Socialist Worker

NHS fight should spark resistance to Tories

Issue No. 2610

Marching for the NHS in February

Marching for the NHS in February (Pic: Guy Smallman)

It will be great to see tens of thousands of people march for the NHS in London on Saturday. It’s an active response to the desperate crisis of the NHS and a show of defiance.

Socialist Worker urges all its readers to join the march.

But it won’t be enough to shake the Tories on its own.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has displayed an utter determination to stay in place to continue his destruction of the NHS.

“Seventy years—that’s long enough,” seems to be the thought behind his policies.

Saturday must be a launch pad for much more serious resistance to the Tories.

At some point, when she is no longer useful as a shield and shock absorber, prime minister Theresa May will be dumped by the cabinet.

But that won’t mean the end of a regime of cuts, privatisation and the deliberate deepening of racism and division.

The next general election is not scheduled until May 2022—nearly four years away.

Imagine the damage to the NHS, education and other vital services if the Tories stay in office. Only a revival in struggle—marches, strikes and occupations—can create a political storm strong enough to force the Tories out.

Most of us marching on Saturday will want to see Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street as soon as possible.

But just waiting and preparing for the next election is not enough.


The greater the fightback now, the more likely it is that people will feel they should vote for Corbyn.

But more importantly, growing resistance can win some battles now over cuts, closures and sell-offs, and prepare the ground for bigger victories in the future. A fightback can increase the pressure on whoever forms the next government, keep Labour to its promises, and resist if it breaks them.

But if you are concerned about the NHS then you have to also be active over connected issues.

Very soon US president Donald Trump is coming to Britain.

His vile politics are an inspiration and model for all the most rotten forces across the globe.

He showers money on the rich and bolsters the far right.

He describes the NHS as “broke and not working” and he wants to use trade talks to put up the price of drugs for the NHS and to allow US corporations to grab more of its work.

That’s why everyone should try to be in London on Friday 13 July to protest against Trump, and the Tory government that welcomes him.

And the next day fascists who love Trump—and hate the migrants and Muslims whose work is part of the NHS’s success story—are marching for Tommy Robinson.

Everyone possible should be on the streets against them.

Celebrate and demonstrate—Our NHS is 70. Sat 30 June, 12 noon, Portland Place, London W1A. Supported by TUC, Health Campaigns Together, the People’s Assembly, Unison, Unite, GMB, BMA, RCN, RCM and others #OurNHS70

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