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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2018

We can win the fight for the NHS

Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch

Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Helen Pattison, East London Socialist Party

Whenever my Socialist Party branch campaigns in Ilford, east London, to save King George A&E, we meet students from the local college saying, "I was born there, we have to save the hospital."

People tell us stories that could have had an unhappy ending if there hadn't been an A&E nearby.

People tell us about the happy and sad times at their local hospital. They mention the amazing dedication of the staff - overworked, underpaid and undervalued.

It must be the same on every high street. Because up and down the country hospitals are being starved of the funds they really need through cuts and privatisation. And ordinary people know their local hospital, ward, or service could face the axe next.

It was this knowledge that brought thousands of people out on to the streets on 3 February to protest for the NHS on the Health Campaigns Together and People's Assembly-organised day of action.

A recent poll found that two thirds of people would support a 1p increase in income tax to fund the NHS, such is the huge support to save our health service. But an extra charge for working class people is totally unnecessary.

Privatisation

Last year contracts worth 3.1 billion were won by private companies. One company, Serco, expects to make around 65 million profit in one year.

It's easy to see how money for the NHS is being put straight into private companies' back pockets. These are the same companies who pay poverty wages to hard working staff.

But the situation isn't all doom and gloom. Movements can be, and are being, built around the country to save hospitals. Campaigners in Leicester led the way showing it is possible to push back when they saved Glenfield Children's heart unit. Now there's been a victory for Chatsworth ward in Mansfield too.

Coalitions like Health Campaigns Together can help prepare the ground for a national campaign against NHS austerity. And the trade unions can call national action, for better pay and against the dangerous conditions that push hospitals to the brink.

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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.

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In The Socialist 14 February 2018:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win the fight for the NHS

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Tamil youth march for justice

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in


Oxfam scandal

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

How should TUSC approach the local elections and Brexit negotiations?


Socialist history

Czechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism


International socialist news and analysis

Cape Town drought

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people


Workplace news and analysis

UCU uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

Newham teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council


Socialist Party campaigns

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

Staines fire services saved

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig


Opinion

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street


 

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