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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2014

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Disgusted at politicians' big business links

Jason Fawley

I work in the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster. My wife is a former NHS support worker, now privatised to the employment of Care UK.

My wife and her colleagues have been transferred under TUPE regulations which apparently means nothing to Care UK as the company is trying to bully them into taking a vast cut to their pay and worsening of terms and conditions. They say this is to make the service "sustainable" - in other words to add 1.2 million to their already healthy profits (120 million last year alone).

To me and my family the 550 a month pay cut Care UK wanted my wife to take was the difference between staying afloat and losing our home. In response, the workers voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action.

I decided to do a bit of research about Care UK and quickly discovered that a former CEO and his wife were Tory party donors and that Care UK was being given NHS contracts all over the country doing the very same thing as they are trying to do in Doncaster.

I then discovered that Stuart Rose, the newly appointed NHS advisor, is on the board of Bridgepoint, the private equity company that now owns Care UK and other private healthcare companies.

I have been in touch with Ros Jones, the Labour mayor of Doncaster, and numerous politicians to state the clear conflict of interest. All these contracts should be investigated and torn up, with criminal prosecution where necessary. Sadly this was to no avail.

I then discovered the links between MPs and Lords and healthcare companies. I quickly realised that they - the capitalist politicians and their business pals - are the ones "in it together".

I was on my own with nobody to turn to. But on the picket line I met like-minded people with a conscience who are also disgusted by the political elite and their business interests.

So I joined the Socialist Party and decided to stand up and fight back by putting myself forward as a TUSC candidate in the May local elections. I, for one, having paid tax all my life to help buy every hospital, bed, X-ray and dialysis machine, do not want to see it being given away to Tory donors and MPs who then attack the already trained staff they have been handed on a plate.

Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North and leader of the No Opposition, remains silent in his own backyard. Not a single Doncaster Labour councillor or MP has offered any support, let alone been down to the picket line.

So TUSC has organised a protest lobby of Ed Miliband's next surgery on Thursday 24 April asking: "Where are you? Who's side are you on?"

TUSC is standing ten candidates in Doncaster in the May council elections including four directly related to the Care UK strike.

On the same day, TUSC supporters around the country will be protesting at Care UK offices to increase the pressure on Don't Care UK to withdraw the new contracts and maintain NHS terms and conditions.

Protest Lobby of Ed Miliband

3.30pm, Thursday 24 April

Bentley Library, Chapel Street, Bentley, Doncaster, DN5 0DE

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In The Socialist 16 April 2014:

Socialist Party election campaigning

Help TUSC offer a no-cuts alternative on 22 May

Election appeal: help us make history

More cuts and another resignation in Southampton

Socialist Party news and analysis

Profit vultures out of NHS

Ending MPs' expenses scandal requires socialist change

Con-Dems escalate housing crisis

Tamiflu scandal exposes bloodsucking big pharma

Pit closures: Final act of Tory vandalism

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

40 years of the Committee for a Workers' International

India: massive election process could end in turmoil

Socialist Party workplace news

Gains for left on NUT executive

Stop the education catastrophe!

Health workers vote to fight government pay cuts

Strikers shut cinema in battle for living wage

Let down by Welsh Labour

RMT: Put the tube strike back on and escalate

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Beating Bedroom Tax evictions

NUS conference: sip tea or put up a serious fight?

Goldthorpe: Anger at Thatcher's destruction of mining

Anti-austerity demonstration called in Salford

May Day greetings with the Socialist

Readers' comments

Hard loads - and a fightback - on the bins

Working on zero-hour contracts

Disgusted at politicians' big business links


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