the hospitals who have almost nothing electronic yet. It’s a great idea but the current disjointed system is not at all ready.

Now one of my favourite parts of the speech is where he talks about myNHS. This is the website where anyone can head to in order to find out information about their GP or maybe a local surgeon. It publishes data with little context making it tricky to understand. You can judge a GP practice whilst knowing nothing about the area it covers or judge a surgeon whilst knowing nothing about what is actually involved in the surgery. It’s brilliant. Jeremy Hunt seems to think it has been a hit and has boasted 244,000 visits since it opened in September 2014. Now assuming that this truly is 244,000 separate visits rather than 244,000 page views and assuming each visit was by a different person each time (which is obviously unlikely) this would mean that a dramatic 0.49% of the adult population has visited the site. Result. So actually more people have actually been on YouTube to watch Jim Naughtie mis-pronounce Jeremy Hunt’s name than have been not the myNHS site. It’s worth a watch actually – check it out… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS5mVoqJpUk

I think we get the picture that Jeremy Hunt has managed to lose the respect and support of the NHS workers in just one speech. I would love to discuss how he doesn’t mention moving the NHS towards a private funded model. I would love to go in to some details about the nine words he dedicated to mental health in a speech which was meant to be about human centred care. I would love to discuss the absurdity of ignoring mental health simply because it is a long term problem which can’t be measured within one parliament. I would love to talk about how the costs incurred by not addressing mental health problems early are astounding, let alone the cost to these peoples’ lives. But perhaps that is for another day.

I almost forgot to mention the bit I agree with. The introduction of a blame free culture to address errors and concerns which models the aviation industry is of course a sensible plan. Without this the likelihood of openness and honesty is minimal and patient care will suffer. So with this Jeremy I am with you and I wish you well. And hopefully one day you may even become open and transparent yourself.

29th July 2015


Benefits To Obese People And Addicts Who Refuse Treatment Could Be Cut, Cameron To Say

David Cameron is set to announce controversial new plans to suspend or cut benefits for overweight people who refuse to shed the pounds – but the proposals have been met with dismay.

The rules could also extend to those who refuse treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

According to the Independent, the prime minister will announce during a trade visit to Singapore: “We must look at what we do when people simply say no thanks and refuse that help but expect taxpayers to carry on funding their benefits.”

The government found an unlikely ally in the form of Katie Hopkins, who tweeted…

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Hopkins has voiced many a controversial opinion about obese people, including labelling them “lazy” and saying that “all fat people want is an excuse”.

Obesity costs the UK £47billion a year – more than armed violence, war and terrorism, according to the Guardian.

The proposals were slated by many…

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Although some did support the idea…

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29th July 2015


The nine green policies killed off by the Tory government

Onshore wind, solar, green homes … we round up the measures that have gone under the knife in what some are calling the worst period for UK environmental policy in 30 years

Amber Rudd has been accused of “grotesque hypocrisy” today for claiming the government is leading on climate change while overseeing a string of attacks on green policies. Some environmentalists say it’s the worst period for environmental policy in three decades.

We’ve rounded up the green measures that have been axed or find themselves in the firing line, to show the breadth and scale of the changes.

Scrapping support for onshore wind

Amber Rudd, the energy and climate change secretary said she was halting new subsidies to onshore wind farms on the grounds that the technology should stand on its own feet and save bill payers money.

In fact the writing had been on the wall for onshore wind farms since February 2012 when 101 backbench Conservative party MPs wrote to David Cameron demanding “dramatic cuts” in subsidies.

A moratorium on more onshore wind was rejected by the Tories’ coalition partners, particularly the Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey. But the Conservatives went into the election promising to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms”.

Ironically onshore wind has attracted a lot of investment and can be the most cost-efficient way of producing low carbon energy.

Solar subsidies to be axed too

Ministers have targeted larger solar installations of less than five megawatts – enough to power 2,500 homes – in a consultation on the early closure of the renewable obligation (RO) subsidy aimed at April 2016.

But the government also announced a review of another subsidy, the feed-in tariff, to make further significant savings in a move that could threaten state support for solar panels on domestic roof tops.

The solar power sector has grown dramatically over the past 18 months, leading ministers to panic about a forthcoming potential budget overspend on support schemes of £1.5bn by 2020. It later admitted the benefit of scrapping support for this nascent industry at this stage would only save energy consumers 50p a year.

Biomass hit too

The government also confirmed this week that it was removing the guaranteed level of RO subsidy for coal or other fossil fuelled-power stations which are converting to wood or another biomass fuel.

Killing the flagship green homes scheme

On Thursday, the government effectively killed off the green deal, its “transformational” way of helping homeowners bring down their energy bills through installing insulation, and fitting new boilers and draught-proofing. Few will mourn the scheme, which provided loans to homeowners to fund the measures – but as the Guardian reported many times, take-up was very low.

But what’s striking is Rudd has nothing to replace it with. So, apart from poorer households, who get support through the separate ECO scheme, there is now no serious energy efficiency policy for homes, which account for around a third of UK carbon emissions. A review of all remaining energy efficiency schemes is currently underway with details expected in the autumn budget.
Selling off the green investment bank

Launched in 2012 to help green projects with an initial injection of £3.8bn of public money, the green investment bank is probably the example cited most often by George Osborne and David Cameron in their defence of the government’s environmental record. But last month the business secretary, Sajid Javid, said he would be selling off as much as 70% of the bank.

Whether that harms the energy efficiency, waste and offshore wind power projects that the bank invests in remains to be seen. But even the influential Tory thinktank Bright Blue was unimpressed by the move, saying it was the “last thing we need”.

Watering down the incentive to buy a greener car

The summer budget ripped up the current system of taxation for new cars (vehicle excise duty, often erroneously referred to as road tax). Anyone who currently buys a new car pays a different rate for the first year based on how polluting the car is, a system which continues every year thereafter, ranging from free for electric cars to £505 for the dirtiest.

But from 2017, after the first year, all cars will pay the same £140 annual fee, so a Porsche will be taxed the same as a Prius. The car industry says the change takes away the incentive to buy a low-emissions car, while Friends of the Earth says a greener car will now cost £1,000 more over seven years.

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Giving up on zero carbon homes

A decade-long plan to force all new homes to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 was binned by the Treasury earlier this month, prompting the former Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey to say David Cameron “may as well hug a coal power station”. Major housing developers said the decision was “extremely disappointing”, a view that was echoed by planners, green groups and the designer of a new ‘carbon positive’ house that just opened in Wales.

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Fracking in Britain’s most important nature sites

Rudd said in January that fracking wouldn’t be allowed in sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs). Last week she changed her mind, opening the door to fracking in thousands of SSSIs in England, Wales and Scotland, if the shale companies can get past planners. Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, said the u-turn was outrageous.

Goodbye green tax target

A target set during the last government to keep increasing the proportion of revenue from environmental taxes was dropped in Osborne’s emergency budget.

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Tidal power in the firing line?

There has already been speculation that one talismanic project, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, currently awaiting a subsidy offer from the Treasury, could be being lined up for the chop.

This £1bn scheme is expensive but was name-checked positively by chancellor George Osborne in the spring budget. Its supporters have always argued it would trigger a whole new industry that could lead to 30 similar projects starting around an island country perfectly suited for this low carbon technology.

What’s left – and safe?

Nuclear power certainly. The government – like its predecessors of all political stripes seem mesmerised by atomic power and are willing to provide extremely generous financial support and other help to kickstart a renaissance.

Britain’s first planned new nuclear plant for over 25 years at Hinkley Point in Somerset is backed by government but faces all sorts of other hurdles such as uncertain equity investors, legal challenges and ever-increasing costs and delays, which could scupper it yet.

Offshore wind, much more expensive than onshore farms, has so far escaped the axe although there are plenty of Tory critics willing to decry the cost and claim it is a blot on the seascape.

How long will this pioneering industry survive unscathed?

29th July 2015


Comedian Adam Hills calls Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove ‘a massive pack of c***s’ over 7-day NHS

The Aussie comic told ministers in C4 show The Last Leg: ‘You are badmouthing some of the hardest-working, best-qualified people in Britain’

Hundreds of thousands of people have watched a comedian call the Tories a ‘massive pack of c***s’ over their plans for a 7-day NHS.

Aussie Adam Hills’ explosive rant lashed out at Jeremy Hunt’s reforms – and also took aim at Michael Gove.

His outburst was sparked by claims Mr Gove’s wife made that he couldn’t get an X-ray on a Sunday after hurting his foot.

Mirror Online pointed out the Justice Secretary could’ve done if he hadn’t gone to a minor injuries unit – with the nearest A&E less than 20 miles away.

The incident also sparked a doctor’s furious open letter which declared Mr Gove should’ve used his ‘10% pay rise to cover the cost of a little petrol’.

Now Mr Hills’ rant on Channel 4 comedy The Last Leg – which previously followed Mr Hunt with a sousaphone – has gone viral on Facebook and YouTube.

He told viewers: “If Michael Gove really needed to be seen over the weekend he would have been sent straight to A&E where there are 24 hour a day radiologists.

“This is not proof that the NHS needs to be open 7 days a week. It’s proof that Michael Gove needs to go home, take a tablespoon of cement and harden the f*** up!

“As for Jeremy Hunt, everyone wants a 7-day a week NHS but you don’t get it by degrading doctors and making them look workshy.

“Many doctors are on call at the weekend, they earn below minimum wage for that work, and they often work unpaid overtime beyond all of that.

“A lady called Claire wrote to me this week personally to say this.

“‘Dear Adam. I’m a GP in Devon and was wondering if you could consider Jeremy Hunt for a rant. Please tell him to stop being a d**k.’

“I tell you what Claire, I’ll go one better.

“This is for Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Michael Gove’s wife.

“You are badmouthing some of the hardest-working, best-qualified people in Britain who are also woefully underpaid.

“The people who may one day need to save your lives.

“You’re not just being d**ks – you’re being a massive pack of” – and then the screen cuts away to a BBC presenter accidentally saying the word ‘c***s’.

Twitter users have lapped up the criticism.

Frazer Lloyd-Davies said the comedian got it ‘spot on’.

And GP Dr Jon Love said: “I love this clip. Someone finally on TV who is speaking up for us NHS doctors, in the face of incompetent MPs.”

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