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

David Owen highlights need for parity for Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries within the EU”.

Letter published in the Guardian, 28 May 2014:

On the issue of fiscal convergence, David Cameron must not repeat the mistake of Margaret Thatcher who ignored Nigel Lawson’s twice-repeated warning…. that “the inclusion of European monetary union as a treaty objective would be a political commitment going well beyond previous references to EMU.” Without a parity of esteem for an EU of multiple currencies there can be no basis for a UK renegotiation.

Read the full letter here

The coming election will decide the future of the NHS, and with it, the United Kingdom.

The end of the NHS as we have known and understood it in England will take place before 2020 if whichever party or parties that win the 2015 general election does not change the 2012 NHS legislation ….around that moment the issue of Scottish independence will be back on the political agenda with a vengeance. The two are linked in more ways than have yet been fully recognised.

The New Statesman (online), 21 April 2015. 

Read the article here: The coming election

Pakistan and the nuclear deterrent

Lord Owen comments: “In the outline agreement reached two days ago in Geneva between Iran and the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany, we can see the relevance of Pakistan’s history and its possession of nuclear weapons.”  Read his Statement in full here: Pakistan & the Nuclear Deterrent

Lord Owen’s House of Lords speech on the report into EU relations with Russia. 24 March 2015

“All the members of the committee deserve to be congratulated on the report and on the tone that they have brought to this discussion…. We have to develop a much greater understanding of the complexity of the issues and we must do so fairly urgently….

“A great deal has been said about this whole issue of why Russia feels encircled. History shows us exactly the same: if you look to the origins of the 1914 war, there is no question but that encirclement was a big factor. It was felt not just by Russia at various stages but byGermany and by other countries…..

“We must return to this area to try to find our way through these difficult questions.”

View the full text here: H.LDebateonEU&Russia24.3.15

Lord Owen says the “limited, tinkering reforms” of the EU which David Cameron envisages by 2017 will not suffice.

“The situation will be very different to the 1975 UK referendum. BREXIT will by then be forced on to the agenda in a very risky way.”

Speech by the Rt Hon Lord Owen to LSE German Symposium on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 in reply to the Symposium question, “to what extent is the nation state an antiquated notion?”

SPEECH BY THE RT HON LORD OWEN TO LSE GERMAN SYMPOSIUM ON WEDNESDAY

 

Lord Owen appears on BBC BOOKtalk to discuss his new book ‘The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril’

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Watch the 15 minute programme here: BBC BOOKtalk (available until 26 February 2015)

The Health of the Nation: NHS in peril is Lord Owen’s latest book. On its release Lord Owen wrote in the Guardian:

“The Health and Social Care Act 2012 – engineered by the former health secretary Andrew Lansley – was a massive blunder, and even senior Conservative ministers now admit the scale of its disastrous repercussions.

“The main thrust of the Lansley project was to take the NHS down the American healthcare route, creating an external market and mandating the compulsory marketisation and commercialisation of services.

“Such a grave mistake as Lansley’s reform must be corrected. A reinstated NHS would be far better placed to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective healthcare service for England, which is similar, although not the same, in all parts of the UK. Repealing the 2012 act is not a realistic political option but its worst aspects can and must be excised, and the best opportunity to secure a commitment to doing that is before the 2015 election.”

Buy a copy of The Health of the Nation: NHS in peril from the Book Depository here: The health of the nation

Or, order direct from the publisher Methuen. Search for ISBN 978-0413777720

All profits from the book between now and the May 31st 2015 will go towards the  Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015

‘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.