Mr Alistair Carmichael MP – A correction and apology

In our Real Scottish Politics Newsletter by the Wee Ginger Dug of April 16, we published that Alistair Carmichael MP was "listed as previously being vice chair of C&C Alpha Group Investments - part of his family company that invests heavily in private hospitals and dementia care homes in the UK".

We accept that this is entirely untrue and that Alistair Carmichael has never been vice-chair of C&C Alpha Group Investments or held any position in that company.  Further, it is not part of Mr Carmichael’s “family company” as Mr Carmichael has no “family company”.   We apologise unreservedly to Mr Carmichael and his family for the distress caused to them by our decision to publish this.

A NEW map has revealed the extent to which privatisation has already crept into the NHS across the UK.

The most immediate and telling aspect of the map is the sharply apparent difference between Scotland, England and Wales.

On the map England is densely packed with partnerships between the private sector and the NHS and dozens of MPs are listed as having links to private health companies.

The map has been compiled by the campaigning organisation Every Doctor, which started off as a collective of UK doctors.

The organisation was inspired by a quote from post war Labour politician Nye Bevan, widely regarded as the founder of the NHS, who said: "The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it."

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Every Doctor seeks to be those people.

The organisation is dedicated to protecting the NHS from the privatisation being foisted upon it, both by the Conservatives and by Wes Streeting, the Labour Party's privatisation pusher.

The organisation claims: "NHS privatisation is dangerous; it has been linked to avoidable deaths, but until now many MPs have dodged difficult questions about the situation.

“Some have dismissed the concerns of their constituents, some have denied that there is a problem, some have even attacked campaigners pushing for change.

“All of this needs to end immediately- and so we are taking action."

The difference on the map between Scotland and elsewhere is stark.

The National: Could the NHS be opened up to privatisation?

In Scotland there are far fewer red pins, representing private sector delivery of NHS services and these are mostly concentrated in the fields of mental health and rehabilitation services.

The Scottish Government has pledged to stand against the tide of stealth privatisation which has swept across the NHS in England, but this is likely to become more difficult if, as is widely expected, Keir Starmer becomes the next Prime Minister.

Labour's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting is an aggressively enthusiastic proponent of greater private sector involvement in the NHS.

READ MORE: UK NHS privatisation laid out in new interactive map – take a look

Streeting has continued to accept tens of thousands of pounds from donors with links to private healthcare even as he keeps advocating for the NHS to pay private firms for use of their resources.

In a recent article published in The Sun, Streeting decried "middle class lefties" who are opposed to the creeping NHS privatisation of which he is such a fervent advocate.

It was language which would not have been out of place on one of the GB News late night comment shows which tout the views of the frothing right wing of the Conservative Party.

Streeting's register of interests shows that his intervention came after he accepted donations totalling around £175,000 from two donors with links to private healthcare firms.

On February 6, Streeting accepted £48,000 from OPD Group Ltd, which is listed as a company “controlled by” Peter Hearn.

The National: Ian Murray

He had accepted a donation of £12,000 from the same source on December 6, 2023, and another of £35,475 from a second firm controlled by Hearn between February 28 and September 8, 2023.

Hearn is a recruitment executive whose firms work with "senior NHS executive recruitment and helps private healthcare providers recruit healthcare professionals."

Streeting has promised to force the NHS in England to enter into partnerships with private healthcare companies, claiming that this will reduce waiting times, costs, and will be a more efficient use of public money, all arguments we have heard many times before from Conservative advocates of privatisation.

However, all that has happened is that services have got more expensive, far worse experiences for the public have resulted, and vast sums have been siphoned off into private bank accounts. Wes Streeting's plans will be no different.

Private sector involvement in the NHS merely transfers public money that should be spent on healthcare into private hands, it is no substitute for a properly resourced and financed public health service.

Humza Yousaf calls for employment law to be devolved to Scotland

The First Minister has announced to the STUC congress in Dundee that in the coming weeks he will lay out the Scottish Government's plans for the devolution of employment law.

Humza Yousaf said he was keen for the powers to be transferred to Holyrood, a policy which has been opposed by both the Tories and Labour.

He added: "In the coming weeks I intend to deliver a speech setting out precisely what can be done if we had full control of employment law."

Liz Truss epitomises all that is wrong with British politics

In her new book Ten Years to Save the West, Liz Truss, the most delusional politician in British politics – no mean achievement – has written that she unsuccessfully tried to “cancel” the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Truss blasted the event as “virtue signalling” and claimed her erstwhile Cabinet colleagues were gripped by "climate fever" and “posing for selfies with Greta Thunberg."

That's a bold claim from a woman who poses for selfies with far-right climate change deniers and indulges quasi-fascist conspiracy theorists.

Truss continues to hawk her reality-free brand of free market right-wing extremism to anyone who will listen, and continues to freely throw around the blame for the rapid implosion of her thankfully short lived government, which lasted a mere seven weeks.

According to Truss everyone is to blame, except her.

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Liz Truss is the epitome of all that is wrong with British politics where even such spectacular political failures as her do not have to face any consequences for their actions, or even to take responsibility for them.

Truss has grandiosely titled her self-indulgent tome Ten Years to Save the West, but she couldn’t even save her own premiership in seven weeks, two of which were taken up by the death of the Queen.

Truss crashed and burned while a semi-competent Prime Minister would still be in their honeymoon phase and enjoying the benefit of any doubt that was going.

Truss imploded so quickly because there was no doubt at all about her dangerous incompetence.

However, she has learned nothing from this, and neither has the Conservative Party.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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