Web review

It is almost ten years since Sir Stewart Sutherland’s report on care for the elderly was published yet care for the elderly has resurfaced as an issue for the UK General Election due soon. The history of this commission is worth revising at this time. It is also well suited to research by internet as having taken place during the late 1990s the papers are all deposited at various government web sites for us to retrieve. A good shortened version of the report can be found at politicsforpeople.org/business/research/pdf_res_notes/rn00-78.pdf

We have to remember that this report was controversial at the time. The committee had twelve members, two of which had been added at Gordon Brown’s insistence by the Treasury. It should come as no surprise to those of us who are aware of Brown’s Kharsi attitude to democracy that the completed report had two dissenters and it was the dissenter’s report that found favour with the then chancellor. You can find the dissenting report at www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm41/4192/4192.htm

The two dissenters were duly ennobled as Lords Lipsey and Joffe. Lipsey was sent up to Scotland on a visit to try to persuade Henry McLeish to abandon his plans (see www.guardian.co.uk/society/2001/jan/24/socialcare.policy1) to provide universal care for the elderly and he was sent homeward but not before Susan Deacon, described somewhere as a left winger, indicated support for the Lipsey line. Lipsey has resurfaced during this latest debate and like the Bourbons has learned nought and forgotten nought. Joel Joffe has on the other hand been relatively quiet but I have to draw your attention to his interest in Allied Dunbar, which screwed up big on the endowment insurance scandal and of course sold health insurance. His line and Lipsey’s was that we should be responsible and take out private insurance to provide for our needs in old age. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/1128942.stm

Lipsey has been at it again and recently posted this insulting contribution criticising the fact that Scotland had the audacity to implement collective provision for elderly care www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/may/06/second-thoughts-david-lipsey. However Sutherland is not taking it lying down as can be seen at www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/feb/25/interview-stewart-sutherland

The real problem for voters is that it is PM Brown that is behind this attempt to undermine our Scottish care provision and replace it with a privatised system such as that being promoted by the two ennobled insurance salesmen. In other words he’s putting our wellbeing in to the hands of the croupiers. Blair even moved Frank Dobson from the NHS and replaced him with Alan Millburn who now lobbies for the privatisation of healthcare [Diaverum Healthcare AB (non-executive). Remuneration paid annually. Speech to Royal Bank of Scotland healthcare conference in November 2009, for which I was paid £5,198. Address of payer: JLA, 80 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NW. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 11 January 2010) Participation in AstraZeneca private seminar in December 2009 for which I was paid £2,344. Address of payer: TBC. Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 11 January 2010)]

They’re all for hire.