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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2019

NHS marches in Yorkshire and London

Yorkshire: Build on the victories to save our NHS

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Campaigners and trade unionists came together to march through Leeds city centre and say that, despite the government's chronic paralysis over Brexit, the Tory plans to destroy our health service are still ongoing.

500 people attended the Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together demonstration on 30 March.

Socialist Party member and chair of the Huddersfield Hands Off HRI NHS campaign, Mike Forster, enlivened the rally by recalling the significant victories won across the region over the last year.

There were plans to reconfigure health services in Kirklees and Calderdale, but now they'll have to go back to the drawing board. Sheffield NHS walk-in centre has been saved.

The successful strike ballot in the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust blocked the establishment of a two-tier workforce via a wholly-owned subsidiary in that trust and Leeds and Bradford as well. All these campaigns had Socialist Party members in the leadership.

It was therefore fitting that Mid Yorkshire Unison branch secretary and Wakefield Socialist Party member Adrian O'Malley was the first speaker to address the rally.

Both Mike and Adrian put central the question of a general election to drive out the Tories and their austerity policies from government, a point taken up by all subsequent speakers. Corbyn and the trade unions should be mobilising the whole labour movement to force them out and put forward a socialist alternative to austerity.

Socialist Party members had a welcome response on the demonstration, raising these points through our leaflet, and had one of the loudest blocks on the march thanks to our enthusiastic Socialist Students members. We sold over 20 copies of the Socialist.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

London: Fury at local politicians over threat to King George A&E

The day before a march and rally to save King George hospital A&E, council leaders in Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham, together with the chief executive and managing director of the local NHS, put out a statement which appeared, at first glance, to concede entirely the demands of the marchers.

But on closer inspection, despite denials from Labour councillors, it did not repudiate the original review which has clearly put the A&E, once again, under threat.

The 30 March demo was followed by a 50-strong meeting. That meeting agreed to closely examine a demand I moved from the platform, speaking for the Socialist Party, that the review was placed under trade union control. Amendments suggested patients, trade union councils and other bodies be involved.

It was agreed to reconvene to discuss this in more detail. This could constitute a committee to help root the campaign in the community and the health trade unions.

Syed Siddiqi, chair of Barking, Redbridge and Havering health branch of public sector union Unison, pointed out how difficult it is to retain health staff when there is uncertainty hanging over the hospital A&E.

"It's been impossible to have a dialogue with the trust management about this particular issue, because they are generally not in dialogue with any of the health unions."

The meeting demanded the A&E - which the campaign has successfully kept open despite well over ten years of closure threats - is not only kept open but improved.

It overwhelmingly condemned the failure of the local councillors to turn up, demanded the council wave the room booking fee, and largely applauded every mention of Jeremy Corbyn.

20 people bought copies of the Socialist.

Pete Mason, East London Socialist Party

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 3 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn and workers' movement must lead fight for general election and socialist alternative to EU bosses' club


International socialist news and analysis

Mueller report underlines Democrats' weakness

40 years after Three Mile Island disaster

Corporate capitalism jeopardises air safety


News

Cuts and chaos. Enough. General election now!

End Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

Working families in poverty: fund homes and childcare

Toxic Grenfell fire residue threatens survivors

Poor doors, segregated playgrounds

Probation privatisation failure


Workplace news

Thousands of Honda workers march in Swindon

Greenwich Unite demands workers brought in-house

Well-supported strike against cuts at Bradfield school

Chesterfield hospital privatisation plans

Workplace news in brief


PCS elections

PCS elections: Support socialist candidates


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist change not climate change

Vote for socialist mayor and council candidates

NHS marches in Yorkshire and London

Financing the fightback

Discussion and debate at Leeds Trans Pride

Socialists say we need a workers' Brexit at Young Labour debate

Reclaim the Game book launch


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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