Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/390/4426
UNISON Health conference:
Labour's the problem not the answer
THE UNISON Health conference in Plymouth started on 25 April with a mass of resolutions condemning the creeping privatisation of the NHS under New Labour.
But all the union's leadership could do was to support the resolutions whilst meekly calling for the delegates to vote Labour in the hope that the government would change its mind!
In a powerful and emotional speech, Adrian O'Malley, a Socialist Party member from the Wakefield hospitals branch, condemned this attitude and declared it the same as turkeys voting for Christmas.
"Eight years of Labour privatisation has followed from 18 years of Tory privatisation. The only difference is Labour does it faster. The Labour government and the Labour Party is the problem not the answer," he said to enthusiastic applause.
He ended his speech by saying: "The only way to beat privatisation is by taking industrial action against it. In the election I have a real choice and will be voting for the Socialist Party in my area."
Another delegate from Jarrow declared that he was so sick of what the government was doing to the NHS that he was standing as an independent candidate, with the slogan "Save the NHS".
The conference continues until 27 April with the crucial issue of pensions yet to be debated.
In The Socialist 28 April 2005: