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16 December 2020

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Fight for NHS pay and funding

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

On 2 March 2020, as coronavirus cases rose to four in a day, Boris Johnson told us that Britain was "well-prepared with a fantastic NHS". Nine months later, no one doubts that Johnson has lied from the start. Not only was the NHS criminally unprepared by the decades of funding cuts and privatisation, Johnson himself was part of the Tory austerity governments responsible for that.

A new report highlights how austerity - a wealth transfusion from the working class to the bosses via cuts, privatisation and low pay - is a major factor in Britain's Covid performance being one of the worst in the world.

The report correctly points out some of the austerity by which our NHS was so badly undermined: "The budget for Public Health England was cut after its foundation in 2012 by 40%... Spending on public health in local government was cut by about 800 million."

Years of cuts

Tory and Blairite cuts and privatisation laid the basis for today's ambulance queues outside hospitals, staff shortages, and funding shortfalls that now mean millions are denied the health and care service they need. It is the defenders of capitalism who caused this crisis.

These factors alone are enough for a volcano of anger. But there is more - the cronyism, of mates of ministers getting fat contracts in the health service, confirm the impression that ours is increasingly a health service run for profit.

A fightback is necessary to turn our anger into effective change.

The health and care workers fighting for a 15% pay rise show the way. Collective workplace and trade union action has the potential to win. As long as the decisions of the Tories and the fat cats they represent go unchallenged, our NHS will continue to unwind.

It was the intervention by working-class people, through mass struggle and building their own political voice, that delivered the NHS in the first place. Today, the lessons of that period have never been more needed.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 16 December 2020:


Unemployment and Covid rising - the crisis is not over - Fight for jobs and safety

Mass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

Fight for NHS pay and funding

Rich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all

No to Tories' new anti-protest law

Maternity unit deaths - democratic, public ownership needed

Met police investigate British mercenary war crimes against Tamils

No surprise, poverty is rising


Cancel exams for class of Covid

Welsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Effective testing and properly funded safety plan needed in schools

East London shows the way: strikes are how to fight for state education

Determined strikers at Leaways school

Workplace News

Openreach and EE: Massive vote for action

PCS union conference stripped of powers by NEC

Unite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep

Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

Stop 'fire and rehire' at British Gas

New Technology

Can green technology and AI save capitalism?


'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific' by Engels

Reports & campaigns

Protests in solidarity with Indian farmers

Book: The national question - a Marxist approach

School boy assaulted by police in Tottenham

TUSC relaunch in the north west

Protest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

Tremendous fighting fund reflects confidence


Quiz 2020


Home   |   The Socialist 16 December 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

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Related links:


triangleNHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

triangleNHS Critical

triangleBehind the rural idyll - the problems of everyday life

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleTories responsible for NHS staff shortages


triangleNottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

triangleSouth Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers strike against measly 1% pay offer

triangleHigher education disputes

triangleStaff and students unite against university bosses' attacks


triangleCovid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

triangleWorkers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

triangleDVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold


triangleKhan threatens further London transport cuts

triangleStop the cuts to Uni arts funding


triangleGPs vote to reject government plans


triangleTory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage


triangleHealth and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

Article dated 16 December 2020

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