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Jeremy Hunt and demo rhyming chants
You might know Jeremy Hunt as just another Tory minister to get booed at the Paralympics. But this son of an admiral, Oxford educated and related to both the Queen and fascist Oswald Mosley, is now secretary of state for health.
His other 'achievements' include: a failed business in exporting marmalade to Japan, fiddling £20,000 in MPs' expenses; having to apologise to Liverpool fans and the families of victims of the Hillsborough stadium disaster after falsely claiming that hooliganism played a part in the 96 deaths; and avoiding paying £100,000 in tax after doing a nifty number through his company (nothing to do with marmalade!).
In his last post as culture secretary, after making department cuts of up to 50%, he hired his own parliamentary assistant, daughter of a Tory peer, on a permanent fixed contract.
He also played a part in the News Corporation scandal, overseeing the company's BSkyB bid which he refused to refer to the competition commission. The Leveson inquiry into phone hacking activities revealed Hunt's improper contact with News Corp's James Murdoch, congratulating him on the success of his bid. The bid was eventually dropped.
He was also responsible for the security at the Olympics in which private company G4S, having been awarded a lucrative contract, failed to provide sufficient security personnel. The deficit was only plugged by mobilising the armed forces.
So this is the guy Cameron thinks is the best man to run our NHS. Corruption and scandal seem to be the only way Hunt works.
Health workers will be thinking of some rhyming chants for demos as we continue to fight for our NHS!
A health worker
Other lesser spotted ministers
Out of 27 ministers, 17 are Oxbridge educated and only four are women. Among the reshuffled are:
- Tory party chairman, Grant Shapps. Shapps was previously housing minister, but not a full cabinet member. Although he's been exposed editing his own Wikipedia entry, including deleting information about donations from estate agents, he has now been promoted to full cabinet status.
- Maria Miller was made minister for disabled people when the coalition took power in 2010. Since then she has been trying to close Remploy factories and push disabled people further into poverty. As the new culture secretary she will also be responsible for women and gay rights policy. Her credentials for this include voting to cut abortion rights, being against gay adoption and in favour of defining homophobia, racial hatred and prejudice as "freedom of speech".
- Lib Dem right-winger David Laws has been made a minister in the department of education two years after being forced to resign as chief secretary to the treasury over fiddling his expenses. He had to repay £56,000. As minister for children and families he will have a roving brief which, puzzlingly, includes responsibility for a review of the Trident nuclear defence system.
- The new environment secretary is Owen Patterson, brother-in-law of climate change sceptic Matt Ridley. Patterson has opposed the building of wind farms in Wales and also called for the ending of wind and solar power subsidies. Instead, he wants to fast-track the use of shale gas - the extraction of which is considered environmentally damaging - virtually ripping up the renewable and greenhouse gas targets. His support for airport expansion also opens up the likelihood of a Tory u-turn over a third runway at Heathrow.
In The Socialist 12 September 2012:
Fight against austerity
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature: TUSC
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Fighting NHS cuts
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
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