Socialist Worker

Keep the health department off the contaminated blood inquiry

Issue No. 2566

The Reverend James Jones

The Reverend James Jones


A former bishop brought in to save the contaminated blood scandal inquiry has said the Department of Health (DoH) should be removed from the inquiry.

Campaigners, survivors and relatives of people who died as a result of being given contaminated blood had already called on the DoH to be removed.

Now the Reverend James Jones, who chaired the Hillsborough panel inquiry, has said he agrees.

In a letter he wrote, “The DoH cannot be responsible for investigating DoH. It would be an offence to natural justice.”

Around 2,500 people died after being given blood or blood products contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis C during the 1970s and 1980s.

Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt brought Jones in after an outcry over the DoH’s role in the inquiry.

The Contaminated Blood Campaign (CBC) said, “The setting up of the inquiry

must be immediately transferred to the Cabinet Office or another government department.

“CBC will be submitting its demands in regard to the matters which it wants the inquiry to consider.

CBC supports all victims and demands that the inquiry addresses the infection and other issues of all victims.”

Jackie was infected with Hepatitis C in 1983. She told Socialist Worker that the DoH “is at the heart of the scandal and cover up”.

“It would be a conflict of interest for it to have a hand in the set-up of the inquiry,” she added.

Michelle Tolley was infected with Hepatitis C in 1987. “I want the truth,” she told Socialist Worker.

“I want to know why this happened and who gave their consent.”

Michelle added that Theresa May could have ordered an inquiry earlier but only did so once her “hand was forced”.

“I want my last 30 years back,” she said. “All they’ve given me is a death sentence.”


Old man retires from luxury to still be rich

Two right wing rags gushed over the Duke of Edinburgh last week, after he officially ended his “royal duties”— whatever they were.

Philip met some marines and for reasons unknown told them they “should all be locked up”. This was a “pithy aside” according to the Daily Mail, which ran several pages on the big news.

The Mail said Philip’s enormous workload “puts younger royals to shame”.

“Those young royals would benefit greatly from studying the life of this remarkable man and his selfless commitment to sustaining the monarchy,” it said.

Odd how you can have a “selfless” commitment to sustaining an institution that makes you a millionaire.

According to Mail interviewees, Philip, who looks dead already, “doesn’t look ready” to retire. But “only he knows how he feels,” one senior royal aide told the Mail.


Cops to play classical music to calm London

Cops have unveiled their latest weapon in the fight against crime—Mozart.

PC Adam Weber plans to pump classical music into the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham in north London.

It’s to “calm the atmosphere, relax residents and disperse trouble makers”.

The in no way patronising idiot’s other scheme is to turn off electricity to some communal areas of the estate. They could “calm the atmosphere” by not killing people.


Informants have been paid more than £25 million for snitching to police in the past five years. Scotland Yard has spent more than any other force in England and Wales, with its costs over five years topping £9 million.

In total £25,268,798 and 40p has been spent by 43 police forces.

That's around £4 million each year.


Hidden costs of Crossrail

Some of the biggest contracts on the Crossrail project, Europe’s largest undergound construction scheme, cost up to

255 percent more than they were meant to.

Details of 43 contracts reveal they were awarded at a total cost of about £1.5 billion but the final bill was £2.5 billion.

A contract to build a new London Bond Street station was awarded for £33.2 million but the final cost was £95.3 million.

Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive of Crossrail, got £946,396.

Crossrail said that some contractors had bid at “unsustainably low values and it was not expected that work would be completed for the contract award price”.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY

No. 56832: George Freeman, Tory MP for Mid Norfolk

  • He came up with “Tory Glastonbury” as a way to boost the party’s dwindling grassroots support
  • He raised £25,000 for a one-day “Conservative ideas festival” next month
  • A team of more than 20 people, including 10 MPs, is working on the event, which will be invitation-only. There will be between 150 and 200 attendees
  • The event’s location is secret (so far) for fear of anti-Tory gatecrashing

The EU pulls racist comic video

The European Union embassy in Tel Aviv has removed an official EU promotional video featuring Avishai Ivri, an Israeli “comedian”.

Ivri has called on Israel to kill “1,000 Arabs” for every Israeli who dies in conflict-related violence and urged that Israel “wipe out Gaza.”

Avishai Ivri wrote for a racist Israeli sketch show that portrayed Africans in Israel as monkeys.


Supporters of the Nazi Fatherland First group in Norway have demanded that some empty bus seats be “banned” from the country.

The Nazis were reacting to a picture of the seats posted on the group’s Facebook page. Instead of empty seats, they saw women wearing burqas.

“Get them out of our country,” said one. “Could be terrorists,” said another.


The NHS is denying wheelchairs to tens of thousands of people in England. A quarter of people referred by GPs to wheelchair services are given no equipment at all.

In some areas the figure is three quarters. And 96 percent of areas missed a target to supply wheelchairs within 18 weeks.


The things they say

‘Prefer jobs in social or artistic areas’

A Google software engineer explains the lack of women in top tech jobs was due to biological differences and that women like art

‘The hellish reality of Corbyn’s socialism’

A Daily Mail newspaper editorial attacks Corbyn over his support for Venezuela

‘Socialism never works’

The Mail presumably thinks that capitalism does

‘We should beware of Jeremy Corbyn and his more sinister sidekick John McDonnell’

Daily Mail article explaining the housing crisis

‘The White House is a dump’

Donald Trump on why he plays golf so much

‘Calm down dear it’s only a recession’

A placard decorating David Cameron’s house

‘Ignorance’

The reason people don’t like the Islamophobic Prevent programme according to top cop Dean Haydon


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