Domestic Issues

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 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

Lord Owen interview: Rallying support for the NHS

Interview with Lord Owen, GP Magazine 30 August 2014

Whatever ministers knew about the impact on practices when they decided to withdraw MPIG funding, they could not have known the direct effect on one of parliament’s most vocal and respected opponents of government health policy.

Up the road from the Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets, east London, which has spearheaded the campaign against MPIG cuts, is the famous Limehouse residence of David Owen.

Lord Owen of the City of Plymouth – former neurological and psychiatric registrar, Labour health secretary and foreign secretary, and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – has been a patient at Jubilee Street Practice since 1965…

To read the full interview please click here

Lord Owen welcomes Labour’s health plans

Lord Owen Commenting on Labour’s National Policy Endorsement of Health Amendments, Milton Keynes 18-20 July

The Labour Party ‘s proposals for the NHS are a very important new direction which are to be greatly welcomed. The Labour Party has listened to the authentic voices supportive of the NHS and plan to roll back PFI commitments with no further privatisation and reinstate a new model NHS drawing on the best traditions of the past while realising that we cannot rush into another massive reorganisation.

In all its essentials a duty to provide a comprehensive national health service; to take competitive law out of the NHS by ending Monitor’s role as an economic competition regulator; scrapping Section 75 and allowing the Secretary of State to issue directions on the NHS becoming the preferred provider; and committing to a review of the mixed economy of Trusts and Foundation Trusts so that all services are fully integrated to deliver whole person care, represents a massive and imaginative change encompassing a new collaborative way with a new priority for mental health and focussing on deprived areas.

Lord Owen speaks in House of Lords debate on the Chilcot Inquiry Report

To view the the full speech by Lord Owen please click here

Save Our Surgeries Campaign

Lord Owen speaking at Save Our Surgeries (SOS) Campaign, Limehouse, London where he has been a patient for nearly 50 years:
LOutside Limehouse Practice

Lord Owen on SOS Protest March from Wapping to Bow:

Protest March

Save our Surgeries Statement by Naomi Beer

Dear valued Colleagues and patients,
today, we are marching for our local surgeries. We have shown what it means to stand together. I am so proud that we are able to show the nation who and what we are and what people who work together can achieve.
This is also about the heart of the NHS. It is all about values.
The values at the heart of the NHS and of our nation.
What successive governments have done is put corporate values at the heart of our NHS, replacing a language of collaboration, compassion and service for the good of all with the corporate language of competition, service delivery and productivity.
When you set out to achieve something, you first decide on your core values. This determines your goal or function and the structures follow. In the NHS today, this is all the wrong way round. Structures come first and values have to lag behind and fit in somewhere. This is why GPs in East London and across the country are in the position we find ourselves in today- defending and justifying our very existence because the Secretary of State hasn’t the power or necessarily even the will to act on our behalf, despite the evident justice of our cause.
So let us hold our heads up high and continue to fight to tell the public what is really happening to their NHS so that the values we treasure can be put back at the very heart of this much loved and fantastic institution.
Naomi Beer
on behalf of the Jubilee Street Practice

 

Meeting after SOS  March:

Meeting after March

House of Lords Debate on the Care Bill

Lord Owen puts forward an amendment to seek statutory underpinning of the Oversight Panel in relation to the use of confidential information in health and adult social care.

To read the full amendment please click here

Statement By Lord Owen On the Labour Party Special Conference Decision

STATEMENT ISSUED BY LORD DAVID OWEN, SATURDAY 1 MARCH 2014 ON THE LABOUR PARTY SPECIAL CONFERENCE DECISION TO REFORM THE VOTING SYSTEM FOR THE LABOUR PARTY LEADER

“This is a brave and bold reform by Ed Miliband and one I strenuously argued for as a Labour MP at the special conference on Saturday, 25 January 1981.  This very desirable change, nevertheless, threatens to weaken Labour’s financial support at a critical time when I and many others are hoping to see the Party produce a plan for Government from May of next year to rescue our NHS. Saving the NHS is my main political priority and I suspect that of many others. To help Labour reverse the 2012 NHS legislation without yet another major reorganization, I have made  a declarable contribution of over £7,500 to Labour funds. Unless there is a change of Government the NHS in England will be completely destroyed by 2020.

I want to support Labour but also value my independence. I have informed the Convenor of the Crossbenchers in the House of Lords of this. I will continue to sit, as allowed under their rules, on the Crossbenches as I have done from 1992. However, since I can no longer be called a Crossbencher under their rules, I will now be an independent Social Democrat.”