the fight for a public NHS continues

Congratulations to the hundreds of health campaigners who descended on parliament last night as the government rushed through the Health Bill’s third reading with a majority of 65.

 

A torchlight demonstration, organised by Keep Our NHS Public, Health Worker Network, Unite and Right to Work, marched from St Thomas’s Hospital to join the TUC vigil at Parliament (which the TUC changed yesterday and brought forward from its original 9.30pm starting time).

Peter Hain addressed the crowd along with Andrew George, one of the four Lib Dem MPs who voted against the Bill. Just a few months ago public pressure forced the Lib Dems to make a stand and the government to halt the Bill. But since Cameron and Clegg agreed their smokescreen deal, they have both done as much as possible to push the Bill through before the party conferences.

 

The Royal College of GPs, the BMA and the Royal College of Nursing amongst others wrote a letter to the Times yesterday opposing the health bill.  But David Cameron didn’t just ignore them – he pretended they support him!  And all this at the same time as Lord Howe is at a conference telling private companies what an opportunity the Bill is for them. 

Speakers at last night’s protest, including Rachel Maskell from Unite and Wendy Savage from Keep Our NHS Public, gave a clear message that we were not there to mourn the passing of the Bill but to step up the fight to defend the NHS as the Bill passes into the Lords; at the demonstrations at the Lib Dem and Tory conferences; and making plans now to make the government plans inoperable should the Bill be passed.

 

WHAT NEXT

Demonstrate at Lib Dem and Tory party conferences

Health campaigners are planning protests at both the Lib Dem conference on 18 September in Birmingham and at the Tory conference on 02 October in Manchester as part of the demonstrations. Let us know what your plans are either if you are arranging transport or need it.

TUC leaflet for Tory Party Conference Demonstration 

Lobby a Lord

The Bill will now go to the Lords where both Shirley Williams and Lord Tebbit have said they are against it! Get your group, union or campaign to adopt a Lord and bombard them with opposition to the Bill.

http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/ 

Next London Keep Our NHS Public meeting

What next in the campaign

Tuesday 21 September 7pm

Camden Town Hall, Judd St, NW1 (Kings Cross tube).

 More information from http://www.keepournhspublic.com

4 responses to “the fight for a public NHS continues

  1. We all need to put huge pressure on

    a) the House of Lords. Apart from opposing and/or amending the bill, there may be some who need persuading that neither tinkering with the bill nor hearing reassuring ‘promises’ from the government will change this bill enough to make sure of an NHS. There have been so many lies told in order to get this bill voted through that it beggars belief.

    b) the labour party. The labour government laid plenty of foundations for this mess. I’ve not heard strong enough opposition from MIlliband et al to convince me of anything. I want to hear them say that they will reverse all the destructive change sin the bill. Maybe the labour conference needs demonstrations as well.

    The bill has gone through the commons with extraordinary haste yesterday. Is there any legal challenge that could be mounted?

  2. Surely the blatant lie that the health professions are all now supporting the Bill (I don’t know Cameron’s exact words) at PMQs shortly before the vote
    could be publicised more, and is there any legal way to deal with that totally untrue statement?

    • Does parliamentary privilige allow MPs to say what they like? Or does that just apply to statements that would, if made outside the houses of parliament, be libellous?

      Cameron made this claim publicly a short time ago and then had to retract it. His repeating it, seen alongside his proclamations on education this week, say a lot about this man.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s