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York Reclaim Our NHS March April 6th 2013


 Friends, we did not call this rally. David Cameron and the Tory Govt of millionaires called these year long nationwide protests the day they declared war on the jewel in the crown of the United Kingdom, and the greatest achievement of collectivism over self interest: the NHS built by and for the people in the teeth of a gale of privilege and self interest.


Jeremy Hunt added hundreds of thousands of supporters to this campaign when he let the cat out of the bag about what the Tories really think of our NHS. He said in 2005, during the period of record investment, plummeting waiting lists, and record patient satisfaction levels that, The NHS is a sixty year mistake”


Therefore it comes as no surprise to anyone here today that in Hull we have had our budget cut by £100 million. Why we are losing 300 critical care beds. It comes as no surprise that we are back to the bad old days where 10 wards are being shut and that the calamity of the closure of the one specialist Neurology ward, the ward to which I owe my very life due to the care, persistence and dedication of the staff has happened under a Tory Government.


The Consultants were so horrified by this move that they wrote an open letter saying “Care will be critically eroded”.


Critically eroded. What does that mean? I will tell you what that means, friends. It is public sector speak from a bunch of professionals who did no go into medicine to indulge in politics; it is that people will die.


The people who are playing politics are the Tories whose idealogical hatred of the NHS is well documented. Well, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Lansley, we are here to tell you this, so listen up and listen well. You cannot play politics with peoples jobs, with peoples services and with peoples lives. We will not let you, we will never let you.


Although the Tories stand full square at fault for this calamity, we must use our Parliamentary system in it’s full sense to restore out NHS. Edmund Burke writing in the early 19th Century when, like now Parliament was a stinking mess said he did not want MP’s who represented the East India Company, or the rich merchants in silks. He said MP’s should represent everyone, no matter what their background and I say to you now, I don’t want my MP David Davis representing


Civica who make software for the NHS. We don’t want Yorkshire MP Willam Hague representing AMT-SYBEX who are an IT supplier to the NHS. And we don’t want Tory MP Jonathan Lord representing Virgin Healthcare!


We want MP’s who speak for us. Therefore I challenge every single Parliamentary candidate in 2015 to sign a Pledge to reverse this Bill IN FULL and restore full funding to the NHS.


Forgive me if I don’t believe Labour Ministers unless I hear them promise to repeal the Bill IN FULL. No compromise, no tinkering. The Bill must be removed from the statue book as the first action of an incoming Labour Government as it had never existed at all.


We don’t restrict this by Party, anyone can sign up. Remember Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves and Hilary Benn, to name but a few are Yorkshire MP’s and Mr. Balls is on the proverbial wafer thin majority. 


We must challenge politicians and let them know we are watching you, and we can kick you out if you break your promises.


Why? Because this country belongs to us as much as it belongs to the Cabinet of Millionaires, as much as Barclays Bank, as much as those tax dodgers such as starbucks and those who caused the financial meltdown. 


There is hope if we restore our democracy, if we organise and if we stick together.


As my closest comrade in arms Danny Marten, survivour of cancer at just 25 years old never tires of reminding us; “We are all NHS patients, some of us just haven’t checked in yet”.



About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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