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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 May 2011

Challenging Tories' plans to kill our health service

Andy Ford, Unite North West regional health committee

About 40 people gathered at a meeting, called by Defend the NHS, at the West Kirby Social Club, Wirral, on 20 May to quiz Tory MP, Esther McVey on the NHS white paper.

She gave a very assertive presentation on the NHS - it was full of waste, all the money went on managers and pen-pushers instead of doctors and nurses, the outcomes on cancer and heart disease were the worst in Europe, all the while claiming total support of the NHS whilst totally knocking it.

However, members of the audience picked apart her points. One retired NHS manager pointed out that the NHS, as a huge organisation, actually needs managing and organising. "Who are all these pen-pushers?" he asked. "You can't just lump all managers together, it's ridiculous."

Others, including a hospital consultant, pointed out that the outcomes on cancer had improved dramatically with a bit of investment.

Then came Esther McVey's biggest point: "Labour did the same. They used private enterprise to drive efficiency - they had the Independent Sector Treatment Centres, PFI."

This caused something of an uproar as everyone tried to tell her how much PFI (private finance) projects cost. She then tried to turn the audience against Liverpool campaigner, Sam Semoff, for trying to block the PFI at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

"So you tried to stop the new hospital in Liverpool," she said. But no one liked the personal attack, which I think harmed her argument if anything.

Six copies of the Socialist were sold.

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In The Socialist 25 May 2011:


What we think

Weak and unpopular coalition can be defeated


Anti-cuts campaigning

National shop stewards conference - Unite to stop the cuts

As the cost of living soars...: 'We are going to fight back'!

An offer we must refuse

Why Liverpool needs a needs budget

Showing an alternative to cuts in Dorset


Defending the NHS

Battling to defend the NHS

NHS demo in London needs to be a step towards united national strike action

Unison leaders failing to adopt the demands of health workers

Challenging Tories' plans to kill our health service


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: developing strategies for struggle

UCU facing battles on all fronts

Southampton city council workers strike

Three day strike to stop redundancies at Sheffield College

Firefighters discuss strategy to fight cuts

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

"We are London Met Uni, not EasyMet"

Atos Origin - profiting from pain

'Slutwalk' protests: Women reject sexism

Slave labour schemes must be resisted


Reviews and comments

Leadership failed print workers in vital battle

Review: The street that cut everything


Socialist Party news and analysis

McNulty's railway report: not 'value for money'!

Care homes privatisation hits the elderly

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Eyewitness report: Mass youth protests in Spain

Ireland: 'Reclaim the unions'

Greece: Resist bosses' agenda and the far right


 

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