Cabinet boss must not decide on Iraq papers, says Owen: Former Foreign Secretary demands Sir Jeremy Heywood is stripped of responsibility because he worked closely with Tony Blair…
To read the Mail Online article (published 12 November, 2013) please click link below:
Mail Online article
To read The Times article (published 13 November, 2013) please click link below:
For the full text of Lord Owen’s letter to the Prime Minister please click on the image below
Debate in The House of Lords, Thursday 11 July, 2013
Lord Owen: My Lords, following on from what the noble Lord, Lord Desai, said, one of the strengths of what was initially introduced as an internal market was that it would be able to show people the costs of healthcare in a far more systematic way than hitherto. In my view, it is a tragedy that the internal market has been changed into an external market, and we have lost the growing acceptance of people in explaining—particularly doctors and those who make financial decisions in the health service—what it costs…
To read the full debate please click here
Lord Owen Condemns “Conspiracy of Silence” on EU US Trade Deal
Press Release Thursday 16 May 2013
Introducing his NHS Bill (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill Lord Owen calls today for transparency from Prime Minister David Cameron over the secret mandate for the EU-US Trade Negotiations which he hopes to boost at the G8 Summit in five weeks time in Northern Ireland…
To read the full press release including links to notes on the NHS bill please click here
Speech by Lord Owen in The House of Lords
Lord Owen: My Lords, the noble Lord and I served together in the Department of Health many years ago, and he will remember that his then boss, Barbara Castle, warned in the 1975 referendum about the impact of the European Economic Community, as it was then called. I thought she was greatly exaggerating the challenge, but it was interesting in that campaign that the allegation that the European Economic Community contained within it the capacity to interfere in the National Health Service was specifically denied…
To read the full speech please click here
Article by Lord Owen, published in The Telegraph, 8 April 2013
Margaret Thatcher: they underrated her, and always paid the price
Mrs Thatcher was not regarded as much of a threat by the Labour Party when she became Conservative leader in 1975
Not many people in 1975 believed that Margaret Thatcher would be as serious a threat to Labour as she became. Barbara Castle, however, sensed immediately that she was a star: “She has lent herself with grace and charm to every piece of photographers’ gimmickry, but don’t we all when the prize is big enough?… She is in love; in love with power, success and with herself… If we have to have Tories, good luck to her…”
To read the full article please click here
To read the full House of Lords Second Legislation Scrutiny Committee Report please click here
Note: Please refer to Instrument C: National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations 2013 pp 6 of 33 to 12 of 33 and the conclusion on p 12 of 33.
Lord Owen comments below on the Scrutiny Committee Report (NHS Regulations: Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition, 2013) published today, 21 March 2013:
“It is short succinct and devastating and deserves to be read in full by all concerned with the new NHS legislation. People will at last recognise that with indecent haste the Government has neither consulted properly on this secondary legislation, nor fulfilled it’s promises made during the passage of the primary legislation
Most seriously of all the wording is unclear, confusing and will create conflicting interpretations. At the minimum both regulations should now be withdrawn or annulled.
There is no hurry CCGs have no need to start in April and the process is now very likely to go to judicial review and may well need to go to judges for a formal Declaration on what some wording actually means.”
Letter from Lord Owen to The Clerk of the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, 22 February 2013
I gather that the Statutory Instrument related to the Health & Social Care Act will be going to the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee on 5th March and you need to be told about the significance of this legislation. In my view the most important aspect of the Regulations relates to the commitment given in the House of Lords by Earl Howe during the passage of the Bill when he said “Clinicians will be free to commission services in the way they consider best.
We intend to make it clear that commissioners will have a full range of options and that they will be be under no legal obligation to create new markets, particularly where competition would not be effective in driving high standards and value for patients. This will be made absolutely clear through secondary legislation and supporting guidance as a result of this Bill.”
When I heard him make this statement I assumed, as I think everyone else in the Lords at the time must have assumed, that this pledge would be incorporated within the Regulations. I was extremely disturbed to find that it was not. The mood of the House over competition policy and particularly the commissioning process was that more should have been included on the face of the Bill but with the commitment to include what was seen as concessions in the Regulation I was ready, somewhat reluctantly, for the matter to be dealt with in secondary legislation. It is my view that this legislation should be withdrawn until this pledge by Earl Howe and the pledge by the then Secretary of State Andrew Lansley given in February 2012 to the CCGs is specifically included.
I note that a petition to this effect has been set in motion by 38 Degrees and I have signed it.