Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/449/5356
Hundreds march to stop Labour's 'leeches'
A DEMONSTRATION of over 500 health workers, trade unionists and patients in Trowbridge, Wiltshire on 15 July marched to demand that the town's hospital was not closed. The local PCT has launched a bogus 'consultation' on three sets of proposals.
But as UNISON shop steward and Socialist Party member Roger Davey told the rally after the march 'New Labour are big on choice, but all three 'choices' would close all the hospitals in the West Wiltshire!'
Marchers enthusiastically chanted 'National Demonstration Now' and forced the UNISON Regional Convenor to commit herself to demand the union's national executive name a date for a demo.
Socialist Party regional secretary, Robin Clapp, delivering a message of support from NHS campaigners in Bristol, contrasted Aneurin Bevan's vision to the privatising drive of New Labour's Patricia Hewitt, Robin was loudly applauded when he said that the march represented those to whom the NHS belonged, not the new Labour privatisers or their big business friends.
Consciousness changed quickly on that demo. At the start the Primary Care Trust (PCT) was seen as the main enemy with the crowd shouting "sack the PCT". By the time Socialist Party speakers had finished the crowd was demanding an end to the New Labour and Tory policies along with the Trust itself.
Keep the NHS working demo
Saturday 22 July, 10.30am
Sandford Park, College Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Marching to Montpellier Gardens
Called by UNISON
Primary Care Trusts in Gloucestershire plan to close nine hospitals in order to claw back a £45 million deficit. Socialist Party members involved in campaigns to save NHS services in the county are calling for extra resources from the Labour government. By itself, restoring to Gloucestershire the national average spending per head of the population would eliminate all the deficit.
In The Socialist 20 July 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Scottish Socialist Party
Campaign for a New Workers Party