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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2016

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

photo Gary Freeman

photo Gary Freeman   (Click to enlarge)

East Midlands Socialist Party members

The sudden closure of Grantham Hospital's night time A&E service has sparked a wave of anger and rebellion. Up to 3,000 people marched through the town centre on 3 September.

The overwhelming majority defied the route the police wanted the march to take (along backstreets and riverside), instead going straight down the high street. Drivers stuck in the crowds tooted their horns in support.

The Tories can have all the restrictions they want on the democratic right to protest, but the mass of people voted with their feet and no attempt was made to stop us.

Demonstrating against NHS cuts in Grantham, 3.9.16, photo Gary Freeman

Demonstrating against NHS cuts in Grantham, 3.9.16, photo Gary Freeman   (Click to enlarge)

Leaving the final rally outside the hospital, a police officer thanked us for coming. Police cuts, privatisation and the extra 26 miles they have to drive to get to Lincoln A&E mean they are sympathetic to this community campaign, as are firefighters. Socialist Party leaflets calling for a nationally coordinated campaign against NHS cuts flew out of our hands and copies of the Socialist were sold.

Labour councillor and long-time campaigner against attacks on Grantham Hospital, Charmaine Morgan, spoke exposing the false arguments of the hospital trust.

Gary Freeman, a member of Unison's health service group executive and Socialist Party member, also spoke. He linked these attacks to government policies and other cuts being made around the country. The sustainability and transformation plan is looking at over 1 billion of cuts by 2020 in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Not everyone on the march agreed with our message. Tory MP Nick Boles and Tory councillors tried to argue the closure was "not political". They fear the backlash against their own policies, building now in Margaret Thatcher's birthplace and across the country.

The following day Boles called for a ban on doctors' strikes: "If a public service on which people rely for matters of life, death and wellbeing are going to behave unreasonably, there will be growing public concern we need more than ballot thresholds," he said.

Grantham voters will note that there has been no ballot at all on the 'unreasonable' cut to this 'life and death' service.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 7 September 2016:


#KeepCorbyn

#KeepCorbyn: build the movement against austerity

Break with Blairites essential to defeat split Tories

Should socialists give electoral support to Labour right?

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign


Socialist Party news and analysis

Apple told to pay 11bn: nationalise all the tax dodgers!

Refugee crisis: for homes, jobs and services for all

Women lose out in the workplace

London bailiff use soars by half

Them & Us

What We Saw


TUC congress 2016

Organise mass working class resistance to austerity


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors plan to continue contract struggle

Rail workers fighting back!

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Royal Mail wildcat strike against bullying bosses

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Letter: back the docs!

Socialism, black liberation and cricket - the life of CLR James

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huge turnout in support of Huddersfield NHS campaign

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

London fighting fund BBQ success


 

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Related links:

Grantham:

triangleUprising to save the NHS!

triangleOpposing the National Front in Grantham

triangleYorkshire marches to save the NHS

triangleGrantham: 1,000 march for reopening of A&E

Cuts:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

Health:

triangleTV Review: Stateless blames mismanagement rather than system

triangle'Pingdemic' exemptions

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

Socialist:

triangleCumbria Socialist Party: Socialism - from Utopian to Scientific

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba protests - what do they represent?

Hospital:

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

Midlands:

triangleEast Mids train guards strike

NHS:

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

East Midlands:

trianglePandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

Lincolnshire:

triangleThe best place to start - join the Socialist Party

Privatisation:

triangleLondon floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

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