It should be noted that I did not give the whole speech because I was speaking after Lord Prescott who was far better than me! I spoke to around 500 protesters in central Hull.
First off, I want to say thank you for attending the second rally of the save our NHS campaign, and thank you to all the volunteers, including Unison who have made this event happen. This is why Hull is a wonderful city, because it is full of wonderful people like you, who do wonderful things like this!
In 1984 the poorest city in the country stood up to a vile Tory government by taking to the streets and got a rebate, that city was Liverpool, and we in 2012 we should take heart from our cousins down the M62. For in 2012, we, the people of one the of the most economically deprived cities of the UK, stand up the government to demand a rebate on our NHS cut.
One of my good friends said to me this week “why are you bothering, you wont win and the reforms arnt that bad.” I simply said- “listen stupid, this is about health care, free for all regardless of your income, background or job.” If for nothing else to save the poorest from having to pay or wait longer.
Why should the poorest people have to suffer for government cuts, from a banking crises they had no part in! Did they borrow the money for the mortgages, did they cause a banking crises, no! Why should we have to suffer for a sector that received a bail out and caused a 5 year recession that still pays billions in bonuses!
This government don’t get it, they are too well off to get it. It simply isn’t fair, and this effects the middle class as well as the poorest- there economic policy is cutting our services and at the same time isn’t giving the us the economic growth for the jobs we need for the prosperity they promised. They are taking with both hands, and those who are lucky to be able to afford to go private should never forget the poorest who can’t.
We stand here today to fight for the best of British. The NHS sets the UK apart as the most sithistaciated and advanced nations in the world and we should be proud of it. Our grandparents died for it in the war, now it is our turn, we must fight for it so we can pass it onto our children as well.
Government legislation and cuts will mean that by 2017 we will have to pay for anything above basic health care provision and that private companies can cherry pick the bits they want. Leaving the underfunded public sector to pick up the pieces. In addition we will see huge closures in wards, beds and services at Hull Royal and Castle Hill!
Politician have failed to make the argument of what this will mean. So we must tell them loudly what we want. We want them to take our document which argues against the £99million cut, it calls for a rebate. It calls for a rebate because of the unique social and economic and health challenges facing Hull and East Yorkshire and because our cuts are simply disproportionate to the rest of the UK.
David Cameron said he would cut the deficit and not the NHS- well listen loud and clear David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt, we are the big society and we say no to your cuts. So I tell you the people of Hull, lobby your politicians, tell your MPs what you want. Make everyone you know sign the petition calling for the rebate against this £99 million cut and we will march on London and tell Jeremy Hunt- not now, not never and not in Hull!
Remember- we are all NHS patients, just some of us haven’t checked in yet!
Why people protest against government cuts, because society is becoming so unequal and because there is a two tear society developing in which the people that caused this 5 year recession are doing really well and the rest of us are still picking up the pieces. We chose to protest so that those who made the decisions would hear that why are not happy and that we want a plan B. The arguments are simple.
When my good pal Dermot and I started a little campaign six weeks ago against NHS reorganisation in our area, including government cuts, legislation and local management we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. Since then we have managed to untangle a web of miscommunication and lack of understanding about the transition from NHS to national health provision.
Realistically I would say we have played the first quarter of the campaign and the preliminary results are in.
1) That we the public are under educated about what the how the health and social care act will change our health care provision
2) that politicians have failed to make the arguments of what will happen, including the likely need for private for those who can afford it provision from 2017
3) that the £99million cut to our local NHS budget is unsustainable (it started at £90m 6 weeks ago)
4) That the cuts are disproportionate in comparison and that due to the unique challenges faced Hull & East Yorkshire such as inequalities in social, financial, employment and health we should make the argument for a reduction in the £99m government cut, or a rebate, to allow us to continue to face our own unique challenges
5) That there are serious failures inside the local NHS, specifically in communication which have stifled the debate about the need for required reforms, leading to discontent in staff and ensuring that best practice and a debate about alternative reorganisation and cuts may have been missed.
From this basic analysis I am now more convinced than ever that a two pronged approach is what is needed for the campaign. Firstly, we must educate the local public about the reforms which are taking place in local health care, from cuts, reorganisation and health care provision. We must then get the public to support us in the second part of the campaign, which will involve making a direct argument through our Parliamentarians to the Secretary of State. We must argue that due to the unique difficulties we face we must see a reduction in our unfair, unproportionate cut in health care budget. We must go the Secretary of State directly and call for a rebate. Just as Thatcher did for Britain, we must now go with the best interests of our people to the powers that be and say “we the ordinary public, the big society, do not accept this level of health care cut, think again.” No matter what your politics, it is the role of the state to help and support the needy, this cut, is a direct attack on the needy.
Remember we are all NHS patients, just some of us haven’t checked in yet.
On Friday I started my own little company… I made the promise to myself that I would do it whilst under going chemotherapy. I have had the idea for about a year and the time has come to start, if not now, then never! What is the idea? I can’t tell you that, I am not going to give away my big ideas, but it does surround ethical trading. Today I am doing the paper work, logo, social media ect.
I am going to blog with updates. I have several reasons for starting my organisation, firstly I am dyslexic and getting a high paid role is hard enough but doing it with confidence and fitting into the culture has always been an extra hard challenge.
Like many dyslexics I am about getting up each morning and making things happen, I don’t know many 25 year old’s who have written a book, stood for parliament, and have a degree and half an MA despite being semi literate.
I don’t see this as an easy, it aint, I could get a fairly well paid job tomorrow doing something I don’t love in a risk free world. Knowing that eventually the day my disability catches up with me and I make a mistake is lurking. This is a huge challenge and I am way out of my comfort zone.
But hey, I want to change the world. I am already doing it in my own little way- so why don’t I go a little bit further….
Short, because each word mattered to me
I suppose most of us don’t bother to worry about our liberty until it is impinged. This can be the smallest thing, such as the desire to keep some our lives private from prying eyes to the freedom of to be tried by jury. There is a growing argument in the UK that many of these basic rights are being impinged and the politics of the United States is based around the ideals of the freedom.
The idea of freedom was used to fight the cold war, an argument that we all of course simply have to agree with. But this casual link between freedom and liberalism leaves us with one of the most complex questions which faces contemporary politics. For example, surely the ends of liberalism and equality of opportunity are almost identical, as are the end of economic liberalism and equality under the definition of liberalism according to Milton Freedman. Yet despite this, many pure or neo liberals, or right wing Tories as we would call them in the UK, simply define equality as the state taking a step too far. That the state is interfering with our everyday activities and thus our liberties impinged.
The argument is far more complex, but in the UK we must also consider that the UKs three main political parties have already cherry picked the best bits of liberalism. Furthermore because liberalism is such a diverse subject, just because one form of liberalism is essential does not mean others offer the best form of theory for its specific subject area. This was best defined yesterday by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of the world’s leading market libertarian, Ruprort when she challenged the assertion that “The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit” continuing that “Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster.”
“It is essential that modern political campaigners understand the challenges of government in the post 2010 world. At the 2010 general election you could barley force a cigaret paper between the three political parties. You could argue that a consensus had emerged with the politics of personality dominating. However following the creation of the coalition government, there agenda no longer advocates the consensus that the public voted for, especially floating liberals and conservatives and moderate labour voters. This void between manifestos and coalition programme has left Britain with a political programme unsuited to its needs and challenges.
As a result political campaigners need to be acutely aware of the specific position this leaves them in, whilst many of us are campaigning for the consensus, the governments restructuring for the past. By the past I mean expensive and wasteful reorganisations preparing many parts of government to do less and being tendered to competition. When I speak to local political campaigners I stress the importance of the economic policy which under pins the government restructure. When looking at economic policy we must consider the following three key things-
1) that the coalition government is a neo liberal, supply side government, they believe in a smaller state and lower taxation.
2) that is economic theory has been tried and tested, and every time you get the same results, increased deficits, further compounded by consistent over prediction in economic performance which damages confidence, investment and growth when we fail their predicted objectives.
3) this government has no intention of reducing the deficit, the deficit allows the government to build in a constitution wall against big government, forcing lower taxation and supply side economic to encourage growth.
These three points leave a perfect circle, a never ending circle. In the words of BillClinton, “We are in the grips of failing economic experiment, wrong on the theory, wrong on the arithmetic.”
It is within this context that we have to fight government cuts. My current campaign, save our NHS, Hull has bought together the progressive majority to fight against cuts. But to do this we need a deeper understanding of why the government and local pen pushers are cutting. Understand the economic theory that underpins the government will allow us to do this. ”
Dear NHS supporter,
I would like to invite you to the third SAVE OUR NHS HULL AND EAST YORKSHIRE meeting, 6 PM on Monday 20th August at the Unison Building on Alfred Gelder Street, Hull. We will be discussing our action plan for the coming campaign.
Our campaign group is a mixture of all of the best campaign talents in Hull and East Yorkshire, brought together to fight the £94m cut in our NHS trust budget. In our last meeting we called for a rebate against the £94m cut, due to the unique social and economic challenges facing Hull and East Yorkshire.
It has become clear that under government legislation and cuts, by 2017 the NHS in our area will be unsustainable, leaving the door wide open to private health care under the Health and Social Care Act. I ask you not to think if you and your family can afford health insurance, but how the poorest in society and the chronically ill will fare in 2017. In Ireland health care insurance cost £100 a month, ask anyone who has worked for minimum wage, there was nothing left at the end of the month, never mind £100 to cover health care insurance.
We will be reserving the first 5 minutes of the meeting for someone to talk about their positive experience of the NHS or negative experience of the cuts, if you are interested in speaking to us please email me at email@example.com
The first two meetings have been lively and full of debate; so far over 50 people have attended representing 20 community organisations. Please pass this email on to anyone who may be interested, all are welcome.
Remember, if health care workers speak out they put their livelihoods in danger, if we don’t speak out now- then no one will and we face losing our NHS for good.
Co-Chair Save our NHS Hull and East Yorkshire
Groups Represented: Haltemprice and Howden Constituency Labour Party, East Hull Constituency Labour Party, Hull Trades Council, Hull Socialist Workers Party, Hull Communist Party, GMB, Unison, UCL, Hull & East Yorkshire Green Party, The Co-op Party, Hull City Council Labour Group, NUT, Unite, Hull West and Hessle Constituency Labour Party, UCU, Hull Fabians, ALPC.
14 August 2012
Save our NHS- Hull and East Yorkshire
Over the past few weeks I have been part of a team of 30+ running a campaign in Hull to fight against £94m of government cuts in NHS services. Of course, the cuts go far wider and deeper than just these £94m but, given the reforms that the coalition have legislated for which will allow competition and thus privatisation we have decided to start with our local NHS trust.
It started with a petition stall, which turned into a full scale rally with over 200 in attendance, a vote of confidence for the NHS. Following the rally we called a meeting, we asked for “all the campaigning talents of Hull” to attend. So far 50 people have attended the first two meetings representing 20 organisations.
In addition we have also had the local media onside, including the Hull Daily Mail and Radio Humberside, from interviews we have conducted we secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of the NHS trust and the medical director. The meeting, which took place on Friday morning, answered a number of questions we had and set a clear direction for our campaign.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking to put together a number of arguments, which will argue that the cuts in our health service are unjust, heavy handed and unsustainable. We will argue that these cuts are just the beginning and will ultimately result in reduction in healthcare outcomes. But ultimately, we will argue, and I will call for a rebate for our NHS trust, due to the unfair nature of the cuts and the specific social and economic challenges which is faced by our NHS trust.
Picture take from http://martindeane.wordpress.com/ (thanks)
6 August 2012
“Firstly I should say thank you to you all for coming, on what seems like the only sunny day of the year, what started out as a little stall on Saturday morning has turned into a full scale rally with so many people, and this is a vote of confidence, and a vote of popularity on for the NHS.
It says a lot about the state of things when ordinary people have to take the streets to protest, it says a lot about the failure of management, but ultimately this is a failure of politicians. The fact of the matter is, the NHS is part of British life, it is part of what it is to be British, and it is a corner stone of our community.
And because it is a corner stone of our community, because what it says to have an NHS shows the type of society the vast majority of us want, a society where we look after our ill and vulnerable, we must protect it.
Now I know I don’t speak exclusively to Labour members, however we in the Labour Party have a responsibility to fight to save the NHS from cuts and privatisation, it was our party that introduced it and we are now seeing that we are the only party that still truly believes in the NHS, and we should be proud of ourselves for that.
So let’s make this clear, the local NHS trust wants to close 300 beds, from 1500 to 1200 and despite the media and us kicking up a fuss the issue has been almost ignored, including the cardiac ward, a move described as dangerous, that’s NHS speak for putting lives in danger.
Now iv spent a lot of time in hospital recently, iv spent 33 days in one since April, and let me tell you this, there aren’t many beds going free, and believe me, it isn’t because the quality of the food, but we will leave the culinary complaints I have for another day.
So when the hospitals are running under severe pressure in the winter, what will they do when 300 beds are gone? Are we back to the days of waiting on beds in corridors, massive waiting lists and increased mortality rates, yes!
At the 2010 general election, Nick Clegg and David Cameron promised an increase in NHS spending, they promised more of the same, more of what Labour was doing, and I spoke to packed halls at the general election and promised cuts and privatisation in the health service, was I listened to, no? Did the public believe me, no!
Well now is the time to expose the coalition for their true colours. We should remind them of where the NHS came from, it was part of a package of reforms that came about after a long, war, where many died. Those who sacrificed did not want to return to the poverty and struggle of pre war Britain, no, only the current government are selfish enough to want that, our grandparents died for it, now it is our job to protect it, so we can pass it on to our children, because once we have lost it, and we are close to losing the NHS, we will never get it back.
Just as the coalition are starting their campaign to be re-elected in 2015, those of us who oppose the coalition and there cuts must begin our election campaigns as well. We have a duty to make as many people as possible know about government cuts and specifically those within our NHS.
Remember the NHS is paid for by the people, our taxes pay for it, we should have a say when we are not happy by the way it is being run, we must protect it, because if we don’t no one else will, we must send a long loud message to Phil Morley, we simply says, this is another example of cuts going too far and too fast, these cuts will undermined the service and pave the way for privatisation poor health outcomes and so go back to the drawing board and think again, because we say no.”
6th August 2012
Well I have not blogged properly since April. I have had testicular cancer with some secondary lymphoma to boot. I have had an operation and some killer chemotherapy which I will complete in two weeks. Add to that a sad relationship breakdown and well who needs to blog? The last blog got hundreds of hits a day, this one was reaching the 100 a week barrier, so I will work to build that readership again!
Today I have been enraged by the simplicity of the arguments surrounding the resignation of Louise Mensch MP. Mensch is talented, and controversial. She admitted to using class a A drug, (cocaine, once) an admission by its own right which will be another step towards having an open grown up conversation about drug use in modern UK. However what I think I admire most about her is that she a successful career before entering parliament, something which sadly, many of our politicians have no experience off. Today I don’t wish to get into the debate as to whether Miss Mensch was any good as an MP or not, but the fact this isn’t just an argument about gender and feminism but also about class, opportunity, poverty and prosperity.
Before we examine the arguments, we need some background on the resignation. This morning the BBC reporting that -
“The MP for Corby is moving to New York with her three children to be with her husband of a year, Peter Mensch, who is manager of rock band Metallica. Her decision to quit will trigger a by-election in the Northamptonshire constituency, a marginal seat.”
The reason looks as if it’s the family/ work life balance. Of course it must be hard keeping to careers going under one house, and the decision for Miss Mensch must be heart breaking, she is quoted as saying -
“As you know, I have been struggling for some time to find the best outcome for my family life, and have decided, in order to keep us together, to move to New York. With the greatest regret, I am thus resigning as a MP.”
However I don’t wish to criticise Miss Mensch for biting off more than she can chew or for sacrificing her career for that of her family, but the outpouring of sympathy from politicians to politicians was simply sickly, one said
“Best of luck to @LouiseMensch. Reminder that maintaining family life is tough in the world of Westminster.” – this is one of many I have picked on, randomly.
Erm…. Making family life is hard in any job, many parents work long hours and away from home, it is part of the British culture and psyche and anyone involved in British politics who thinks that MPs have it bad are deluded and frankly out of touch with
However this twitter statement is more in tune with the debate we should be having “If a high-flying, millionaire, self-identifying feminist MP still has the career / family dilemma, what hope is there for ordinary women?” It is sad that a talented young woman has had to change job in order to keep her family together. To explore this further we must consider if income came into the equations, I suspect the manager of the world biggest rock band (her husband) gets paid slightly more than her. If this is the reason then that would be a shame, however could she be changing her role in order to save a marriage, that would also be shocking but done by many people before her. The simple fact is that we don’t know the dynamic of the relationship, however she isn’t a special example just because she is an MP.
The point I really want to make is if a powerful, successful, wealthy woman has to leave her job, what hope has a full time single mum got of pushing her way through life. Having said that, maybe we should be happy that in this day and age Mensch is empowered enough to make this decision, again I suspect a working class single mum, or lower middle class family would not be afforded the same opportunities. This isn’t just an issue about gender, feminism it’s also about class, poverty and prosperity.