, , , , ,

The 54th anniversary of the JFK assassination may prove to be the most memorable because of the recent partial release of classified documents. There are still, contrary to inaccurate reports, tens of thousands of documents awaiting full release.

The release of the assassination files has evidently captured the public imagination. It has been surprising that the mainstream media has devoted so much space to the kind of subject that is often dismissed as the purview of tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists. This may be due to the fact that post Snowden, post Wikileaks and post Trump, the Overton window has shifted – the mainstream debate is now prepared to accommodate the possibility that powerful interests might have engaged in covert action or a coup d’etat to assassinate the commander in chief/POTUS.

So what do we know after the recent release? An exhaustive analysis will require months of poring over documents but here are some of the key highlights. It should be noted that some of this information was already known to the assassination community but it is useful to have mainstream debate and/or documents in the public domain:-


According to the testimony of former CIA agent James Wilcott taken during executive session of the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation during the Seventies, it was felt that Oswald was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency receiving regular payment for his work.

This appears consistent with Oswald’s biography including his stationing at the top secret Atsugi base in Japan from which the CIA U-2 spy planes originated and his apparent defection to the USSR. On his return to the United States, the State Department returned his passport and even handed him a loan without further questions asked.

Oswald eventually moved to New Orleans and Dallas consorting with hard-line anti-communists and anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Yet during this period he was also handing out leaflets in support of the pro Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. This behaviour is hardly consistent with that of a Marxist. It seems far more likely that Oswald was infiltrating this leftist group as an FBI informant in the COINTELPRO programme of mass subversion and surveillance of organisations deemed to be politically subversive.


In the weeks before the assassination, Oswald apparently travelled to Mexico City and visited the Cuban and Russian embassies in a failed attempt to obtain a visa for travel. He even met with KGB assassinations expert Valery Kostikov.

On the surface, it appears that this information might be consistent with an international conspiracy. However, Antonio Veciana, head of the notorious Cuban exile group Alpha 66, dropped a bombshell in a 2014 press conference and more recently this year in his biography Trained to Kill. He confirmed that his handler, going by the code-name Maurice Bishop, was David Atlee Phillips, who later rose to become the CIA’s Chief of the Western Hemisphere. Furthermore, he had inadvertently witnessed Bishop/Phillips meeting up with Oswald in Dallas in the weeks before the assassination and suspected that Phillips was Oswald’s handler. This information first surfaced during the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation. However, at the time, Veciana denied that Bishop and Phillips were one and the same.

Therefore it appears that Phillips may well have been sheep-dipping Oswald in order to frame him as a communist for the assassination thus potentially justifying an invasion of Cuba. It looks like Oswald was telling the truth when he exclaimed, “I’m just a patsy” following his arrest. Recent files released include a Soviet report, which concluded that the JFK assassination was a probable far-right coup d’etat.


In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover arrived at the pre-determined conclusion that Oswald was a lone Communist assassin and remarked as to how to “Convince The Public That Oswald Is The Real Assassin”. He disclosed this to newly sworn in President Lyndon Johnson. Both men decided that the potential danger of a nuclear war meant that the investigation should be confined to proving that Oswald acted alone. In other words, the Warren Commission was really designed as a white-wash from day one in order to suppress evidence.


Lyndon Johnson once declared that, “We had been operating a damned Murder Inc” in the Caribbean. The Church Committee reports would eventually confirm that the CIA had indeed been running an assassinations programme employed against foreign leaders including Castro, Lumumba, Trujillo and others code-named ZR/RIFLE. The Agency was also running a massive programme of covert action directed at destabilising the Cuban regime code-named Operation Mongoose. Both Mongoose and ZR/RIFLE employed the use of Mob hit-men – in other words the CIA and the Mafia were working hand in glove.

Robert Kennedy’s initial hunch was that his brother’s assassination was a product of these operations.


Recent documents have re-focused the spotlight on the previously known Operation Northwoods presented to JFK by his Joint Chiefs of Staff. This plan advocated the use of false flag terrorist atrocities in American cities, including hijacking of airliners. The blame could then be laid at the door of the Castro regime in order to justify a full-scale invasion of Cuba.




, , , ,


Today (November 22nd) is the 53rd anniversary of the JFK assassination. The majority of the American public believes that the assassination was a conspiracy. Yet the official line from the establishment and the media maintains that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The JFK assassination is thus lumped in the same category as Roswell and the faked moon landings. Its proponents are dubbed conspiracy theory nuts – the type that once cannot possibly engage with as parodied hilariously in Richard Linklater’s movie Slackerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9edQEzp7zGA

Remarkably, the US government has already conceded that the assassination was likely a conspiracy. In the 1970s post Watergate, the Church Committee was set up to investigate the abuses of the intelligence agencies. It uncovered all kinds of remarkable information, including the CIA’s assassination plots against various foreign leaders, such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro. It also revealed that the CIA was working hand in glove with the mafia and anti-Castro Cuban exiles on the destabilisation of the communist Cuban regime. As a result of the findings of the Church Committee, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was set up to investigate the political assassinations of the 1960s. It concluded that the JFK assassination was a probable conspiracy.

Since then, Oliver Stone’s JFK biopic has posited that the assassination was the work of the military-industrial complex, including the CIA. Yet such theories continue to be discredited as merely belonging in the realm of paranoia. However, the evidence is overwhelming that something unusual happened that day in Dallas, Texas. The accumulation of witness testimony, medical evidence and audio-visual footage points to more than one gunman.

Oswald’s background is a significant pointer having worked at a top secret military base in Japan before apparently defecting to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. On his return to the US, he was barely questioned (rather than being treated as a traitor) and the State Department even handed him a loan to help him settle down. Can you imagine Edward Snowden being treated the same way? The biographical evidence suggests that Oswald was likely an intelligence asset. Following his arrest, Oswald infamously remarked, “I’m just a patsy”.

History clearly shows that conspiracies happen with regular frequency. Unsurprisingly, it also shows that powerful interests get together to discuss how to run world affairs.

Offical documents now confirm that the US government was planning Operation Northwoods during the Kennedy administration. Northwoods was a false flag operation, which would have entailed faked terrorist attacks on American soil in order to whip up public opinion in support of an invasion of Cuba. Sound familiar? JFK was ultimately forced to veto this bonkers plan.

We now know that the Vietnam War was ramped up on the basis of a conspiracy theory. The US distorted reports of unprovoked North Vietnamese attacks on the US navy in the Bay of Tonkin incident. In light of the Chilcot report, it is also evident that the public was misled about the true motives for the Iraq War. Evidence now seems to suggest that the war planners likely knew in advance that WMD did not exist.


We also know that the CIA has run all manner of covert action operations and plots either to overthrow so called rogue regimes or assassinate foreign leaders. By definition, the basic methodology of intelligence agencies consists of covert action accompanied by cover ups. Once one is aware of these patterns, it is not exactly a stretch to conceive that JFK may have been assassinated as a result of a similar conspiracy.

It is worth interrogating whose interests it serves to use the label conspiracy theory in order to discredit any serious attempt to interrogate how power works. Evidently, the conspiracy theory moniker works in the interests of the powers that be. It dismisses any idea that wealthy and powerful individuals and organisations might get together to discuss how to run the world.

In fact, it conveniently neutralises the notion that there is a powerful ruling class at the apex of the capitalist system. This ruling class often operates in undemocratic and secretive ways in order to further its interests usually at the expense of the majority. This flies in the face of the accepted wisdom that we live in a democracy in which the influence of ordinary people is important.

So the next time that we find ourselves on the road to another war, it is worth interrogating the pretexts and motives and asking who really benefits.

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps published by Zero books – http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps

Twitter handle @ElGingihy




, , , ,


In the aftermath of the biggest upset in modern US political history, very few seem to recall the moment at which Trump may well have decided to run for President.

At the White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011, President Obama roasted Donald Trump, who was in the audience, over the birther certificate saga.

In the context of Trump’s divisive and xenophobic campaign, it is worth recalling that he was instrumental in pushing the racist Tea Party controversy over whether Obama had actually been born in the USA. The story was lapped up by right wing media outlets and shock jockeys.

Obama thought he may have had the last laugh when the state of Hawaii released the official birth certificate. In the Press Correspondents’ Dinner speech, he was even able to afford a joke at his own expense, laced with irony, over his “official birth video”. This turned out to be a clip from The Lion King. He followed this up by pointing out to the Fox News table that this was not to be interpreted literally!

He then set his sights on the Donald. Obama mocked Trump over the triviality of The Apprentice joking that its storylines keep him up at night (presumably as opposed to issues of global import).

Obama went on to humiliate Trump further. He suggested that the Donald could now turn his attention back to more important conspiracy theories, such as the faking of the moon landings, Roswell and what happened to Biggie and Tupac?

This footage is now dynamite.

On the basis of Trump being a billionaire narcissist, this roasting in front of Washington high society would have been difficult to get over. Could this have been the moment when Trump vowed to get revenge and run for President?

Five years on, the two met for the first time in the White House this week as Obama prepared to handover to his nemesis. The meeting was described as cordial but the pictures of a po-faced Obama told another story.

In the same speech in 2011, Obama had even joked improbably about what a Trump White House might look like. An image flashed up for the audience of a kitsch neon sign emblazoned with the garish Trump logo over the entrance of the White House.

In January, the Trump clan will be moving in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue whilst the Obamas are preparing for the removal vans.

Back in 2000, The Simpsons got there first with their nightmare prediction of Trump as President. In the episode Bart to the Future, Trump becomes President only for the economy to tank. As a result, Lisa Simpson ends up being parachuted into the Oval Office to run the country.

But it now looks like Obama’s joke has come back to haunt him in the worst possible way. He had expected to hand over to Hillary safeguarding his legacy. Instead, a Trump presidency with Republicans controlling Congress means that the Obama legacy may well be in tatters.

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps is published by Zero books – http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps

Twitter handle @ElGingihy



, , , ,


An avalanche of post-mortem election analysis is being unleashed. However, much of it seems to operate in a vacuum. There are various critiques of Trump. He may certainly be appalling and objectionable but there is a huge amount of hypocrisy at play here, which needs to be unmasked. Let’s take the points one by one.


Yes he clearly ran a divisive, xenophobic and sexist campaign. His conciliatory victory speech provides a ray of hope. He has stated that he will govern for all citizens. He was also generous towards Hillary – no suggestion of imprisoning his opponent for example.

And if we really want to discuss racism then it is worth recalling that the Bush and Obama War on Terror is responsible for 1.3 million deaths according to Physicians for Social Responsibility. Obama, so beloved of urbane cosmopolitans, is thus the black Nobel peace president, who has bombed seven Muslim countries.


Segments of the Trump movement, including the alt-right, are deeply worrying and appear to be laying the foundations for a far-right mass movement. If Trump goes on to deport millions of immigrants, build a wall and bar Muslims from entering the country then we will have fascism in our time.

However, there is a one word response to all of this – Snowden. Trump did not create a big brother mass surveillance state. The NSA did. Post 9/11, there has been a steady erosion of civil liberties. Obama extended the Bush national security doctrine. Again, liberals might want to look themselves in the mirror when they acquiesced by rehashing arguments around “not worrying if you have nothing to hide”.


The Trump phenomenon did not just happen overnight. It is the product of decades of the decay of democracy – a dysfunctional neoliberal economic system only working for the elite and leaving millions of disenfranchised people behind. And a broken political system captured by vested interests embodied in the personage of Hillary. On the other hand, Trump presented himself as beholden to none of these interests. The Trump constituency did not have any progressive alternative and so were naturally drawn to him.

Let’s remember that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) made a cynical calculation when they chose to sabotage the democratic process and work against Bernie to ensure Clinton got the nomination. They were prepared to risk a Trump victory rather than have Bernie win. So the DNC are complicit.


Well let’s start with Clinton. She is a liberal war hawk and her record speaks for itself. She supported the Iraq war. And unforgivably she did not learn the lesson. As Secretary of State, she overrode the Pentagon’s warnings about the consequences of the NATO bombing of Libya. This has unleashed anarchic chaos in Libya and across Africa not to mention uncorking the migrant crisis.

She also pushed for the destabilisation of Syria by supporting Islamist groups against Assad. As her emails show, she was fully cognizant that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were arming ISIS specifically. At the same time that the Clinton foundation received donations from Saudi Arabia, the US State department negotiated arms deals to Saudi. In other words, Clinton is part of a global network elite of the military-industrial complex and Middle Eastern client states guaranteeing the geopolitical hegemony responsible for much of the current instability and chaos in the region. Frankly Trump’s isolationism is refreshing.

As the New York Times pointed out recently, Clinton is also a hawk on Russia. Yes Putin is an authoritarian ruler abusing human rights.  But the current tit for tat escalation of war games is terrifying. Only last week, UK defence secretary Michael Fallon stated that the UK would be ready for war with Russia in 2 years. Turning the new cold war into a hot war would be apocalyptic.

Trump is in favour of rapprochement with Russia. As John Mearsheimer points out in the US foreign policy bible Foreign Affairs, NATO expansionism right up to the borders of Russia has provoked Putin. Clinton was also one of the architects of the Pivot to Asia policy, which aimed to surround China with US naval bases alongside the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement excluding China.


Clinton was previously in favour of free trade agreements but was forced to back down due to populist pressure.

Trump has stated that he is anti TTIP, TPP and may even reverse NAFTA. Perhaps metropolitans do not really get what these trade agreements would mean so let me spell out just how bad they are. They would open up public services to corporate takeover. They would likely make public or state ownership difficult. They would then lock in privatisation through Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses. They would also enforce enclosure of the commons through intellectual property rights. So drug patents would be extended to combat cheap generic medicines. Patenting of the human genome would be enforced. Farmers would have to buy seeds from corporations.  I don’t know about you but that sounds like a dystopian world to me.

Trump clearly connected with the millions left behind. His policy proposals gave them hope that neoliberal globalisation is not some irresistible force of nature. Protectionism may not exactly be progressive but it appears preferable to the unsustainable status quo of wage stagnation and decimation of well-paid manufacturing jobs.

Trump visited Flint, Michigan during the water crisis. He pointed out it used to be the case that water in Mexico was undrinkable and cars were made in Michigan but now it was the other way round. This was manna for the people of Michigan. No Washington politician would have dreamt of saying this. Clinton had not even bothered to visit Wisconsin since April. Such astonishing complacency helped hand the state to Trump.

That the wealthiest country in the world cannot even provide clean, drinking water to citizens in its aptly named rust belt is hard to compute. Metropolitans simply have no frame of reference. Clinton dismissed the same people as a “basket of deplorables” underlining just how out of touch she is. Towards the end of the campaign, she was hobnobbing with the super-rich in the Hamptons. Because the Clintons now prefer to be amongst their own. Bill Clinton has clearly forgotten about his modest background growing up in Arkansas. Together, the Clintons have made close to a quarter of a billion dollars since leaving the White House in 2001, according to the Financial Times.


Trump has promised public investment spending on infrastructure helping in the process to create jobs. The appalling state of national infrastructure is in desperate need of this. Here, he almost sounds Rooseveltian in promising some kind of New Deal.

However, he will come into conflict with the likes of Paul Ryan and the Republican party hell-bent on welfare cuts and deficit reduction fetishism. Confusingly, Trump plans to lower taxes. This is a hangover from neoliberal trickle-down economics that does not fit into the rest of the paradigm. It’s not at all clear how he will square this circle.

His plans to repeal Obamacare are also a regressive step unless he replaces it with universal healthcare, which seems highly unlikely. He has also previously called climate change a hoax, which is very concerning.


Is he? Or is he really the explicit, uncensored, unfiltered embodiment of those values, which makes him so unpalatable?

Well a brief history lesson may be in order for those with amnesia. The US is a settler state founded on the extermination of the indigenous natives. It was then built on slavery and a legacy of race war including mass lynchings and Jim Crow segregation right up to the present day with the mass incarceration of and police brutality against black males.

The US is the only country to drop the nuclear bomb. Not North Korea or Russia or Iran. Watch JFK and LBJ defence secretary Robert McNamara in The Fog of War explaining how mass atrocities were unnecessarily committed through the firebombing of Japanese cities during WW2. This is why the gung-ho US general Curtis Le May pointed out that, if the allies had lost the war, they would have been prosecuted for war crimes. The US war in Korea was responsible for a million deaths and Vietnam for a further 2-3 million. And now 1.3 million killed in the war on terror.

So is Trump really an affront to our values or are we all just in denial? Perhaps what the establishment and even liberals really cannot stomach is that Trump unpeels the mask to reveal the grotesque and dark reality beneath.

Youssef El-Gingihy is the author of How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps published by Zero books – http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps

Twitter handle @ElGingihy



, , ,


The long awaited Chilcot inquiry has confirmed what most critics knew all along. The legality of the Iraq war was dubious. The evidence of WMD was a grotesque fabrication. The war should never have taken place. But have we really learnt anything from Iraq? The resounding answer is no and the evidence is all around us.

One fallacious line of analysis has focused on the failures of ‘groupthink’. The reality is that the government knew that Iraq did not pose a threat to international security. UN inspections did not turn up anything.

Major General Michael Laurie, former Director General of the Defence Intelligence Staff, stated, “We could find no evidence…that related to WMD….There has probably never been a greater detailed scrutiny of every piece of ground in any country.”

There is a catalogue of false pretexts for war. The fabricated Bay of Tonkin incident, used to justify the escalation of the Vietnam War, instantly comes to mind.

Besides, such an analysis conveniently overlooks history. The US and UK armed and backed Saddam in the 8 year Iraq-Iran war. Nobody batted an eye when he committed his worst atrocities, including the gassing of the Kurds at Halabja in 1988.

The US empire dominates an economic world order backed by military power. All tools at its disposal are suborned to maintain this imperial hegemony. It is imposed by a national security doctrine with close to 800 bases in over 70 countries. As Wikileaks cables have illustrated, the nexus of intelligence, government, military and business interests work together to maintain this order.

A cursory glance at foreign policy is revealing. In 1953, the CIA and MI6 helped overthrow Iran’s democratically elected Mosaddegh after he nationalised the country’s oil. In 1973, the CIA aided Pinochet’s military junta coup to overthrow the democratically elected Allende in Chile. This pattern of supporting client and overthrowing rogue states has been repeated across Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Iraq is not the aberration or the exception. It is the norm. It is business as usual. Blair was not a poodle to Bush. He was merely maintaining the paramount Anglo-American Atlanticist relationship that is the bulwark of NATO.

The Iraq war was fundamentally about liberalisation of state assets to global capital. It was estimated that Iraq could be worth $100 billion to the US economy. In the process, it was transformed from a secular dictatorship into a Jihadist safe haven. Rumsfeld’s decision to disband Saddam’s Baathist army led to chaos and now makes up a significant component of ISIS. This is a hallmark of colonial-era tactics of divide and rule. The deliberate stoking of tensions through a US sponsored sectarian Shia-led Iraqi government was notable. This ultimately led to the Sunni backlash and the spawning of ISIS.

British and American intelligence predicted that the war would lead to the amplification of Islamist terrorism. It is worth recalling that post 9/11 there were only a few hundred Islamist fighters. Fast forward through 15 years of the war on terror and this number is currently around 100,000 globally. Blair himself concedes that ISIS has been a direct consequence of the Iraq war. Samuel Huntington’s apocalyptic predictions of a clash of civilisations no longer seem absurd.

Even the most conservative estimates of the death toll in Iraq run into the hundreds of thousands. A study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet estimated an excess of 655,000 deaths up to 2006.

If we really wanted to spread freedom or destroy Islamic fundamentalism then Saudi Arabia would be the natural starting point. Yet the Kingdom is our ally, purchaser of multi-billion pound arms deals and a major human rights abuser.

The war on terror continues unabated. Former NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark revealed that, in the wake of 9/11, the US drew up plans to attack 7 Middle Eastern countries. There is now extensive Western involvement across the Middle East including Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The pretext may be terrorism but the reality is to guarantee economic and military supremacy in the region.

Tony Blair famously called on history to be his judge. That judgement will be one of eternal damnation. He has already attempted a spirited defence but, as with Lady Macbeth, not all the perfumes of Arabia can relieve the stench of blood on his hands.

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps is published by Zero books – http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps

Twitter handle @ElGingihy




, , ,

How the mighty have fallen! It has been an annus horribilis for Rex Cameron. He has now joined George Gideon Osborne on the illustrious but very short list of public figures booed at world famous sporting events. The Wimbledon crowd, not appeased by the bread and circuses of Murray’s victory, raucously booed Cameron.
We did not know it at the time but the beginning of the end came with the farcical Piggate at the fag end of last summer. Then came Panamagate. Not only did Cameron benefit from offshore funds, which avoided paying UK tax for 30 years. More critically, he was accused of misleading the public about his financial arrangements. Serious questions about his fitness to hold public office as Prime Minister were raised. The mask of Flashman had slipped revealing him as an aristocratic member of the establishment on an unassailable trajectory from Eton to Oxford to Downing Street.
His Teflon/Titanium tendencies served him well until Brexitgate, which finally did it for him. A year on from the supposedly triumphant Conservative victory, Cameron will be remembered for one thing – Britain exiting the EU. His legacy will depend on how the Brexit fall-out plays out. If it turns out well then this may salvage his reputation. If not, then like Blair over Iraq, he will become radioactively toxic.
The Conservatives are desperately trying to put a favourable gloss on his Prime Ministership. But the Cameroonista project to detoxify the nasty party was never anything other than PR – likely picked up from his days at Carlton. Such slogans as the Conservatives being the party for working people have been unveiled without any hint of irony.
It is almost as if the last six years had never happened. As if we had got into a time capsule with Dave and gone back to the zeros when he made all those absurd statements about the NHS safe in our hands, hugging a hoodie, sledging with huskies and compassionate conservatism.
The reality is that Cameron has presided over six years of the largest postwar public spending cuts. Austerity was built on the false premise of translating a banking crisis into a public spending crisis. Cameron has accelerated the privatisation of the NHS, the dismantling of the welfare state and the siphoning of wealth to the top.
So what is Cameron’s legacy? The Red Cross has returned to the UK and stepped in with nationwide food aid for the first time since WWII. 1 million people are using food banks. More people are below the poverty line in work than out of work. Over 5 million are in low paid jobs (work does not pay!). Child poverty is skyrocketing. Threadbare councils are at breaking point; unable to deliver anything beyond a skeleton service. The Open Public Services document, at the heart of the Conservative project, envisages no limit to the privatisation of UK PLC from the NHS to children’s services and probation.
The cuts have been front-loaded – £35 bn so far with £55bn to come. This will take us back to 1930s levels of spending. It will mean membership of an elite club of European countries whose public spending (as a percentage of GDP) is below 40 %, including Estonia, the Slovak Republic and Ireland.
Ultimately, Cameron’s legacy has been to leave the nation divided with the break-up of the UK a distinct possibility and with people turning on one another – against benefit claimants, the disabled and migrants.
So what will Dave do in early retirement at the age of 49? No doubt he can join the lucrative lecture circuit and the board of J P Morgan. He could set up a bespoke advisory service for Central Asian dictators. Actually that niche in the market has already been taken. Rumour has it that his predecessor Gordon Brown was so crushed by his failed prime-ministership that he has retreated from the limelight into a hermetic existence. Maybe this is the fate that awaits Dave. Although it is hard to imagine those apple-faced, puffed-up cheeks looking dour or those plum tones sounding too down in the dumps. Perhaps he could set up a charitable foundation to save Gordon and rehabilitate him back into public life. Now that sounds like a worthy cause.
How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps published by Zero books – http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps
Twitter handle @ElGingihy

Want to know why doctors are going to war with Jeremy Hunt?


, , , , , , , , ,

While Cameron may pacify us that there will be no switch to an insurance-based model (although he wants to “turn the NHS into a fantastic business”), his new health secretary Jeremy Hunt does not agree. It was hard to imagine what could be worse than Andrew Lansley. But his replacement is exactly that—the man officially on record as saying that the NHS should be privatised.

Back in 2005, Hunt co-authored with others, including Michael Gove, Tory MEP Daniel ‘the NHS is a 60-year-old mistake’ Hanaan and Greg Clark, a book called Direct Democracy in which they called for the NHS to be dismantled. It’s touching to think that a few years ago, in freezing winter, a then unknown MP by the name of Jeremy Hunt joined constituents for a candlelit vigil outside Parliament to highlight that his local hospital—the Royal Surrey in Guildford—was threatened with closure. Even the leader of his party, an apple-cheeked, smooth-faced, young David Cameron, brow as yet unfurrowed by the ordeals of being PM, dropped by to lend his support.

One might be forgiven for thinking that this is a classic case of the corrupting effect of power. In fact, this rank hypocrisy is quite prevalent with the same MPs, who voted in favour of the Health & Social Care Act, protesting against hospital cuts and closures in their own constituencies. MPs are still spooked by the ‘Kidderminster effect’ after Dr Richard Taylor, running as an independent to reinstate the local A&E, won this seat in 2001 with a majority of 18,000 and was even re-elected in 2005. 

Now if I told you that we have not even got to the most remarkable part of this story then you’d probably think I was lying. But you’d be wrong. Pretty much everything in this narrative was hatched in a series of think-tank documents from the 1980s—that something can be so faithfully executed over 25 years is a testament to Machiavellianism.

Dr Lucy Reynolds and Professor Martin McKee have charted this journey:

‘[In the late 1980s]… a conference attended by Conservative politicians, NHS senior managers and think-tank advisors set out a seven-step plan to alter the NHS… In 1988, the pro- market Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) published a series of short studies exploring this agenda… One study was published as a pamphlet entitled “Britain’s biggest enterprise” by Conservative MPs Oliver Letwin and John Redwood‘.

Here is an excerpt from ‘Britain’s biggest enterprise’:

‘Might it not, rather, be possible to work slowly from the present system towards a national insurance scheme? One could begin for example, with the establishment of the NHS as an independent trust, with increased joint ventures between the NHS and the private sector; move on next to the use of “credits” to meet standard charges set by central NHS funding administration for independently managed hospitals or districts; and only at the last stage create a national health scheme separate from the tax system’.

It is worth noting that, around this time, Letwin and Redwood headed NM Rothschild bank’s international privatisation unit and that Letwin had published a book called Privatising the World with a foreword by Redwood. (Just in case you’re in any doubt as to the intentions of this dastardly duo and the Tories more generally towards the NHS, as some media commentators seem to be.)

Oliver Letwin has a Nostradamus-like tendency (or perhaps these are simply self-fulfilling prophecies when you are pulling the strings). The Independent reported in 2004 that Letwin told a private meeting the NHS will not exist within 5 years of a Conservative government. Two weeks previously, Letwin’s plans for massive cuts to public spending were also leaked. It is worth highlighting that this was long before any hint of a financial crisis. Both reports were, of course, strenuously denied! 

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps published 31st July by Zero books –



Facebook: – https://www.facebook.com/howtodismantlethenhs

Twitter handle @ElGingihy

BACK TO THE FUTURE – by Youssef El-Gingihy


, , , , , , ,

What do the next five years hold for the NHS? The pre-election jamboree is quickly evaporating. The promise of billions more in funding now feels like a distant sound-bite. The Daily Telegraph recently set the tone with a front page headline in which Jeremy Hunt declared that the NHS now has enough money and will have to make do. However, all the talk on funding in the election debates completely missed the point.
The Health & Social Care Act 2013 has legally abolished the NHS. Except nobody has told you this. I am a GP in Tower Hamlets. This is the reason that I have written a book – How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps http://www.zero-books.net/books/how-dismantle-nhs-10-easy-steps published at the end of July – in order to inform the British public. On the surface, nothing appears to have fundamentally changed. You can still see your GP or go to hospital and receive care free at the point of delivery. Underneath, however, everything is being insidiously transformed. Tim Evans, who negotiated a concordat with New Labour in 2000 on behalf of the private healthcare sector guaranteeing that private companies would become permanent providers of services, has said that he looks forward to the day when the NHS is simply a kitemark attached to a system of purely private providers. That day is coming ever closer.
On the eve of the Act coming into effect, I wrote a Guardian article warning of its perils – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/30/health-act-means-death-of-nhs . We will continue to see the consequences play out combined with other damaging policies. Unfortunately, this legislation has thus far been largely misinterpreted or wilfully ignored by the mainstream media. So what does the Health Act actually spell out? The most controversial area is the forced competitive tendering of NHS contracts opening them up to unlimited privatisation. During the election campaign, the Tories bandied around a highly misleading figure about a 1% increase from 6% to 7% of private healthcare provision in the NHS. What they didn’t tell you is that those figures pre-dated the Health Act coming into effect in 2013. When the new figures are released later this year, we are likely to see that the percentage has soared. Last year alone, out of £9.63billion NHS deals signed, £3.54bn (nearly 40% of them) went to private firms.
David Cameron will tell you that the public does not mind who provides their care as long as it is free at delivery. Again, this is misleading. It really does matter who provides your care for many reasons. Private providers will cherry-pick straightforward and lucrative services. Income from this will be permanently siphoned off to boost their profits and not channelled back into the system to cover complex healthcare. This means that the NHS is left with less money to provide comprehensive care. This neatly ties in with the next aspect of the legislation….TO BE CONTINUED

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps will be published on 31st July by Zero books –
Facebook: – https://www.facebook.com/howtodismantlethenhs
Twitter handle @ElGingihy

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps by Youssef El-Gingihy – The story of how your NHS was sold off to private healthcare and why you will have to buy insurance soon

The 2015 general election will define whether the NHS continues to exist as a cherished institution or whether it is dismantled into a privatised, insurance-based system. The Conservatives have demonstrated that the NHS is not safe in their hands. In Coalition, the Liberal Democrats enabled the Health & Social Care Act 2012, which essentially abolishes the NHS. Meanwhile, 13 years of New Labour perpetuated the marketization doctrines of Thatcherism and it is not clear whether they will roll back the market and commit to a publicly owned and run NHS if elected.
Youssef El-Gingihy – a Tower Hamlets GP – tells the story of how the NHS has been gradually converted into a market-based healthcare system over the past 25 years. This betrayal has been executed by all three parties. The process is accelerating under the Coalition government and the very existence of a National Health Service is in danger. He fears that there will not be an NHS as our generation grows old and certainly not for our children. Yet the British public remains largely unawares of this and the media, with few exceptions, have failed in their duty to inform them.
This is an accessible book, which communicates to the public in clear, concise and engaging terms what is happening to their NHS. This book matters to all, who use the NHS or are concerned by the privatisation of public services and the dismantling of equitable healthcare and welfare. If you want to understand the real story behind the headlines and find out how you can preserve the NHS for the future then this book is essential reading.
Youssef El-Gingihy is a general practitioner in Tower Hamlets. He has written on the NHS crisis for The Guardian and collaborated on a documentary on the NHS called Sell-Off.

How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps will be published July 31st 2015

You can pre-order the book at http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Dismantle-NHS-Easy-Steps/dp/1785350455/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428830841&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+dismantle+the+nhs

Please like us at https://www.facebook.com/howtodismantlethenhs