Little Green Pieces Of Paper

Have you ever overheard people say that money is simply small green pieces of paper? Well, that’s precisely what they are.

Money doesn’t have any intrinsic worth, except if you like staring at images of dead public heroes, then money has no more value than any other piece of paper until as a nation and an economy, we attach meaning to it.

Then it has value, but the value isn’t inherent, it’s assigned and usually agreed upon by users worldwide but it didn’t always operate this way.

In history, money usually took the form of coins made of valuable elements such as silver and gold.

The value of the coins was then harshly founded on the value of the metals they contained because you can always melt the coins down and use the metal for other purposes and until a few decades ago paper money in various countries was based on the gold and silver standard or some combination of the two.

This then meant that you could take paper money to the government, who would then trade it for some gold or silver based on the exchange rate, which was established by the government.

The gold standard continued until 1971 when President Nixon declared that the United States would no longer trade dollars for gold. This ended the Bretton Woods system.

Presently the United States is on a system of fiat money, which is not attached to any other stock, therefore, these pieces of paper in your pocket, are just simply that, pieces of paper.

Therefore, why does a five-dollar note have value and some other pieces of paper don’t?

It’s really easy, money is great when there is a restricted supply and there is a need for it because people want it.

The reason we want money is that we know other people want it, so then we can use the money to buy goods and services from them. Goods and services are what sequentially matter in the marketplace. People exchange their labour to earn money in the present to buy goods and services in the future.

And if we think that money will have value in the tomorrow, we will strive towards getting some of that.

Our system of money works on a common set of ideas, so long as enough of us believe in the future value of money the method will work and it is doubtful that money will be replaced in the coming future.

If one currency is to be succeeded by another, there will be a period in which you can change your old money for new. This is what occurred in Europe when countries changed over to the Euro.

Therefore, our money is not going to die completely, even though at some future time you may be trading in the money you have now for some kind of money that replaces it.

Money that has no intrinsic worth, paper money called fiat money, which originates in Latin, where it’s the imperative mode of the verb facere, to make or become.

Fiat money is money whose purpose isn’t inherent but called into by a human system and in the United States, it’s called into being by the federal government, which demonstrates why the expression “backed by the full faith and credit of the government” which indicates what it states and no more.

The money may have no inherent value, but you can trust using it because of its federal reinforcement.

Why else might we consider that our money might not be of value to others in the future? Well, what if we thought our money wouldn’t be nearly as valuable in the future as it is today?

This increase of the currency, if it became superfluous, then makes people want to get rid of their money as quickly as possible and inflation and the normal way citizens respond to it can cause great suffering for an economy.

People will not sign into lucrative deals which involve future payments because they’ll be uncertain what the value of money will be when they get paid and business activity piercingly weakens because of this.

Inflation can cause all kinds of other inabilities, from the cafe down the road adjusting its costs every few minutes to the homemaker taking a wheelbarrow full of money to the bakery in order to purchase a loaf of bread.

The belief in money and the constant value of the money are not innocuous things.

If citizens lose confidence in the money stock and think that money will be worthless in the coming economic activity, it can then grind to a standstill.

This is one of the principal reasons the US Federal Reserve works diligently to keep inflation within the bounds, a little is really good, but too much can be destructive.

Money is actually good, so as such is governed by the premise of supply and demand and the value of any good is defined by its supply and demand and the supply and demand for other goods in the marketplace.

And a reward for any good is the sum of money it takes to get that good.

Inflation happens when the price of goods rises, in other words, when money becomes less important relative to those other goods.

This can happen when the amount of money goes up and the amount of their goods goes down.

The principal cause of inflation increases in the supply of money but inflation can happen for other reasons, say if a natural catastrophe damages shops but left the banks intact, we’d expect to see an instant increase in prices, as assets are not limited relative to money.

These kinds of situations are unique and for the most part, inflation is created when the money supply increases quicker than the number of other goods and services.

Money only has worth because people think that they will be able to exchange this money for goods and services in the future and this idea will only continue so long as people don’t fear future inflation or there is a collapse of the issuing agency and its government.

Our money only has worth because we maintain it does.

A dollar bill is simply a worthless bit of green paper in your pocketbook unless everyone else thinks it’s worth a dollar but green pieces of paper aren’t like pieces of silver or gold, you can’t boil them down to make anything of value.

Money only means something because we as a culture acknowledge that it does and that’s why we feel happy taking cash as payment for the work that we do, rather than gold or timber or something else.

But remember, money is great just like anything else and goods are subjected to the dictates of supply and demand. If you have a lot of widgets and no one really wants a widget, then those widgets would be worthless.

The same is true of our money, if there’s too much money out there, that money will be used to purchase things and then charges on goods like a four-star meal will rise swiftly and each dollar won’t have that much value.

That’s inflation but the reverse, deflation is just as harmful.

So, why does money have value? Because everybody says it does!

 

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Rail Fare Rises And The NHS

Theresa May has supported rail fare rises by maintaining investment is required and the Prime Minister stated increases in regulated fares are kept to inflation, with 97p of every pound given towards a ticket being put into railways.

Fares increased by a percentage of 3.4, with a yearly pass from Mrs May’s Maidenhead constituency to London raising by £104 to £3,092.

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Theresa May, talking to BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, announced: “Since privatisation, usage of the railways has doubled and we have seen the biggest investments since Victorian times in our railways.

“A lot of people rely on our railways, we want to see good service on our railways but that does mean that investment is needed.”

Theresa May was further asked about the Government’s early close of the East Coast rail franchise involving Stagecoach and Virgin.

They had agreed to give the Government £3.3 billion to operate the service over eight years until 2023 even though it was announced in November that a new East Coast Partnership will take on responsibility for both intercity trains and track operations on the route in 2020.

When asked to guarantee that taxpayers will get the £3.3 billion from the two companies, Theresa May responded: “Virgin and Stagecoach are still paying money to the Government for the East Coast line.”

However, remember this, everytime an MP gets on a train it gets put on expenses and it doesn’t matter to them how much it costs and then they go on TV and the radio informing the masses this and that, with people forgetting that the choices they make normally affect them.

Then there is more money and cheap fare for the foreign countries that own some of our railways, Deutsche Bahn that own Wales & Borders

The main three companies from abroad were German state-owned Deutsche Bahn, the international branch of the Netherland’s nation operator, Abellio, and French firm Keolis.

When will the government acknowledge that rail franchising has failed and to do the only rational thing which is to deliver all UK rail services to public ownership? Nevertheless, analysts pointed out the reason for overseas affairs in the United Kingdom.

International operatives want to buy into the United Kingdom to encourage growth in commuter amounts as do the privatised UK franchise operatives and even though the likes of Deutsche Bahn are state-backed, they’re managed commercially and for the interest of travellers, unlike nationalised UK companies.

With Britain’s railways transported passenger volumes of 1.6 billion in 2016, this compares with volumes of 735 million in 1995, just as the privatisation of the UK’s rail network started. This was a drop from volumes of just over 1 billion in 1948 when British Rail was first brought in to run the network.

Nationalisation has led to declining passenger usage and privatisation has led to growing passenger usage.

Nationalised UK industries have revealed unequivocally, that they can’t operate commercially and that International arms of European state-owned operatives have worked commercially.

Theresa May is so out of touch with the real world. When was she ever on a meagre salary with bills to pay and no pay increases for years and the same with NHS, when did she last use them?

Theresa May is in denial and out of touch in her acknowledgement to the crisis of the NHS and she and her Tory Government have ceased to take any blame for looking after our National Health Service.

She casually disregarded the concerns of thousands of patients and NHS workers, lecturing that hospital pressures were nothing more than a small number of incidents in which unacceptable practices have taken place.

Nationwide, some 66 out of 152 hospital trusts have raised major alerts showing they’re struggling to manage and behind each of these major alerts are hundreds of accounts of patients being let down by an NHS in disaster.

Ambulances have been backed up sometimes for hours and hours with patients unable to even get to the hospital and every day we hear more and more of these stories.

Theresa May and her Government not only take no blame. She feels no remorse and doesn’t appear to understand what’s happening to real people and now thinks it’s a small number when more than a quarter of patients are waiting over four hours in A&E.

She now thinks it’s acceptable that hospitals have to turn gymnasiums into makeshift wards and pensioners are ambushed, waiting in freezing ambulances and everybody aside from Tory ministers knows that unless we properly finance and combine social care and health care we will never completely solve the dilemma confronting our NHS.

Everybody in the real world knows that if you don’t finance the social care older people need, they will end up in NHS hospitals not being able to get safely home where they want to be. But Theresa May doesn’t live in the real world.

Rather than doing something about it, her answer is to attempt to water down the A&E target as if she thinks that adjusting the goals in Whitehall will make any difference to somebody waiting in fear on a trolley in a real A&E, she is very wrong and she’s even attempted to accuse family doctors.

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The rest of us know that the NHS is in a real mess and the Prime Minister is in denial and out of touch with her acknowledgement.

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It’s time to give our NHS and social care the money they require. Plus we urgently require qualified leadership from the top of Government as well.

Do you notice how this disaster of a Prime Minister supports everything? She defends the NHS funding although it’s entirely inadequate, now it’s okay to impose extortionate increases in rail tariffs. It goes on and on and no doubt she’ll support successive governments’ genocide of 25,000 preventable deaths per year of vulnerable UK citizens, at least in part, to food and fuel poverty. Theresa May, the Mayhem of disaster.

Yet people still choose Tory, it really beggars belief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knife Crime

On New Year’s Eve, four young men were stabbed to death in London in unconnected crimes recording one of the saddest days of knife crime in the metropolis.

This is unusually rare that four men were killed in one night but this is absolutely standard on a Friday and Saturday night across London and we should question what the death toll would be if it weren’t for the magnificent skills of the ambulance service, their helicopter medics and the A&E departments.

It’s terrifying out there and we should question why such horrendous situations like this are occurring but the reasons are quite clear. Theresa May has cut the police service so that there are no longer police officers on the street and the control of the public space has been lost.

This is simply one manifestation of that, but there are infinite others.

Deaths on the road are increasing because road traffic police are going and shoplifting is going through the roof because there are no police officers to dispense with that. Antisocial behaviour is getting out of control again because there are no community officers.

Then there is the moped crime epidemic, there are no officers out there and those that are out there aren’t permitted to pursue.

It’s pretty simple. It’s solely down to Theresa May and her cuts to the police. She has the blood of these young people on her hands but I guess her reasoning would be that the task of policing has evolved a lot in the current years because presently there is the continuous intimidation of extremism and terrorism and of course that was something that she supposedly looked into for the New Year festivities because it was heightened.

However, Theresa May has been Home Secretary and the Prime Minister for almost eight years and she is solely accountable for this situation.

She has declined consistently to listen to trained police officers that have informed her that crime and the demands on policing have evolved but they haven’t gone away, they have just changed.

Approximately 3,000 armed police officers were brought into inner London to police the New Year’s festivities but those officers didn’t come from someplace else. They just came from someplace else in London.

They don’t simply have a box of police that is simply brought out for the night. That indicates there are fewer policemen elsewhere. So it’s no shock to discover that knife attacks took place on the outskirts of London and not in the heart of London where all the police were brought to.

There are too few police officers to keep the public protected and Theresa May has been told that repeatedly and she is disregarding it and it’s felonious.

Knife attacks seem to be going up, so what can be done to tackle it?

Maybe there should be Stop and search and police protection and appearances in public areas. That’s what keeps people protected at the pointed end, but officers must be in schools and officers must work with youth groups.

The Police need to be working with community groups and officers need to be working with the probation service to tackle and deal with offenders to prevent them from re-offending.

There are a thousand things that must be done and you can’t do them without officers, no matter how much this government goes on and on about making more use of technology and an Ipad is not going to stop a single stabbing.

Nothing appears to be increasing the awareness of this government they simply appear to be disregarding everything and why are they not handling this as the emergency that it is? It’s a public disaster occurring in slow motion in front of our eyes.

If these young people were white and they were on the streets of Maidenhead in her constituency and in Windsor, there would be absolute turmoil and it wouldn’t be overlooked and this is organised prejudice at the core of government.

The public expects the police to protect them from infliction by using the authorities given to them by Parliament in an effective and appropriate way, however, conceivably, some of the most meddlesome and controversial powers are those of stop and search.

For decades the unseemly use of these powers, both real and perceived, has disgraced the association between constables and the communities they serve, and in doing so has drawn into question the real legitimacy of the police service.

Thirty years following the disturbances in Brixton, concerns about how the police use stop and search powers were again raised following the disturbances in England in August 2011. Over a million stop and search encounters have been recorded every year following 2006, but only 9 percent of those led to an arrest in 2011/12.

Statistics further revealed that segments of black and minority racial groups were stopped and searched more than white people, compared to the resident community and while there was intense civil discussion about the excessive use of the powers on some assemblies, there was surprisingly limited care given by both the police service or the public on how efficient stop and search powers are in decreasing or identifying crime.

In a culture where policing is founded upon the system of permission, the police service requires the support of the people in order to be productive. By using their powers impartially and in a way that is effective in keeping the public protected, the police
can create community morale and inspire people to be more culturally competent in serving to reduce criminality and chaos.

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Her Majesty‘s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is an objective
inspectorate. It has a constitutional duty under section 54 of the Police Act 1996 to examine authorities in England and Wales and to report their performance and effectiveness.

The goals of this investigation are to ascertain how efficiently and impartially the police service is using those powers of stop and search in the fight against crime and to ascertain whether operational police officers know how to use stop and search powers tactically as part of evidence-based practice to combat crime and to recognise how the powers can be used in a way that builds the public’s confidence in the police, establishing the legitimacy of the service rather than eroding it.

There is no precise definition or recognised perception of what constitutes an adequate stop and search encounter. The legal rules
of stop and search are given to support police officers in the prevention and discovery of a crime, and to bypass needless arrests in situations where a swift search on the street might verify or remove an officer‘s suspicions.

The use of measures such as arrest rates is extensive amongst forces and valuable in terms of understanding how various forces use the powers to overcome or detect crime, but they are too oversimplified and can’t be viewed as an ideal example of victory.

For a stop and search encounter to be valid and legal, a police
officer must have fair grounds for suspicion, founded on specific and
unbiased information that a person is in possession of a stolen or forbidden item.

Those grounds should be thoroughly disclosed to the person being stopped and searched, and the person should be handled with civility, compassion and respect.

In such situations, obtaining the item and arresting the wrongdoer or eliminating the suspicion or bypassing an unnecessary arrest are both valid and victorious outcomes. However, the percentage of times on which stolen or prohibited items are located gives a symbolic measure of the strength of the grounds for suspicion but only seven of the 43 forces currently record how frequently these items are found.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (UK) examined all 43 police forces in England and Wales between October
2012 and April 2013 and approximately 500 senior managers were interviewed, including police officers of the rank of inspector and above, and conducted focus groups with over 550 operational constables and frontline supervisors.

To test this, unannounced visits to at least two police stations in each force area were made to examine their stop and search information at a local and national level. Policies were examined, plus methods and guidance papers relating to stop and search that was open to operational police officers.

Each force had created its own form on which to enter details of stop and search encounters, so they were matched to ascertain what data was being collected, and for what goal. Also checked were at least 200 completed records from each police force, to evaluate both their compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Code A: Code of Practice for the exercise by police officers of statutory powers of stop and search, related to thereafter as the code of practice, and whether adequate grounds for carrying out searches were reported.

Studies of 19,078 members of the general public and 391 people who had been stopped and searched were performed, in order to collect their opinions on the use of stop and search powers and ultimately, video footage of stop and search encounters that had been recorded through body-worn cameras were evaluated.

Examinations ascertained that most respondents were knowledgeable of police powers to stop and search people and over three-quarters thought that use of the powers assists the police to apprehend offenders and deter or identify criminals and more than half the respondents stated that seeing the police using those powers in their areas made them feel protected.

Interestingly, a quarter of respondents thought that some groups of people in the community were likely to be stopped and searched more frequently than others, with a third attributing this to criminal differentiation, this number grew to about 55 percent amongst black and adolescence racial respondents.

The effective use of stop and search powers rely on police officers installing the tone and method of policing, and managing or determining how the police use those powers, with a readiness to mediate when things are not done accurately.

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Nationally, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), working with the College of Policing, has created an Authorised Professional Practice document which gives national recommendations for the use of stop and search powers.

Within forces, however, it was observed that many levels of consideration were given to stop and search powers by chief officers. Most did not, by reason of generally high levels of public satisfaction with the police and low levels of stop and search-related complaints, considered that stop and search was a high priority.

There was a notable slippage in the level of attention given to
the management and administration of stop and search powers by senior officers since the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report in 1999.

As a consequence of the budget cuts ordered by the Government‘s 2010 spending review, forces were attempting to do more with less support. It was therefore very surprising that the use of stop and search powers was not better directed at stopping or identifying those violations the force considered to be the most significant.

Most forces concentrated on stopping and identifying theft, burglary and other property violations and, in big city neighbourhoods, extreme crime. While those priorities imply that stop and search powers would be targeted at property crime and weapons, nearly half of the searches nationwide were for drugs, and of those searches, most were for low-level street possession.

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The Metropolitan Police Service noticed this and took measures to use stop and search powers better in stopping those violations they thought to be most significant however in 2008, HMIC highlighted that there were extensive fundamental skills gaps
at frontline sergeant level.

Five years on, this investigation identified that this had not changed in relation to the exercise of stop and search powers.

The code of practice puts a particular responsibility on supervisors to monitor the use of stop and search in order to stop its abuse. Yet, there were disturbingly low levels of supervision of officers conduct of stop and search encounters, and of how they recorded them.

There were discrepancies in the documentation of searches, evidence that people searched were not always presented with the information required by the code of practice, and that they were not
always fairly treated.

A startling 27 percent (2,338) of stop and search records reviewed by HMIC did not include reasonable grounds to search people, even though several of these records had been approved by supervisors.

They were not performing their responsibilities as stated by the code of practice. In addition, this proposed that police forces may not have been completely complying with the terms of the public sector equality duty, which expects them to have adequate regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote fairness of opportunity, encourage good relations and to that point, ensure that they are appropriately collecting,
examining and publishing the facts to show that they have adequate
data to explain the impact of their work.

These duties are critical in protecting the public from the misuse of this intrusive power. This shows a disturbing deficiency in the frontline supervision of stop and search powers.

Less than half of forces complied with the requirement in the code of practice to make arrangements for the public to scrutinise the use of stop and search powers. Acknowledging the significance of keeping the public informed, it is shocking how little forces consulted or interacted with the public about their use of stop and search powers.

Approximately half of the forces did nothing to understand the impact of stop and search encounters upon communities, with just a really small number proactively seeking the opinions of the people and communities most affected.

For forces to understand the effectiveness of their use of stop and search powers, they needed to assemble pertinent data but each force was using a different method to assemble what is, in the main, inadequate data about stop and search encounters.

The lack of relevant data made it pretty difficult for forces to understand the impact that stop and search encounters was having against crime and community morale and there was only a limited suggestion that forces were instructing officers and then deployed them to use stop and search powers in crime hot spots, or against persistent offenders or crime groups.

And where they did, forces did not examine the activity to conclude whether deployments had a bearing on crime levels or public morale.

Data is an important by-product of stop and search encounters, nevertheless numerous forces did not use the data collected from these encounters as part of their intelligence pictures and only five forces had an intelligence field as part of their search records, with all other forces depending on officers presenting a separate form, which in most forces was optional.

Most officers had not undergone any training in the use of stop and search powers after they entered the service and only 21 forces gave any kind of refresher training, and in many of those, the training was delivered by e-learning packages.

Those forces which had made significant investments in training in the use of stop and search powers had done so because of outside demand from oversight groups, such as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), or to accompany variations in recording methods.

In the absence of proper training, it was discovered that police officers were developing practices which were acquired through observing and listening to others. This can be a positive approach if experienced teachers are involved but contrarily can lead to the
spread of improper or, in some instances, illegal practices, for instance, searches carried out without reasonable grounds for suspicion.

There is a need to develop a structured national training curriculum to develop officers perception of their use of the powers, the establishment of equitable grounds, and the impact of the use of the powers upon communities, and how to use those powers efficiently in stopping crime.

Forces should ensure that training is given and that they are prepared to promote training and development by identifying those who use the powers efficiently so that they can train and
assist their co-workers.

There has been inadequate financing in developing the technology and the connected infrastructure to assist officers walking the streets and it was found some promising improvements in information systems and in the mobile devices that could be used to access them whilst officers were on patrol, but these
were not widespread across the service.

Only 17 forces had the capability to record stop and search encounters on the street electronically, and in most circumstances, these methods were inaccurate or did not give a complete spectrum of functions to help officers adequately.

In developing electronic recording systems, there is a tension between the drive to overcome bureaucracy on the one hand,
and the collection of satisfactory knowledge to recognise the effectiveness of stop and search encounters on the other.

Recording less information and substituting supervisory oversight with computerised checking systems may decrease bureaucracy and cost, but it does not necessarily provide the information needed to evaluate whether the use of stop and search powers is
effective.

The development of other technology, including body-worn video cameras and detection devices, such as metal detectors, can help the police in using stop and search powers more efficiently. The use of video recording seems to improve the behaviour of the subject and the officer, while detection aids offer an opportunity to screen people without resorting to the intrusiveness of
a full search and these possibilities should be further investigated and utilised.

Very few forces could show that use of stop and search powers was founded on an understanding of what serves best to lower crime, and seldom was it targeted at priority offences in their areas. Forces had decreased the volume of information received to decrease bureaucracy, but this had reduced their capacity to recognise the impact of the use of stop and search powers on crime levels
and community morale.

And better use of technology could help by giving frontline officers with real-time data and the ability simply to record data that could enhance the use of those powers.

Victims May Have Been Missed

The Breast Friends group has called on Paterson’s ex-employers Heart of England NHS Foundation (HEFT) and Spire Healthcare to communicate with all victims because Paterson was found guilty in April of 17 counts of wounding with intent, leaving victims at risk of cancer.

HEFT announced that of Paterson’s 1,206 patients that underwent mastectomies, 675 have since died and his employers stated they will fully cooperate with a new attempt to communicate with his previous patients.

Paterson, 60, served as a consultant at Solihull Hospital from 1998 and carried out “cleavage-sparing mastectomies”. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail at Nottingham Crown Court in April. This was later raised to 20 years.

The Breast Friends group announced reviews to date risk missing out sufferers of Paterson, who underwent general procedures, such as gallbladder extraction. He was a general surgeon as well as a breast cancer surgeon.

Plus this is a huge concern now and how countless other people were affected and HEFT announced it had not summoned all of Paterson’s patients but has examined more than 24,000 mastectomy procedure patients’ records to see if Paterson was involved.

The new force to contact patients will add numbers from the private sector which will be a step forward and hospital administrators will be missing a massive trick if the pathology of the departed is not examined to reveal the rates of cancer recurrence.

Nevertheless, the study of deceased victims will not restore any harm that has now been created or present any substantial compensation to the survivors and cancer survivors badly operated on by the discredited breast surgeon Ian Paterson are calling on his old employers to assure that all previous patients are contacted.

However, Health campaigners state they worry some may have been missed despite a number of investigations.

Paterson a consultant breast surgeon who was contracted by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) purposely injured his patients by distorting or creating cancer risks and demanded payments for more costly procedures.

He had practising rights in the independent sector at both Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston in Birmingham and was found guilty of 17 counts of injuring victims with intent in April.

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The Department of Health announced a wider independent inquiry into Paterson’s negligence and the broader lessons to be mastered but campaigners maintain this fell short of their choice of a public examination.

They maintain the independent inquiry has no powers to force people to give testimony, and they’re statement suggests that there is little likelihood of any new important information coming forth but they agree it could provide a step forward if the inquiry is able to show complete statistics on patient numbers.

Spire and the NHS state they will fully co-operate with the new inquiry.

One lady was marred by Paterson and everybody trusted Mr Paterson, he was like a god to many of those people and he was brimming with self-confidence and appeal and the surgeon was exactly the sort of man people trusted with their lives.

His unwavering composure comforted many an apprehensive victim as they were wheeled into the operating theatre. He was, after all, the Heart of England NHS Trust’s busiest surgeon, taking on the lion’s portion of operations in his department, as well as running busy private clinics in the West Midlands.

Patients believed he was a wonderful doctor because he was a really friendly, sincere person, who you wouldn’t ever suspect was able to do this sort of thing.

Frances Perks was 35 when she met Paterson after a mass was discovered in her breast. She had recently lost her mother and sister to breast cancer, and the surgeon told her to have a double mastectomy or chance full-blown cancer.

In the end, she opted to have one breast, her left, removed, and underwent eight other procedures at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull after Paterson said he kept discovering sinister looking lumps.

The fact was, that Mrs Perks, of Burntwood, Staffordshire, should never have had any of the procedures, let alone lose her breast. However, as numerous inquiries have now shown, Paterson routinely fabricated the truth and manipulated victims, co-workers and his administrators while carrying out disfiguring, dangerous procedures.

The real amount of people he destroyed is unknown and his trial at Nottingham Crown Court was the tip of the iceberg. But how was he able to get away with it for so long?

Behind the warm-hearted bedside manner that gained him the trust of thousands of women and men was a Jekyll and Hyde character defined as an arrogant bully by former co-workers and one doctor, who worked with him for a number of years, stated he had a very aggressive, bullying sort of personality, which allowed him to get his way.

People would usually go around him, they were frightened of him.

He didn’t want anyone in his way and because of his character he tended to be private and he actually liked that. People would bypass him, go around him and not deal with him, so he never got challenged or hauled up.

Nevertheless, something more troubling than character conflicts quickly became visible and in 2002, a tiny number of Paterson’s co-workers saw the women he was doing mastectomies on were not having their full breast removed.

It appeared Paterson had developed his own alternative of the operation a cleavage-sparing mastectomy. He considered leaving tissue behind encouraged women to get over the ordeal of losing their breasts by holding an element of their appearance.

It was unregulated by the GMC and a violation of national guidelines, which affirm the purpose of a mastectomy is to remove the vast bulk of breast mass but Joanne Lowson, who underwent the operation privately, said at his trial she was led to understand it would enable her to wear bikinis and pretty tops.

However, Paterson repeatedly convinced bosses it was trustworthy but, on the contrary, the method was extremely dangerous. If you leave excess breast tissue behind there is a considerably elevated risk cancer will reappear.

Paterson was found to have fabricated cancer manifestations in innumerable cases, doing mastectomies when much less invasive surgery and in some instances, a simple course of antibiotics would have sufficed.

Precisely why he carried out his deadly and futile operations is unclear.

Maintaining an image as a busy, successful surgeon, making more money through private work and being trusted by victims who mainly due to his own dishonesty thought they were at great risk, were opinions put forward by the prosecuting barrister, Julian Christopher QC.

Financial can’t have been the single reason, so what else are we left with? Either simply an uncaring, unthinking almost deranged-type mindset, or maybe he liked the devotion of the victim. However, Paterson’s behaviour is comparable to that of killer doctor Harold Shipman.

They both appeared to not know that what they were doing was illegal. Or if they realised it, they did it anyhow but while it is not understood whether the surgeon’s actions have contributed to any mortality, unlike in Shipman’s case, it is thought that Paterson’s actions were stoked by greedy, strange desires.

They both displayed some range of deranged approach to the care for their patients, that it wasn’t the patient that they were caring about, it was more their own goal or their own importance that was motivating their behaviour.

Paterson maintained he never meant to cause injury, and that he acted in his patients’ best interests and it was them who had opted for surgery.

He began operating as a surgeon at Solihull Hospital, a part of the Heart of England NHS Trust, in 1998 and quickly became recognised as being a quick operator and he could do many operations for breast cancer in a morning while others would do two or three.

While some called his work as dextrous and quick, others named it slipshod and slapdash and watching him work was a whirlwind.

He would breeze into the theatre, with a kind of relentless hastiness with things, and merely worked to get on as swiftly as possible.

However, one clinician, Dr Andrew Stockdale, saw something was awry with Paterson’s surgery.

He carried out an inspection of 100 patients assigned to him in 2003 and he discovered high numbers left with too much tissue who chanced growing secondary cancer, so he shared his concerns and managers commissioned the first report into Paterson but the resulting conclusions were just shared with senior bosses.

The trust did not take a blind bit of notice of it and, not only that, they swept it under the rug, therefore, Paterson carried on working, unchallenged, until 2007 when a newly selected surgeon took his concerns to managers.

This sparked additional inquiries and reports, which led to NHS bosses preventing Paterson from delivering his version of the mastectomy, prompting a closer review of Paterson’s earlier work.

It became more visible that something was awry and 12 women who NHS bosses feared might be most in danger were recalled and as word got out and stories started emerging in the newspapers and more of Paterson’s past patients started manifesting themselves at clinics, demanding to be examined.

By summer 2011, NHS managers had chosen to summon all of Paterson’s mastectomy patients and in the nine years, he worked at the trust, there had been 1,207, although the cumulative number of people he operated on there is 4,424.

He handled thousands more privately.

Paterson was barred by the trust in May 2011 and by the GMC in October 2012 and police started investigating in 2012.

The facts of his victims in court and Professor Drew’s medical testimony opposing Paterson’s actions convinced a jury that Paterson was a truly dangerous man and it’s distressing to even consider that someone would knowingly deceive a patient and submit them to effectively disfiguring surgery for no purpose, no good logic at all, and let them think that they’d had cancer for years when there was really nothing wrong.

Shipman was strange, Paterson is odd and they both knowingly injured people and you have to understand the full mindset of the medical field that is so corrupt, it doesn’t even occur to you that it can happen.

Failure to hinder Paterson sooner has proved costly for his past employers and The Heart of England Trust has settled £17.8 million in injuries and damages to 256 victims, while a civil suit this autumn will see 350 private patients seeking damages.

It is the human price of his actions which has been nothing short of disastrous and hundreds of victims have been left deformed. Many still experience mental health difficulties after having their cancer symptoms wildly distorted.

Tragically, many have died. Whether his actions added to their mortality is not yet known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Still Here, May Taunts Corbyn

The final PMQs of 2017 observed Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn waving conflicting statistics about the NHS. The Labour leader quoted Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, stating that the service requires another £4 billion and that it had got less than half that.

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The Prime Minister responded that NHS funding was at record levels and that despite Jeremy Corbyn’s objections week after week, there were more demonstrative tests than seven years ago, with 2.2 million people getting operations, with more elderly patients getting hip replacements and approximately 65,000 people who would not be alive today, had they not had advanced cancer care.

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Jeremy Corbyn announced that countless patients were kept waiting in the back of ambulances for more than half an hour and if the NHS was suitably resourced, why was it not reaching its objectives, and could Theresa May give a cast iron guarantee that these objectives would be met?

Theresa May stated the government’s NHS reforms were producing results: “We’re proud of the NHS and we’ll make it even better.”

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Jeremy Corbyn said A&E waiting objectives had not been reached for two years, and where were the 5,000 GPs the government had pledged to deliver by 2020? Theresa May answered that in Wales, where Labour is in government, the usual waiting time in A&E was last met in 2008.

That was because Wales depended on block income from the United Kingdom, which had been cut by 5 percent. Cancer patients commence treatment inside 62 days, better than in England and there were less GPs than when Theresa May became Prime Minister.

Six million cuts had been made to social care resources, two million older people’s care needs had been unmet, and still, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, had failed to put an extra penny in the budget for social care.

Theresa May announced that the Tories had put £2 billion into social care in the spring budget and Labour’s NHS record was characterised as a mess by Jeremy Corbyn before he was Labour leader.

“When he is running for leader, he denounces Labour’s record. Now he is a leader, he tries to defend it,” the Prime Minister stated.

Jeremy Corbyn replied by reciting the Tory leader of Warwickshire County Council, who announced the government needed to tackle long-standing underfunding in the NHS and this winter, the service is in crisis.

Theresa May terminated by mocking Jeremy Corbyn over his foresight that he would be prime minister by Christmas, stating Labour was “wrong, wrong, wrong” about that, as well as about Brexit and the budget.

Theresa May left Tory MPs yelling “more, more, more”, and it was unquestionably one of her most positive displays in recent weeks, but it was not a particularly illuminating dialogue, or even a really definitive one.

We end the year where PMQs conclude much of the time, with what’s broadly a deadlock. Jeremy Corbyn did not have any particularly interesting moments, but his issues were substantial and sturdy, and his appearance seemingly ended up in the “job done” section.

Contentions about the NHS at PMQs frequently just become statistic-slinging gatherings, and that is what this felt like. Most of the personages including the necessary reference to Wales seemed familiar, although Theresa May did have a new claim about the number of people now supposedly living who would not have been under prior cancer survival rates.

It was somewhat amusing but did not close the debate and Theresa May, did hammer Jeremy Corbyn in the quote bartering challenge towards the end, and her Jeremy Corbyn quote trumped his quote from a Tory council leader and Theresa May’s ultimate soundbite did what was expected in the events.

 

 

 

 

 

SUICIDE SCANDAL

Depressed benefits claimants are asked “Why haven’t you killed yourself?” when they claim state cash, according to an MP.
Labour’s Ruth George said vulnerable people were left sobbing on the floor during aggressive benefits assessments.

Labour’s Ruth George announced that vulnerable people were left crying on the floor during aggressive benefits assessments and her volcanic allegations came as she interrogated a minister about the way claimants are questioned on whether they are eligible to work.

Ruth George announced during a Commons committee meeting that there were people who were curled up sobbing on the floor and they were in these assessments. The assessor will simply not look at them but will duplicate the questions to them.

Do you believe that is a suitable way to encourage people with really severe mental health conditions?

One of the standard questions in the work capability assessment for people with severe mental health conditions who’ve had self-destructive thoughts is, ‘Why haven’t you killed yourself then?’

Do you believe that is a fitting question to evaluate someone’s ability to work?

Home Office minister Sarah Newton acknowledged the question was totally unacceptable and promised to stamp down on the practice. However, she added that it is essential to ascertain whether depressed people could be suicidal.

Well, no it’s not necessary to determine whether a depressed person could be suicidal, and particularly not at an assessment. That person’s mental health doctor or doctor would have given over that data before the assessment and it’s the role of PIP to request that information.

If they have not done so, then the question should not have even gone through the assessor’s mind at the time of the evaluation.

Many people in the United Kingdom require serious support and to go to the DWP and be viewed upon as a bit of rubbish is not right but some have to do it.

MPs have also criticised the government for paying more than £700 million a year, the bulk of it to private firms to operate sickness and disability benefits and this is a £700 million-a-year administration policy for benefits that are worth between a culmination of £110 and £140 a week.

How is this mugging of the taxpayer that is damaging the lives of thousands of disabled people right?

As an aide to someone who is really sick, it is a frightful encounter and we must have another Government for 2018 as this one has shifted into Fascism and it’s killing the poor, the disabled, the ailing and the old.

It isn’t simply those with mental health problems that are questioned why they haven’t killed themselves. Also, people who suffer from COPD are asked the same question during their evaluation for PIP.

As if not being in work or dealing with depression wasn’t difficult enough, and the level of insensitivity put towards the most defenceless in society became obvious as Labour MP, Ruth George, exposed the disturbing conduct as she appeared before the Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

If you’re looking to claim benefits, odds are you’re now down on your luck and feeling moderately sad and it would be a wrench on anyone’s mental health, and particularly people for whom problems such as depression or anxiety are just a portion of their everyday struggle.

Therefore the most callous question someone could possibly ask in this situation would be why you haven’t killed yourself.

That’s supposedly what’s occurring in the United Kingdom and a number of claimants who are being evaluated for the new Personal Independent Payments (PIP) have talked of their outrage on social media after being asked deeply inappropriate questions by assessors contracted by Atos and Capita.

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Alice Kirby, who has mental health problems, posted on Twitter that an Atos assessor appeared to be questioning the validity of her illness because she was still alive and assessors are normally medical professionals qualified enough to handle the evaluations but can have restricted understanding of mental ill health.

Cuts are costing disabled people their lives, but the assessments themselves can further put us in danger. They’re intended to be intrusive and manipulative, and we must boost awareness of this.

When claimants are asked questions like this, those claimants are required to disclose their reasons to stay alive. No one should be expected to do that, particularly in such a virulent and unsupportive situation.

Assessors do not have the experience or abilities to examine the responses to this question, and they’re not capable of implementing the support which may be required after.

This question is sometimes quite unrelated to a person’s assessment and would have no bearing on the outcome of their award and sometimes it’s not even referenced in the report, therefore we need to examine the reasons behind the question.

These assessments are not safe, people are terrified of going through them, and several are traumatised after. The government must examine the assessment method as a matter of urgency, and it needs to demonstrate why questions like this are being asked.

This is absolutely shameful and confirms simply how superior and cruel these so-called assessors have become.

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Atos the land of the deceivers, yet these supposedly highly qualified assessors are simply there to prevent people getting through.

There are people being assessed by people who are stating that they have 20 years of knowledge as a nurse, yet that said person didn’t know anything about mental health or mobility problems and it’s degrading for the person who is being assessed and the government seriously must improve the way people are getting evaluated.

Anybody who asks the question, “Why haven’t you killed yourself yet?” must be fired and to have said this to a person who already has a mental health problem is sickening, maybe one day the footwear might be on the other hoof and an assessor might be asked the self-same question but this is why these people are indifferent, cold-hearted fools, they have definitely don’t have any emotions at all in the cold light of day.

One day an assessor is going to ask that question and one day a claimant is going to kill his or herself right in front of the assessor and that my friend is manslaughter because the assessor has essentially harassed and ridiculed the claimant to do the act, and the assessor may as well have said “Why don’t you kill yourself then?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugs Are Too Expensive For The NHS

Activist and breast cancer victim Emma Robertson surfaced from the UK headquarters of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer last month bearing a bright blue T-shirt. Embellished on the back in bright yellow letters were the words: “No drug should ever cost a life”.

Thirty minutes beforehand she had seized a pen. Saying that she couldn’t believe that she had almost neglected to endorse her own petition, hurriedly adding her signature to close on 20,000 others demanding that Pfizer cut the cost of a breakthrough breast cancer medicine which about 5,500 NHS patients had been refused.

In February, the medication Palbociclib had been refused by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) for use on the NHS in England owing to its massive price tag, estimated at about £140 a pill.

Two days after Emma Robertson, 36, handed in the petition, Nice declared that Palbociclib would be recommended for routine use on the NHS across England after Pfizer agreed to reduce the cost, although to what, precisely, will remain secret.

The triumph was the height of Emma Robertson’s primary battle with a new activist group, Just Treatment. Established just under a year ago, the group has recruited nine patient leaders who have all fought to get the treatment they urgently required on the NHS.

They get training and assistance to initiate campaigns with money from contributor George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Forty core members are supported by more than 20,000 sponsors who write to politicians and businesses, endorse petitions and protest.

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Too many activist groups simply apply pressure on Nice and the NHS to cough up the cash for pricey treatments. Alternatively, she wants the pressure put on the drug companies producing the huge costs and as a patient, Emma Robertson clearly wants and needs the NHS to fund Palbociclib, but as a citizen, she knows there isn’t some magical money tree.

We exist in a nation with poor resources, which means not everybody can get everything they require. Patients rightly demand access, but rather than putting more stress on where resources are allotted, we should be looking at root causes, like why the medications are so expensive in the first place.

Emma Robertson maintains that if the cost was lowered to a pound a tablet, Palbociclib would be more in range with what it may actually cost to manufacture and would still allow for a profit.

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Just Treatment wants to have complete clearness of the drug industry to expose how much public and private expenditure is made in the construction of a medicine, how much drug businesses waste on marketing and selling, the complete revelation of all experimental proof, and complete openness on the costs being imposed.

The victory of Emma’s petition reveals exactly how outraged and involved the public is when it comes to the NHS and access to medications, and how prepared they are to support causes like this.

Just Treatment’s co-founder and principal organiser, Diarmaid McDonald. For numerous years, he fought for more fair access to antiretroviral medicines to fight HIV and he’s seen that fight and the unbelievable successes in developing nations for people securing important access to medications.

Frequently, back in the United Kingdom, he started seeing many of the same problems of not being able to obtain medications because of huge price tags and a fight needed to be had at home as well as overseas and it’s important that the pressure is utilised in the right place, on the companies who set the costs and many of Just Treatment’s patient leaders have records as activists in their own right.

Mel Kennedy, 40, fought for the life-extending cancer medication Kadcyla to be provided on the NHS in Northern Ireland. Mel Kennedy had to crowdfund, raising £26,000 to use on treatment privately until in June Nice turned they’re its decision and allowed the medication for use in Northern Ireland.

After Simon Brasch, 51, got his shock diagnosis of hepatitis C two years ago, something he associates to an earlier blood transfusion, he had to wait over a year to get the medication he required. Even though the medications were approved for treatment on the NHS, their cost meant they were stringently rationed.

Simon Brasch, who lives in London, didn’t make the cut and his doctors were in a permanent position of not knowing. It was simply a matter of waiting until his liver was bad enough to put him over that threshold for treatment.

Simon Brasch feels strongly that in situations like this the United Kingdom, the government should just overturn the monopoly on the medication. Patents give their owners a brief monopoly on producing the medication, effectively enabling them to establish costs as they see fit.

Overturning these would enable other companies to make affordable generic copies that the NHS could afford without having to ration access.

He points to India and Italy, whose governments have taken on big pharma and won, justifying such measures as needed to protect the well-being of their populations and if companies can’t offer reasonable prices then we need to take action to enforce them to do so.

Under the crown use provisions of the 1977 Patents Act, the government can lawfully override a patent and implement a compulsory licence so long as it gives sufficient compensation to the holder.

However, there’s a dilemma, this could cost billions of pounds. But such actions are unlikely to get traction in the United Kingdom. The political costs are high and would mean going against incredibly powerful forces.

It’s quite like tobacco or alcohol, or guns in the United States. You’re going up against one of the most lucrative enterprises in the world.

Clare Groves, 49, had to wait nearly three years for hepatitis C treatment in London and it’s frustrating at how hard things can be, even if you’re well informed and there was so much to and fro between specialists.

Nice said the medicine that she required should be given to everyone, but then there were stringent quotas in place and it’s this point that Just Treatment really want to hit home and the blame rests with drug companies charging unjustifiably costly prices.

We must ensure the burden is on the drug companies who introduced the costs as well as the system that permits them to do so. However, the pharmaceutical industry claims that it costs as much as $2.6 billion to produce and market a new drug and without huge prices, companies would be incapable or opposed, to keep the pipeline of new drugs circulating.

But since 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority have penalised a number of drugs companies for improper pricing of medicines.

Just Treatment maintains the industry’s own numbers don’t stand up to scrutiny and it points out that the centre for the study of drugs development at Tufts University in the United States, which provided the $2.6 billion amount, declares 25 percent of its running costs come from the drugs trade and associated businesses.

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Plus a recent analysis of 10 new cancer drugs published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Internal Medicine put the median cost of producing a single cancer drug at the much lower $648 million. (The median revenue following approval for such a drug was $1.66 billion).

The prices the NHS pays for specific drugs are usually kept secret, and it’s hard to find out how much is used in research and development. However, the entire NHS drugs bill was £17.4 billion in the year to April 2017 up 34 percent following 2010.

In the United States, a 2015 inquiry discovered that nine out of 10 large pharmaceutical companies used more on marketing than on research. The industry further relies massively on publicly financed research.

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A recent study by Global Justice Now and Stop Aids found the NHS had spent £1 billion on medications last year alone developed by drug companies but with abundant help from the public pocket. Although Just Treatment was happy about the victory of its initial campaign.

However, pressing questions must be asked about how much we’re spending out for drugs and it certainly does seem to be over the odds.

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After Pfizer reduced the price of Palbociclib, there are still hurdles in bringing new cancer medications to patients in the United Kingdom and as cancer medicines are becoming more advanced and complex, we must continue working in conjunction with Nice, the NHS England, the government to guarantee the system is able to keep pace with medical discovery, so that patients can obtain medications they require.

This is necessary if the United Kingdom is to fulfil its goal of world-class cancer outcomes.

So what are the struggles ahead? Just Treatment will continue to strive for affordable cancer medicines, as well as directing its attention to others with eye-watering high prices, including medicines for hepatitis C, Addison’s disease, and Cystic Fibrosis.

It’s not going to be easy, but there’s absolutely no reason to not be looking for other ways to do things and how they finance and fund for drugs presently is not working for anybody. Until they do, people will keep paying with their lives.