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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

A RECENT Socialist Party organised meeting in Coventry protested at rip-off car parking charges at Walsgrave Hospital. A private company made £2.7 million last year from charging staff, visitors and patients to park at the out of town site.

Clive Dunkley, Coventry Socialist Party

Coventry Socialist Party's campaign against charges got wide media coverage after over 4,500 people joined a Facebook group set up as part of the campaign.

Socialist Party members have collected over 3,000 signatures since the New Year against the exorbitant charges. The public protest meeting coincided with the end of the national consultation initiated by the Department of Health on parking charges at hospitals.

Socialist Party (SP) councillor Dave Nellist told the meeting there were many ways that the government could fund the abolition of parking charges. "The Royal Bank of Scotland, which taxpayers bailed out, has announced that senior executives would get £1.3 billion in bonuses this year. That would pay for free hospital car parking for every Coventry family for the next 550 years!"

Sinead Nolan-Burgess told a shocked audience that she had to pay for parking at Walsgrave while her fiancé lay dying in hospital last year. She said: "Private companies made over £100 from my fiancé's misfortune. We already pay taxes and are entitled to free health care. So why on earth are hospitals signing contracts which allow private companies to charge us what they want?"

SP councillor Rob Windsor told the meeting that this event marks the start of a wider campaign against the creeping privatisation of our NHS. Rob urged those present to get involved with the NHS SOS campaign in the city.

BBC Midlands Today covered the meeting. Unfortunately it failed to show Socialist councillors explaining the reason for charges at Walsgrave, namely the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Instead they interviewed local Labour and Tory politicians who had been right behind the PFI scheme in the first place!

Socialist Party members will step up the campaign to expose the Profit From Illness (PFI) taking place in the city's health service.

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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.
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  • 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.
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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students


International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations


Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership


The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist


Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Media

Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Football

Supporters should own Pompey, not developers


Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


 

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