It’s all at Manchester then, as the Tory Party and Prime Minister David Cameron prepare to take the political stage at their annual party Conference, the Manchester Evening News is reporting that the police are battening-down the hatches in Central Manchester and reporting that the NHS demonstration may see 50,000 protesters descend on Conference. Greater Manchester Police are taking no chances with this one; the Conference will be protected by a ‘ring of steel’ or at least thats what the police are saying. But somehow I don’t think that they will have much to worry about here, as this is just yet another one of them fad ideas contrived by friends of Labour and left reformism in and outside of the Labour Party. Dreamt up and in the figurative sense of the word by celebrity socialists’, although I would not call people such as Mark Steel and Young Socialist Owen Jones - Socialists”, nor would I, and with all due ‘respect’ follow the likes of the champagne socialist set that includes the likes of John Rees political activist (Counterfire) and his partner Lindsey German who is convenor of the British anti-war organisation Stop the War Coalition.
It may appear to some that I’m a wee bit sectarian or factional, but in fact, I’m not a member of any party or sect. I did collide and barrel with the idea of joining the Socialist Party, but do you know I did discover that you don’t have to belong to a party to be an active socialist’ and working towards a revolutionary change from capitalism to socialism - this is something that I’ve experienced in greatest comfort as an independent and sensitive freethinker, which is more important than swallowing, hook line and sinker, any old party line, what I am saying is I am more for the Revolution - than the Party.
People’s Assembly Against Austerity has its big day on Sunday, and let's wish all those many thousands who will give up the best part of their weekend to travel to Manchester from all the four corners, all our very best, have a great day out and keep safe.
The protest at the Tories conference cannot be seen as a waste of time, there will be many ordinary working class people on it who genuinely believe in defending our NHS from the Vulture’s of capitalism now circling as a wake, hovering over the carcass of a rundown to the very ground health service, that’s never safe in either Tory or Labour hands as recent history has taught us. Labour has long been proud of its history as the party of the NHS - the creation of a universal, free health service regularly features high in lists of party achievements.
However, Annual real-terms spending on the NHS did show a fall in one year under the Labour government in the 70s. And what Labour say in opposition can be completely different to what they do in government, Tony Blair did prove that.
But if Labour had not made cuts, it has weakened the service severely, by dancing with the devil of privatisation. Labour’s support for the idea that “any willing provider” should provide NHS services dates back to the publication in 2006 of ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ Labour fat cats have been jumping on the bandwagon bigtime. In the House of Lords, some 37 Labour peers are involved with private healthcare companies giving each scope to benefit financially from the growing privatisation of the NHS in England.
Former Labour cabinet members Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt are both former Health Secretaries. Hewitt was a former advisor to Cinven, and landed a lucrative £55,000 role with the firm after standing down as an MP. Yet she and she alone engineered the huge rise given to GPs as well as the freedom for them to eschew out of hours working.
When in office, Milburn received tens of thousands of pounds from several firms involved in private health care, yet another example of Blairite’s helping themselves to the lucrative trappings of their thirteen years in power which meant lining their own pockets, some got caught and sent to the jail house but many got away with it.
The bottom line must be that we will only ever get a health service that cares and looks after the sick, the old and vulnerable when and only when the market of free enterprise is closed down permanently, and that comrades will take a revolution not a win in a general election - no mainstream politician or party can be trusted with our health service - in their hands.