Analysis Breaking

Video – BMA chair: dense Starmer and Streeting clueless over GPs and NHS

Damning words as Professor Philip Banfield says Labour has no clue how GPs or their referrals to specialists work – and aren’t willing to listen or learn

Professor Philip Banfield, the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) has publicly condemned not just the stupidity of Wes Streeting – and by extension his boss Keir Starmer – but also their arrogant refusal to listen or learn, during an appearance on Sky News this morning.

Starmer has ludicrously suggested that allowing people to refer themselves to specialists instead of seeing GPs.

Banfield told Sky’s Sophie Ridge that Starmer’s madness would mean millions of ‘worried well’ clogging up an NHS already in crisis – and went on to say Streeting and co are not only clueless about what GPs do and how their referrals to NHS specialists work, but that he had been forced to ‘agree to disagree’ because Streeting wasn’t prepared to listen to people who actually know what they’re talking about:

What a desperate state for the country to be in: a government whose evil is matched only by its arrogance – and an ‘opposition’ determined to equal or outdo it.

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  1. Has keef abstained/supported the free prescription abolition for the over 60’s, yet?

    Won’t be long…😙🎵

  2. Hasn’t the penny dropped, by clogging up the system with self referrals the contrived solution will be to suggest the the private care providers will solve the problem.

    1. Unfortunately the very few pennies (some) people have left (until they’re snatched away) are too precious to drop.

      The cost of living crisis is weighing far more heavily on people’s minds than keefs’ imbecility. Call me cynical but perhaps that’s why he’s coming out with all this bullshit while people are distracted by COL.

      Neither the ‘rags nor keef are even offering one or the other. Both are offering neither.

      1. That is to say that you’ll neither get a fix to cost of living, nor will you see the NHS fixed and back in public hands…not a section of what’s privately operated now will return to the public domain. In fact it will only further be asset-stripped.

    2. Privatization…..who would have thought that a stay in the “care home” could solve so many vulnerable old problems “Must be first on the list for government favours in unblocking the pension problem.The pensioners will be asking for parity next with the European pension next…?..after all we know that seven hundred pounds allows to eat and heat like a king in the ever so progressive and privatised royal UK..
      Could we privatize the mps pensions please and a free trip to a “care ❤home” for all of em?

  3. Craig Murray…..

    ‘Twitter Ban’

    I appear to have been banned from Twitter. For over a week I have not been able to log in to my account.

    Every attempt to use the appeal mechanisms that exist when a twitter account is suspended or banned, are closed off by a message that the account does not exist and they have no record of my contact details, which is absolutely not true.

    Over half the traffic to this website comes via twitter. On this website I express in mild and sometimes intellectual terms my dissent from the neoliberal world view.

    In the past two years this has caused me to be jailed, to be interviewed about leaks on another matter by the Police, to be thrown out of the National Union of Journalists, to have two laptops stolen, to have my facebook account hacked and my twitter account blocked.

    The warning bells for the freedoms of speech and dissent we took for granted in western society could not be ringing louder nor more clearly.

  4. Ken Burns’ three-part documentary film The US and the Holocaust is available to watch on Iplayer, and well worth checking out. I also discovered earlier today that Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-half hour documentary film about the Holocaust is on youtube, and I highly recommend it if you’ve never seen it (make sure and turn on the subtitle option):

  5. Starmer and Streeting may know very well what they are doing with their NHS proposals. Using private capacity to cut down the waiting lists would result in investment and expanding of the private sector. Self referral would create a tidy niche for private providers to offer diagnostic services to the worried well either under, paid for by, the NHS or as private provision outside the NHS. On any event both proposals would undermine NHS provision.

    1. Geoff Bryant, Private Health Involvement in the NHS is at an all time high this past year. It hasn’t helped improve waiting times has it? You and I know what Starmer and Streeting are up to.

  6. Sadly, there’s probably ‘method in Starmer and Streeting’s madness.’ The Tories lay the groundwork with anti-Strike legislation(which I doubt Labour will repeal despite Starmer’s pledge), then Labour can push through more market reforms down the line?

    Keep in mind that over the last decade the UK has spent less per capita – around 20% below the EU14 average – on healthcare. The NHS’s struggles are understandable given this context.

    They don’t want to ‘save’ the NHS, their obsession is with ‘reforming it; note. It needs to ‘reform or die,’ they say. But who is threatening to kill it? Certainly not the public, who despite current problems nevertheless still support and appreciate having the NHS, merely wanting it to function smoothly – and that requires investment.

    We spend less on health per capita than other major European economies, as stated above.

    1. Not once have Labour accused the Tories of running the NHS into the ground deliberately.

      They also say very little about the tens of billions wasted on ‘Test & Trace’ and PPE contracts thrown around like confetti to FOTTs (Friends of the Tories) while the normal tendering rules were relaxed. Michelle Mone plus Matt Hancock’s neighbour, who’s denied cronyism helped him secure a £40million NHS Test and Trace contract. Hmm… sketchy much?

      Labour still support HS2 (a Blair-era vanity project aimed only at rich VIPs incl. MPs) the high-speed rail line planned between London and Manchester will cost an estimated £72 billion to £98 billion.

      An estimated £10bn thus far for Ukraine, a country few Brits could have found on a map prior to 2022. Fuelling a war in Ukraine that only the US seem to be doing well out of; as the dollar $oars as a ‘safe’ currency ; NATO strengthens with new members and US defence order books full and US LNG (liquefied natural gas) replaces the 4x cheaper Russian gas, as Europe’s fuel of choice. A war that has driven up prices of everything across Europe, pushing people into poverty. Who gains from the slaughter continuing? Certainly not Ukraine, not Russia; not Europe and Not the UK.

      1. The Ukraine may gain from war and maybe Russia and the US but once again the people will pay for it in lives and dollers as the petro currency is given a massive boost to a flagging US empire.Russia can sell all its discounted oil to the New superpower China and the emerging economies in S.East Asia and across S.Asia.Theres a reset and captain America looks to come through it even stronger whilst the UK goes down the pan.!

      2. Joseph – I wonder how long the dollar will last as the pre-eminent currency.
        A large minority of oil trading is now not conducted using the dollar.
        Many countries are now willing to trade using other currencies.
        There are discussions ongoing regarding the development of a Latin American trading currency.
        Saudi Arabia has applied to join BRICS.
        The international financial system is in a state of flux.

      3. How many houses would that £10bn – spaffed up against the wall for a regime of Nazi and Fascist thugs – provide for the homeless in the UK? While luxury properties stay empty for years on end, benefiting only wealthy feudal globalist parasites and associated financialisation leeches.

        The UK competes with the US and Europe in the rush towards fourth world status. As described here by Helmholtz Smith on Larry Johnson’s blog:

        “An America of war all the time everywhere, of tent cities and full jails, of open borders, disappeared manufacturing, opiates, misery, poverty, corruption. An America with endless money to spend abroad but none to spend at home. (The hundred billion dollars dumped into Ukraine would give a $200,000 house to every one of the estimated half million homeless in the USA!) An America failing, no longer the American they loved, served and believed in. The Twitter revelations show some of the activities of this enemy embedded in the American polity. It’s very late and many fear that it is too late.”

        Where there’s money, there’s a fiddle. And what passes for the demos across the West is just another Grift. Another Con. Another Shell Game with the false choice of the UniParty all singing from the same unworkable, impractical, collapsing, failed, not fit for purpose hymn sheet.

        On the present trajectory it won’t be too long before one or other of these two cheeks of the same backside propose the reintroduction, via a shiny ‘New’ label, the Workhouse and debtors prisons.

      4. goldbach,

        You might want to check out Radhika Desai & Michael Hudson here (video and transcript):

        ….who provide plenty of meat for the bone discussing the emerging Multipolar reality and the two very different models – along with the philosophies which underpin them.

        Here’s a flavour:

        “So the United States approach to leading the world order is to lead by being the aggressor — to threaten, to hurt other countries — not by providing mutual gains [or] by helping them [develop], but by saying, “If you don’t do what we want, we will overthrow you. We’ll have a coup d’état. We’ll do to you what we did with Pinochet in Chile. We’ll do to you what w did with Boris Yeltsin in Russia. We’ll interfere.”

        It’s interesting that when President Biden and the State Department and the media talk about what’s happening in the world, and [when] they describe policy, they don’t talk about anything that Radhika has just said.

        And they don’t even talk about the fight between unipolar and multipolar world. President Putin talks about that, and [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov talks about that, but not the U.S.

        If you listen to what President Biden and the State Department say, this global fracture is “between democracy and autocracy“. That is how they characterize it. This is Orwellian Doublespeak.

        [To them,] ‘democracy’ means a financial oligarchy. Aristotle, 2500 years ago, wrote a book on constitutions of Greece. He wrote, “All these constitutions call themselves democracies, but they are really oligarchies.”

        Democracy tends to turn into oligarchy. So by ‘democracy’, what President Biden means, is a financial oligarchy in control of policy.

        And what Biden means by ‘autocracy’ is a mixed public-private economy with strong government support for industry, for technological research and development, for rising living standards, and most of all for providing basic needs: public health, public education, retirement income, transportation – all subsidized to minimize the cost of living for labor, so that the economic surplus can go to upgrade education, improve the productivity of the labor force, and do essentially what China has done and what other countries are doing, and what everyone expected industrial capitalism to do in the United States and Europe, but which finance capitalism is not doing.”

        Now that is a credible alternative.

      5. Yes, Dave Hansell, thanks for the link.
        It had already come my way, though I can’t recall by what route.
        Not Ray McGovern, not Chris Hedges, not Propaganda in Focus, not Yves Smith.
        I’ll be blowed if I can remember where it was. That’s what happens when we get to a certain age.

      6. In his LBC interview, Starmer claimed he’d do even more than the Tories for Ukraine, sending even more arms.

        When did wars become popular again in Labour, if they ever were? Over urging a ceasefire and diplomacy? Have the lessons from Iraq been forgotten?

        Does anyone doubt Starmer would dive into another Iraq war with as much gusto as Blair did eg. say in Iran. Who wants this kind of hawkish leader? He talks about the party as if he owns it 100%. Why can’t members and unions remove this hideous plant? I wouldn’t be surprised if Sir Keir and his wife, Lady Victoria, secretly vote Tory, and have since 2008(after Blair’s departure).

      7. Goldbach…..good point and the US doller is a fiat currencie in every sense,but who could have factored in a risk of nuclear war with Russia or China especially to keep the US economy ticking over and supporting the doller.Desperate people and desperate warmongering seems to be the so called world order.Many years ago politicians banging the war drum with nuclear powers would have been lambasted or laughed at … they put them in parliament and drowning street.Pathetic all round and hopefully the American people will tire of constant war .Certainly my daughter has and relocated to the Ozarks from Florida to Cherokee lake with their own boat dock and plenty of land with woods and animals .Sort of American “good life” without the mortage and commute into Jacksonville Florida.on the US version of M25 …Highway.95..!

      8. Question to Tory, why are you increasing privatisation in the NHS?
        We are just following on from what Labour were and what they have promised to do in the future

        The reason it is never mentioned, the same with PFI, bedroom tax and many others

  7. The NHS is a £200 billion per YEAR business
    How much does it cost to buy a Prime Minister

  8. Starmer, when asked about breaking pledges on LBC this morning, claimed the changes he’s made are popular with members ?!? WTF?
    Another thing…Have you noticed how every PM, shortly after leaving office seemingly quickly become a multi-millionaire from sketchy outside earnings. It became a thing with John Major, then Blair, then Brown, Cameron; more recently Theresa May, more recently still, Boris Johnson, no doubt soon we’ll hear even LIz what’shername..

    Everyone in parliament and the public can see this process which looks like pure corruption. No wonder the Westminster club hated Corbyn, he was too incorruptible for them.

      1. Doug

        It likely is.

        In Italy,in the 1990s they had the Tangentopoli (bribes city) scandal involving politicians directly taking brides for govt contracts. In Africa and some S.American countries they still take bribes while in office, often getting caught.

        The Anglo countries politicians have wised up, they have post-politics patrons : Investment Banks paying £250k for some unreported half hour speech or series of speeches. Book deals and seats on boards as non-executive directors. Everyone knows there are strings attached , maybe they deregulated the banking sector while in office, or fail to regulate.

        It’s clever, concealed corruption, but just as bad as taking brown envelopes when in power. Wonder what the US healthcare people are promising Starmer and Streeting *nod and a wink* when they leave office after one term?

      2. As for the solution to this endemic UK corruption…

        A kind of jury service, with say 500 members of the public picked at random would be better than these corrupt careerist, lobby fodder middlemen sat on the benches at Westminster.

        We’ve completely lost the central purpose and meaning of ‘representative democracy,’ with these ‘on message’ Party careerists. The Choice between New Labour and Tory is almost meaningless, ground down by Starmer and Reeves to the width of a cig paper.

        In Switzerland they have regular referendums to decide big issues. Maybe technology could allow us to move to a system like theirs. We need proportional representation too.

      3. Tbh. The Labour and Tory rigged game and antidemocratic practices in each party, make the case for scrapping political parties altogether, and just having individuals stand stating their own views.

    1. Keeps writing for the Torygraph too – pushing the idea he’ll be tougher with on the NHS than the Tories.

      When Starmer writes in the Torygraph he’s basically saying:


      Anyone voting for this man on the left will be badly burnt by any govt led by him and Reeves.

      He seems to like everyone BUT the Labour party and its values, ideals.

      Convinced he was asked to enter Labour and steer it away from socialism by TPTB.

      1. Can’t understand why Starmer is allowed to continue as leader with the broken pledges and privatisation agenda. Writing for the Sun being just a small one.

        The idea he won a mandate to lead and therefore deserves to fight an election is just misplaced loyalty, it’s craven BS. Wasting 5 years with him in power then giving way to another 15 years under the Tories isn’t worth anyone’s time.

        A CEO of a company who’d betrayed the shareholders on this scale would be out at the first AGM. A Labour leader should need an annual renewal of their mandate in the form of a confirmation vote – an idea Corbyn flirted with.

        Absolutely ridiculous that so few like or agree with Starmer,or his political direction, but there isn’t a mechanism to remove him, beyond him choosing to resign.

  9. Moral Hazard and Creative Destruction are two of the central pillars of Capatalism, even those fuckers believe in consequences
    The Kleptocracy refuse to lose, no matter what happens in the world, the stock market and property prices go up
    They are extracting the urine

  10. Starmers labour exists for the advancement of American interests.

    Medicine is just one strand of the misery.

    1. Trilateral Commission membership being a bit of a giveaway. You don’t stumble into that sort of company and a club like that, not accidentally. It’s by invite only and the elites deep dive into candidates what did intel-links give them on Starmer? Our man Keir?

      Former SDP splitter and starmer apologist, Polly Toynbee’s got a piece up in the guardian that paints Starmer as an honest broker regarding their plans for the NHS. There’s a myriad of problems with their plans beyond silly self-referral. Streeting’s plans to scrap GPs contracts and bring them under the NHS, while sounding left-wing are almost impossible without spending vast amounts of money.

      BTL , sick of these purity test people claiming the left are making ‘perfect, enemy of the good’ by refusing to back untrustworthy Starmer. Telling everyone to stop being unrealistic. Let’s be clear. Labour aren’t the good. And Most of the left aren’t demanding unreasonable ‘socialism’ purity tests either. Most of Starmer’s critics supported Ed Miliband, a centrist leader while the party’s right led their so-called ‘whispering campaign’ against him. Starmer isn’t centre-left nor a centrist, he’s a right-winger and a hawkish, authoritarian, reactionary one at that.

      All this talk about electability, Starmer likely won’t match Corbyn’s 12.8 million votes in 2017’s GE. Labour may not even reach the relatively high 10.2 million mark of 2019. They could still win however, with under 10 million, in the face of a Tory collapse in support.

    1. Whoops – For “lonk” read “link” and for “forgot” read “forget”.
      More significantly Lieutenant General James Bierman, formerly Major General I/C US 3rd Div, Okinawa, has said that the US is in the process of providing huge quantities of armaments to the Philippines and, especially, Japan in preparation for a war with China.
      You can rely on the neo-cons to never stop digging.

  11. Labour is badly wrong on GP services

    MS’ article reformulates Skwawkie’s analysis and ties it into PFI, undrtfunding, etc.. Well done Helen O’Connor.

    “Bringing in the private sector on the pretence of tackling the backlog is a business opportunity for the profiteers that will prove costly for the rest of us.

    and delight Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting..

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