Welcome

This website serves the purpose of carrying what Lord Owen has said or written on current topical issues.  It is not meant to be a comprehensive archival record.  Lord Owen has donated all his personal papers dating back to when he was a Minister in Government and covering the SDP years and time as EU Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia to the University of Liverpool, of which he was Chancellor from 1996-2009.  These papers are available to be researched in the University of Liverpool Library Special Collections and Archives. A catalogue of what is available can be found here.

Latest

‘What makes us Human’ radio interview

On 21 January 2015, Lord Owen featured in the “What makes us Human” series hosted by Jeremy Vine on on BBC Radio 2.

To listen to the podcast, please click here: What makes us Human interview

Lord Owen warns of the lessons to be learnt from the Hinchingbrooke Hospital scandal.

Article, published in The Guardian 19 January 2015

Hinchingbrooke has been a heavy defeat for an ideological solution that can work well in manufacturing or retailing, but runs into problems in healthcare.

Advocates of a market-led, partly privatised NHS for England have been saying for years that “what matters is what works”, dismissing those who believe in the 1948 NHS concept as ideological, old-fashioned or plain wrong.

Now that their flagship, Hinchingbrooke hospital, the only privately run NHS hospital in the country, is losing its private contractor, Circle, one might have expected the zealots to acknowledge the flawed nature of their policy? Not a bit of it. The arch priest of markets everywhere, the Economist, merely records that it “is just one of dozens in financial trouble”.

To read the full article please click here: Hinchingbrooke.

The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril

A new book by Lord Owen entitled The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril will be published on 4 December. It details the damage done by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the reasons why the worst aspects of it must be repealed.

The six chapter headings covering the main topics are as follows:

Introduction

“The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 is an all-party and no-party campaign* whose aim is simple:  to ensure a sufficient number of MPs are returned to Parliament in May 2015 so that whichever party or combination of parties form the government the marketisation of healthcare is removed from the Health and Social Care Act 2012 – which in essence only applies to England.  This Act was likened when it was published to tossing a hand grenade into the NHS.  The damage it has done already is hard to exaggerate, let alone quantify.  This legislation must be repealed but it will have to be done carefully in an enabling way, with no single appointed day when everything changes.”

Action Sheet p. xvii

This explains the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill:

* www.nhsbill2015.org

Chapter 1        The Hung Parliament of 2010

Chapter 2        Fatally Flawed NHS Legislation

Chapter 3        A People’s Commission

Chapter 4        NHS Marketisation – EU and US

Chapter 5        SOS: Save Our Surgeries

Chapter 6        A One-nation NHS

For more details regarding specific sections within the book please click here

To buy the e-book or paperback please go to the book section or click here

Lord Owen calls for time limits on Prime Ministers’ tenure of office

Prime Ministers should stay in office for no more than ten years or eight years if the Fixed Term Parliament Act is changed from five to four years, according to former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen. He believes limitation would curb the hubristic behaviour of Prime Ministers who become intoxicated with power. Speaking at a conference on Leadership: Stress & Hubris on 17 November, hosted by the Daedalus Trust and the Division of Occupational Psychology of the British Psychological Society, Lord Owen outlined his Private Member’s Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 11 November, to provide for a maximum limitation related to the period during which a Prime Minister can hold office of two terms of Parliament under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. For a full copy of the Bill and the Explanatory Notes  please click links below..

Prime Minister (Limitation of Period of Office) Bill

Prime Minister (Limitation of Period of Office) Bill Explanatory Notes

 

Hubris Syndrome in leadership is an obstacle to the transformation of organisations

Speech (with video) by Lord Owen at SOL Global Forum, May 2014, Paris

How to curb the hubris or narcissism of leaders, without them losing other essential characteristics of leadership has exercised many minds over the last few centuries. It is not just a subject that fascinated the Greeks. John Adams, one of the famous Founding Fathers of America, who helped draft the Independence Constitution, in A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, written in August 1765, wrote about “a general knowledge among the people” which he believed meant “they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefensible divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge. I mean the character and conduct of their leaders”…

To read more and view the video please click here

Speech by Lord Owen in The House of Lords: Role of Russia in Upholding International Law

Speech by Lord Owen in The House of Lords, 16 October 2014

My Lords, I have been involved in business in Russia since 1995—mainly with a steel firm in Stary Oskol, some 600 kilometres south of Moscow—because I believed then and believe now that through business relations we will best establish good relations between the United Kingdom and Russia. I have also been a very strong believer in the Budapest memorandum, which relates to the subject of this debate, feeling it absolutely essential that countries which give up nuclear weapons should be strongly supported and feel that they have some form of military guarantee. It is of course nowhere near as strong as an Article 5 NATO agreement. I agree with what the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, said just now: it is a great mistake to expand NATO to either Georgia or Ukraine. We were advised about this many years ago by George Kennan; he was completely correct…

 

To read the full speech please click here

Lord Owen Interview with CNN: Must Work with Moderate Muslims

Lord Owen in an interview with CNN on 1 September states the need to work with moderate Muslims in efforts to defeat ISIS; endorses Obama’s handling of the crisis and need for assembling an international coalition involving the surrounding countries as was done in the first Gulf war under President Bush Snr..

 

To listen to the full interview please click here

Lord Owen endorses draft Bill to restore the NHS

Leading public health experts have launched a consultation on a new Bill which aims to reverse the failings of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and fully restore the National Health Service (NHS) in England as an accountable public service.

The Bill proposes to abolish competition and the purchaser- provider split, re-establish public bodies and public accountability, and restrict the role of commercial companies. It draws on some of the best examples of NHS administration over its history, retains some features of the reforms laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and would be implemented on a timescale determined by the Secretary of State.

To read the full consultation please click here