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18 October 2017

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Scott Jones, East London Socialist Party

People queued up outside Ilford town hall to sign the Socialist Party's petition to save King George A&E in east London on 14 October as campaigners marched to voice opposition to its closure.

The plans would mean the loss of 240 acute beds, which would be a disaster for the one million people in the area.

Kicking off the day of action in Central Park, Dagenham, an ex-Ford Dagenham worker said there needed to be marches like this

everywhere to save the NHS. In contrast the Labour leader of Barking and Dagenham council summed up the attitude of the local Blairites saying: "This isn't about politics"!

In reality, the decision is definitely a political one. A combination of the Tory government's 22 billion cuts through so-called 'sustainability and transformation plans' (STPs) and private finance initiatives (PFI) - expanded under the Blair/Brown Labour governments and carried on by successive Tory-led governments - are bleeding the NHS white.

The cost of building the nearby Queen's Hospital in Romford through PFI has bankrupted the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS trust and that's why King George's A&E is being axed.

We need a mass movement of health workers and communities linked to a political alternative to save the NHS.

The Socialist Party put forward these demands on the day and was supported by campaigners and the public alike.

Our placards were snapped up, we sold 55 copies of the Socialist paper and raised over 80 in fighting fund.

At a meeting in Redbridge Town Hall at the end of the march the organisers thanked us for our support.