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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 March 2019

Theatre: Banner Theatre's Nottingham 'Free for All'

  (Click to enlarge)

Dr Des Powe, Unite the Union Nottinghamshire Health Services branch

An inspiring evening of music, video footage and commentary was sponsored and hosted by Unite Nottinghamshire Health Branch at the Nottingham Arts Theatre 28 February.

Celebrating the NHS and increasing awareness for the need to protect it, Birmingham-based Banner Theatre's production 'Free For All' played to an audience of almost 200.

Recounting how access to medical treatment was governed by ability to pay pre-NHS, audio and video testimonials painfully described the devastation this wreaked on individuals and families. The cast skilfully weaved through NHS history and the increase in assaults threatening its very existence.

A predominantly Tory-led initiative has engineered a legislative blue-print for fragmenting and running down the NHS, to achieve their ideological aim. Internal marketisation, accounting bureaucracy, and Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) have left an under-resourced NHS. Banner's take-home message is that, despite sustained attack and inflicted damage, the NHS survives because of its dedicated (but demoralised) staff and strong community-based campaigns.

People can make a difference to outcomes. This was well evidenced by the guest speakers, including Rachel Bannister, Jon Dale, Tom Hunt and Richard Buckwell who spoke of their involvement in successful Nottinghamshire campaigns opposing cutbacks and failing NHS services.

The take home message was - get ready for whenever the next assault comes. We'll need to organise together to defeat that too!

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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 20 March 2019:


What we think

May's government facing endgame


News

End austerity. Fight for a living wage!

New Zealand mosque terror atrocity

Top unis threaten cuts if tuition fees

Cash-strapped schools now 'fourth emergency service'


Climate walkouts

Youth strikes show the way - mass action can oust Tories

Massive protests over catastrophic climate change


Workplace news

Victory for Birmingham bin workers

PCS civil servants' union: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

Midlands machine bearing makers launch all-out strike

Hackney school bus workers walk out


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party's Sue Atkins wins big support for anti-cuts, socialist policies

Union fightback key to movement against racism and austerity

Trade unionists debate the EU

Socialist Party Northern conference: Workers are sick of cuts and have the power to fight back

Stop cuts to women's services in Leicester

Help build the workers' press: send May Day greetings to the Socialist!


International socialist news and analysis

Spanish state: Historic 8 March action


Opinion

Exhibition: Don McCullin - a life in pictures

The Socialist Inbox

Theatre: Banner Theatre's Nottingham 'Free for All'


 

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