Archive for February, 2014

Health Rationing

February 20, 2014

East Midlands Green Party Blog

Health Rationing,  perverted ConDem logic.

By Mike Shipley

I was horrified to read a press report that stated that the Government was considering a new policy that could see the elderly denied treatment.  NICE, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, has been asked by the Department of Health to look at the guidelines covering the availability of drugs and treatments within the NHS.  Their aim of course is to cut expenditure and to make the NHS a more attractive prospect to the private health providers that they want to see eventually take over health delivery in the UK.

The Government wants the decisions about making treatments available to take account of the ‘benefits the patient may have in society’, rather than to focus specifically on the welfare of the patient.  The purpose of this wider consideration is to target treatments on those patients who will return to work to the…

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East Midlands Greens call for Owen Paterson to be sacked

February 9, 2014

Greens in the East Midlands have added their voice to the growing call for the Prime Minister to sack Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.  They cite a string of failures which demonstrate his inability to fulfil his role as head of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), where his job is to ‘improve the environment and safeguard animal and plant health’ [1].

Cataloguing what they claim to be his failures, the Greens list the failure of the Badger Cull to have any impact on bovine TB, his ‘incredible complacency’ over climate change, his support for fracking in rural areas and his inability to respond to the widespread flooding  across the country.

Kat Boettge, the Greens lead European candidate in the European Elections this May said, ‘We seriously need an Environment Minister who understands science.  Paterson totally rejected the clear scientific advice on badger culling, which said that culling could make things worse, wasted millions of pounds of public money, and still he wants to roll this failed policy out across the country, including across the East Midlands.’

Speaking about Climate Change, Ms Boettge revealed that  Defra will spend just £17.2m on domestic ‘climate change initiatives’ this financial year, a 41 per cent decline on the previous 12 months [2].  ‘97% of scientists and a growing number of economists are saying that this is the greatest threat facing human civilisation.  Yet here we have a minister who is denying science, and saying that he wants to see fracking ‘all over rural parts of the UK.’ [3]

The final straw for the Greens was the Environment Secretary’s abortive visit to communities in flood-hit Somerset in which he spoke to the cameras but ignored local people affected by the floods [4].

‘Flooding is a big risk to 40% of the Trent Valley, we need effective and well maintained flood defences and water management in out region, the Governments own advisers have said that flooding is the biggest threat we face as a result of climate change yet what does this Government and its Environment Minister do?  Cut the budget of the Environment Agency by over half a billion pounds, and lay off 1700 staff.

‘Paterson seems to have no idea what the environment means or what it means to be the minister for it. People may view his comments about badgers ‘moving goalposts’ or anti-fracking campaigners winning the arguments because of their ‘exciting clothes and banners’ as the lines of a stand-up comic. Well, perhaps he would do better as a comedian than Environment Secretary because these issues are far from a laughing matter.’



[1] Defra website: what we do:

[2] Guardian: Owen Paterson angers locals on visit to flooded Somerset Levels

[3] Western Morning News:


Note: Paterson’s suggestion of an unspecified plan to deal with the floods was immediately overruled by the Prime Minister’s call for dredging as soon as practicable. This indicates a total lack of confidence in Paterson’s handling of the issue. His calling in of the army, for which local people could find no use, was similarly misguided.

Contact details:

Kat Boettge:  07983473162

Mike Shipley:  07791640971