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Defend the NHS
On 17 March it was announced that Barts Health NHS trust, the largest in the country, was being put into special measures after a report found "a culture of bullying and low-morale at Whipps Cross". Whipps, in Waltham Forest, is one of the six east London hospitals covered by Barts.
Nancy Taaffe, standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in nearby Walthamstow responded to the news.
This announcement is a direct consequence of the £77 million of cuts made by Barts Trust in 2013 following the use of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to fund redevelopment of the Royal London Hospital.
I stood for parliament in 2005 against then Labour MP Neil Gerrard who debated with me and said that PFI at our local hospital was 'the only show in town'. That 'show' has led to this.
The culture of management bullying and harassment is a direct consequence of trying to make NHS workers do more with less. This bullying directly led to the sacking of Unison branch chairperson Charlotte Monro, who tried to raise the issue of cuts in a wider audience.
I had my two children at Whipps Cross and know the value of its services. TUSC supporters have been active, both in the hospital and in the community, opposing cuts, including participation in the Whipps Cross demonstration in 2013.
TUSC demands an end to PFI and all NHS privatisation, and no cuts, with full restoration of all funding lost to the NHS. We do not want to see a revolving door of 'new administrators' leeching off the public purse while those who deliver the service are run ragged and face pay cuts.
No to ‛Devo Manc'
Alex Davidson, TUSC Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Central
Smug-faced Greater Manchester Labour leaders lined up with Tory chancellor Osborne to promote 'Devo Manc' and a similar scheme for health and social care services.
This is actually about having one lackey of Westminster to implement austerity across Greater Manchester. A mayor will be appointed in 2017, but not face election until 2019! Much of the power over local services, healthcare, and planning currently held in each of the 10 boroughs by councils or other bodies, will pass into the hands of this Whitehall-agreed appointee.
There is no new money. It will mean the implementation of devastating cuts and privatisation, and widespread closures of hospital departments. Centralisation of control under the mayor, and their not directly elected 'cabinet', is intended to make it harder to fight against cuts in local services and unwanted corporate schemes.
Similar plans are in the pipeline for other regions. Osborne and the Tories see the possibility of breaking up the NHS and the welfare state, with the collusion of local politicians.
Working-class people will lose out. Corporate central Manchester is booming at the expense of our communities. Devo Manc will apply that on a grand scale, channelling even more wealth towards the city centre and developer-dictated projects, away from communities right across Greater Manchester.
Manchester city council leader Richard Leese faced a barrage of criticism about his hypocrisy during his online 'debate' about Devo Manc. We had a referendum over a Manchester mayor - which rejected that charade - so why no referendum over a Greater Manchester mayor?
Real devolution would be based on the agreement of the population concerned, and hand over real powers and sufficient funding to a democratically-elected body, such as a regional parliament, for which immediate direct elections would be held with proportional representation and without an autocratic mayor.
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) prospective candidates oppose Osborne's 'devolution' and support the campaign for a referendum. No more cuts and no more smoke and mirrors! What we want is real devolution and an end to austerity!
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