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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2007

NHS cuts hypocrisy

Labour ministers make us sick!

Build for 3 March NHS national demo

NHS demonstration on the 1st November 2006

THE MASSIVE anger against cuts and closures in the NHS is making even desperate Labour ministers pretend to be taking action. Under the headline 'Revealed: the 11 government ministers fighting NHS cuts', the guardian listed New Labour ministers and parliamentary private secretaries who have dishonestly attended protests against hospital closures in their own local areas.

Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

Hang on, though. Weren't some of these MPs the very same people who developed New Labour's PFI (Private Finance Initiative) programme? Every PFI scheme is designed so that the fat-cat privateers who really run these PFI hospitals can make big profits from illness.

This leads to the downgrading of services and closures that these same hypocritical individuals claim that they are "concerned" about in their local areas. The hypocrisy of New Labour really does make us sick!

Did any current New Labour cabinet member vehemently oppose this privatisation by stealth measure? Or the 'payment by results' system or the opening up of the NHS to private providers that has resulted in swingeing cuts in local NHS services?

The article mentioned two Warwickshire New Labour MPs including James Plaskitt. At the protest march of hundreds by Warwickshire people facing health cuts, there were banners asking "Where's Plaskitt?" about their local supposedly 'health rebel' MP.

In Nuneaton and North Warwickshire, it was bold actions by the People's Protest group, organising a march of many hundreds and a mass campaign of public meetings, letter-writing etc. that forced the Primary Care Trust to look again at its proposals.

In Coventry, Tory and New Labour councillors agreed to accept a flawed so-called "Scrutiny" report supporting the Acute Services Review proposing reductions in A&E and Maternity provision in North and South Warwickshire. Only Socialist Party councillors opposed this.

In reality these so-called New Labour "rebels" don't give a damn about the NHS, all they're worried about is their seats because they now realise that supporters of Blairite health privatisation can be successfully challenged by local campaigners.

Genuine health campaigners want to carry on the struggle to save our NHS both locally and nationally. Campaign groups such as People United to Save Hospitals and Keep our NHS Public will want real action from the trade union movement.

Socialist Party members are still campaigning for a national demonstration on 3 March to start to halt the juggernaut of cuts, closures and privatisation.

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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.

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In The Socialist 18 January 2007:

Labour ministers make us sick!

Keep up the pressure for 3 March demo

Socialist Students

Anger against top-up fees grows

War and terrorism

Iraq: Bush continues his dangerous blunder

Blair's vision: 'wars without end'

The Trial of Tony Blair

International socialist news and analysis

"We're moving towards a socialist republic of Venezuela" - Hugo Chávez

The veil and Muslim women

Sri Lanka: Urgent action needed

Fighting for a socialist world

Socialist Party news and analysis

Interest rate hike pushes up costs

Academies myths

What's behind the school leaving proposals?

Campaign for a new workers' party

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS stands firm on pensions

Fight the government's sell-off plans

Strike ballot put on hold once again

Re-instate Unique workers!

British Airways pensions

Fujitsu workers strike

'Single status' battle in Manchester

UNISON NEC elections


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