Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/458/5500

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2006

What we think

NHS - not safe in their hands

DAVID CAMERON'S claim at the Tory Party conference to be 'the protector of the NHS' is a sign of how far politics in Britain has been 'Americanised' - where two capitalist parties compete to sell their particular brand of pro-market policies, but where there is no party that represents working-class interests.

Cameron's speech followed a series of opinion polls showing that Labour's 14-point lead in last year's general election as 'the party with the best NHS policy' had turned into a 2% lead for the Tories. In reality, discontent with New Labour's NHS 'market reforms' has made the two parties indistinguishable in many voters' eyes.

Cameron made it clear that he supported the use of private contractors to provide NHS services. Nor did he drop the Tory Party's previous policy that every NHS trust should become an independent foundation hospital.

Then the Tories' chief policy co-ordinator, Oliver Letwin, 'mistakenly' told a Sunday Times interviewer that "there would be no limits to the role of the private sector in the NHS".

But how could New Labour answer this? After all, just two weeks earlier, the health secretary Patricia Hewitt said the same in a lecture to the Institute for Public Policy Research, refusing to "try and set arbitrary limits on one provider or another".

The reality is that, whichever of the capitalist parties is in government - New Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats too - the NHS is not safe in their hands.

But this does not mean that there is no prospect of saving the NHS from the privateers. This was inadvertently acknowledged by Patricia Hewitt when she recently admitted, after e-mails were leaked to The Times, that the Health Department has drawn up a secret 'heat map' showing areas where there is 'strong public unrest' about NHS cuts and re-organisations. The more 'heat' there was, the less likely it was that cuts would go ahead.

The Tories complained that "clinical decisions were being overridden by politics". But aren't health service workers and users - the public - the best judges of what services are needed? And with the convergence of the parties, and the erosion of democratic control of the NHS, what other way apart from 'public unrest' - including industrial action - is there to defend services?

After another weekend of NHS protests, the BBC drew the parallel, made previously by the socialist, with the mood that developed against the poll tax in the early 1990s. Then, with local protests co-ordinated into a national movement by the Anti-Poll Tax Federation (led by Militant, the Socialist Party's predecessor), Britain became one big 'heat map', compelling the Tories to retreat and scrap the tax.

The same is needed now. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) organised lobby of parliament on 1 November - and the feeder march to the lobby - must become the first steps to building such a movement.

And then there is the political vacuum. Ultimately, unless a new political voice for working people is built, 'Americanised politics' will lead to an 'Americanised' health service, profit-based and excluding millions from coverage. The battle to save the NHS is a political battle as well, showing again the need to campaign for a new trade union-based mass workers' party as an alternative to New Labour and the other pro-business parties.

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


In The Socialist 12 October 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Health workers beat the privateers

Get organised! Join the march on parliament!

NHS - not safe in their hands

Protests at health cuts

Angry marchers keep up the fight


Socialist Students

Fees can damage your education

Student fees can be defeated

Campaigning in the schools and colleges

Chile: solidarity appeal


International socialist news and analysis

All views welcome at Socialism 2006

Huge meeting greets socialist movement

Cable Street 1936: When workers drove back the fascists

A 'race to the bottom' for workers' rights and a disaster for the environment

Dave Nellist's global warning

Kazakhstan - appeal for support

Brazilian elections: Lula fails to win in first round

"Bertiegate" scandal rocks Ahern coalition


Socialist Party workplace news

Blood service faces cuts

Trade unions must organise casual workers


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 October 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NHS:

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

triangleCuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

triangleSave our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

Tories:

triangleGive us a bumper Christmas cash boost!

triangleJobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

Labour:

triangleCorbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

triangleJohn Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class

triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Health:

triangleSan Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

12/12/18

Wales

Corbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

12/12/18

Journalists

Worldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years

12/12/18

NUS

National Union of Students faces bankruptcy

12/12/18

Elderly

Cuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

12/12/18

Far-right

Tommy Robinson's rich backers

12/12/18

Universal Credit

Universal Credit Christmas misery

12/12/18

Public services

Interserve debts

12/12/18

NHS

Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

11/12/18

Socialist

Tory chaos reaches fever pitch

5/12/18

EU

Fight for a general election to kick out the Tories

5/12/18

PCS

PCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

5/12/18

Technology

The growth of artificial intelligence technology

5/12/18

Huddersfield

Racist attack in Huddersfield

5/12/18

Buses

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

5/12/18

Housing

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999