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.
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Lord Owen argues that the Prime Minister is perfectly entitled in Brussels to invoke the Luxembourg Compromise
David Cameron is reputed to be considering using the Luxemburg Compromise in the European Council meeting this week. He is not only fully entitled to do so, but the circumstances mirror the situation whereby an arrangement was reached by European Community Member States in January 1966 allowed for a decision requiring majority voting in the Council of Ministers to be postponed until unanimous agreement had been reached. That became known as the Luxembourg Compromise and despite many claims that the Compromise disappeared during the course of 1980s it was reaffirmed in the most explicit way by the then socialist Prime Minister of France, Pierre Béregovoy, to the French National Assembly in the context of a crucial debate on the Maastricht Treaty on 12 May 1992. An English translation of what he said was as follows: “France has never given up and will not give up the right in a serious crisis to protect its fundamental interests. When the application of the majority rule would challenge interests judged vital for one of the states, the mutual commitment remains to continue to seek agreement among themselves.”
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Lord Owen encourages dialogue with and cooperation of Iran in tackling the ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.
Speech by Lord Owen at Fordham University, New York, 19 June 2014
To be staying in the United States at this time is to experience a strange mood of puzzlement and anger as to how the foreign and security establishment in America should react to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). The title for the organisation is at least for the present a reality – for they do control substantial territory in both Syria and Iraq. The question is for how long?..
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The following is also a link to an Interview Lord Owen had with Sky News on 22 June 2014:
Article by Lord Owen, published in The Mail On Sunday, 1 June 2014
From the embers of one war spark the flames of another.
There can be no doubt that the 2003 Iraq war and the insurgency that followed has been an important contributor to the civil war now devastating Syria – a reason, if another was needed, to forensically examine Tony Blair’s actions of more than a decade ago. Democratic politics make great demands on a Prime Minister in time of war.
However, there is nothing more corrosive to their reputation than the accusation that they have lied to the House of Commons – as Anthony Eden did over the Suez crisis in 1956. Tony Blair is increasingly believed to have done the same over Iraq.
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Article by Lord Owen, published in The Telegraph, 20 May 2014
It was the use of chemical weapons in Syria – in the shape of a horrendous attack in the suburbs of Damascus in the summer of 2013 – that first stirred the world to action. Under a Russian/American deal, reached with United Nations support, the bulk of President Bashar al-Assad’s stockpile of sarin and other chemical warfare components has been satisfactorily dealt with under international supervision.
But now another horror has emerged – the use of chlorine. Tests conducted for this newspaper last month by a retired British army colonel, Hamish de Bretton Gordon, who now runs a chemical weapons consultancy, showed the presence of chlorine and ammonia in samples taken from the scene of eight recent attacks in the north-west of Syria. Witnesses reported that the bombs were dropped by helicopters: if that is true, it would suggest they were deployed by the Assad regime.
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