Socialist Worker

People hold big rallies to defend the NHS

Issue No. 2557

On the march in Canterbury

On the march in Canterbury


Thousands of people have rallied in support of the NHS in the last week, showing their outrage at the Tories’ attacks.

Up to 4,000 people joined a Labour Party rally for the NHS in Bristol last Wednesday. Labour’s shadow health secretary John Ashworth spoke at the event.

He pledged more funding for the NHS and said that Labour would end privatisation, to massive applause from the crowd.

Thousands marched through Canterbury and hundreds more through Colchester in Essex last Saturday.

In Canterbury health bosses are threatening to “downgrade” the city’s hospital.

Health campaigner Ken Rogers said, “We fear that the Kent & Canterbury hospital might be downgraded once again to a cottage hospital. They tried it in 2000 but we successfully fought against it and won in 2002.”

Throughout the march people chanted, “Don’t slash, don’t trash, don’t privatise our NHS.” By carving up England into 44 “footprints”, the Tories’ Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) aim to cut £22 billion by 2020-21.

That’s why it’s important that Labour has said it will declare a moratorium on STPs.

But worryingly Ashworth also said Labour’s popular pledge to “renationalise” the health service could mean having the NHS as a “preferred bidder”.

There’s no need to rely on private companies—all services should be provided in-house and the internal market should be abolished.

The NHS crisis underlines why we have to vote Labour this Thursday, but we also need to be prepared to fight the privateers’ attacks.


Labour makes pledge for disabled people

Labour launched its disability manifesto last week and is the only party to clearly support a social model of disability.

It recognises that people are disabled by society through lack of access and resources.

Labour’s pledges includes scrapping the punitive sanctions system, abolishing the Personal Independence Payment assessments and reversing cuts to benefits.

Jeremy Corbyn said, “Labour will ensure that disabled people and people with mental health conditions have access to support they need.”

The Tories’ austerity policies have pushed more disabled people into poverty after being denied benefits or having their support cut.


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