Chairman's Comments

Comments on Nutrition and its interaction with us and our offspring, from Simon House, the new Chairman of the McCarrison Society 

Saving the NHS

Right now, the government is pushing through changes to our health service which could spell the END of the NHS as we know it. Meanwhile, a funding squeeze means wards are closing and doctors and nurses are being laid off.

Together, we can stop this and save our health service for future generations. We proved that huge petition can help make the government back down. Now, we need to do the same again to save our NHS.  You can SIGN the PETITION at:

Frank Field's poverty report challenges 'welfare state sacred cows'


Patrick Wintour The Guardian, Friday 3 December 2010 
The Labour MP Frank Field chaired the independent review into poverty and life chances. 
He asserts: "A healthy pregnancy, positive but authoritative parenting, high quality childcare, a positive approach to learning at home and an improvement in parents' qualifications, can … trump class background and parental income."
He argues there is little sign that schools close these attainment gaps, with children who arrive in the bottom range of ability tending to stay there. He proposes:
• parenting classes throughout school life, arguing that Britain believes parenting is learnt through osmosis;
• a new index of life chances that can be monitored annually;
• a focus on foundation years equal to primary and secondary schools;
• a rationalisation of children's services, including post-natal work, from the womb to going to school;
• a working-class version of Mumsnet, the online forum for parents;
• kite marking children's tv programmes to help speech development.
He says: "This goal of changing the distribution of income will be achieved by ensuring that poorer children in the future have the range of abilities necessary to secure better paid, higher skilled jobs."
New mothers and fathers should have parenting classes – Frank Field report

Letting the food industry shape policy will ruin a century of progress Initiatives must be led by sc


The Guardian, Joe Millward, Friday 3 December 2010
Philip James is rightly "scandalised by how quickly and how far Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, is handing public health over to the food and alcohol industries" (Department of Big Macs, 16 November). These are the same vested interests that have fuelled the obesity and alcohol abuse crises and are, as Seumas Milne points out, "as good as dictating terms at the heart of government" (The corporate grip on public life is a threat to democracy, 18 November). . . 

Ruling curtails debate on cuts bills - and - It's the poor who are being clobbered


Two letters from the Rev Paul Nicolson, Chairman, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust - in The Guardian  
Saturday 27 November 2010
The savings accounts and health in pregnancy grant bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 23 November. The Speaker of the House of Commons ruled, after the third reading in the Commons, that it was a money bill. This means that out of the 21 cuts to the poverty incomes of welfare claimants proposed by the coalition, any amendments to the three of them proposed by the bill cannot be debated in the House of Lords. This approach could be used to prevent the Lords from discussing other money-related changes in legislation.
The bill has been strangled without thought to the consequences. Our greatest concern is that incomes that in all government and independent measures are substantially below the poverty line will suffer cuts – of which the health in pregnancy grant is one – without any assessment of the impact on the health of women of child-bearing age, their foetus or their offspring; or the cost of the consequential mental and physical ill health to the NHS or the economy at large.

Read more: Ruling curtails debate on cuts bills - and - It's the poor who are being clobbered