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Posted on 9 September 2010 at 0:40 GMT

Save Salford's maternity ward

On Saturday 4 September, local members of the Socialist Party attended a protest to stop the maternity ward at Hope hospital in Salford being closed. The main eye-catcher was the amount of people proudly wearing their 'Made in Salford' t-shirts. Nobody will be born in Salford if the Tory-LibDem coalition successfully axes this ward, as the New Labour government decided to do.

Jon Campbell, Salford Socialist Party

The closure would make it much more difficult and time consuming for women in labour, who will be forced to travel to somewhere further afield such as St Mary's in Manchester, which could involve ploughing through rush-hour traffic.

Socialist Party members ran a campaign stall and went round with a petition opposing the destruction of the NHS through cuts and privatisation.

Local councillors from the three mainstream parties also attended the protest. A Labour councillor approached our stall and I gathered from conversation with him that he was not a socialist.

Despite this he signed my petition and gave us his support. This could not be said for the other two parties. Both councillors bluntly refused to sign my petition to help stop the closure. The Liberal Democrat councillor was particularly rude, asking me, "Why should I sign this?"

These two elected councillors were clearly not representative of the general public. For most of the event, they stood with their families and made not the slightest attempt to engage and speak to the public.

The most surprising part of my day was that when they spoke from the platform, they told the crowd exactly what they wanted to hear! I learned from this that amongst the main parties, the same hypocrisy which we have come to expect from the national parliamentary politicians goes on at local level as well.

How dare these councillors attend an anti-cuts demonstration when it is their parties which are responsible for these massive public spending cuts? They had no right to be there.

It does not end at the maternity ward either; councils all over the country are having millions of pounds worth of cuts enforced on them.

This means that hospitals, schools, libraries and other public services will either be stopped or their funding will decrease.

The working class should not and will not pay for previous mistakes of governments and the wealthy elite.

Instead of making normal people's lives more difficult, why doesn't the government save money by making a large cut in the 37 billion 'defence' budget and bring our troops home from Afghanistan? Along with this, reclaim some of the money which was used to bail out the banks.

These cuts are not 'unavoidable' and we will not allow them to be made. We need to mobilise as many workers as we can and make this clear to the Cameron-Clegg administration through firm strike action.

NO CUTS, NO CLOSURES, NO PRIVATISATION!

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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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Related links:

Salford:

triangleSalford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: What does the general election result mean for 2020?

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: The State and the lessons for the labour movement

triangleEnd low pay - support Salford Royal security workers' action

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Tories Out - General Election Now!

Maternity:

triangleWaltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

triangleNHS: Mass fightback is needed

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn

triangleInternational Women's Day

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

Socialist:

triangleSocialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

Labour:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

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