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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 (Click to enlarge)
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
The Socialist 10 September 2014 |
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