Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1037/28952
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2019
Health Campaigns Together annual general meeting success
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.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 10 April 2019:
What we think
Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit
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 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
Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out
'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies
The Socialist 10 April 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook