Conservatives in chaos over food bank stance

Upset and bemused about the fact that the government accuses a charity of running itself as a business purely because they are getting so many people needing their services that they COULD start running a business due to sheer demand. Of course the fact that none of their ‘customers’ have any money might be a slight barrier to profitable trade…

The below speaks volumes about the Mail on Sunday’s attempt at a hatchet job on the Trussel Trust’s food banks. On Easter Sunday of all days…


Vox Political

Credit where it's due: The vast majority of reasons for people being referred to food banks are attributable to the Department for Work and Pensions. Could that be why the DWP is so desperate to silence the food bank charities? Credit where it’s due: The vast majority of reasons for people being referred to food banks are attributable to the Department for Work and Pensions. Could that be why the DWP is so desperate to silence the food bank charities?

Tories – what are they like?

The answer is, of course, even they don’t know – as evidenced by their current confusion over food banks.

David Cameron has enthusiastically backed their work at a Christian faith group’s Easter reception (and so he should, having sent so much of it their way), and Treasury minister David Gauke also praised them in an interview on Channel 4 News last week.

But the DWP says leading food bank provider the Trussell Trust is guilty of “misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking”, with the rise in food bank use being the result of the charity’s leaders “aggressively marketing their services” and “effectively running a…

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East Londoners: your NHS needs you!


National Health Action Party MEP candidate and East Londoner Andrew Sharp is calling on his fellow East Londoners to join the fight for the NHS.

In a letter to NHAP supporters this week, Andrew Sharp said, “we really need your help. NHAP is still a new party and we urgently need to get the word out that we are here to protect and improve our NHS. We want people to vote for us and the NHS in May. We are gaining support quickly but with the elections less than 6 weeks away time is not on our side.

How can you help? We need you to get personally involved:

Join the Waltham Forest local group
If we have enough people from different areas we can expand it to become the East London group. Please email me at

We need more people out on the streets, leafleting and talking to people about what we are trying to achieve. When I’m out campaigning I find people are eager to support us, relieved that “finally somebody is doing something sensible about the NHS” and want to find out more.

The Waltham Forest group is not big enough to do this on its own. Many of us work full time so we target our campaigning for maximum impact in a short space of time. This may be an hour on the way to work or on the way home, or a little longer at weekends – although there’s no pressure to stay for the duration. If you can help at just one of these sessions every week you’ll be making a difference.

There are various other ways you can help NHA to save the NHS.

Social Media
Follow us on Twitter @NHA_WF and spread the word. We’ll get an East London Facebook page up and running soon.

Stick Up for the NHS!
Put up the election poster in your windows. Get busy with those ‘Stick Up for the NHS’ stickers – let’s decorate East London!

If all this has got you in the mood and you are asking, “when do I start?” then be outside the Royal London Hospital at 5pm on Friday 25th April and/or outside Whitechapel tube at 1pm on Saturday 26th April. If you are happy to do so then please let us know your mobile number so we can confirm with you that you’ll be there.”

The European election will be held on 22nd May. You can learn more about the National Health Action Party and our election campaign here.



Thank you to our NHS Superhero illustrators! #getcreativefortheNHS

Andrew Sharp, National Health Action Party MEP candidate and children’s book publisher writes:

This Easter weekend Steven Carne (@OhStevenCarne) is asking Twitter to #getcreativefortheNHS in support of NHS staff and campaigners. For Good Friday he asked what an NHS superhero would look like. Inspired by this I threw down the gauntlet to my friends and colleagues.


A band of plucky illustrators picked that gauntlet up and how they ran with it! First up, the Book Sniffer whose blog is a must for parents of young children and anyone interested in books for pre-schoolers. Thank you, you loveable pug, you!


Next up, thank you to Sarah Yewman. Sally Stethoscope looks like she’s ready to swing into action to stick up for the NHS!

A special mention for six year old Lucy whose Super Nurse Nancy is zooming to the rescue of a hospital near you RIGHT NOW! I hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of lovely treats Lucy.

Thanks too to Guy Parker Rees. If pigs could fly we wouldn’t need such a robust defence of our NHS eh?

I was sat in a cafe when this huggable chap caught me unawares. Thanks to David Melling for sending Hugless Douglas into the fray. We Love You Hugless Douglas! That’s a book don’t you know…

Back at home I was busy writing my speech for the NHAP Stick Up for the NHS rally (details here) when illustrator Mark Chambers tweeted Super Stinky to me. As I said at the time Mark, you’re a star and a gent. Thank you for sending Stinky my way, he already has a lot of fans within the NHAP!

The speech-writing was bringing back lots of memories, not all of them good and I was starting to get a bit bogged down in it. When I went to check Twitter I found not one but two new heroes who really lifted my spirits. The first from Clara Vulliamy, a puppy ready to swing into action to save the NHS. Just call! As Clara will tell you, our NHS is NOT for sale. Thank you Clara!

The second hero sent by Emma Dodd from her family holiday was the first and (so far?) only human. Thank you Emma! Enjoy the rest of your break.
Now I think he bears an uncanny resemblance to our Co-Leader Clive Peedell (pictured below). I have to ask Emma, was that intentional?
Speaking of bears (Ed?), you might like to check out Emma’s latest book The Entertainer which has become an instant hit with my youngest child.

Finally, a massive thank you to Steven Carne. Thank you for your own campaigning for the NHS. Thank you for bringing the creative community out in support of our often-beleaguered NHS staff. Thank you for enlisting support for NHS campaigners. It can be hard work bringing the challenges faced by the NHS to the public’s attention. It is frustrating that the news media seem interested only in sensationalising its failures with barely any mention of the underlying problems. Projects like #getcreativefortheNHS can really help to lift our spirits and keep us going. It’s a comfort to know that there are caring and creative people out there who have the backs of the people striving to preserve the NHS for future generations.

Londoners, please vote for the National Health Action Party in the European elections on 22nd May. Help us to stick up for the NHS!

Happy Easter everyone!


To get involved in #getcreativefortheNHS, click here.

You can follow Andrew Sharp on Twitter here.

For more information about the National Health Action Party click here.

Protest and public meeting. Whitechapel. This evening 16th April 2014.

There’s going to be a protest outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel from 17.00 today. Local residents will be joining NHS campaigners to protest the proposed cuts by Barts Health Trust to its Bilingual Health Advocacy and Interpreting Service. Jobs are at risk within the service.

Anna Livingstone for Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public says, “we have all worked together for good NHS health outcomes, independent of ethnic, language, religious, disability or other issues.” Let’s make sure that community health, welfare and cohesion continue to be supported by a robust advocacy service.
Campaigners for KONP will be delivering a petition to Barts prior to the public meeting at 18.00. The meeting will take place at the Jagonari Centre, 183-185 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DN.

Please join us from 17.00 and sign the petition, via this link:

Stafford hospital update: insanity reigns


I’ve written at length on this blog about the concerted and sustained hatchet-job that has been done on Stafford hospital (just search ‘Stafford’ and/or ‘Mid Staffs’ and/or ‘HSMR’) as part of the wider strategy by this government and the private health interests that back it.

For a long time, the people of Stafford have fought to keep their local acute services, with tens of thousands taking to the streets to support their hospital and its dedicated staff. Meanwhile, the constant smears by ministers and press continue and honours are awarded to those collaborating in the attack.

Plans to dismantle Stafford’s services and farm them out to a neighbouring NHS trust are utterly and unmistakably flawed, as they will cost more and achieve less than what is already in placeplans supposedly ‘reviewed’ by the same people who made them in the first place. But the fact that such…

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Vote NHA to send a message to politicians that you will not stand for the demolition and privatisation of our NHS.

The National Health Action Party will be fielding candidates in the London region of the European Elections on May 22nd.

A big vote for the NHA party will send a strong message to politicians across the political spectrum that the public will not stand for the demolition and privatisation of our NHS.

The other main plank of the campaign is making it a top priority to exempt the NHS from the secretive TTIP trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the US. This deal would open up the NHS to American private health companies and make privatisation permanent. Any future government would not be able to get out of contracts with private companies even if it wanted to.

Dr Louise Irvine, chair of the Save Lewisham Campaign, will be the lead candidate on the NHA Party’s list. The theatre and TV star Rufus Hound, a passionate NHS supporter, will also be running. The full list of 8 candidates will be announced shortly.

In the Euro Elections, you vote for a party not an individual. Voting is via proportional representation with seats allocated according to the number of votes received by each party. The more votes, the more people on the party list will be elected. It’s estimated that around 200,000 votes are needed in the London region to get one MEP elected.

If you want more information on the NHA Party, please check out the NHA Party website:

For more on the Euro Elections, go to:

There will be campaigning in areas across London between now and the election on May 22nd. See the Events page of the NHA Party website for details:

If you would like to volunteer to do leafleting in your area or outside your local hospital, please email:

Please help us by sharing this blog post with friends, family and colleagues. We need to spread the word.


Save Lewisham Hospital campaign Chair and NHAP’s leading MEP candidate Dr Louise Irvine speaks at Walthamstow market


Dr Irvine visited Walthamstow on Saturday 29th March. See here what she had to say about East 17’s NHS concerns.

You can follow:
Dr Irvine on Twitter @drmarielouise
National Health Action Party on Twitter @NHAParty and check out the website
Your local NHAP Waltham Forest group @NHA_WF and on Facebook




National Heath Action Out and about in Waltham Forest – Euro election campaigning




Today, Saturday 29th March the National Health Action Party Waltham Forest local group welcomed Dr Louise Irvine back to the borough for a whirlwind tour of Highams Park, Chingford and Walthamstow. Sorry Leyton – we’ll visit soon! Dr Irvine is standing as the NHAP’s primary candidate for the European elections alongside Rufus Hound and Highams Park resident Andrew Sharp (who is the co-founder and leader of the NHAWF group).

Travelling around the borough we encountered many people who are concerned that Whipps Cross Hospital is under threat of closure. Again! To the best of our knowledge closure is not on the cards but we do know that services at the hospital are under review. The results of this review will not start to become clear until June. Services may be moved or downgraded. This would be disastrous for our health, especially as community care nationwide has already been cut back. No care at home, no care at Whipps Cross. Where would the residents of Waltham Forest go to be cared for? If Barts Health Trust do mess with Whipps Cross – our only general hospital- we will need a straightforward and comprehensive answer to this question.

We also know that staff morale at Whipps Cross is terrible. We met quite a few members of Whipps staff today who are feeling unsettled and worried and several who are leaving the hospital in the coming weeks because they can’t bear to continue working at our hospital. Low staff morale tends to lead to poorer quality of care. We will continue to watch the situation at Whipps Cross very closely.

There was comfort to be taken from meeting the people of Waltham Forest. We were reassured to learn that so many people across the borough share our concerns about the NHS and what our politicians are doing to our services. People from across the political spectrum are receptive to our mission to protect and improve our NHS and to stop our politicians continuing to disrupt and privatise our NHS. We received lots of pledges to vote National Health Action Party on 22nd May for which we can only say THANK YOU WALTHAM FOREST!

We’ll be out and about again soon and hope to meet more of our fantastic borough’s residents then.













Healthwatch Waltham Forest Engagement Day 31st March

Join our friends from Waltham Forest Save Our NHS tomorrow evening (31st March) for an informative session plus Q&A about local and national issues faced by the NHS. From 6.30 until 7.45.

Hope to see you there!


Healthwatch Waltham Forest is running an Engagement Day on 31st March 2014

Throughout the day there will be stalls and speakers in the Pop up Shop, 137 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4RT (top of the market, opposite the building site)

10.00am – 5.30pm 31st March – Information Stall

Waltham Forest Save Our NHS will have an all-day stall (10.00 – 17.30) with information about current campaign issues and the group’s actions.  

Discuss the PFI with us. Tell us what you think about the NHS England Clinical Strategy Review for specialist Cancer and Cardiovascular services and their consultation process, or lack of it!

We even have campaign badges!

Barts Health Trust will be there, and Waltham Forest CCG, so a chance to meet them too.

6.30pm – 7.45pm 31st March – Public Meeting

Waltham Forest Save Our NHS will be holding a public meeting in the shop to introduce the…

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Londoners campaigning for the National Health Action Party at the European elections


This evening members of our local group were joined at Whipps Cross hospital by Dr Louise Irvine, the National Health Action Party’s lead candidate in May’s European elections and Dr Jacky Davis, contributor to the book NHS SOS – How the NHS was Betrayed and How We Can Save It.
The local NHA group was also joined by members of Waltham Forest Save Our NHS which is holding an open meeting at the Healthwatch Pop-up Shop at Hoe Street Central, 137 Hoe Street, Walthamstow on Monday 31st March from 18.30 until 19.45. WFSON invites all members of the public to join the meeting and hear what other locals are doing to defend our NHS.

Dr Irvine returns to our borough tomorrow. Dr Irvine will be joining fellow MEP candidate Andrew Sharp, a Highams Park resident who has lived in the borough since 2003. The pair will be campaigning on Station Road, Chingford from 11 to 12 and at the top of Walthamstow Market from 12.30. They are hoping to become MEPs for 3 key reasons:
Reason 1. TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty currently being negotiated by the European Parliament. NHAP calls for the NHS to be exempted from this treaty because it allows private companies to sue the British government for loss of potential earnings if NHS services are not opened up to competition, irrespective of the views of the electorate, 84% of whom wants the NHS to remain publicly- run. None of the major parties are bothered enough about the fate of the NHS to be leading the fight to get our health service exempted from TTIP.
Reason 2. Public Health
There are vital public health issues that Europe legislates around: the environment and pollution, the regulation of medicines and doctors, food labelling and food safety. NHAP wants to prioritise public health in all policy decisions.
Reason 3. Use your vote to stand up for the NHS. Or lose it.
A vote for the NHA at the Euro elections to send a strong, clear message to politicians from across the political spectrum that the demolition and privatisation of our NHS must stop.

Please come and find us to learn more about how you can help to save our NHS.