Matthew Hancock

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Dubbed "Matt the Blank"[1]

Newly-appointed health secretary Matt Hancock and Brexit minister Dominic Raab are both connected to the Tufton Street Network through free-market think tank the Institute for Economic Affairs, which pushes for deregulation and refuses to reveal its funding sources.
Environmental secretary Michael Gove also has strong ties to the Tufton Street hub through his involvement with the Vote Leave campaign and think tank the New Culture Forum, while International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has been a strong supporter of Grassroot Outs, a pro-Brexit campaign group that sprang out of infighting between Vote Leave, Nigel Farage and Arron Banks’s Leave.EU.
Grassroots Out was also supported by Sammy Wilson, DUP MP and climate science denier. The Conservatives and DUP signed a ‘supply and confidence’ pact to provide Theresa May’s govt with additional votes on key issues.[2]

Articles

  • Oct.06.2018: NHS will use phone data to predict threats to your health. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is planning a system of “predictive prevention”, in which algorithms will use detailed data on individuals to send targeted healthy living messages to those flagged as having “propensities to health problems”, such as taking up smoking or becoming obese. People’s medical records will be combined with social and smartphone data to predict who will pick up bad habits and stop them getting ill, under radical govt proposals. Despite promises to safeguard data, the “creepy” plans have already attracted privacy concerns among doctors and campaigners. Sam Smith, of the privacy group medConfidential, warned that a “ham-fisted” plan might backfire, given the government’s poor record on data-handing. Chris Smyth, The Times.
  • Sept.18.2018: Matt Hancock wants pay docked to cover cost of social care. Workers could have their pay docked to pay into a new social care fund, the health secretary has suggested. Hancock is expected to publish a green paper in the autumn setting out options for the reform of social care, including funding. He said he wanted to see people taking “personal responsibility” for their care needs and their health. Auto-enrolment into occupational pensions, which took effect from 2012, has led to a large rise in the proportion of employees who are part of a workplace pension scheme, from 47 per cent to 73 per cent over five years. Previously many staff missed out on valuable employer’s pension benefits. Greg Hurst, The Times.
  • Jul.19.2018: Tory underfunding has FORCED the overstretched NHS to privatise £1 BILLION of urgent care as a last resort. Private firms have cashed in to the tune of £1Billion due to overstretched hospitals being forced to outsource and privatise urgent services as a last resort. In what is an alternate guise for the gradual privatisation of the NHS, it appears that due to the woeful underfunding imposed by the Conservative government, NHS Trusts and hospitals are having – through sheer desperation – to pay (and often to overpay) private companies to provide essential services, which the NHS is too stretched to provide itself. Often, it is hip and knee surgery, where prospective patients are sent to private clinics. The decisions are usually taken as a last resort, where the alternative would be to cancel the care. The state of affairs is yet another example of the false economy at the heart of Tory policy. The news follows on the back of the recent £20bn spending boost announced by May for the NHS – too little, too late. Indeed, the National Audit Office stated that the boost is nowhere near enough to satisfy the NHS’ financial needs. Furthermore, the so-called ‘Brexit dividend’, which was supposed to fund the spending increase, has been revealed for the thin mist it is by the Office for Budget Responsibility. It is a dire situation that, disgusting, the new pro-privatisation Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, will be extremely happy with – especially given that Hancock is only really doing the bidding of privateers, having received £tens of thousands in donations from the Chairman of an organisation who literally want to abolish and privatise the NHS. William J Richardson, Evolve Politics.
  • Jul.10.2018: The New Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock is funded by rabid NHS privatisation lobbyists. Matt Hancock, has received tens of thousands of pounds worth of donations from the Chairman of a notorious free-market thinktank whose clear policy it is to abolish the NHS and privatise healthcare in the UK. From Dec.2010 until the present day, the MP’s Register of Interests shows that he has received in the region of £32,000 from Neil Record, who just so happens to be the Chairman of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA). The IEA are a well-known free-market neoliberal thinktank who have long argued in favour of privatising the NHS. The IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare policy, Kristian Niemietz, has also made absolutely no secret of the Institute’s desire to fully abolish and privatise the NHS, and can be regularly found on Twitter arguing firmly in favour of more private sector involvement. Over his tenure as Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt was allowed free reign to catastrophically defund the service and demoralise NHS staff. And now, if things couldn’t get much bleaker for a service which has heroically withstood 10 years of despicable Tory attacks, it seems that the already bought-and-paid-for Matt Hancock has now been given the task of finishing the job. Tom D Rogers, Evolve Politics.
  • May.20.2018: Matt Hancock tells social media giants: reform or be fined billions. Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, is to force social media giants to end online bullying, protect children and remove illegal posts. Social media giants will face multibillion-pound fines if they continue to allow bullying and harassment on their platforms under plans by the government to pass the world’s first laws forcing the tech companies to act against online abuse. Matt Hancock today reveals that ministers will legislate this autumn to impose a statutory code of conduct on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other web businesses, ending the free-for-all that has allowed the companies to regulate their own behaviour. Also under consideration are plans, previously floated by Theresa May in a speech at Davos in Jan.2018, to make internet firms partly liable for illegal content on their platforms. The govt is closely watching a case brought by Martin Lewis, founder of the website MoneySavingExpert.com, who is challenging Facebook over fake online adverts that used his name to promote get-rich-quick schemes. Lewis believes that social media companies should be fully liable where they have received money for advertising. The plans were endorsed by the cabinet on Tuesday and Hancock is now drumming up support for co-ordinated international action. Tim Shipman, The Times.
  • Mar.22.2018: Minister forced to change his own app after data-mining complaints. Culture secretary Matt Hancock said app designed to engage with constituents was changed after criticism that it was harvesting data. Matthew Weaver, The Guardian.
  • Feb.01.2018: Culture secretary Matt Hancock becomes first MP to launch personalised app. The secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport is the first minister to launch his own smartphone app, Matt Hancock MP, with constituency updates, livestreams and webchats. The Times, Matthew Moore
  • Mar.10.2018: ‘Social media is broken — I want to fix it before my children go online’. The digital secretary Matt Hancock is in favour of time and age limits for web users. Matt Hancock is promising action, saying Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants have failed to deal with the social and ethical effects of their operations. Mr Hancock, a former special adviser to George Osborne, is an energetic moderniser. From April, internet users will have to prove they are over 18 to access online porn. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram will have a statutory duty to enforce age limits. (Small bio in here.) Linkback: Leveson Inquiry, Fake News. The Times, '
  • Jan.11.2018: Matt Hancock - Press Stooge. Yesterday evening the House of Lords voted through two amendments to the Data Protection Bill. The votes, to effectively force the govt to proceed with Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, and commence Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, have proved a superb means of flushing out press stooges in the Tory party. The Murdoch goons... + Paul Staines (Rebekah Brooks)... + who could object to unearthing the murky world of press and Police collusion and corruption? That was where Culture Secretary Matt Hancock sold the pass, claiming “House of Lords have just voted to restrict press freedoms. This vote will undermine high quality journalism, fail to resolve challenges the media face and is a hammer blow to local press. We support a free press and will seek to overturn these amendments in the Commons”. Hancock was lying though his teeth - never a good look for a govt minister - but yet worse, he was parroting the Press Establishment line. He’s supposed to be accountable to We The People, not a stooge for the billionaires who control most of the newspaper industry. Brian Cathcart was on to this dead giveaway like a shot: “By this one tweet the new Culture Secretary defines himself as a puppet of Murdoch, Dacre & the Telegraph. Another govt minister in the pocket of the press, Michael “Oiky” Gove, was also not bothered about the little people that the press so gleefully trample upon on a daily basis: “Matt is absolutely right - free media is vital to democracy and local press should not be fettered in this way”. But then, Gove is the finest press advocate money can buy. And Rupert Murdoch has bought him. Cathcart was as unimpressed with “Oiky” as he was with Hancock: “These are the words of Rupert Murdoch's favourite minister, who is doing the bidding of the owners of the Sun and the Mail. Freedom of expression is not at risk, but freedom to break the law to increase newspaper sales might just be”. Leveson Part 2, far from restricting press freedom, will shine a light on matters that those opposing it would rather not see the light of day. These include such creative news-gathering techniques as blagging (which is illegal), bin rifling, entrapment - the main reason that the Murdoch mafiosi are scared shitless, as it would lift the lid on the work of “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood - and all those private investigator dealings. It would also bring into the spotlight the corrupt press-Police nexus exemplified by the continued efforts of both to frustrate the Daniel Morgan Panel inquiry. I am reliably informed that both the Metropolitan Police and the Murdoch empire have dug in their heels and tried their best to be obstructive to the Panel’s work. It’s not about press freedom. It’s about irresponsible behaviour, corruption, dishonesty on an industrial scale, lawbreaking, and ultimately the little people who get ritually shat on, just so our free and fearless press can carry on as they always have - being a law unto only themselves. Zelo Street, Tim Fenton
  • Oct.03.2016: Iain Dale’s 100 most influential people on the Right. Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Widely seen as a demotion, Hancock insists he has the best job in govt as the new Minister for Digital and Culture. Hmmm. Seen as George Osborne’s vicar on earth, Hancock has had to quickly adapt to the new era, and has proved to be a great survivor. Conservative Home, Iain Dale
  • May.11.2010: General Election 2010: bankers become MPs in new Parliament Matthew Hancock was George Osborne's chief of staff and the brains behind the Tory economic policies. The Telegraph, Louise Armitstead
  • Apr.10.2015: Climate Denier Neil Record Backs Tory Energy and Climate Change Minister Matthew Hancock. Conservative energy and climate change minister Matthew Hancock has accepted £18,000 in donations from climate sceptic Neil Record it has been revealed today by the Guardian. Neil Record, a City currency manager and trustee of the free market Institute of Economic Affairs, was exposed by DeSmog UK last September as a key backer of Nigel Lawson’s climate denial lobby group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Record has separately given more than £300,000 to the Conservative party but, according to the Electoral Commission, Hancock (pictured) is the only individual MP he has backed. Speaking to the Guardian, John Sauven of Greenpeace said: “It says something that we have an energy and climate change minister who hates wind, loves fracking, and accepts large sums of cash from a central figure in a climate sceptic lobby group.” Earlier this month, Hancock came under heavy criticism for chartering a private aircraft from Aberdeen to London despite there being numerous scheduled services that day. Campaigners argued that it undermined Britain’s stance on tackling climate change (ref). Kyla Mandel, DeSmog UK. See also more from the Guardian on this

References

  1. ^ Matt the blank makes few friends with genius take on NHS and Brexit. MPs find health secretary’s no-deal contingency plans have more than a few holes. A new challenger to Chris Grayling for a place in the pantheon of the new idiocracy. John Crace, The Guardian, Oct.23.2018.
  2. ^ Mapped: Whistleblower Accuses Nine Organisations of Colluding over Hard Brexit. Chloe Farand, DeSmog UK, Jul.23.2018.