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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2019

Health Campaigns Together annual general meeting success

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

The Health Campaigns Together (HCT) Annual General Meeting began with a victory. After seven long years, both Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals have been kept open.

But there were no illusions among local campaigners who spoke. There are more cuts coming down the line threatening other local services.

Labour shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, also addressed the meeting. The NHS now has 100,000 staff vacancies, has lost 1,000 GPs since 2015, and 200,000 nurses have quit since 2011.

Jonathan Ashworth called for the repeal of the Tory Health and Social Care Act, which has paved the way for privatisation, renationalisation of the NHS, an end to PFI and the restoration of the nurses' bursary. He pledged to plough more money into the NHS, starting with an immediate injection of 7 billion, and an end to the social care crisis.

A series of questions were put to Ashworth, which exposed the inadequacy of council funding for social care and the legal complications of scrapping PFI, which he was unable to fully answer.

It is clear that, in the event of a Jeremy Corbyn government, the workers' movement will have to pressure the front bench to stick to these manifesto commitments and to address the serious underfunding of the NHS.

HCT's profile was enhanced by their role in coordinating the historic 2017 march and demonstration in London, attended by 250,000 people. HCT now has 140 union and campaign group affiliations, including 62 trade union bodies.

A number of national and regional conferences are planned with the support of NHS unions. HCT will go to union conferences to attract more support and affiliations.

New officers were elected for the next year, including Socialist Party member Mike Forster, as chair of HCT. Around 40 delegates attended the meeting and ten delegates bought copies of the Socialist.

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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 10 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit


Climate change

Organise against climate change, austerity and capitalism

Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem


International socialist news and analysis

Algeria: Bouteflika is finished but the Algerian revolution is not!

China: police state in Xinjiang under global spotlight


Local elections

Local government in crisis: councillors can fight cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Boot out the Tories - end austerity

Stop Tory NHS destruction

Gender pay gap widening

Them & us


Workplace news and analysis

PCS: vote Yes for action, back socialists in the elections!

NEU conference: organise for the key battles to come

Swindon workers discuss action to save Honda jobs

Southampton Hospital security workers strike

Support the Glasgow Airport pay and pensions strike

London Overground cleaners strike for better pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester Socialist Party letter for no-cuts budget

Walthamstow: end the school funding crisis

Reject the rotten NUS 'reforms'

Leicester NHS Trust and the brutal reality of cuts

Social cleansing continues in Southwark

Newcastle anti-fascist demo

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders - still battling on

Gateshead FC crisis: save our Heed!

Health Campaigns Together AGM success


Opinion

Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out

'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies


 

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