Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/458/5502
Save Huddersfield NHS:
Angry marchers keep up the fight
ABOUT 250 angry protesters hit Huddersfield's streets on 7 October, dismayed by the sham consultation that has taken place over local NHS cuts. We were also enraged by the announcement just the day before that Patricia Hewitt had backed her so-called 'independent' review, calling for consultant-led maternity services to be transferred to Halifax.
The local paper declared it 'The End', but those on the demonstration didn't think so, nor did many other people in Huddersfield cheering on the demonstration as it passed. Indeed, many were disappointed in the local Labour MP, Barry Sheerman, who claimed to be 'shocked and saddened' by the decision, which he had initially backed until he realised it would cost the local Labour Party votes.
The same goes for other local MPs who at best claimed the decision had been 'fair' and at worst celebrated it. The people of Huddersfield have seen the Save Huddersfield NHS campaign as one that will keep fighting for all the services locally, not just jump on and off the bandwagon when it suits their careers best.
Many on the demonstration now see that the fight to save the NHS is a national one. Many have seen the fights breaking out across the country to stop cuts and closures and the recent struggle of NHS Logistics workers against privatisation, and are keen to attend and build for the national protest on 1 November.
Socialist Students had a prominent contingent on the demonstration and had (alongside members of the campaign and Socialist Party members) been building for it in the week before, selling 39 copies of the socialist during that week and 48 on the demonstration day itself.
In The Socialist 12 October 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news