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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 April 2014

Worcestershire Socialist Party public meeting

Workers' struggles and socialism to save the NHS

'Is socialism the only way of saving the NHS?', was the theme of a Socialist Party public meeting of 30 people in Kidderminster on 25 March.

Two former MPs were the platform speakers: Dr Richard Taylor (independent MP for Wyre Forest 2001-10), and Dave Nellist (Labour MP, Coventry South East 1983-92).

Dr Taylor is now co-leader of the National Health Action Party and Dave Nellist is the well-known Socialist Party member who chairs the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Both said that socialist measures are needed to save the NHS; while the meeting generally agreed that, to all intents and purposes, the NHS has already been abolished.

There is no longer public planning and a great deal of public money is disappearing to private profit.

Dr Taylor said that the promise of the Labour Party to revoke the present government's destructive Health and Social Care Act did not go far enough.

"We must return to a fully integrated national scheme which is publicly planned," he said. "This means abolishing PFI contracts and the split between purchasers and providers."

Nationalisation

Dave added: "The government talks of transferring the NHS from the state to community based care, but this is simply a cover for handing it over to private organisations.

"We must return to the founding principles of the NHS in 1948, with free prescriptions, free eye care and free dental care.

We can afford it. British capitalists currently hold over 700 billion in cash assets which they do not know how to spend. We should also nationalise the drug companies."

Dave called on NHS campaigners to join together to oppose the main political parties who are all committed to the interests of big business.

Some of the audience still look to the Labour Party to defend the NHS. Dr Taylor hoped that his party can influence the Labour Party to return to the founding principles of the NHS in 1948.

However, it was the Labour Party which introduced the first PFI privatisation contracts and foundation trusts to run NHS services more or less like private companies.

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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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In The Socialist 2 April 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Real jobs for all!

The truth about the miners' strike

TUSC: No-cuts election challenge grows

Climate change: Socialism and global planning essential

Unplug the 'Big Six' profiteers

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

France: Government punished in local elections

A million march for dignity in Madrid

South Africa: It's your opportunity to make history!


Socialist Party workplace news

Doncaster strike: Fight Tory 'don't Care UK society'!

Probation officers walk out

Victory for Carmarthenshire Unison

Unite EC elections start

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Junk jobs - we're fightin' it!

Kent 'peasants' storm Rochester

FF success: perspectives, planning and persistence

Worcestershire: Is socialism only way of saving NHS?

May Day greetings in the Socialist


Socialist history

London: Quinn Square Rent Strike 1938


 

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