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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 September 2014

Labour lets down NHS protesters

The People's March for the NHS was joined by 5,000 people in London, photo by Bob Severn

The People's March for the NHS was joined by 5,000 people in London, photo by Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge)

Bob Severn

The People's March for the NHS finished its 300 mile trek from Jarrow on 6 September when over 5,000 people joined it for a demonstration in London. Among the demonstrators were many NHS workers currently being balloted for strike action over pay.

The protest ended with a Trafalgar Square rally. We heard from many of the angry 'Darlo Mums', who organised the march against the Con-Dems' destruction of the NHS. Other trade unionists and NHS campaigners spoke, including an activist from Staffordshire Hospital anti-NHS cuts camp.

But another speaker was Labour's shadow health minister Andy Burnham. He repeated, to big cheers, Labour's pledge to scrap the Health and Social Care Act, but also said that Labour would make public providers 'preferred bidders' for NHS contracts! This is far from reversing privatisation or removing the impact of the Tory Act.

Being 'preferred bidder' does not guarantee winning a contract, especially if the cheapest service wins. Private companies slash costs through cutting corners and attacking workers' pay and conditions, as was seen when non-medical NHS services were privatised, mainly under Blair's Labour government. It would also mean millions of pounds of public money being wasted in the bidding process.

Burnham also said a Labour government would 'exempt' the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposed between the EU and US, which includes watering down workers' rights and compulsory privatisation.

What about the rest of our services? Why not reject it altogether? The Socialist Party calls for the complete reversal of NHS privatisation.

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In The Socialist 10 September 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scotland in revolt against austerity

Scottish referendum: A mass revolt against austerity

Students: Fight debt, poverty & capitalism

Abuse: Cuts have robbed us of the time to talk to these young people

Bedroom Tax edges toward its doom

Government spending cuts deepen prisons' crisis

British leaders back expansion of Nato war machine

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Ebola virus: Victims of a failed capitalist system

US: building a movement to end poverty pay!


Socialist Party workplace news

NSSN rally: Building pressure for coordinated action

NUT members angry at lack of October strike action

TUC votes for 10 minimum wage

Care UK workers set for longest NHS strike

Probation officers protest against privatisation

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tamil Solidarity Day: a great success

Labour lets down NHS protesters

North West marches for end to austerity

TUSC councillors back taxi struggle

Socialist Party campaigning


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Unison Bureaucracy Unmasked

Guardian story confirms councils can resist cuts


 

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