Another must-read is Professor Allyson Pollock's papers laying out the arguments against the bill: ‘Commercial confidentiality’ trumps public right to know in England’s new health market'; 'a legal basis for charging and providing fewer health services to people in England'; 'services, charges, and exclusions'; 'A flawed bill with a hidden purpose'; 'How the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 would end entitlement to comprehensive health care in England'; 'changing data requirements of the market: implications for public health'; 'conflicts of interest'; ' abolition of the secretary of state's duty'; 'The final frontier: The UK’s new coalition government turns the English National Health Service over to the global health care market'.
UPDATE Tuesday 20th March: Harpy Marx writes to me:
When services become privatised one of the first things to go is accountability replaced with "‘commercial confidentiality’. This is happening with welfare reform, private companies becoming covered by "commercial confidentiality" and many of these greedy companies try and sue....and pressure blog providers, for example, to take a blog down if it criticising them. Bookbinder judgement in '93 stated (when local authority tried to sue a newspaper). "It was contrary to the public interest that organs of government, whether central or local, should have the right to sue for libel because any governmental body should be open to uninhibited public criticism and to allow such actions would place an undesirable fetter on freedom of speech." Freedom of speech is part of a functioning democracy privatisation erodes it democracy. Excellent book by Dexter Whitfield on "New Labour’s Attack on Public Services: Modernisation by Marketisation (2006)" Just replace New Labour with ConDems in the title...same process happening but at an accelerated force.