US data analytics corporation Palantir is in line to manage a new ‘data pool’ containing our medical records. They will be able to use our medical records for commercial purposes not connected to our NHS healthcare.

Our physical, mental health, sexual histories and other personal information shared in confidence with our GPs (family/work stress, alcohol/drug abuse etc) are being put up for grabs. This will put our personal insurances, our employment prospects and our privacy at risk.

If you don’t want this to happen to your medical records you must fill in the correct Opt Out Forms and get the Opt Out 1 Form to your GP and file the Opt Out 2 Form online. This is a matter of urgency.  Here’s where to find them.

Our medical records are are own by right. We used to have the choice to Opt In to schemes involving them, our health and our bodies (eg blood and organ donating). The Opt Out approach, which is based on depriving us of this right and needing to reclaim it, comes from the American healthcare system.

For the story behind the Americanisation of the NHS read my London Review Of Books article ‘The NHS Dismantled’.


Launch Event for ‘NOT IN OUR NAME: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE OF JULIAN ASSANGE’ (24 mins) on Tuesday, July 14th.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAnTYKPA_MM *

* FILM ONLY (superior quality): https://youtu.be/xvR4dpz6LS4 *


The premiere of John Furse’s myth-busting new documentary ‘NOT IN OUR NAME: The Psychological Torture of Julian Assange’ (24 mins) is taking place on Tuesday July 14th at 6.00pm at a Zoom Special Event hosted by campaign organisation Don’t Extradite Assange.

The Event will feature UN Special Rapporteur On Torture Professor Nils Melzer, Reporters Without Borders’ International Campaigns Director Rebecca Vincent and filmmaker John Furse.

“No-one should make any judgement about Julian Assange without watching this short and powerful film.”  (Peter Oborne, journalist and broadcaster)

“This film is shocking, a real wake-up call.”  (John McCarthy, author & broadcaster)

“A powerful film that makes you think twice about Julian Assange.”  (Peter York, author & broadcaster)

TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GZvzFVyjQ4OboAiR-yiwwQ

Or at 6.00pm put the words ‘Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign’ into the search function on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

It will be recorded, and available immediately afterwards on Don’t Extradite Assange’s Facebook and Twitter pages and on their YouTube channel:

FILM REVIEWS: https://www.johnfurse.wordpress.com/not-in-our-name-the-psychological-torture-of-julian-assange-reviews-2/

FILM TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi_aMNxND9Y

This revelatory film shows how Wikileaks founder Assange is a victim of prolonged psychological torture, an abuse of human rights and international law only very recently recognised and classified by the United Nations (UN).

In February 2020 the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) published a landmark report on psychological torture. It was written by their Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Nils Melzer.

Melzer had been responsible for reporting to UNCHR on the world-famous case of Assange. He’d been asked by Assange’s defence team to investigate the conditon of a man who for 9 years had been the target of US authorities for publishing a treasure trove of US intelligence files given to the online publisher by whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

“I’m not going to defend this rapist, narcissist….” Melzer recalls disbelievingly in ‘NOT IN OUR NAME: The Psychological Torture of Julian Assange’.

But once he started to look into the case he realised that “When you scratched the surface things didn’t add up.” His findings were explosive.

After visiting Assange in London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison last May with two medical specialists he came to the conclusion that Assange is the victim of psychological torture over a long period of time.

In the film doctors with specialist knowledge in torture techniques, and a former diplomat who saw him daily during his refuge at the Ecuador Embassy in London, provide powerful testimony to Assange’s suffering.

We learn a very different story to the mythology publicly promulgated about one of Interpol’s ‘most wanted’ and how and why he has been targeted by those who see a free press as a threat to their power.

We discover how this mythology has been part of both a sustained assault on his credibility as a journalist and publisher and a deliberate enterprise to break his psychological and physical health as an example to others.

‘NOT IN OUR NAME: The Psychological Torture of Julian Assange’ is a film that will confound viewers just as the UN Special Rapporteur was confounded when he discovered the truth behind the headlines.

Don’t Extradite Assange: http://www.dontextraditeassange.com

The Courage Foundation: http://www.couragefound.org

Event poster.jpg

John Furse’s Website: http://www.johnfurse.co.uk

Making ‘Not In Our Name’ during the lockdown was a real piece of ‘garage’ filmmaking because my colleague Gus Coral and I couldn’t work together at his editing set-up in the normal way. I had to compose the film at home on the written page and email all the sources, edits, changes, etc (including the exact minutes and seconds of every element to be used when and where) to Gus in North London. He then did the physical edit in his Grenfell Tower-type council flat editing ‘suite’.

I also had to record the commentary in our 1 x 2 metre studio loo, thankfully still lined with vintage, sound-dampening tongue-and-groove boarding, using my i-phone in dawn sorties there undisturbed by traffic, planes, kids and wild parakeets, and then email ‘the loo tapes’ to Gus. The whole production took 6 weeks, twice as long as if Gus and I had been able to work normally.



I’m doing a Q & A organised by the West Central London Green Party this Wednesday. It’s a cross/non-party event with Steve Carne of 999 Call For The NHS and Nicholas Csergo of Momentum NHS as fellow panellists.

Completed  in December last year to include the General Election the film is bang on cue as to many of the reasons why the NHS was so ill-prepared for the Covid Crisis. Here are the event details:

Wednesday, May 27th: West Central London Green Party Q & A on Zoom. 7.00 – 8.00pm.     https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/groundswell-nhs-documentary-discussion-qa-with-filmmaker-john-furse-tickets-105014152156

See the film beforehand (free): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO6e_0Dp6-c&t=59s

Film Reviews: https://johnfurse.wordpress.com/groundswell-film-reviews/

Read my article ‘THE NHS DISMANTLED’ in last November’s London Review Of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n21/john-furse/the-nhs-dismantled

Terrific article. You really capture the nature and scale of the strategic threat to the NHS better than anything else I have read.” (Dr Graham Winyard, ex-medical director of NHS in England)

Article Reviews: https://johnfurse.wordpress.com/the-nhs-dismantled-london-review-of-books-november-2019-reviews/

TUMBLING DICE – Is Democracy Worth A Bet?

BREXIT UNCUT (10 mins) is a revealing bit of filming (unedited) I did of altercations between Leavers and Remainers at the People’s Vote demo last Saturday October 19th. During the heated but also civil exchanges there’s an intervention half way through by a woman Remainer who finds common ground with a woman Leaver – both blame politicians and Parliament for ‘shafting us all’.

Behind this sentiment lies a deep but improperly focussed disillusionment and anger with the corruption of our democracy and our civil institutions by Big Money and Big Business over the last 40 years of dominance by the free marketeers.

Its festering was muted as long as the privateers could deliver on their promises of endless, debt-fuelled prosperity. Big bucks party donors seeking political favours, ‘cash for questions’ paid to MPs to raise questions in Parliament, the revolving door between the House of Commons and well-paid City jobs, the malignant influence of McKinsey and other big corporate and financial lobbyists in the corridors of Westminster and Whitehall, and the prevalence of private sector interests in our public institutions like the NHS and the BBC, remained the bad-smelling but shrugged-off gas from the belly of the hyper-capitalist beast.

The 2008 Banking Crash and its puncturing of the free-market zeppelin, the imposition of austerity, and the grabbing of public assets by the financial and corporate power centres, not just here but in EU and other countries, pulled the rug from under this status quo. Resentment and anger replaced the knowing shrug.

Instead of channelling that anger towards the Big Money/Big Business perpetrators of all this New Labour oldie Peter Mandelson’s party posse reined in the Ed Miliband leadership from committing to the progressive policies that could have placated it (I have this from a good source). Labour lost an Election they should have won in 2015 and popular ire turned on the EU authorities and, as usual, immigrants, for satisfaction.

The mainstream media, for whom competing for market share in a social media dominated landscape has produced increasing ‘economies’ in investigative and inquisitorial standards in favour of crowd-grabbing, click-bait journalism, added fuel to the fire.

Back in the post-1929 Crash Germany representatives of the ‘soft middle’ – social democrats, liberals, MOR socialists – failed to direct similar popular anger towards the Big Money/Big Business axis behind their economic ills, leaving the way open for Hitler and the far Right to exploit it and to find easily blameable targets.

Trump and the alt-Right, Le Pen, Johnson/Farage and the Brexiteers and other populist manifestations we are seeing around the world are the result of similar failings by our ‘soft middle’ representatives since the 2008 Crash.

If, in the 2015 Election, New Labour had advanced the kind of progressive policies of the present Party they’d have walked it. And we’d have had no referendum, no Brexit and far less susceptibility to the sirens of the Right than has since been evidenced. At the Saturday demo I got a whiff of this. It was disturbing.

But there is an upside to the Brexit debacle. It has made the loss of democracy and its recovery a live issue, as my film clip suggests. And in the Remain movement there are stirrings of the ‘soft middle’ which are vitally needed to ward of 1930s spectres.

A Labour Party manifesto that highlights the corruption of our democracy and civil institutions and commits to their rescue from the grasp of Big Money and Big Business would find support across a swathe of voters, including Leavers and Remainers.

As would a commitment by the Party to full NHS renationalisation given that the NHS is a key Election issue with proven appeal to the ‘soft middle’ including many socially-minded Tories. Labour’s lack of clarity on this remains troubling.

Despite these present shortcomings and the Stygian polls I’m not giving up on my small punts with Paddy Power and William Hill: 14-1 on a 2nd Referendum with a 60%+ Remain victory and 12-1 on a Labour Election majority. My mouth is where my money is!



‘GROUNDSWELL’ – Online, Screenings, DVDs, Merchandise & NHS INFO


‘GROUNDSWELL: THE GRASSROOTS BATTLE FOR THE NHS AND DEMOCRACY’ (78 mins) is available online: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/grassroots.

I’ve attended 26 screenings and Q & As around the country over the last 7 months. These events have attracted strongly positive reactions (see Reviews).

There’s interest in further screenings including in Essex, Kent, Somerset and more in Sussex, Devon and Cornwall (see Screenings)

I’m happy to do more if requested by those prepared to arrange their organisation (see Bookings).

DVDs of the film with bonus material are available for private and public use.

For DVDs, badges (NH$ NO!), screening bookings or anything else contact me via email: groundswellnhsfilm@gmail.com

Facebook page: http://bit.ly/GroundswellNHSFilm

Twitter address: https://twitter.com/john_furse



My updated 1-hour version of ‘GROUNDSWELL: THE GRASSROOTS BATTLE FOR THE NHS’ has been given a wildcard entry at the Byline Festival in Sussex next Monday 27th, 11.15am – 12.45pm inc Q & A. It’s one of 20 docs being screened.

The last-minute invitation came via media journos hangout The Frontline Club, partners in the Festival, which it describes as ‘four days of independent journalism, comedy, music, dance, workshops and free speech for anyone concerned.’ With John Cleese, Gary Lineker and Carole Cadwalldr, the brilliant journo who exposed the Cambridge Analytica scam, amongst its acts it sounds an interesting, eclectic and fun do: http://www.bylinefestival.com

Getting the ear of opinion formers to start taking on the mainstream media’s constant misrepresentation of the ‘NHS crisis’ is now a priority. The Frontline Club has decamped to the Festival for the weekend, so I’m looking to get some hacks’ interest there.

My precis of campaigners’ take on what’s happening to the NHS, the whys and the wherefores, can be found below in The True Story Behind The NHS Crisis.



There won’t just be one show, it seems, but two. I’ve somewhat suddenly found myself embroiled in a couple of NHS-related events which draw together much of what I’ve been working on over the last 3 1/2 years.

The first is an ‘NHS Myth-Busting’ do at Hammersmith Town Hall’s cavernous main Assembly Room – capacity over 1000 inc 750 seated – on Sunday July 1st, 2.00 – 5.00pm. Organised by our 38 Degrees Chelsea & Fulham Group it’s intended as an antidote to all the Government/NHS England guff about the NHS’ 70th Birthday.

NHS Dual Page Flyer for e-mail.jpeg

The second event is a screening of ‘Groundswell’ at the Regent Street Cinema on Monday July 2nd at 6.30pm followed by a Q & A. Programme notes and bookings: https://www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/groundswell-the-grassroots-battle-for-the-nhs/

I’ve been surprised and gratified by the very favourable responses the film has been getting from test screenings and private viewings.

The screening came about through the unlikeliest of circumstances. Checking into the Brompton Hospital two weeks ago for a small heart operation – to correct an electrical fault quaintly known as ‘atrial flutter’ – I fell into conversation about the film and the NHS with the receptionist Maria Moats-Boyer. She immediately wrote to her friend Shira MacLeod, the director of the Regent Street Cinema. The day after leaving hospital Shira booked the film! I should get admitted more often.



Here’s a shameless plug for the campaign to stop the Americanisation of the NHS. When I told my new-found relative and Blondie keyboard player Matt Katz-Bohen about this just before their Brighton gig last Wednesday night his baffled response was “They (the healthcare corporations) just want to make loads of money and kill everybody!” He was happy for me to publish this photo and his comment.


I’ve become closely involved with raising CrowdJustice crowdfunding for a legal action on the US-originated Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) now being introduced and contracted by NHS England. The action against Health Minister Jeremy Hunt is by a group of eminent campaigners led by Professor Allyson Pollock, co-author of the NHS Reinstatement Bill and a mainstay of the Save Our NHS campaign for over 25 years.

They are calling for a judicial review into the lack of the Parliamentary scrutiny and legislation required for the kind of radical restructuring of the NHS that the ACOs involve and also into the lack of proper public information and consultation on them.

Last Friday we raised the £23,000 needed for the legal fees in just 16 hours! What was touching was that the majority of the donations were in the £5 to £25 range, pointing to support from across the social spectrum including many with small means.

999 Call For The NHS are also pursuing a judicial review that challenges the legality of NHS England’s ACO contract which could threaten patient safety and access to comprehensive treatment. They successfully launched a CrowdJustice crowdfunding appeal for their legal action which similarly showed wide-ranging popular support, a testament to their very real ‘street’ origins. It’s a big step in the remarkable journey of this truly indie grassroots campaign group started by working mum Joanna Adams from her Darlington living room.

The twin forces of darkness – the Government and its self-confessedly pro-US Health Minister Jeremy Hunt and NHS England under its former US health insurance corporation senior exec Simon Stevens – now face a triple-barrelled challenge from campaigners (the Guardian ran a substantial piece on its potential impact). This represents a notable step-up in the NHS campaign, a matter of urgency as the contracting of ACOs by NHSE is under way (for an explanation of the NHS Americanisation/ACO threat see my August blog ‘American Pie’).

Apart from helping draft the CrowdJustice appeal my main contribution was to get the legendary Time Out graphic designer Pearce Marchbank to design a great badge logo. “If it needs words to explain it it’s not doing its job,” the maestro pronounced. “It should be like a road sign!” Might it become another of his iconic works? http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/sep/04/london-greatest-design-icons-regents-park-brick-lane-m25.



New assembly edit of  GROUNDSWELL: WHOSE NHS? A GRASSROOTS JOURNEY now completed. Will Labour Really Save The NHS? Hopes rise during the September 24th-27th 2017 Labour Party conference in Brighton. With another General Election possible at any time the conference was a watershed moment under the newly invigorated Corbyn leadership, with an NHS motion described by its proposer Dr Alex Scott-Samuel as “the most important motion on the NHS since 1948”.  Why could what happened prove a significant moment in Labour’s commitment to saving the NHS. And wonder yet again at why this went totally unreported in the media.

At one point in filming I found myself having to forsake my filmmaker’s duties to help promote the NHS Reinstatement Bill’s inclusion in the motion, using a leaflet I’d composed with 999’s Steve Carne. Having brought the leaflets down to Brighton I was the only available pair of hands on the day to distribute them amongst the voting delegates. With more hands subsequently we managed to get one to almost every voter. It was gratifying to know that they played a part in the outcome of the vote. Watch the viddie!



New assembly edit of GROUNDSWELL: WHOSE NHS? A GRASSROOTS JOURNEY – Turning Points? now completed. It covers the General Election and the recent Professor Stephen Hawking event. Both were boosts for campaigners but “Will the Labour Party see sense?” asks 999-er Steve (Carne).

Apparently the Guardian likes to keep their letter writers as occasional contributors and rarely allows follow-ups. So I was surprised to have another letter published last week again prompted by the Hawking v Hunt spat.

There were other strong letters from Professor Allyson Pollock and many medics on that page and an articulate demand to the Labour Party on another.