The NHS chief
executioner executive who presided over care so appalling it resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people at Stafford Hospital has finally decided to announce his “retirement”.
Sir David Nicholson refused to resign when the damning truth was revealed by the Francis Report in February and NHS arch-worshipper David Cameron refused to sack him. Nicholson has been clinging on to his job and massive salary every since until today. But don’t get your hopes up – he isn’t going quite yet. The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, (a swivel-eyed loon if there ever was one) is allowing the man who presided over the Stafford Hospital killing field, and then lied to Parliament about knowing about the high death rate, to stay in post on his basic salary of £211,000 until March next year when he will step down with a huge pension pot of £1.9 Million.
Nicholson was chief executive of Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust (which Stafford Hospital fell under) during the scandal between 2005 and 2009. During this time, over one thousand patients needlessly died at the hands of their doctors and nurses who were being led by targets fed down by Nicholson to ensure he won the coveted Foundation Status (devised by the Labour Party) for his NHS Trust, when he would be given even more power over how Stafford Hospital was run, and, of course, more money.
I’ve written extensively about what went on at Stafford Hospital before so I won’t rehearse the same points again. Today’s news demonstrates how large corporations, not just in the public sector but in the private sector too, reward failure and collude to stifle consumer competition and employment competition to ensure a select few receive the rewards.
In the case of the NHS, the whistleblowers, including Gary Walker, former head of United Lincolnshire NHS Trust, who raised patient safety concerns to Nicholson in a 2009 letter to him has had his career ruined whereas the man whose direction significantly contributed to 1,200 families losing their loved ones sails along to the finishing line with full pay and a juicy pension to look forward to.
It’s the same in the private sector. As I have written previously, and was subsequently expressed in an article on the Backbencher online magazine today, capitalism – the great system of free markets and mass distribution of wealth – is no longer in operation. The world economy is pro-business not pro-free markets. One is the antithesis of the other.
Today’s economy is not what Margaret Thatcher envisaged. During the last twenty years capitalism has been captured by the elite and the free market is no longer anything like free. Business and trade is sewn up by the elite (CEOs, Governments, the EU etc) at the expense of the free market (consumer choice, employment competition, free trade movement etc). Capitalism is a theory which sees wealth spread through the masses – unfortunately, it is no longer implemented. Corporations take the wealth and push it up into the boardroom where it only benefits the few.
We now have big blocks of corporations where consumer competition is stifled (look at Yahoo buying up all the small tech start-ups (Astrid, Tumbler), driving up the costs of products and as corporations grow larger worker competition is stagnated, driving down wages.
Corporations have become so big that they are now not only able to do deals with one another (that’s called a cartel Shell and BP!) but with Governments and even entire continents as we have seen with Amazon and Google taking advantage of the EU tax laws which allow these massive corporations to pretend they don’t do any business in the UK and they only sell services in Ireland or Luxembourg.
This behaviour, aided by politicians and unelected legislators (EU commissioners, for example), doesn’t just drive down consumer choice and wages – it kills people. As we have seen in the third largest corporation in the world – the NHS – and large clothing firms paying Bangladeshis 21 cents an hour to work in collapsing factories.
It’s time to break up the power of the corporate elite, unleash the true values of Capitalism and Enterprise and set the people free.