Wednesday, 20 July 2011

NHS Our next step

What do Andrew Lansley's latest plans mean for our NHS? Privatisation by stealth? A slippery slope towards full-blown competition? The end of the health minister's "duty to provide" a health service? The truth is it's murky: his latest NHS proposals are a muddle of over 180 amendments. [1]

Our massive public outcry, along with big concerns from doctors, nurses and other experts, forced the government to pause their original NHS plans. Since then they've hastily rewritten big chunks of the legislations, and made all kinds of reassuring statements.

But there’s a risk that behind the warm words, long-term threats to our health service remain. We need to work together to make sure dangerous changes aren’t slipped through in the small print whilst public attention is elsewhere.

If enough of us club together, we can hire independent legal experts to go through Lansley's plans with a fine toothcomb. We can identify any hidden threats – before it’s too late to stop them.

Can you chip in to fund some urgent independent NHS legal advice? £10,000 will be enough to get a top legal team on the case. Make a secure donation here:

Experts are warning there are at least two big issues to worry about:

- Will the health minister duck responsiblity for our NHS?
At the moment the buck stops with the minister, but it's not clear if the new plans would change that by abolishing the legal "duty to provide" a comprehensive health service. [2]

- Will the new plans mean that private companies can use European competition law to start a gradual break up of the NHS by making sure that competition on price is what matters - not the quality of the the health care patients receive? [3]

Expert legal advice is the best way for us to get to the bottom of how real these threats are. It will help us make informed choices about the next phase of our campaign. And if big threats come to light, we can organise expert briefings for MPs before the next round of votes.

Help hire a crack legal team to protect our NHS:

We’ve done so much together in the past few months to protect our NHS. We’ve signed petitions, we’ve emailed and phoned our MPs, we’ve organised local events. We clubbed together to pay for hard hitting adverts in the papers.

Together, we played a key role in stopping the government forcing through their original plans. Now we can work together to make sure the new plans aren’t rushed into law without facing proper scutiny.

£10,000 will be enough to fund a thorough investigation by independent legal experts. Can you make a secure donation now?

Thanks for getting involved.

Johnny, Hannah, Marie, David, Cian, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Yes! Together we've done it - Rupert Murdoch just abandoned his bid to takeover BSkyB. [1]

Yes! Together we've done it - Rupert Murdoch just abandoned his bid to takeover BSkyB. [1]

This is a huge turnaround. Only a few days ago David Cameron claimed it was impossible to stop the BSkyB deal. [2]

Then, nearly 100,000 of us emailed our MPs demanding the government act. Suddenly, late yesterday, MPs of all parties united to tell Murdoch to call the deal off. [3] And this afternoon, Rupert Murdoch finally caved in. People power worked!

This is a huge breakthrough, and a huge moment for people power in the UK. We're powerful because we work together - so let's decide together what we do next. Should we do more work to clean up politics and the media? Should we work together to protect the NHS or the environment? Or something else?

Have your say - take two minutes to set the future direction of 38 Degrees here:

People power has finally pushed politicians to stop bowing and scraping to media barons. But Murdoch is a crafty and determined operator. He'll probably be planning his next move – we need to plan ours as well!

Is there more we could do to make sure the collapse of the BSkyB bid is a real turning point? What else could we do to secure higher media standards? How can we make sure that politicians never again put media barons before us, their voters? Or is it time to move our focus back to other issues?

Take two minutes to complete a quick online poll about what we do next:

This scandal has shown that there's a lot rotten in British politics. But it's also given us reasons to hope. Brave journalists exposed this story, showing the value of a decent independent media. [4] The few politicians who dared to speak out have been vindicated. [5] The British public proved we won’t stand for media barons defying our laws and our democracy.

38 Degrees members have been working together to try to block the BSkyB deal since it was first announced in 2010. [6] We've signed petitions, raised money for adverts, organised stunts, and emailed, phoned and visited our MPs. We've teamed up with other groups including global people power group Avaaz. Today, we can all celebrate together - it worked!

Communities like 38 Degrees have a positive role to play at moments like this. We are independent of media barons and compromised politicians. We don't take their money - we're funded by small donations from thousands of UK citizens. [7] We don't do what they tell us to do – we take decisions about our campaigns by 38 Degrees members discussing and voting together.

This is a time for people power. So what could 38 Degrees do to help next? Please take a couple of minutes to say what you think by completing this online poll:

Thanks for getting involved,

David, Marie, Cian, Becky, Johnny, Hannah and the 38 Degrees team

PS: Together we're an 800,000 strong independent people powered community. We can move fast to campaign on the issues that matter because we're funded by thousands of people donating what they can afford - not huge donations from media moguls or the government. If you'd like to support 38 Degrees you can make a secure donation here:

[1] Sky News announce News Corp drop bid for BSkyB:
[2] The Telegraph reports on David Cameron slow reaction to the hacking scandal
[3] The Independent reports that MPs of all parties unite againt Murdoch:
[4] The Guardian’s Nick Davies tells the story of his investigation:
[5] For example Tom Watson MP has repeatedly spoken out against Murdoch’s takeover:
[6] A history of 38 Degrees campaign against Murdoch
[7] 38 Degrees is funded by thousands of our members:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB power grab

Breaking news: there's going to be a vote in Parliament this Wednesday on Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB power grab. [1]

Your MP will be weighing up how to vote. [2] Will they stand up for democracy and decent media standards? Or will they do what they've done far too many times in the past, and let Murdoch grab even more power?

If we work together, we can make sure enough MPs vote the right way this Wednesday. We can send our MPs a flood of messages, and make them realise their voters won't stand for Rupert Murdoch getting even more control.

It's quick and easy to email your MP, and it only takes 2 minutes. Get started here:

A vote by our MPs to halt the BSkyB deal would be a huge breakthrough. [3] The past week has seen appalling revelations of criminal and unethical activity by Murdoch papers. Now we have a chance to prove that Murdoch’s control over our democracy will no longer be tolerated.

It could be a very close vote. Rupert Murdoch knows that control of BSkyB would mean more cash and more power - so he's desperate to win. He’s flown into London to start twisting arms. [4] Behind closed doors, his lobbyists and lawyers are springing into action. But if enough of us work together, we can outweigh their pressure.

Can you send your MP a quick message now? Find their name and email address here:

38 Degrees members helped secure this week's vote. We've been challenging Murdoch's plans since they were first announced in July 2010. In the past week we've sent over 150,000 messages to the government and to MPs demanding a halt whilst the latest scandal is investigated.[5] Bit by bit, we're winning the argument that Murdoch should not be rewarded with more power.

When there's a close vote like this in parliament, we know that we can work together to swing it the right way
. We did it to save England's forests. [6] We are doing it to protect the NHS. Now let's make sure our MPs vote to clamp down on Rupert Murdoch and stand up for a better media and a better democracy.

The next 48 hours are crucial, so please email your MP now:

Thanks for getting involved,

David, Johnny, Becky, Hannah, Marie, Cian and the 38 Degrees team

Friday, 8 July 2011


38 Degrees Logo

Could this be the week we finally turn the tide on Rupert Murdoch? Pressure to weaken his grip on our media and our democracy is building. Let's work together to get the clean-up operation started.

Disgust at the behaviour of Murdoch's newspapers has pushed politicians to start speaking out. [1] But we need to make sure our MPs follow through with real action. If MPs start hearing directly from thousands of their voters, we can push them to finally stand up to Murdoch.

It only takes 2 minutes to email your MP. Click to get started:

For far too long, MPs have been scared of Rupert Murdoch. Now they need to be brave. If they have the guts, there are three things they can do immediately to stop the rot in the UK media:
1. Stop Murdoch taking control of BSkyB [2]
2. Start a Public Inquiry, led by an independent judge, right now [3]
3. Start an investigation by media regulator Ofcom into whether Murdoch is a "fit and proper" media owner [4]

Yesterday, we finally heard some MPs admit to the way Murdoch calls the shots over our democracy. "We've fallen for threats", they said, and "we were not courageous enough", "we've colluded for too long". [4] That's a start, but now they need to act to match their words. Together we can push them to overcome their fear of the Murdoch press and listen to their voters.

Tell your MP it's time to be brave and stand up to Murdoch:

Time and again, as 38 Degrees members work together to campaign for a fairer, greener, more democratic Britain, we come up against the might of Murdoch. Whether it’s protecting our health service or our environment, or getting real action to tackle the excesses of bankers, too often his papers do all they can to get in the way.

Murdoch's papers have behaved appallingly. But some good could still come of it. This could be our chance to finally level the playing field and get politicians answering to voters, not media barons – let's work together to seize it!

Thanks for being involved,

David, Hannah, Becky, Johnny, Marie, Cian and the 38 Degrees team

PS: We'll be delivering our 100,000-strong petition to the official consultation into the BSkyB power grab just before the deadline at midday tomorrow. There's still time to add your name in 30 seconds – here: