Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/460/1661
"Action to defend our birthright"
THE CAMPAIGN against the butchery of West Wiltshire's community hospitals continues. This week, 25 people came to a Socialist Party public meeting in Trowbridge to hear UNISON senior Shop Steward Roger Davey detail the Primary Care Trust's (PCT) plans.
"We've won the battle of ideas", commented Roger, "now we have to cement all the local campaigns together and be prepared to use demonstrations and strike action to defend our birthright."
Wiltshire might have no maternity units left if the PCT's scorched earth policy succeeds. Skilled health workers are being treated with contempt. The closure of Bradford on Avon hospital was announced on a Thursday. Two days later its doors slammed shut.
Patient care is seriously compromised. The grim joke on the wards is that if you can walk to your commode, you're fit to be sent home. Yet social service budgets are being slashed, leaving care in the community a cruel deception.
These proposals will lead to 300 job losses as New Labour's privatisers try to shift the burden of care from the state to the individual. They say there's 'no money' to keep local hospitals open but the number of directors, associate directors, acting directors and other well-heeled non-medical 'experts' is spreading quicker than a flu epidemic.
Socialist Party member Chris Moore from the campaign to Save Stroud Maternity Unit, urged the audience to summon up the spirit of the anti-poll tax rebellion.
Then Thatcher thought she was invincible, claiming the hated tax would be her flagship. The ordinary men and women of Britain turned it into her Titanic and turned her out!
The Stroud campaign has already won a victory through the power of its protests. That message must be heard nationwide.
Already coaches are booked from Wiltshire to attend the 1 November march and lobby. After the meeting, several more signed up for the trip to Parliament.
In The Socialist 26 October 2006:
War and terrorism