Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Education :: Medway



spotArguments for socialism




spotAround the UK

All keywords

All Campaigns subcategories:






Black and Asian



Corporate crime


* Education

Election campaigns





Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare


Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay



New workers party



Post Office



Public Services




Stop the slaughter of Tamils


The state



Welfare rights


Workplace and TU campaigns



Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 798, 12 February 2014: Floods misery: Government cuts to blame

Search site for keywords: NHS - Medway - Hospital - Labour - Health - Privatisation - Manchester - Healthcare

Don't trust Labour with our NHS

Hugh Caffrey, Secretary, Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public

Last week's centre pages of the Socialist were an excellent explanation of the terrible damage wreaked upon our National Health Service by all three main parties and especially by the current Coalition's Health and Social Care Act.

At our January meeting of Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public (KONP), we debated which (if any) party would be in line with KONP's policies for a publicly owned, democratically run and fully funded NHS.

Several supported TUSC. Some suggested the National Health Action Party, among others. No one suggested New Labour, and with good reason.

New Labour is posing as a defender of the NHS. Both Labour leader Ed Miliband and Labour health spokesperson Andy Burnham have said they will repeal the Con-Dems' Health and Social Care Act, and restore the duty of the secretary of state to 'provide' rather than simply 'promote' healthcare.

Remember that New Labour is the party that mastered spin! Labour's promises do not mean what some may expect, and what is needed - the reversal of what the Tories have done to our NHS!

Burnham promised in 2012 that the NHS under a future Labour government would be predominantly public, and that the role currently played by Clinical Commissioning Groups in 'commissioning' (buying) services would be handed over to local authorities instead.

Miliband, however, has made it quite clear that New Labour is not planning to go even that far. In 2012, Miliband promised Labour would lower the proportion of private sector work that hospitals can carry out, tweak the role of Monitor (the supposed regulatory body), and prevent GPs from commissioning services from themselves.

In 2013, the only definite pledge he made when writing in the Mirror was to repeal the Act and restore the duty of 'provision'.

It's not hard to see how this will play out if New Labour wins the general election. The Act will be repealed, but all the consequences - a denationalised, largely privatised, health service, broken into competing and chaotic fragments - will remain. Services already cut during this process will not be restored.

The health minister's powers of 'provision' will amount to an energy minister's powers over the rip-off private energy companies - futile appeals for companies to behave better, handwringing and empty gestures.

It's not hard to imagine Labour's excuse for not going further: existing pro-privatisation legislation in the EU for example.

New Labour promised to renationalise the railways before the 1997 general election, then didn't during 13 years of government. Part of the fight to defend and rebuild our NHS is to unmask Labour's spin.

New bosses at Medway Hospital

Following the departure of the CEO and chairwoman, Monitor have forced the appointment of two replacements at Medway Maritime Hospital.

The new bosses are Nigel Beverly, who ushered in the wholesale privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and Christopher Langley, former CEO of the camera shop Jessop's which went into administration, sacking thousands of workers last year.

With the hospital already under special measures, services are struggling to cope. The threat of privatisation of essential services like housekeeping and portering has loomed for years, but has always been scuppered by union opposition.

These appointments are a clear signal of intent from the board and Monitor: running down and privatising services when we need more staff, more beds and more time set aside for training.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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 click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Education keywords:

Academies (192)

Classroom assistants (8)

College (282)

Colleges (95)

Council (2371)

ESOL (5)

Education (1160)

Free Schools (17)

Grant (34)

Higher Education (88)

Medway (14)

Ofsted (17)

Performance (34)

Performance-related (7)

SATs (26)

School (651)

Schools (480)

Students (1310)

Teachers (499)

Teaching assistants (31)

Universities (172)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 12 February 2014

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle14 Apr Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1921 Poplar councillors' struggle

triangle14 Apr Tyneside Socialist Party: Our TUSC against cuts electoral challenge

triangle15 Apr Sheffield Socialist Party: When Liverpool beat Thatcher


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party




Workplace news

Lessons from history

Campaigns news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1129 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version