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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 August 2021

Defend the NHS. Fight the Tory pay insult. Prepare strike action!

Marching in London on 3 July, including Naomi Byron (right), photo Paul Mattsson

Marching in London on 3 July, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Complacency, incompetence, cronyism, corruption and downright cruelty. As many as 150,000 deaths.

That's the real Covid record of the Tories and working-class people have paid for it. Amid criminal shortfalls in staff numbers, bed shortages and inadequate PPE - the result of years of privatisation and austerity - NHS and care staff have worked themselves to exhaustion to save lives.

Since last summer, NHS workers have protested for a 15% pay rise. The Tories' response? After the initial 1% slap in the face they've been forced under pressure to offer 3%. But NHS workers have lost around 20% in the last ten years. For the rest of the public sector the Tories are offering between 1.5% and nothing!

But where is the opposition from the Labour Party? Right-wing Labour leader Keir Starmer has meekly nodded along with the Tories all year. He only thought NHS workers were worth 2%!

KONHSP lobby of parliament, 14.7.21, photo JB

KONHSP lobby of parliament, 14.7.21, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

But he hasn't shown the same mildness in his party, ruthlessly driving out Jeremy Corbyn and the anti-austerity programme that demanded an end to cuts and privatisation in the NHS. Workers need our own political voice - we need a new mass party of working-class and young people.

And we need a fightback - to take to the streets and organise in our workplaces. We call for a national demonstration in the autumn for a public sector pay rise, to defend the NHS, and to prepare the ground for national coordinated strike action.

Socialist Party members are campaigning for a vote to reject the 3% offer and vote for strike action in the NHS trade union consultations.

The Tories' Health and Care Bill is presented as being about integration of the NHS and social care (and who doesn't want that) but in reality it is a plan to accelerate privatisation of the NHS, reduce the little democratic oversight that currently exists, and open the door to breaking up a national service.

It doesn't solve staffing and bed shortages, it doesn't pay decent wages, it doesn't reinstate the millions cut from social care, it doesn't take care homes out of the hands of private profiteers.

It is only through mass workers' struggle, linked to fighting for a working-class political voice, that we can establish a fully funded, publicly owned and democratically controlled NHS and social care system - a socialist NHS!

See also:

NHS: Kick out the privatisers, Fight for funding, Build for strike action

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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 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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 11 August 2021:


NHS

Defend the NHS. Fight the Tory pay insult. Prepare strike action!

NHS: Kick out the privatisers, Fight for funding, Build for strike action


News

Tory government nationalises Sheffield steel plant

Tory cuts worsened crime and Johnson 'blitz' won't help

Fight energy price hike

Thanks to the miners - an example of workers' struggle and solidarity

News in brief


Comment

Olympic 'success' masks cuts and inequality in sport

Starmer's faithful Guardian


Campaigns news

Capitalism = climate catastrophe

Rising against a rigged and rotten system - Socialism 2021

London Pride cancelled - pandemic shows protest Pride is necessary

London: Hundreds protest for trans rights

Save Newham's theatres from Labour council cuts!

Socialist Party young members summer school

A day in the life of a young hospitality worker

West Midlands: austerity and capitalism offers no future for young people

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Don't privatise Dudley libraries

Socialist Party: Solely funded by the working class

Review - The Struggle for World Socialism


Housing

Waltham Forest: Fighting for a home for Nadia and homes for all


History

August 1991 - The aborted military coup in the 'Soviet Union'


Workplace news

Ballot majority essential to continue DVLA strike action

Night tube strike suspended to allow talks - scrap compulsory duties!

RMT strike solid on East Midlands rail

You need a union when the time comes to fight

Unions protest at exploitative Leicester company Food Attraction

Over 3,000 votes for fighting socialist programme in CWU

NSSN to lobby TUC


International news

Beirut's devastating port explosion one year on


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleNHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

triangleNHS Critical

triangleBehind the rural idyll - the problems of everyday life

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleTories responsible for NHS staff shortages

Tory:

triangleBuilding a political alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

triangleTory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

triangleHealth and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

triangleHarsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

Strike:

triangleOaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions

triangleSouth Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers strike against measly 1% pay offer

triangleAfter COP26: where next for the climate movement?

Pay:

triangleNottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

triangleHigher education disputes

Workers:

triangleBulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

Tories:

triangleTories strengthen repressive laws

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