Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/448/5336
From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2006
Hewitt hides from health protesters
HEALTH SECRETARY Patricia Hewitt hid from protesting health workers
and patients from her own area last Saturday, 8 July. 300 people took
part in the march in Leicester in protest against health service cuts
Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party
The march went to Hewitt's Leicester West constituency offices where
a public surgery had been advertised. However, when we got there the
doors were padlocked and no one was in!
At the rally at the end of the march, Leicester Trades Union Council
secretary Paul Henderson said that Hewitt's office was sandwiched
between a bankrupt stock warehouse and an engineering firm called
"Premier Screw and Repetition Company": "Her ideas are certainly
bankrupt, and her government is repeatedly screwing us!"
The demo, supported by Leicestershire Health UNISON, had been
initiated at short notice by workers at one local mental health unit,
the Rutland unit (under threat of closure), and another, Stewart House,
(threatened with privatisation). These are just part of at least £62
million cuts being made in Leicestershire.
Speakers at the rally included Socialist Party members Josie
Nicholls, branch secretary of Leicestershire county council UNISON and
Jean Thorpe of UNISON NEC. Along with other speakers such as Tom Smith,
steward at Stewart House, they raised the need for national action to
defend the NHS, along with a national demonstration.
Jean pointed out that "the millions of pounds given to Labour could
instead be used as a strike fund for national action of NHS workers!"
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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.
- 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 13 July 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
NHS: Uniting to fight the cuts
Hewitt hides from health protesters
Save our hospital
Youth and Education
Low Pay,No Way!
Parents win High Court victory
Socialist Party campaigns
Welfare Reform Bill scapegoats disabled people!
Fighting the far-right BNP
Wales launches Campaign for New Workers' Party
International socialist news and analysis
Israeli regime’s air invasion of Lebanon threatens regional war
Another stolen presidency in Mexico?
Netherlands: Coalition government falls apart
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis
RMT conference: Striking back against privatisation
"Join the union to change the union"
Socialist Party feature
How the farmworkers got organised
National Blood Service: Fighting job cuts
Socialist Party review
'Storming heaven': Battle for Spain - The Spanish Civil War
Socialist Party National committee report
Build the Socialist Party
The Socialist 13 July 2006 |
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