the share button is now your next button

Have recently been researching networked learning for work, looking particularly for different perspectives that I have not come across in the last ten years or so.  The structures of networked learning may be reinforced as they have been with instructional design. Networked learning as a book, with the share button being your page turn or next button. Networks are linear with constraints in a way that technologies have constraints such as screen size, resolution and have same kind of authoritative controlling hierarchy reinforcing behaviours and interactions in the same way that an online learning designer uses instructional design principles as expert learning is produced for the learner who has not come across the topic before. The only difference could then be how the information visually is presented.


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Posted in design, ICT, learning, Networks

Running down the NHS to privatise it and the role of the media, what you can do this week

The many tentacles of Rupert Murdoch’s media presence in the UK are launching a connected (see below if you want to read further) campaign to destroy the NHS and replace it with privatised services. This week The Sun are collecting NHS horror stories from around the country. Here’s what you can do to fight back:

  • write to your local MP, local newspapers, national newspaper, call local radio and demand that the demolition of the NHS is exposed (list)
  • tell everyone you know to do the same

It has also been recently reported that doctors, nurses and other NHS professionals are leaving the UK because they have had enough. In the government’s relentless quest to underfund, run down the NHS, it means that many amazing healthcare professionals will be gone which will be devasting for improving health outcomes anywhere in the country. I have heard several people tell me that they or their relatives who work for the NHS are leaving because of the media.

Running down a public accountable service that is accessed by millions for the benefit of your friends is abhorrent but what if it’s even worse than that?

I have been following headlines and excerpts of articles in the mainstream media for several weeks online. The Daily Mail releases a bad news story about the NHS, sometimes an individual case of bad care around every 5 hours, sometimes every 2 hours. As with all public services, there are places to go to make complaints about bad care and often a choice to go to the media could be for financial reasons (why not if you are on low income in a recession).

There are different stories also released by the Times, Sunday Times and Telegraph. The Express also has increased frequency. They are usually on the front pages or online throughout the day and night. I did not pick out all of the BBC articles but out of the 63 I have, 2 have positive mentions of the NHS. Use of the word NHS is crucial too. It is always the NHS this and the NHS, well why if it’s not about the whole NHS. At a most basic level, you could be forgiven for thinking that the NHS must be bad if there are all these stories, which is exactly one of the narratives that the ones who have private healthcare interests or friends with them would like the millions to believe. No stories have been released about private healthcare but then it’s not publicly accountable,  says commercial confidentiality to everything, does not respond to FOI requests in the same way as public services and no doubt has confidentiality clauses in every interaction they have with people. The headlines are important because of in spite of the growth of social networks, how many people use Twitter, there is a familiarity with seeing and processing a short, limited amount of characters i.e. a headline, so in terms of psychology and information processing this could be creating quite narrow filters.

If anyone who hasn’t already hacked my email or computer wants access to the details please contact me. So onto the possibly even worse.

Shortly after the financial crisis I used ManyEyes wiki at the time for a small project looking at financial and market visualisations and text from the press, and started to look at the use of wording in headlines , emotional content and the impact on market behaviour. There are scientists doing very thorough work on this, I had a tiny data set, very limited data literacy and very limited access to tools. In order to analyse this properly it would need those kinds of people and resources who can also look at network density to understand more about the implications of co-ordinated actions.

So what if – there are not just people out there with private healthcare interests but influences out there who are so far removed from understanding the human consequences of what they are doing, that they helping to influence market behaviour by predicting different scenarios of what will happen to the NHS, or other services and investing based on those predicted scenarios. What if, let’s say, it’s those who lost some money in 2008 and have either not got all of it back, or jut relentlessly greedy for more, Is it really impossible?


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Posted in data, market trading, Networks, visualisation

Chatham House Rules will never apply again
I’ve been at events under the ‘Chatham House’ rules but as the political parties in Westminster decided to rush through something they refer to as legislation about who sees what, then there is no longer any definition of Chatham House Rules that legally applies to any events. There is no such thing as an individual not being identified.

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Posted in data, failure, ICT

A lone, silent Israeli man walking down a street in Jerusalem holding a sign saying ‘stop killing civilians’ just escorted away by security

Posted in Uncategorized

Mutuals aren’t back door privatisation of the NHS, they are right through the front door

Here we go again. Not saying there shouldn’t be any mutuals, but mutualisation of the NHS is a neoliberal con.

One year before a general election and healthcare professionals are being told again by politicians that they will be able to run things their own way. Just like GPs were told before the most expensive and inefficient re-organisation in history, now hospital doctors and nurses are being told they can run their own hospitals as mutuals. The New Economics Foundation think tank has been pushing this for years. This means that you can do anything you like, except , actually do anything that costs money because the control of that will be passed in total to the private sector. It is another way of giving more money to MPs and their friends in Westminster, of all parties. Mutuals and non-profits are not magic entities that solve problems faced by people, mutuals do not fundamentally address income inequality, they just open the doors of the market wider, more temporary tax ‘initiatives’ that some people can take advantage of when investing/laundering (philanthropists just love investing in non-profits) their unequal wealth compared to the rest of the world, more assets to ‘play’ with. Just googling healthcare mutuals shows the importance of performance of ‘assets’ compared to importance of care and health.

And funnily enough, there is going to be consolidation with more mergers and acquisitions, and funnily enough it almost looks like the private sector is operating like a public stated owned service which apparently they now own but funnily enough, only a handful of investors will profit from it.

“It is important to remind ourselves why the NHS is a public service and was set up as such 65 years ago. As has been pointed out, ‘treating public services as though they are simply transactions misses many asp ects of what makes them public’ . Among the reasons for having services located in the public realm are the following: having services available to all and paid for by all is good for social justice and instils greater equality; services that are best provided publicly are those which are complex, consume scarce or finite resources, and which involve setting priorities and negotiating trade offs that must be handled through the political process rather than through markets concerned primarily with profit and increasing shareholder value. Nothing has changed over the years to alter these inescapable factors. Apart from the familiar problem of high transaction costs arising from billing and marketing budgets, which add little of value and deny frontline services much needed resources, market incentives in health care produce adverse effects. For example, Smith shows that market disciplines seriously undermine the professional ethic in health, resulting in poorer quality care and health outcomes for patients.”1

1. Hunter D (2013) To Market To Market, Centre for Health and the Public Interest,, available at

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Posted in experiments, funding, healthreg

How to help declining hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are declining in the UK, this video shows things we can do to help them :)

Leeds Hedgehog Sanctuary

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Posted in environment, green, nature

March for the NHS 16 August – 6th September

Why am I walking around 300 miles and NHS campaigning in general?

According to a friendly Scottish person I know, it’s downhill all the way from Scotland ;-)

But that’s not the reason.

I am not a mum but I do have a niece and nephew and family who aren’t getting any younger either. What kind of a future is in store for them ? I can’t wait and see. Campaigning has been a strange journey this time round, gain / lose friendships along the way, I only ever used to shout with ‘kihaps’ in training, now I have more stuff to shout about. I am angry. I don’t like being lied to repeatedly. We deserve better than this.

I have spent time in conferences, meetings over the last fifteen or so years amongst people in the private sector who didn’t show how they delivered a different quality against the costs of their services when compared to public sector and repeat urban myths about what a private organisation delivers (neglecting to mention about the need to keep investors happy). I have worked in all kinds of roles in private, public and voluntary too so feel comfortable expressing this opinion as it’s not without some substance. It’s not a case of who can win the highest moral ground either, something that doesn’t belong to any human.

This was before I knew what was happening with the NHS (found out somewhere in 2012, the price of ignorance…) The reaction that I’ve frequently experienced during campaigning is – we should take to the streets – well yes ! Why not join in the march ?  It’s recreating the Jarrow route – 21 days, 23 locations across the UK, ending in London, loads of options for taking part.

I do not believe local is a magic word and neither is national. I do not want to sit through another year of politicians making promises they can’t keep in the run up to the general election, nor do I want to see politicians use media to cover things up and oppress others. I do not want to hear shortly after the next election that they and their supporters are getting contracts – private / voluntary, are owning more land, owning more property, owning more anything  that doesn’t belong to them which rather conveniently their policies are being designed for, in preparation. Or that they are moving more money out of the economy and away from people who could contribute if they had a chance.

It’s heartbreaking when people come to our stall and say they or their relatives are leaving nursing sometimes a year after qualifying. Their dream jobs. Leaving because of the cuts, the attack from politicians and the media, they find it hard to cope.

Thousands of staff are delivering fantastic NHS care, treatment and research. In Leeds they are performing a double hand transplant for the first time in the UK.

People tell us all the time, they don’t want cuts, they want the NHS funded properly so their friends, families and neighbours can have great healthcare. Affording the costs (who decides what health is worth from the outside!) is a terrifying nightmare for everyone, with many horror stories being shared from visits to the US. They don’t want to rely on private providers who can’t deliver the quality based on over 60 years of great clinical care and research which is improving all the time.

It’s not just the majority of us in the UK, the trend is towards universal healthcare provision freely available.

The Commonwealth report is another study which shows the NHS at No 1.

Let’s keep it that way.


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Posted in community, fighting, healthreg, Leeds, professional

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