ourNHS

A talk on the politics of cancer in an age of austerity

On 2 July Wendy Savage and Hilary Wainwright join Mike Marqusee to launch his new book on the politics of cancer and NHS privatisation at Housmans bookshop in London. 

OurNHS
26 June 2014

Price of Experience cover.jpg

Next Wednesday evening, 2 July, writer, journalist and political activist Mike Marqusee will give a talk on the politics of cancer and how it relates to NHS cuts and privatisation, at Housmans bookshop in London. The event will mark the publication of his new book, The Price of Experience: Writings on Living With Cancer.

 

Marqusee will be joined at the meeting by Wendy Savage of Keep Our NHS Public and Hilary Wainwright of Red Pepper magazine. There will be time for questions, comments and discussion. Refreshments will be available.

 

Marqusee was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in the summer of 2007. At first, disinclined to share his misery with others, he was reluctant to write about his illness. But he then came to realize that doing so provided a precious continuity with his life as a writer before contracting the disease. Writing allowed him to address what he saw as a variety of insidious platitudes that surround cancer, often connected to the individualistic idea that the sufferer must be brave in battling the disease, with the inevitable corollary that those who succumb have, in some measure, brought it on themselves.

 

The book places the experience of having cancer in its political context, describing the struggles occurring in St Bart’s hospital, and the crisis in the NHS more generally, at a time of harrowing cutbacks. Big Pharma, whose drugs keep Marqusee alive but are sold to the NHS at prices reflecting the power and greed of a ruthless extortionist, is the subject for particularly astringent scrutiny.

 

These issues and more will be explored at the event.

 

Wednesday 2 July, 7-9pm, Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX. 

£3 entrance, redeemable against any purchase of the book, which will be available to buy at the event.

Read an exclusive extact from the new book here.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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