Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2018

Thousands march against NHS cuts and privatisation

Refugee Rights and Tamil Solidarity on the NHS demonstration 30 June 2018, photo Paul Mattsson

Refugee Rights and Tamil Solidarity on the NHS demonstration 30 June 2018, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Thousands of NHS campaigners and workers marched through central London in defence of our health service on 30 June. Carrying Socialist Party NHS SOS placards, local campaign banners and others, they chanted 'save our NHS!'

The most lively and biggest contingents were the Save Our NHS Leicestershire campaign - built out of the successful fight to save Glenfield Heart Unit led by Socialist Party members - a group of striking NHS workers fighting privatisation in Wigan, and the Refugee Rights campaign which demands free healthcare for all.

Mike Forster, Socialist Party member and chair of another successful NHS campaign at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary hospital, spoke at the opening rally.

He said: "The reason Jeremy Hunt has stepped in to stop the closure is due to the pressure our mass campaign has exerted. Mass pressure will win the fight to save our health service. Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) are strangling the NHS and our campaign says it's time to kick out all the privatisers!"

Jeremy Corbyn also attacked privatisation saying: "Think it through, you and I pay our taxes because we want a health service for everybody, I don't pay my taxes for someone to rip off the public and squirrel the profits away."

Corbyn needs to be clear that Labour would end all PFI deals and other privatisations - which means fighting to build a mass movement to get the Tories out and clearing out the pro-privatisation Blairites from the Labour Party.

More speeches greeted marchers at the end on Whitehall. NHS worker after NHS worker outlined the problems facing the health service.

One former NHS mental health nurse and Socialist Party member Helen O'Connor, speaking on behalf of the GMB union, outlined how NHS workers can fight back - by striking against the pay cap. GMB is the only health union to reject the current NHS pay offer and is balloting for action.

The celebratory mood for the 70th anniversary of the NHS and the obvious care for the service was enthusing to see. However, the demo was only a fraction of what it could have been - in terms of size and impact.

Even on the day of the demonstration Socialist Party members met countless people passing through central London who said they would have participated if they had known in advance.

As we pointed out in last week's editorial, the TUC, which officially backed the demonstration, didn't even have the event on its website. None of the eleven unions that backed it had done enough to mobilise and spread the word to their members.

And the political message from the demonstration was not sufficiently clear or bold. The speeches were dominated by cheering for the NHS and recounting personal stories rather than putting forward a plan for action.

Without such a strategy, the huge anger and determination to fight for the NHS by both health workers and working class people in general - which was so clear on the march - could dissipate.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 4 July 2018:


NHS: underfunded, under attack

NHS at 70: a fight for our lives!

Thousands march against NHS cuts and privatisation

Welsh Labour NHS hypocrisy at Tredegar rally

What we think

NSSN conference 2018

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism 2018: a weekend of discussion and debate

Issue 1000 extra 1,000 sales target smashed!

Spycops inquiry - dancing to the police's tune

Socialist Party news and analysis

No to sexism! No to Trump!

Social care funding crisis: no to an age levy - make the super-rich pay

Tories pledge three-year private tenancies: fight for rent caps and council homes

EU lets 200 refugees drown in three days

British state complicit in torture and rendition: put Blair and Straw in the dock!

Them & us

What we saw

International socialist news and analysis

#AmazonTax shows need for socialist fighters

Obrador's crushing victory gives hope to Mexico's poor

'CAS nunca mas': stop mass lay-offs and precarious contracts in Peru!

US unions facing new challenge after Supreme Court ruling

Workplace news and analysis

Probation service: 'You are not a priority'

Treasury imposes civil service pay limit - vote Yes to strike action

Bin workers take strike action after talks with Kirklees council collapse

Victory for London's young workers in privatiser's non-payment of 'living wage' scandal

Socialist Party members have big impact as Unite conference kicks off

Yorkshire NSSN meeting starts coordinating struggles

Swansea postal workers strike to defend colleague

New publication: Workers' control and workers' management


The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 4 July 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleSave Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

triangleLeicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

triangleNHS pay discrimination - militant union action can achieve fair pay for all

triangleBlood transfusion scandal

triangleSave Wirral NHS walk-in centres


triangleYork NHS workers strike against privatisation

triangleYork health workers say no to privatisation

triangleReading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!


triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Can our council fight the cuts?

triangleTory Brexit Blues festival

triangleVictory for Sheffield Save Our NHS


triangleShocking new data on declining life expectancy

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism


Universal Credit

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today


Fighting Fund

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns



Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on



Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services



Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport



Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."



Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"


South Western Railway

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days



Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut



Another first: pub strike victory in south London!



First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action



We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes



8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike


Socialist Students

Enthusiasm for Socialist ideas at the freshers fairs

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018