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Power to the People: healthy collectivism through member-owned mutuals

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I began Conservative conference last Monday with a discussion hosted by ResPublica about empowering patients. The background was the report Power to the People – the mutual future of our National Health Service (PDF) produced for health mutual benenden. The report deals with the underlying reasons why the NHS is struggling to cope despite this Government protecting overall health spending and our Party pledging to protect it once again.  Take a look at the Budget Red Book 2014 and you will see (page 61) that the health […]

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Interview at Love Wycombe 2014: debt, help with debt and credit unions

Amid the conflict, drama and, too often, scandal of politics, it is easy to forget that politicians hope to make a positive difference to the lives of other people. We may disagree about methods but every decent politician wants to lift people out of poverty. One of the five pathways to poverty identified by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is serious personal debt. The others are family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness and addictions. These are often experienced together. Helping people with […]

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The tragedy of Labour’s attacks on the Big Society

Yesterday at Cabinet Office Questions, first up was a Labour attack on the Big Society. It can found here . I asked a supplementary: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Our country once enjoyed a rich and vibrant tapestry of organisations between charity and the state, such as co-operatives, friendly societies and other mutuals. Does the Minister share my dismay that the left has abandoned its own traditions? Mr Hurd: Those are not of course the only traditions that the left has […]

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Co-operatives Bill update

After the success of the Co-operatives in Education debate that I called in Parliament, I pressed the Government on its 2012 pledge to bring in a Co-op Bill: Steve Baker: In January 2012, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a wonderful speech about how to reconstruct an inclusive, just and popular capitalism. He called for a new co-operatives Bill, but that has not yet appeared. I cannot imagine that the Liberal Democrats are opposing it, but I cannot […]

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