Friday, 25 November 2016

Conservative MP Alistair Burt Says "Some Things Should Be Publicly Owned"

"Skinhead" Rosindell
Many people in Havering will be relieved to hear that thought is alive and well in British politics.

We think that Havering is, sadly, politically dominated by thousands of THATCHERITE SHEEP led by "skinhead royalist" Andrew Rosindell MP who seems to do little else other than waving small plastic flags for the Queen at endless street parties in a constant onslaught of royal "celebrations."  If it isn't the royals that Rosindell is droning on about then it is endless privatisation and the evils of public ownership. However yesterday in parliament, although on the very serious sensitive topic of contaminated blood transfusions, gave us a very very welcome contrast as the Conservative MP Alistair Burt made a clear statement of support for public ownership - What a breath of fresh air it was to hear ! 

Diana Johnson MP
Diana Johnson MP (Labour, Hull North) opened yesterday's debate in parliament on people affected by contaminated blood and blood products.

(from Hansard 24/11/16)
 ..... It is more than 45 years since the first people were infected with HIV, hepatitis C and other viruses from NHS-supplied blood products. Their lives, and those of their families, were changed forever by this tragedy. The contaminated blood scandal is now rightly recognised as a grave injustice—the worst treatment disaster in the history of our country’s health service—but those affected are still waiting for a proper financial settlement that recognises the full effect that the scandal has had on them and on their families. This group of people have campaigned for far too many years for justice, at the same time as dealing with illness and disability.

The current financial support for those affected is simply not fit for purpose. That stark fact was laid bare in the inquiry of the all-party group on haemophilia and contaminated blood in January 2015. This quote is on the first page of our report:

“You can’t give us back our health. But you can give us back our dignity. This tortured road has been too long for many of us. But for the rest of us, please let this be the final road to closure.”
Thankfully, we all now agree that the current support arrangements cannot continue, and that we need to create a scheme that gives this community back their dignity.

Speaking later in the debate Conservative MP Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire) made a point that was the biggest breath of fresh air the Havering Witness had heard from a Tory MP for 36 years.   

Alistair Burt MP - a different kind of Tory MP to Andrew Rosindell
Mr Burt said " I want to pick up on a couple of points arising from the speech made by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North. I agree with her about who should administer the scheme. This is not an area in which we should be looking to outsource for ideological reasons. There is an important concern at the heart of this issue. Given everything that we have learned from the United States, we know that the profit motive involved in selling the blood in the first place was a primary source of everything that has happened since. It is really important that we recognise that and show some sensitivity to the fact. I actually think that Government can run some things, and it is good to run some things publicly. We have to choose. In our political lives, we have lived through the Government running British Telecom, British Airways and so on. Things have changed, but it is important that some things be publicly owned, run and dealt with, and this is one of them. I therefore join her absolutely in saying that the Government should think again about how the scheme is administered. They should keep it in public hands where there is at least some democratic accountability. Above all, as she said, we need a group that will act on behalf of the beneficiaries, rather than solely in the Government’s interest. It would have to be very carefully put together." 

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