“For the first time in 14 years we have the leader of the Labour Party unequivocally committing the party to reversing the legislation which has created in England a broken down, market-based healthcare system

Statement issued by the Rt Hon Lord Owen following Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that he would ‘remove’ private provision within the NHS as part of plans to renationalise the health service.

“For the first time in 14 years we have the leader of the Labour Party today unequivocally committing the party to reversing the legislation which has created in England a broken down, market-based healthcare system: one which is unrecognisable from that which was introduced in 1948 and which still exists in the rest of the UK.

“Surely now the whole Labour movement can combine together, left, right and centre to make this official party policy at this year’s autumn conference.”


“Jeremy Corbyn’s statement means that the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 under these proposals are, in effect, rejected and will be replaced. This surely must end all Labour’s troubled equivocation over a marketised NHS and provide a political route on which party members and supporters can campaign together. Already in Scotland this is in effect government policy.

“The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill has been campaigning on a cross party basis for this outcome through successive Private Member’s Bills in both the Lords and the Commons ever since I presented the first National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill [HL] in January 2013.

“It is a triumph for learning together, with cross party grassroots organisations working closely with health and legal professionals with persistence and dedication.”

We continuously underestimate the underlying passion and commitment of the powerful people who run Europe and steer it towards a United States of Europe.

Speech to the Bruges Group, Monday 13 June 2016.

Read the full text here: BrugesGroup13.6.16

Watch the video of the speech and Q+A here: BrugesGroupVideo

Extract: …how is it that Margaret Thatcher, the most powerful Prime Minister we have had since we joined the Common Market in 1973, totally failed to slow down, let alone halt, the continued integration of the EU despite being, on the face of it, the most hostile Prime Minister ever towards the end result of integration – a United States of Europe.

… The answer – and it has direct relevance to why we should leave on 23 June – is that as a nation of pragmatists or shopkeepers, call it what you will, we continuously underestimate and simply will not address the underlying passion and commitment of the powerful people who on a day-to-day basis run Europe and steer it towards that end result, a United States of Europe.

We also ignore how effectively the Brussels believers turn the mind frame of the diplomats, civil servants and experts from the Member States to their ‘idea of Europe’. Part idealistic, part realistic they constantly reiterate the idea that a nation state is rather old-fashioned in a complex world. That supranationalism enshrined in Treaties, which cannot be amended, is the only way forward. That democracy is untidy, inefficient and needs to be managed and tempered by expertise. They have both a design, a method and tenacity.

Hubris syndrome: An acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years

Download Full Paper here: includes tables/footnotes/references.

Brain Advance Access published February 12, 2009

David Owen (House of Lords, London, UK) and Jonathan Davidson (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA)

‘The history of madness is the history of power. Because it imagines power, madness is both impotence and omnipotence. It requires power to control it. Threatening the normal structures of authority, insanity is engaged in an endless dialogue—a monomaniacal monologue sometimes— about power’.

Roy Porter: A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987 p. 39


Charisma, charm, the ability to inspire, persuasiveness, breadth of vision, willingness to take risks, grandiose aspirations and bold self-confidence—these qualities are often associated with successful leadership. Yet there is another side to this profile, for these very same qualities can be marked by impetuosity, a refusal to listen to or take advice and a particular form of incompetence when impulsivity, recklessness and frequent inattention to detail predominate. This can result in disastrous leadership and cause damage on a large scale. The attendant loss of capacity to make rational decisions is perceived by the general public to be more than ‘just making a mistake’. While they may use discarded medical or colloquial terms, such as ‘madness’ or ‘he’s lost it’, to describe such behaviour, they instinctively sense a change of behaviour although their words do not adequately capture its essence. read more…..