Stafford Hospital: the scandal that shamed the NHS
Patients lying starving, soiled and in pain. Over-worked staff dogged by targets. Laura Donnelly tells how a culture of fear meant that ticking boxes trampled over the basic needs of the most vulnerable.
By the time Stafford hospital’s failings were exposed by regulators up to 1,200 patients had died needlessly Photo: PA
By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
7:20AM GMT 06 Jan 2013
It was the scandal that shamed the NHS.
Hundreds of hospital patients died needlessly. In the wards, people lay starving, thirsty and in soiled bedclothes, buzzers droning hopelessly as their cries for help went ignored. Some received the wrong medication; some, none at all.
Over 139 days, the public inquiry into the Stafford hospital scandal has heard testimony from scores of witnesses about how an institution which was supposed to care for the most vulnerable instead became a place of danger.
Decisions about which patients to treat were left to receptionists, inexperienced junior doctors put in charge of critically-ill patients, and nurses switched off equipment because they did not know how to use it.
Desperate relatives told the inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, how patients were left so dehydrated that some began drinking from flower vases.
By the time the hospital’s failings were exposed by regulators, in 2009, up to 1,200 patients had died needlessly between 2005 and 2008.
It happened in simple terms because managers attempted to cut costs and meet Labour’s central targets, so they could achieve the coveted “foundation status” for Mid Staffordshire NHS trust – enforcing 160 job cuts as they tried to succeed.
Now a public inquiry, which opened more than two years ago, is attempting to address fundamental two questions. How was it that the regulatory and supervisory systems which should protect all patients failed so catastrophically – and what is to stop it happening again?
Mr Francis and his team have heard from 290 witnesses, and considered more than one million pages of evidence, in an inquiry which has so far cost almost £13 million. Repeatedly, the evidence has led to one question – whether a “culture of fear” means that the demands of the NHS hierarchy take precedence over the most basic needs of patients.
The inquiry heard that at Stafford, NHS targets ruled supreme.
Orders were cascaded down the management hierarchy, from the executive board, to the operational managers, to the senior nurses and matrons; nurses and doctors who failed to meet them were threatened with the sack.
It led to junior nurses and doctors abandoning seriously-ill patients to treat minor cases who were in danger of breaching the four-hour Accident & Emergency (A&E) waiting time limit.
For the same reason, patients were often moved out of casualty soaked in urine or covered in faeces, because the target – to admit or discharge patients within four hours – was under threat.
Meanwhile, nurses were instructed by senior nurse colleagues to falsify waiting times, and to claim that patients had been seen more quickly than they were.
During the hearings, one young nurse, Helene Donnelly, told how she tried to speak out but said: “I’d seen people die, needlessly I think in some cases, but certainly with a lack of dignity or respect, and that was so distressing to me … it wasn’t just once or twice that happened, it was relatively frequently.”
After she made a complaint, other staff threatened to physically harm her.
Despite an internal investigation into the concerns raised by Mrs Donnelly in 2007, no changes were made, she said, and she was left to work with the colleagues she had accused of malpractice. She left the following year, and took a job at another NHS hospital.
Dr Christopher Turner, a specialist registrar in Stafford A&E which is now a consultant, described a culture of bullying and harassment towards staff, especially nurses. He witnessed nurses leaving meetings in tears, after being told that their jobs were at risk if the four-hour target was breached.
Often, patients who were approaching the time limit were put in a clinical decision unit – a “dumping ground” where they received inadequate care, but which allowed nurses to claim that the target had been achieved. An emergency assessment unit was frequently misused for the same reason, becoming so chaotic that staff nicknamed it “Beirut”.
NHS managers staffed the hospital so thinly that there were never enough consultants to properly supervise junior doctors, who took much of their instructions from the senior nurses and matrons who enforced the targets.
At nights it was worse. After 9pm, the most senior surgeon left in charge was often a junior doctor, with little experience of emergency surgery.
Many of the nurses had never been shown how to use basic life-saving equipment, such as cardiac monitors, which identify whether a patient is deteriorating; some turned them off.
When patients arrived at A&E, there were not enough nurses to assess them. In fact, the task was left to receptionists, who took decisions based on a “gut instinct”.
Meanwhile, on the wards, patients – most of them elderly – were left in agony and screaming for pain relief, as their loved ones desperately begged for help.
The human toll was dreadful. In the course of 18 months, one family lost four members, including a newborn baby girl, after a catalogue of failings by the hospital.
Kelsey Lintern, 39, from Cannock, in Staffordshire, lost first her six-day-old daughter Nyah, then Laurie Gethin, her sister, 37; Tom Warriner, 48, her uncle; and finally Lillian Wood-Latta, 80, her grandmother.
Nyah had to be delivered in January 2007 by Mrs Lintern’s mother, Shirley, because a midwife was not attending – after another had tried to give Mrs Lintern a painkiller to which her notes said she was allergic, a potentially fatal error.
Nyah was born not breathing, she was resuscitated, and discharged after two days, despite the family’s fears she was still seriously ill. Four days later, she died, with a post-mortem disclosing four holes in her heart. Mrs Lintern said it might not have been possible to save her child, but that the hospital should at least have realised there was a problem.
Three months later Mrs Gethin died of lung, bone and lymph cancer, at the age of 37. It had taken 18 months to be diagnosed, despite clear symptoms, and only been detected when she was scanned at another hospital.
In January 2008, Mr Warriner, died after his intestine was accidentally pierced in an operation for bowel cancer. Then Mrs Wood-Latta, 80, died hungry and dehydrated after suffering a stroke. The family said hospital staff failed to give her enough fluids.
All around the wards there were lapses. Patients were left without medication, food and drink, and left on commodes. Basic hygiene was neglected: a woman was left unwashed for the last four weeks of her life.
Relatives tried to keep their loved ones clean, scrubbing down beds and furniture and even bringing in clean linen. One consultant described how amid the chaos, it seemed at though nurses became “immune to the sound of pain”.
For those whose relatives were deprived of care and even food and drink it was difficult to understand why there were so few nurses to tend to patients.
They could little imagine that in August 2005 in the hospital trust’s executive offices, a board led by Martin Yeates had decided to embark on cost-cutting plans as it attempted to secure “foundation trust” status.
Foundation hospitals were a flagship policy for Labour, supposedly the best in the country, and given many freedoms from Whitehall, including over executive pay, and holding board meetings in secret.
The trust needed to convince Monitor, the regulators, that it could meet key targets, particularly the four-hour wait, on a lower budget.
The NHS trust was desperately short-staffed, with 100 vacancies for nurses alone, but from 2005 onwards it embarked on widespread job cuts. Between 2006 and 2008 160 nurses left the trust either through retirement or redundancy; £1.3 million was spent on redundancy payments.
The board’s obsession about the project left executives blind to the impact cuts would have on patients.
Wards became more reliant on unqualified and untrained healthcare assistants, employed at much lower cost than nurses. On one floor of the hospital, the staff shortages became so extreme that two nurses were left to care for 40 patients.
In September 2007, Bella Bailey, 86, was admitted. Her daughter Julie became so horrified by the care her mother received, and the screams of agony from those left untended around her, that she and her family took turns every night by her mother’s bed. Complaints fell on deaf ears. A letter to Mr Yeates was not answered.
Her mother died after eight weeks of suffering, Miss Bailey began campaigning to ensure no other family went through such torment.
After she wrote to a local newspaper to describe the family’s experience, and to ask others to speak out, she was inundated with letters, and calls.
What nobody knew was that in April 2007 statistics had shown that death rates at the hospital were dramatically higher than elsewhere in the country.
West Midlands strategic health authority, which had responsibility for supervising the hospital, commissioned which took more than a year to decide – wrongly – that the flaws lay with the data not the care being given by the hospital trust.
As a result no action was taken to examine the actual quality of care at the hospital. In July 2008, a month after the report on the figures was produced, the authority’s chief executive, Cynthia Bower, was promoted to run the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which would be given oversight of all health and social care in England and Wales.
By now, the trust’s bid for foundation trust status had been approved in June 2007 by Andy Burnham, then a junior health minister.
Amid the celebrations when the status was granted the following February, the trust’s chief executive Mr Yeates told local papers the hospital had made “the premier league” while all staff were given £25 Marks & Spencer voucher.
The authorisation was made by one regulator – Monitor, which is responsible for foundation trusts – without being told that another regulator, the Healthcare Commission, later replaced by the CQC, was poised to announce a full-scale investigation of the trust, because of its concerns. Within weeks of the celebrations, the year-long probe was under way.
It was another year, before, in March 2009, the scandal was finally exposed. By now, Mr Yeates, the chief executive of the trust, and Toni Brisby, its chairman, had already quietly stepped down.
The investigation into Stafford found that failings were such that between 2005 and 2008, there were between 400 and 1,200 “excess deaths” – in other words, up to 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at a hospital with a similar catchment area. In the regulator’s last act, Sir Ian Kennedy, the chairman of the Healthcare Commission, described the findings as “appalling” – the worst that the regulator had ever uncovered.
Gordon Brown, then prime minister, said that what went on was “inexcusable” and a plethora of reviews and inquiries were announced – but crucially, not a public inquiry to establish how the systems supposed to supervise hospitals – the health authorities, and a labyrinthine regulatory system – failed so catastrophically.
In opposition, the Conservatives called for such an inquiry, which was also demanded by patients’ group Cure the NHS and by a campaign led by this newspaper.
On 9 June 2010, just a month after the Coalition was formed, Andrew Lansley, then health secretary, announced that a public inquiry would go ahead, and now its findings are about to be sent to Jeremy Hunt, his successor.
For those who died or suffered its findings are too late; for the millions who depend on the NHS they will be absolutely crucial.
~ THE ORIGINAL*ONLY GUNNY G !~ NEWS*VIEWS*HISTORY*POLITICS, Etc…..IMAGINE: ALL REAL AMERICANS BLOGGING!–ROBERTS–WAS HE THREATENED, CHICAGO-STYLE, OR DID HE HONESTLY BELIEVE HOW HE RULED?
Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts shocked many by siding with the administration’s argument in the case against Obamacare, there is a major constitutional problem with defining the health-care mandate as a tax.And that’s why the Pacific Legal Foundation is challenging the Supreme Court decision in a case that could prove to determine whether the Constitution’splain language about the conduct of federal government business means what it says.
Excerpt Read more at wnd.com
What If The Media Actually Told The Truth?
Hello. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. Today’s video commentary is about a strange concept: What if the media actually decided to tell the truth? Have you seen the latest Newsweek magazine cover out this week? Ultra-left Newsweek’s cover story features a photo of Obama and the headline: “Hit the Road Barack, Why We Need a New President.” My, how the mighty have fallen! Is it possible the mainstream media are finally starting to grasp what I predicted three months ago: that Obama will lose in a landslide? Has the first domino fallen? As the media realize that Obama will not only lose, but lose big, I predict this will be the first of many negative headlines for Obama. After all, no one likes to bet on a lame horse.
Tom Brokaw Blames Obama For Deficit
While appearing on “Meet the Press,” Tom Brokaw weighed in on the problem of the national deficit. The retired news anchor said that it has only gotten worse under President Barack Obama’s watch.
The Obama campaign has repeatedly harped on the unclear economic plan of Mitt Romney. Brokaw said that Romney should turn the tables and ask the President to describe in specific detail what he plans to do to reverse the problem he has caused.
“I do think that the governor is right, and we’ll expect to hear Governor Romney go after President Obama this time about ‘I want more details about your plan. You keep harping on me. I haven’t heard the details in your plan as well.’”
He went on to insinuate that the President needs to take responsibility.
Referring to debates that Obama was involved in before he was President, Brokaw commented, “President Obama was saying, ‘Look we’ve got a deficit of a half of a trillion dollars. I’m gonna get that under control.’ Well this week, that deficit is 1.1 trillion dollars and it happened on his watch.”
source: Copy and Paste Public Liberty Digest, http://personalliberty.com/2012/10/16/tom-brokaw-blames-obama-for-deficit/
SF gay activist arrested for child porn of 1 year olds
Posted on October 16, 2012 by Dr. Eowyn
Copy and Paste http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/sf-gay-activist-arrested-for-child-porn-of-1-year-olds/
JAN 20 2013 – END OF AN ERROR
The Final Chapter? America at the crossroads
The Communist Party USA
The Socialist Party USA
CONSERVATIVE? HERE’S FOUR VERY GOOD LINKS:
AMERICANS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION – CLICK ON LINK for viewing:
MOLOTOV MITCHELL: CLICK ON LINK for viewing: http://www.wnd.com/author/mmitchell/ There are a series of MUST SEE videos.
He CONTINUALLY adds new videos relevent to the current issues – no punches are pulled!
”Those racist, inbred Democrats”, one of my favorites, is part of many earlier videos which may not be available due to age.
National arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby is facing backlash after filing a lawsuit opposing the HeathCare Mandate, with the owners claiming that it goes against their Christian Values. (AP)
A Christian-owned chain of hobby shops is facing a bitter backlash after suing the Obama administration over new requirements to provide insured employees with contraceptive and abortion coverage.
Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby filed the suit Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, alleging that the ObamaCare mandate violates the religious beliefs of the company’s owners. The suit followed similar suits by Catholic colleges and a Denver-based company whose owners also objected to the mandate on religious grounds. While a judge has not yet ruled on Hobby Lobby’s suit, a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the company, which operates 500 stores in 41 states, has appeared online, and several other forums have featured posts urging customers to steer clear of Hobby Lobby.
“I’m boycotting Hobby Lobby!” reads the heading of one posting on image posting site Flickr. “Even if you’re pro-life this kind of action stinks to high heaven! If things like this can be allowed then what’s next?!,” the user added.
“They’re being told they have two choices. Either follow their faith and pay the government half-a-billion dollars or give up their beliefs.”
– Lori Windham, attorney for Hobby Lobby
Others have taken to social media to protest against Hobby Lobby, with a “Boycott Hobby Lobby” page on Facebook.
“I’ve been to two Hobby Lobby parking lots today and they were fairly empty. I used to have trouble finding a parking spot!” read one posting from the administrator of the Boycott page. “I think the boycott is catching on! I do not think they are getting the reaction they hoped for.”
Hobby Lobby owner David Green is a devout Baptist who owns one of the world’s largest collections of Biblical artifacts. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Green in his suit, argued that compliance with the offending portion of the health care law that the nature of their suit is “would force religiously-motivated business owners like plaintiffs to violate their faith under the threats of millions of dollars in fines.”
Lawyers argued that company employees are well aware of Green’s views and their bearing on the company.
“The Green family’s business practices … reflect their Christian faith in unmistakable and concrete ways,” the complaint states. The company employs full-time chaplains; close all store locations on Sundays and monitors all marketing and operations to make sure that it is consistent with their beliefs.
Failure to comply with the mandate could subject the company to as much as $1.3 million in daily fines, according to Becket Fund attorneys.
“They’re being told they have two choices: Either follow their faith and pay the government half a billion dollars or give up their beliefs,” Lori Windham, an attorney from the Becket Fund, told Foxnews.com. “We believe that’s a choice no one should have to make.”
David Green could not be reached for comment, but in a recent USA Today Op-Ed, he blasted the Obama administration for imposing mandates he believes he cannot comply with.
“Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy,” Green wrote. “Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right.”
The company does not object to providing coverage that includes birth control pills, but refuses to provide or pay for two specific abortion-inducing drugs such as the so-called “morning after” pill, because Green’s “most deeply held religious belief” is that life beginning at conception, the family said in a statement released through its attorneys.
As for the boycott, the company’s founders believe customers have the right to vote with their feet.
“The Green family respects every individual’s right to free speech and hopes that others will respect their rights also, including the right to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.,” the statement said.
Hobby Lobby is believed to be the first non-Catholic company to file an objection to the healthcare mandate. The Newland family, the devoutly Catholic owners of Denver-based Hercules Industries filed a similar suit this past summer and won a court injunction that ruled that they are not obligated to follow the mandate.
“I think the law and precedent set by this case is very strong for Hobby Lobby and the Green Family,” Windham said.
ObamaCare’s cuts to hospitals will cost seniors their lives
Received this from a friend and fellow Classmate of mine. This is his son he’s talking about…
Our son was the Radiology Department Director for the largest hospital in Phoenix, for 15 years. Two years ago, a conglomerate, which was taking over hospitals around the country, via hostile buyouts, “acquired” his. The first order of their new business was to remove all the highest paid staff, replacing all with lower paid new hires.
Being of such educated stature, he was able to take his choice of several other hospital employment offers from around the country. He nearly chose Fairbanks but wisely moved just North to Paysen Arizona. Again, Radiology Department Director. Just two years ago, that community facility serving a large area just South of Flagstaff was busy and thriving financially. Today, he is unemployed again! The hospital is losing money in huge amounts. Why? Arizona has been forced to revise it’s program for servicing medicare/medicade recipients, cutting care to thousands of low income and elderly patients.
The use of the radiology department’s x-ray and other rooms are nearly stilled! This is certainly just one of thousands of medical facilities and doctors that are already feeling the effects of “OBAMACARE”…
ObamaCare’s cuts to hospitals will cost seniors their lives
By Betsy McCaughey – Published September 12, 2012
President Obama is wooing seniors with promises to protect Medicare as they’ve known it. On the defensive because of the $716 billion his health care law takes from Medicare, Obama assures seniors he’s cutting payments to hospitals and other providers, not their benefits.
Don’t be bamboozled. It’s illogical to think that reducing what a hospital is paid to treat seniors won’t harm their care. A mountain of scientific evidence proves the cuts will worsen the chance that an elderly patient survives a hospital stay and goes home. It’s reasonable to conclude that tens of thousands of seniors will die needlessly each year.
Under ObamaaCare, hospitals, hospice care, dialysis centers, and nursing homes will be paid less to care for the same number of seniors than if the health law had not been enacted. Payments to doctors will also be cut.
Scientific evidence published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading scientific journal, suggests that forcing hospitals to spend less on elderly patients will produce deadly results.
Exhaustive data on over two million elderly patients treated at 208 California hospitals from 1999 to 2008 show that elderly patients treated in low spending hospitals (bottom quintile) get less care and have a worse chance of surviving and leaving the hospital than elderly patients with the same diagnosis treated at higher spending hospitals. The research, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and RAND and published in 2011 found that heart attack patients were 19% more likely to die at low spending hospitals.
Over a four year period, 13,613 seniors with pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks and other common conditions who died at low spending hospitals would have recovered and gone home had they been treated at a higher spending institution.(Annals of Internal Medicine, February 1, 2011) That’s the death toll in one state with about 10% of the Medicare population.
Ignoring this evidence, the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals in all fifty states to imitate low spending hospitals. In addition to the across the board cuts in future payments to hospitals,very soon, beginning in October, 2012, the Obama administration will reward hospitals that spend the least per senior,and penalize those that spend more. For several years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have measured hospital quality, including infection rates. But Section 3001 of the Obama health care law adds “Medicare spending per beneficiary” as a measure for the first time. Hospital administrators express alarm that the measure includes not only what is spent on an elderly patient in the hospital but also for thirty days after discharge, when the patient visits a doctor or gets physical therapy for example.
Slashing what hospitals are paid does not eliminate “fraud, waste, and abuse,”contrary to what the law’s defenders claim. The cuts compel hospitals to operate in an environment of medical scarcity, with fewer nurses and less diagnostic equipment.
When Medicare cut payment rates to hospitals in 1997, the cuts eventually led to more deaths from heart attacks. Seniorstreated at the hospitals incurring the largest cuts had a 6-8% worse mortality rate from heart attacksthan seniors treated at other hospitals. The reason, researchers concluded, is that hospitals coped with the cuts by reducing nursing care. (National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2011.)
Though this research did not measure harm to younger patients, it is obvious that patients of every age suffer when nurses are spread thinner. Press the call button, and you will wait longer for help.
Medicare is the single largest source of revenue for hospitals. Richard Foster, Chief Actuary of Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified to Congress that the ObamaCare cuts will eventually force 40% of hospitals to operate at a loss, affecting the standard of care. Foster also cautioned that 15% of hospitals may stop accepting Medicare.
There are safer ways to control Medicare costs, including inching up the eligibility age, asking seniors to pay an affordable share of their bills, preventing hospital infections, and empowering patients to be cost-conscious consumers. Of course, politicians will try to claim that the easy answer — slashing payments to hospitals — won’t hurt patients, but the evidence shows that’s untrue.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. is a former Lt. Governor of New York State and author of “Obama Health Law What It Says And How To Overturn It.”
CBO Raises Estimate of Those Hit By Obama Health Care Tax & ObamaCare in Disarray
THIS isn’t allowed even on Bourbon Street
There is only one way left to repeal, replace ObamaCare and reform healthcare and that is if we fire Obama in November and Hire Mitt Romney!
Cross-Posted at True Health Is True Wealth!
GOP & 5 Dems. Votes Full Repeal Of Obamacare
While the Washington Post wanted to take swipes at the House for voting some 32 times to repeal all or part of Obamacare, with today making it 33, they fail to mention just how many times liberals have made attempts to pass it. Today the House voted 244-185 to repeal all of the ACA.
The Hill reports,
The House voted again Wednesday to repeal the 2010 healthcare reform law, giving Republicans some revenge against the late June Supreme Court ruling that found the law to be constitutional.
Members approved the bill in a 244-185 vote, after five hours of debate that stretched over two days.
As expected, just a handful of Democrats supported the GOP repeal bill. Five Democrats, Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.), sided with Republicans in the final vote. Of this group, all but Matheson voted with the GOP in a procedural vote on the bill Tuesday.
Republicans insisted on passing the Repeal of Obamacare Act, H.R. 6079, in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling, even though Democrats pointed out that the bill would be ignored by the Democratic Senate. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) cast the bill as a way to give the Senate another chance to heed the will of Americans who oppose the legislation and see it as something that has led to increased healthcare costs and hindered job creation.
“For those who still support repealing this harmful healthcare law, we’re giving our colleagues in the Senate another chance to heed the will of the American people,” Boehner said. “And for those who did not support repeal the last time, it’s a chance for our colleagues to reconsider.”
Eric Cantor said, “I introduced this legislation on behalf of my colleagues so that we may all be on record following the Supreme Court’s decision, in order to show that the House rejects ObamaCare, and that we are committed to taking this flawed law off the books.”
This follows just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled the Obamacare mandate is constitutional as a tax.
Despite the House vote, Katie Hicks points out,
The House’s vote now goes to die in the Senate, where Harry Reid won’t pick up the measure in the upper chamber. Instead, this was a largely symbolic measure, hammering home the Republicans’ determination to get rid of it. Furthermore, it forces the Democrats to defend their support of a law that the public decidedly opposes: in the latest Rasmussen poll, 53% of voters want the Affordable Care Act repealed in full. Now that the law has been labeled a tax hike, the left will ostensibly have a harder time touting its merits; we’ll see if this vote — and its support from a few Democrats — gets any attention from Obama himself.
Just remember: five more Democrats voted to repeal the law than Republicans voted to pass the bill in the first place. Obama wants bipartisanship? There he has it.
MY TWO CENTS
Regardless if you favor the ACA or not, the fact is that health care is already severely limited in terms of doctors, nurses, etc., and rationing is not long up the road. The law is unsustainable like every other government run program. Graft, corruption, and criminal activity are characteristics of mankind, and the more power and wealth one accumulates, the more those things are lusted after. When the US Supreme Court decided to call the mandate a ‘tax,’ it did so without that word being anywhere in the bill and without considering what that means to our future under a bigger government and one that will not fail, now, to use tax-justification to impose whatever it wants on the people. It’s human nature to go through a door that promises further enrichment and power without regard for the growing group of impoverished souls. Not only is the middle class dying out, the lower class is growing. Soon, there will be no class distinction. It will be them and us. How better to take control, keep control, and carry on the generational sickness of dependency. George Soros and other elites are the actual rulers of this planet, and the goal, I believe, is a One World Order, in which they will rule with an iron fist. God help future generations that will never know freedom.