In 1997 the NHS spent over £700 million on agency nurses. This year the figure will have risen to over £2.5 billion. Why pay outrageous amounts of money to agencies when it is clearly cheaper to employ permanent staff? I will show that in actual fact it is not cheaper to employ permanent staff, and that increasing agency use is just more laying of ground work in preparation for the privatisation of the NHS.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) represents most of the nurses employed within the NHS and has a membership of over 400,000. It started life as a ‘professional’ organisation for nurses, promoting excellence in practice, before registering as a ‘trade union’ in 1976. Scratch the surface of this grubby, conservative, false-flag operation, and you will see it is not a ‘trade union’ by any understanding of the term.
In light of the recent ‘lawful killing’ verdict in the Mark Duggan case, and the increased interest around the conduct of police, deaths in custody, and corruption, I am re-visiting the case of Christopher Alder who died in 1998, face down on a police station floor in Hull. Christopher’s death was initially ruled to be an ‘unlawful killing’, but the decision was over-turned by a judge in 2000. Fourteen years of lies, cover-ups, and heartbreak for his family, have followed.
The last two incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolonnikova, were yesterday released from prison as part of an amnesty granted to around 22,000 prisoners. Whilst their release is obviously good news for everyone concerned, it is more of a public relations stunt by Vladimir ‘Bonaparte’ Putin, ahead of the Winter Olympics in early 2014 - than it is clemency, or a relaxing of Putin’s regime.
Over 8,000 protesters have clashed with riot police as they protested against the planned eviction of squatters from a popular social centre, and against the eviction of hundreds of people from heir homes. The largely peaceful protest erupted following a baton charge, and use of teargas, and water cannons by the police. The protesters responded by building barricades, throwing stones, fireworks, and bottles. It is reported that over 500 people has been injured, and around 150 arrests made.