, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. As an #NHS campaigner, I have witnessed the manipulation of democratic processes at a local level. It is now happening at a national level, and it has precisely the same flavour as the democracy fails we have seen at Kent County Council and in NHS public 'consultations'. This
2. is how it works. If it seems that elected officials might not vote your way (for example the Kent County Council Health Scrutiny Committee), find any way you can to delay the vote. Looks through the rules for a loophole. Once delayed, you can start working on those with a vote
3. Persuade them in private meetings, as in private mtgs you can use arguments that skirt the truth, as no one is watching and no one will correct you. Run down those that are making the counter arguments. Make them seem like the enemy, or say they are 'misguided'. Again, if
4. this can be done in private, you can get away with untruths. Keep delaying any form of vote until you are sure that you have the right numbers to squeeze your plan through, even if it's a tiny majority, & even if you have to change who is on the committee in order to do it.
5. Another way is to hold an 'engagement exercise' or public consultation but then ignore the results. Local NHS chiefs have been doing this up and down the country. They need to push thru unpopular plans such as closures of stroke units, A&E, maternity units and GP surgeries.
6. Simply give the appearance of caring about the public's viewpoint; ask for responses but don't publicise it too widely; give the consultation a name that does not reflect in any way what is happening; add some sweeteners to the plans - things which make it sound as if the
7. Public will be getting better services that before - these don't have to come with a guarantee and can be dropped later if necessary; promise sweeteners that will be minimal in terms of the losses that will be suffered - you can paint it as the reverse and the press will back
8. you up; pit different areas against eachother in a zero sum game for essential services - hope that they fight eachother instead of the real problem; refer frequently to 'evidence' - it may not actually support your plans, but most journalists and the public don''t have time
9. to check it; if word gets out that your slick presentations and brochures are a merely sales pitch with no substance, and large swathes of consultation responses disagree with your plans - simply keep it as quiet as possible, misrepresent the response data (the BBC will help)
10. & point out that consultations 'are not a vote' & you have no obligation to act on the results/on public opinion (even though it's their money you're spending). Democratic bypass is everywhere. Our society is run by despotic, undemocratic cheats. #DefendOurDemocracy #SaveNHS
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