Posts Published by Tim Benton

Lord Owen gives evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry

22 September 2020

Lord Owen gives oral evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry.

As Minister of Health from 1974-76,Lord Owen provided extra resources for the UK to become self-sufficient in blood products in order to avoid importing blood products, particularly from the US. The goal of self-sufficiency was also recommended by the World Health Organisation in 1975 “being aware of the higher risk of transmitting diseases when blood products have …


Lord David Owen, a medical doctor by training and a former Minister of Health, writes a personal analysis of the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic

Latest update 20 October 2020 following receipt of positive news of a new treatment. Read the Minister’s letter here.  

Regards safety of using UK plasma in fractionation vis-a-vis vCJD: a technical paper drawn from French experience is attached here. The ban on UK plasma is under review with an outcome expected late autumn.

Updated 16 July 2020 following PM’s agreement to hold an independent Covid-19 inquiry.

First posted 28


Exploring the fatally flawed changes that left the NHS very nearly unable to cope with Covid-19

In his 2014 book ‘The Health of the Nation: The NHS In Peril,’ Lord Owen explains why the fatally flawed structural changes made by both Labour and Conservative governments over the last 20 years before Covid-19 meant the NHS was very nearly unable to cope.

This book is now available free.

Download the PDF here: The NHS in Peril


Britain Must Step Up to the Global Stage to Protect Hong Kong

“China’s disregard for international law under Xi presents a shared challenge.”

Lord Owen, writing in the online ForeignPolicy.com magazine, June 23, 2020, 4:30 PM

Read the original here: Britain Must Step Up on HK

The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration was the brainchild of two formidable political leaders, China’s Deng Xiaoping and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, the international treaty has generally worked …


The Fence or The Ambulance

Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and full many a peasant.
So the people said something would have to be done,
But their projects did not at all tally;
Some said, “Put a fence ’round the edge of the cliff,”
Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the …


Lockdown thoughts: revisiting ‘Labour’s Love Lost’

“As we all settle into isolation for, I hope, only a few more weeks, I have been sorting out papers from the past and I thought it worth posting one or two on my website for a few people to read.

“The article ‘Labour’s Love’s Lost’ was published in a journal called Queen on 2 October 1962.

“It appeared just after I had been chosen as the prospective Labour candidate …


A coalition government is not the answer

“Cross-party government worked in wartime—but this is not a war. Those clamouring for coalition should remember that.”

LORD OWEN, WRITING IN ‘PROSPECT’, 4 APRIL 2020

A coalition government is not the answer

“I am opposed to a coalition government.

“Labour under Attlee opposed a coalition when the war started in 1939, believing the time was not right under Chamberlain, and no one knew how long what became known as the …


Statement issued on the eve of the UK’s exit from the EU

Download Lord Owen’s statement here: Statement on eve of EU departure

I will celebrate with the all-Party Vote Leave referendum campaigners on Friday evening and in particular with those who spent the last three and a half years, at personal cost in time and money, dealing with the Electoral Commission and those who tried to use the law in the hope of overturning the people’s decision.

I will not be