Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/756/16302
TUSC leads battle to save Mid-Staffs NHS
"This was our first ever stall in Rugeley," said TUSC candidate Paul Arnold. "We quickly ran out of leaflets and sold out of papers, but still carried on getting names to support our petition.
"I think we got around 180 names and I was inspired by people prepared to donate their pennies and pounds so that we could buy more leaflets to carry on our campaign.
"We are standing TUSC candidates to provide an alternative to the cuts agenda of all the main parties.
"The big parties, financed by millionaires, will try to dismiss us. The media will probably ignore us. But that will not stop TUSC from standing up for ordinary working class people."
When Staffordshire Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners, along with Socialist Party members, took the fight to defend Stafford Hospital to the streets of Newcastle, Stafford, Burton-on-Trent and Rugeley on 9 March, they got an excellent response.
We received massive support from hundreds of people incensed at the attempts by successive governments to dismantle our NHS.
NHS workers from Stafford, Burton, Cannock and other hospitals complained about management bullying.
Seven TUSC candidates were out on the streets fighting to defend our NHS. More than 700 people signed our petition. 500 leaflets were taken. 181 copies of the Socialist were bought, with just over £100 donated to our fighting fund.
Dozens of ex-patients told of the fantastic care they had received at these hospitals and were angry at right-wing media and Con-Dem government attempts to blame NHS workers for the recent problems. Many also condemned Labour's record.
A woman in Rugeley said: "Labour are trying to act as the saviours of the NHS, but it was under a Labour government that the scandal at Stafford Hospital started.
"The hospital had to get rid of more than 200 staff to be granted Foundation Trust status. It's a no-brainer isn't it? If you take out so many staff you are going to have serious problems."
Previously Staffordshire TUSC candidates have stood in two towns. This year we are standing in five, showing how TUSC is growing.
In The Socialist 13 March 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review