Hawking backs NHS – destroys Hunt’s posturing

[updated 30 August 2017]

Successful ‘Talk NHS’ debate: Hawking follows up with stinging demolition of Hunt’s policies and practice

Professor Stephen Hawking gave a wonderful speech at the Royal Society of Medicine Saturday 19 August. [Photo: Royal Society Of Medicine] The evening beforehand, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt attacked the pre-released speech in ignorant fashion on Twitter, press and later in The Telegraph accusing Hawking of ‘pernicious falsehood’.

Stung by the personal and shallow response from this top government minister, Hawking has replied with a clinical demolition of Hunt in an Opinion piece in The Guardian 25 August 2017 entitled ‘Jeremy Hunt can attack me all he wants – but he is wrong to say the NHS is working’.

‘NHS in England is undergoing a complete reorganisation into 44 regions with the aim of each being run as an “accountable care organisation” (ACO). An Aco is a variant of a type of US system called a health maintenance organisation in which all services are provided in a network of hospitals and clinics all run by the HMO company. It is reasonable to expect the powerful US HMO companies such as Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealth will be bidding for the huge contracts to run these ACOs when they go out to international tender.’

‘The NHS is political, but not necessarily party political. I am a Labour supporter but acknowledge that privatisation increased under Labour governments in the past. The question is whether democracy can prevail and the public can make its demands for proper funding and public provision undeniable by any government.’

Read Hawking’s piece: it is a brilliant analysis of where the NHS is under current government policies, why the policies are wrong and dangerous and why relying on real evidence is so crucial to political integrity.

Update: ‘Doctors back Stephen Hawking’s challenge to Jeremy Hunt’Guardian Letters 30/8/17

KONP says:

“Congratulations to the organisers of the ‘Talk NHS’ – Discourse in collaboration with the RSM. The day was an excellent debate on the NHS with a well-informed exchange of views from an panel of speakers important in its breadth and from a passionate audience committed to the survival and restoration of a fully public NHS.”

See more about KONP’s aims here

Tony O’Sullivan

Press coverage of ‘Talk NHS’ and the Hawking/Hunt exchange

[Photo: Telegraph]

Press/media coverage of Hawking’s statement on NHS and correspondence

Guardian Opinion, Hawking 25 August 2017 ‘Jeremy Hunt can attack me all he wants – but he is wrong to say the NHS is working

Guardian Letters, ‘Doctors back Stephen Hawking’s challenge to Jeremy Hunt’ and other letters 30 August 2017

Guardian (exclusive) https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/18/stephen-hawking-blames-tory-politicians-for-damaging-nhs

Guardian Hawking opinion piece https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/18/nhs-scientist-stephen-hawking

Radio4 Today show  (top headlines) Episode Link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0923vsf

BBC Online “Hawking worried about the future of the NHS” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40967309

Independent “Hawking attacks the Tories for moving towards privatising NHS” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stephen-hawking-tories-conservatives-nhs-theresa-may-jeremy-hunt-funding-a7901176.html

Independent “Hunt says Hawking is wrong” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/stephen-hawking-jeremy-hunt-scientific-nhs-reform-weekend-tories-a7901586.html

Independent “Hunt launches fresh attack on Hawking” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-stephen-hawking-twitter-7-day-nhs-scientific-evidence-a7902511.html

Guardian “Hunt accuses Hawking of ‘pernicious falsehood’ ” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/19/jeremy-hunt-says-stephen-hawking-is-wrong-on-the-nhs

Sky “Hunt in fresh attack on Hawking” http://news.sky.com/story/jeremy-hunt-in-fresh-attack-on-stephen-hawking-over-nhs-10996309

Sky “Don’t Insult a National Treasure”
http://news.sky.com/story/lessons-for-jeremy-hunt-dont-insult-national-treasure-hawking-10997154

Huffington Post “Hunt spars with Hawking” http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-hunt-stephen-hawking-nhs_uk_59981ecde4b01f6e801ee228

Evening Standard “Hunt to Hawking: you’re wrong” https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/jeremy-hunt-tells-professor-stephen-hawking-youre-wrong-about-scientific-research-behind-nhs-reform-a3615381.html

Evening Standard “Hunt attacks Hawking pernicious falsehood” https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/stephen-hawking-jeremy-hunt-attacks-physicists-pernicious-falsehood-in-nhs-row-a3615551.html

Telegraph “Hunt mocked for trying to school Hawking” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/19/jeremy-hunt-twitter-row-stephen-hawking/

Times “Hawking NHS crisis due to ‘abuse’ of evidence” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/stephen-hawking-says-nhs-in-crisis-due-to-abuse-of-research-7jcqbgtg5

City AM “Hunt hits back at Hawking” http://www.cityam.com/270519/jeremy-hunt-hits-back-stephen-hawking-over-nhs-after

BBC “I wouldn’t be here without the NHS” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-40990288/stephen-hawking-i-wouldn-t-be-here-without-the-nhs

Newsthump (news satire) http://newsthump.com/2017/08/19/we-dont-listen-to-people-in-wheelchairs-tories-tell-stephen-hawking/

Daily Mash (news satire) http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/hawking-discovers-new-super-dense-black-hole-20170819134289

Belfast Telegraph “Hunt says Hawking is wrong” http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/jeremy-hunt-says-stephen-hawking-is-wrong-on-scientific-basis-of-nhs-reform-36048189.html

The Sun “Hunt attacks Hawking” https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/4280839/health-secretary-jeremy-hunt-blasted-stephen-hawking-nhs-claims/

MailOnline “Hawking says NHS in crisis” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4804682/Stephen-Hawking-attacks-Tories-NHS.html

Metro “Hunt accuses Hawking of wrecking his beloved NHS” http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/18/stephen-hawking-accuses-tories-of-wrecking-his-beloved-nhs-since-2010-6863386/

Express “Wrong! Hunt takes on Hawking” http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/843235/Professor-Stephen-Hawking-NHS-Health-Secretary-Jeremy-Hunt-Twitter

Channel 4 News “Hawking attacks conservatives over NHS fears” https://www.channel4.com/news/stephen-hawking-attacks-conservatives-over-nhs-fears

ITV “Hunt denies Hawking claims” http://www.itv.com/news/2017-08-19/hunt-denies-hawkings-claims-he-cherry-picked-research-to-justify-nhs-reforms/

PoliticsHome  “Hunt accuses Hawk  https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/health-and-care/nhs/news/88369/jeremy-hunt-accuses-stephen-hawking-pernicious-falsehood-nhs

Telegraph – Hunt opinion piece
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/19/stephen-hawking-hero-no-evidence-support-claims-nhs-conservatives/

Reuters https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-health-hawking-idUKKCN1AZ08F?il=0

LBC/Owen Jones http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/owen-jones/owen-jones-the-nhs-is-our-proudest-institution-but/

LBC/Beverley Turner http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/beverley-turner/beverley-turner-gives-jeremy-hunt-both-barrels-in/

Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/physicist-hawking-criticizes-uk-health-secretary-on-service/2017/08/19/d992c7f2-84ed-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6_story.html

Chicago Tribune, Ledger Enquirer, The Herald (AP story), Charlotte Observer, Settle Times & many other US state papers

Gulf Times http://m.gulf-times.com/story/560762/Hawking-blames-UK-govt-for-NHS-crisis

IB Times http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/stephen-hawking-attacks-conservatives-underfunding-privatising-nhs-1635733

The Canary https://www.thecanary.co/2017/08/19/jeremy-hunt-left-humiliated-trying-takedown-stephen-hawkings-scientific-analysis-tweets/

News Hub NZ http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2017/08/stephen-hawking-fears-end-of-the-uk-s-national-health-service.html

Evolve Politics https://evolvepolitics.com/jeremy-hunt-literally-just-said-stephen-hawking-wrong-scientific-basis-nhs-reform/

Varsity “Hawking says Tories to blame for NHS crisis” https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/13400

The Poke http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/08/19/jeremy-hunt-said-stephen-hawking-got-science-wrong/

Cambridge News “Hawking says Conservatives are to blame for NHS crisis” http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/stephen-hawking-nhs-crisis-conservatives-13498706

40+ radio

Source: @drbenwhite Bring Back The NHS

1 Comment

  1. This is a wonderful collation of the press response thanks to Tony and Alan. I wouldthik Stephen Hawking could sue Hunt for libel accusing him of a uttering a pernicious falsehood. W

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