Thursday, 29 June 2017

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From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists Debate (5) – Is It Racist To Want NHS Nurses To Speak English?

NATIONAL LIBERAL TRADE UNIONISTS – NLTU – are deeply unhappy at the current state of the National Health Service. The NHS faces many challenges: the threat of privitisation, low wages and morale, outdated equipment and a unhealthy reliance (in terms of a form of self-sufficiency) on foreign workers.

In futures articles the NLTU hopes to examine all of these problems. However, we want to kick off by looking at the role of foreign NHS healtcare workers, not least because the subject was recently aired by a NHS psychiatrist, Dr. Max Pemberton. His article – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4392300/DR-MAX-Not-racist-want-NHS-nurses-speak-English.html – appeared in early April.


The NLTU found Dr. Pemberton’s article very thought-provoking, especially his brief mention of the EU. One of the reasons why the NLTU supported Brexit was that the policy of allowing the ‘free movement of capital and labour’ between EU member states means that big business can chase – and exploit – the lowest wages across Europe. At the same time British workers have seen with their own eyes the massive influx of Eastern European workers. Understandably they want to improve their lives – but the result of their movement has placed enormous strains upon local services. With this in mind, we found it hard to believe that other Trade Unionists who supported the Remain campaign were effectively supporting the rape of Eastern Europe.

If you have any comments specifically realting to Dr. Pemberton’s article – or the NHS in general – please leave them on the NLTU Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/ once you see this article appear.


It goes without saying that there are no official links between Dr. Pemberton, the Daily Mail or the NLTU.

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It’s not racist to want NHS nurses to speak English

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The National Health Service needs to be saved. But is it healthy to be so reliant on foreign workers? Have your say.

What rot! Having control of our borders will mean that we are able to choose who can come in.

We will, therefore, be able to allow into this country those from the EU who have skills that we need, just as we currently do for those coming from outside the EU.

In fact, just over 25 per cent of the NHS medical workforce is from outside the EU — countries such as India — compared with the 10 per cent from the EU.

But why is the UK so reliant on staff from overseas in the first place? What happened?

Britain was once at the forefront of the development of biomedicine. We are head and shoulders above other nations in our contribution towards medical science. From penicillin to DNA, our discoveries have changed the course of history.

So why can’t we organise ourselves well enough to train sufficient doctors and nurses to keep the NHS afloat?

The current situation in which the NHS needs to recruit staff from all over the world, while celebrated by some of the liberal elite as evidence of how ‘inclusive’ and ‘tolerant’ we are as a nation, makes me profoundly uncomfortable.

Why is it celebrated that we effectively steal the best medical staff from impoverished, struggling countries? Why is it that we have to import staff — who may not fully understand the language, culture or practices of our country — as a matter of routine?

A House of Lords committee has now waded into the issue, saying that the NHS is ‘too reliant’ on foreign staff and blamed successive governments for failing to plan. It argues that our reliance on foreign workers is the biggest threat to the NHS.

I completely agree. I’ve seen this myself in psychiatry. In some areas of the country, nearly half of posts are unfilled simply because there aren’t the staff for them. This means trusts increasingly have to recruit from abroad.

Things are so dire that they will employ people who, frankly, I wouldn’t trust to look after my goldfish. One former colleague told me she had struggled to get work in her own country, so came here because she knew she’d walk into a job.

But if she was not deemed good enough for a job in her own country, why is she considered good enough in ours?

In one hospital where I worked, they recruited health care assistants (HCAs) from outside the EU. The interview was conducted in local dialect by a local recruiter, and one of the HCAs arrived not being able to speak a word of English. Not a word. I had to teach her how to say ‘Good Morning’ to the patients.

How could she be expected to take blood pressure readings, record the results and then tell me if there was a problem? How could she reassure anxious patients if she could not even speak to them?

Recently, a wholly unhelpful sensitivity has sprung up around talking about this, yet it has to be said: many of these recruits struggle with English, have limited written communication skills and are from different cultures with different attitudes and beliefs. Why is it considered racist to be concerned that patients can’t understand the nurse trying to explain something to them?

While we’re wasting money left, right and centre in the NHS on managers and paper-pushers who contribute absolutely nothing to the welfare of patients, why can’t the money be channelled into training adequate numbers of staff to meet our needs?

We rely on more overseas health staff than any other European country. What an embarrassment.

Rather than giving ourselves a self-satisfied pat on the back that we employ staff from all over the world, we should acknowledge that the reason we do this is because of our own ineptitude at workforce planning and hang our heads in shame.

• CHECK out our previous NLTU debates here:

National Liberal Trade Unionists Debate 1 – How Can we Achieve Our Main Aims? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-national-liberal-trade-unionists-debate-1-how-can-we-achieve-our-main-aims

National Liberal Trade Unionists Debate 2 – What Should Be Re-Nationalised? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-national-liberal-trade-unionists-debate-2-%e2%80%93-what-should-be-re-nationalised

National Liberal Trade Unionists Debate 3 – Bob Crow: What Is His Legacy? http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-national-liberal-trade-unionists-%e2%80%93-bob-crow-what-is-his-legacy

National Liberal Trade Unionists Debate 4 – How Should Trade Unionists View The EU? (06/05/14) http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-national-liberal-trade-unionists-debate-4-%e2%80%93-how-should-trade-unionists-view-the-eu


• CHECK OUT issue 1 of Liberal Worker - the voice of National Liberal Trade Unionists. To get hold of your FREE pdf copy simply request it by e-mailing natliberal@aol.com Also look out for more information about issue 2 in due course.

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From The Liberty Wall – Free Speech: How Do We Defend It – Words Of Wisdom – Baruch Spinoza

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From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Syria’s ‘Hierarchy Of Suffering’ (Part One)
WHATEVER the reasons behind the armed conflict in Syria, there’s no doubt that the war between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his many ememies – in particular those associated with Islamic State – has become increasingly bloody. Indeed, hardly a week goes by without some form of atrocity being reported.

But is every atrocity being evenly investigated and reported to the same degree? And are all the innocent victims – in particular defenceless children – receiving the same attention? Or is there some perverse ‘hierarchy of suffering’ at work in Syria?

Robert Fisk is one man who appears to think that there is some form of ‘hierarchy of suffering’. Fisk is the multi-award winning Middle East correspondent of The Independent, based in Beirut. A veteran and highly eperienced reporter, Fisk has lived in the Arab world for more than 40 years, ‘covering Lebanon, five Israeli invasions, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Algerian civil war, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the 2011 Arab revolutions’
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The article reproduced below first appeared in The Independent of 17th April http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-suicide-attack-refugee-buses-trump-only-cares-sunni-children-a7687066.html However, Nations without States has taken the decision to to reproduce it in two sections – as it’s felt that this is the best way to stimulate debate concerning the situation in Syria.

It goes without saying that there are no official links between Robert Fisk, The Independent or Nations without States.

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If Trump cares so much about Syrian babies, why is he not condemning the rebels who slaughtered children?

US President Trump doesn’t seem to care when some Syrian children are killed. Nearly 100 children were recently killed but they don’t count as their parents supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Robert Fisk (right) seems to believe that there’s some form of a ‘Hierarchy Of Suffering’ in Syria. Is he correct?

Dozens of children were killed in Syria this weekend but where is the US president’s lament on how ‘beautiful’ they are, let alone action? Where are the denunciations by the EU and the UK? The West must react with equal outrage when it is Shias that are the victims of terrorism. Or do we just not care?


It was the Mother of all Hypocrisy. Some dead Syrian babies matter, I guess. Other dead Syrian babies don’t matter. One mass murder in Syria two weeks ago killed children and babies and stirred our leaders to righteous indignation. But the slaughter in Syria this weekend (1) killed even more children and babies – yet brought forth nothing but silence from those who claim to guard our moral values. Now why should this be?

When a gas attack in Syria killed more than 70 civilians on 4 April, including babies and children, Donald Trump ordered a missile attack on Syria. America applauded. So did its media. So did much of the world. Trump called Bashar al-Assad “evil” and “an animal”. The EU condemned the Syrian regime. Downing Street called the gas attack “barbaric”. Almost every western leader demanded that Assad should be overthrown.

Yet after this weekend’s suicide bombing of a convoy of civilian refugees outside Aleppo killed 126 Syrians, more than 80 of them children, the White House said nothing. Even though the death toll was far greater, Trump didn’t even Tweet his grief. The US navy launched not even a symbolic bullet towards Syria. The EU went all coy and refused to say a single word. All talk of “barbarism” from Downing Street was smothered.

Do they feel no sense of shame? What callousness. What disgrace. How outrageous that our compassion should dry up the moment we realised that this latest massacre of the innocents wasn’t quite worth the same amount of tears and fury that the early massacre had produced. It fact it wasn’t worth a single tear. For the 126 Syrians – almost all of them civilians – who have just been killed outside Aleppo, were Shia Muslims being evacuated from two government-held (ie Bashar-held) villages in the north of Syria. And their killer was obviously from al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) or one of the Sunni “rebel” groups we in the West have armed – or quite possibly from Isis itself – and thus didn’t qualify for our sorrow.

The UN, clip-clopping on to the stage-boards as usual, did speak out. The latest attack was “a new horror”. And Pope Francis called it “ignoble” and prayed for “beloved and martyred Syria”. And having been brought up by a pretty anti-Catholic dad, I said what I often say when I think the Pontiff has got it right, especially Francis: Good old Pope! Why, even the virtually non-existent anti-Assad “Free Syrian Army” condemned the attack as “terrorist”.

But that was it. And I recalled all those maudlin stories about how Ivanka Trump, as a mother, had been especially moved (2) by the videotape from Khan Shaykoun, the site of the chemical attack on 4 April, and had urged her father to do something about it. And then it was Federica Mogherini, the EU’s ‘High Representative” for foreign affairs and security policy, who described the attack as “awful” – but insisted that she spoke “first of all as a mother”. Quite right, too. But what happened to all her maternal feelings – and those of Ivanka – when the pictures came in from northern Syria this weekend of exploded babies and children packaged up in black plastic bags? Silence.

(1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-bomb-attack-children-dead-civilians-swap-bashar-al-assad-a7686241.html

(2) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ivanka-trump-donald-bomb-air-strikes-sir-kim-darroch-syria-chemical-attack-sarin-idlib-province-a7674951.html
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From The Liberty Wall – The St. George’s Committee – The St. George’s Committee Says Happy St. George’s Day!

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From The Liberty Wall – Free Speech: How Do We Protect It? – Tyranny Of The Minority (Part 1)

FREEDOM LOVERS may recall that issue 1 of Free Speech took its cue from Mick Hume’s excellent and thought-provoking book Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? Therefore, it highlighted several areas (such as the internet, comedy and football) where the right to free speech (and assembly) is under threat from illiberal ‘liberals’ and ‘Reverse-Voltaires’.

Trigger Warning was published in June 2015. Now Hume has produced Revolting! an equally polemical, thought-provoking and timely book. The sleeve notes describe the theme of the book:

‘We live in strange days in the history of democracy. Every serious politician in the Western world supports it. Yet when the EU referendum and American election both delivered the ‘wrong’ result, elites challenged the merit of the people’s will, and some even tried to block it. Preferrimg unelected institutions, from technocrats to the courts, self-appointed higher minds questioned whether voters are fit to be trusted with their futures.

And yet the answer will never be to impose limitations. Popular democracy must offer better choices, rather than removing choice altogether. It’s time to defend democracy and fight for more of it, with no ifs, buts or backtracks’.

The article reproduced below is adapted from Revolting! It originally appeared in the Daily Mail of 25th February http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4258522/A-poisonous-conviction-taking-root-Left.html However, we’ve taken the decision to to reproduce it in four sections – as we feel this is the best way to stimulate debate and highlight and reinforce our belief that the Establishment itself is the real enemy of free speech and thought.

It goes without saying that there are no official links between Mick Hume, the Daily Mail and Free Speech.

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Tyranny Of The Minority: How the most sinister trend of our age is a poisonous conviction taking root on the Left and among the elite that ordinary people are too stupid to be trusted with voting

Mick Hume (top right) is a journalist and author of Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? and Revolting! Revolting! looks at how the Establishment are undermining democracy and what they’re afraid of. Two recent events have shook the Establishment to the core – the UK Brexit vote and the election of US President Donald Trump (bottom right). Revolting! represents a short, sharp intervention in the crucial debate about the future of democracy.

Back in the 18th century, political reformer Henry Fox was advocating giving the vote to more people. But only, he insisted, to what he called ‘the better sort’. Not ‘the mob or the mere dregs of the people’. Heaven forbid!

Now, in the 21st century, such derogatory sentiments about ‘the people’ are dangerously back in fashion — ever since they dared vote for Brexit in Britain, and for Donald Trump in the United States.

Questions are being asked in high places about whether ordinary voters are fit to make decisions on major issues.

As a result, democracy — the cornerstone of our way of life — is being undermined, its very survival put at risk. Its modern enemies are mustering from all corners — but most worryingly from the Left, the very area where its stoutest defenders should be.

As a long-standing person of the Left, I fear that democratic freedoms are now in danger of being abandoned as elitists in our midst attempt to restrict them.

Every serious politician and thinker declares his or her belief in democracy. Yet, in practice, they seek to separate power from the people. The mantra has become ‘I’m a democrat, of course, but …’

Over Brexit, this profoundly insidious attitude was exemplified by John Major, former Tory prime minister, who denied the referendum result was binding and declared: ‘The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy.’

Some of us might naively have imagined that majority rule was the very essence of democracy. But not, it seems, when millions vote against the wishes of a tiny political elite.

It was, of course, George Orwell in his 1945 novel Animal Farm, who described how ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’

Fast-forward to today and we find many Remainers similarly convinced that anyone who voted to leave the EU is too stupid to have the vote. The response was the same in America when voters failed to elect Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s victory, one U.S. professor declared, was ‘the dance of the dunces’, the result of ‘uneducated, low-information white people’ being given the vote. He added: ‘Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing?’

The fury against the 17.4 million UK voters who dared to back Brexit — and the 62 million Americans who had the temerity to vote for Trump — brings frightening anti-democratic poisons bubbling to the surface of our societies.

The sheer bile that erupted from political and cultural elites in Britain after the Brexit vote revealed a deep-seated contempt for the people and for democracy. The Establishment reacted as if the ground had disappeared from beneath their feet. How could this have happened?

After all, the Remain campaign had marshalled every authority in the Western world to warn that a Leave vote would lead to economic ruination, a descent into barbarism, world war and, worse, falling house prices.

The people had been told to vote Remain by leaders of all Britain’s mainstream political parties, the governor of the Bank of England, the Chancellor of Germany, the then President of the U.S., and every celebrity from David Beckham to Johnny Rotten.

Yet a majority of voters actually disobeyed!

• To check out a review of Free Speech click here: http://nationalliberal.org/review-of-issue-1-of-free-speech

• Check out Free Speech: How Do We Protect It? Click here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1607711629485795/

• For an excellent review of Trigger Warning click here: https://countercultureuk.com/2015/07/26/trigger-warning/

• Check out Revolting! Click here:  https://www.amazon.com/Revolting-Establishment-Undermining-Democracy-Theyre/dp/0008220824/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490209013&sr=1-1&keywords=mick+hume

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From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – It’s Our NHS!

NATIONAL LIBERAL TRADE UNIONISTS – along with the vast majority of the general public – gave their whole-hearted support to the It’s Our NHS national demonstration held in London at the start of this month.

Here tens of thousands marched in support of the National Health Service. They marched against Tory cuts – driven by their lunatic Austerity agenda – and the creeping privatisation of the NHS.

The NLTU knows all too well the problems faced by the NHS. But slashing budgets, awarding derisory pay increases and cutting jobs will not make the situation any better. Indeed, the reverse is true – with many sections of the NHS now virtually on their knees.

We are also concerned at the way private companies are – slowly but surely – taking over sections of the NHS. Here they feel that they can make a profit out of the illness and misery of others. This is totally wrong. The NHS should remain a public service and resource – and not a profit making machine.

The NLTU would like to step up the fight in support of the NHS by producing a publication researched, written and distributed by NLTU Health Service workers. Indeed, we would like to produce publications for various different trades and professions. This would also include those involved in co-operatives, who are self-employed or who own small businesses or who view themselves as entrepreneurs.

If you think that you fit the bill and have something to say get in touch by e-mailing nationalliberal@aol.com Do it today!


• FOR MORE information about the National Liberal Trade Unionists – NLTU – click here: http://nationalliberal.org/liberty-wall-3/national-liberal-trade-unionist

• CHECK OUT the NLTU Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231

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