Today, Labour have forced a Commons debate on whether MPs can consider planned NHS changes for a final time before an assessment of the potential risks to the health service is published. And opponents are trying to mobilise support behind a last-ditch attempt to try and delay the bill.
Lord Owen lost his amendment this afternoon by 213 to 328 votes with the enemies of open government resorting to increasingly ridiculous arguments to defend the government’s refusal to release the risk register. Andy Burnham has made a last-minute request which will lead to a brief debate on the risk register, this time in the Commons, to be held tomorrow as first item of public business. It’s hard to see it having any effect.
Read Tim Hardy’s analysis at Beyond Clicktivism.
If you need some background, watch The Professional Case for Withdrawing The Health and Social Care Bill from Daniel Saul on Vimeo.
There is much protest which is not being reported by the main stream media.
Several hundred people gathered today in front of the Ministry of Health to protest against the Health and Social Care bill and what it will do to the NHS. During the course of the protest riot police intimidated and grabbed at protesters, held them against their will, and broke up the protest into small groups that petered out. This was suppression of protest, something that I have written about many times before. As yet the mainstream media outlets have been silent about the protest and about the policing of it. Read on for some images, videos and tweets from the day. For a detailed personal account with many pictures and videos please read This blog post by Cai Wingfield, and see the links at the end of this post for more.
Whitehall blocked by sit down protest shouting "Whose NHS? Our NHS" #SaveOurNHS
— HeardinLondon (@HeardinLondon) March 17, 2012