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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2006

Trowbridge

"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.

Robin Clapp

"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.

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In The Socialist 26 October 2006:

Unite and fight to save the NHS

The battle to defend the health service

How can we build an effective campaign to defend the NHS?

A socialist programme for the NHS

Protests force partial retreat from cuts

Marching for the NHS in Torquay

"Action to defend our birthright"

Sack the bosses not the nurses


Socialist Students

Students join the fightback

No to attacks on democratic rights

Chilean students fight Pinochet's legacy


Socialism 2006

Rally for socialism!

NHS SOS


Workplace analysis

How can the trade unions regain their strength?

Trade Union Freedom Bill

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

'Single status' battle continues

How to build a trade union in your workplace

Furious parents turn on councillors


War and terrorism

Bloody chaos in Iraq shatters US war strategy

Sri Lanka: Is peace possible?


 

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Related links:

Socialist Party:

trianglePortsmouth Socialist Party: How can the NHS be defended from the Tories?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Perspectives from the National Commitee

triangleLively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

triangleTremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

triangleSuccessful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

Hospital:

triangleNottingham hospital black alert

triangleChatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

triangleYork socialists head resistance to NHS outsourcing

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

Health:

triangleTories raid 1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act

triangleNHS - build the fightback

triangleLeicester NHS protest

Unison:

triangleThreat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

triangleUnison national women's conference

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