Following the demonstration against NHS privatisation called by the Labour Party on Saturday 7th April - which is being supported by the TUC and our constituent union branches - the campaign to stop the privatisation of NHS services must be built on the solid foundations of a campaign plan in order to be successful. Following the news that York NHS Trust is planning to set up a Public Limited Liability Company to outsource jobs to the private sector, is vital that socialists, trade unionists, Labour Party members and other activists develop a plan of action to hold York NHS Trust to account for its privatisation plans. Following the challenge to the Trust issued by York TUC president Leigh Wilks in the York Press for them to come clean about the reasoning for their planned outsourcing of NHS jobs, the silence has been telling.
However, the Trust - like many others - underestimates the strength of feeling of both local and national feelings of ordinary people towards the NHS. Of all the achievements of the post-war Labour Government - and there were many - the creation of the NHS stands out as a crowning achievement. The Conservative Party bitterly opposed the foundation of a socialised health service and has had a problematic relationship with it ever since. The Tories changed their position on the NHS for the simple reason that they realised that their real intention - which has been privatisation all along - could potentially make them permanently unelectable.
Therefore we have the smoke and mirror approach of going by the back door and using duplicity and double-speak to try and confuse the public that the NHS is not at threat. Yet this winter saw the worst national NHS crisis in years, and was a direct result of Consevative policies of starving the service of proper funding.
In the past, the Tories have relied on the fact that their privatisation efforts have largely been carried out bit-by-bit - and by publicly claiming that "Public/Private Partnerships" are a response to a crisis which - in reality - is one entirely of their own creation. Even many die-hard Tories believe in the NHS, and are prepared to switch their vote as a result of what this last winter was the worst crisis since the foundation of the Service.
Come along to this public campaign planning meeting, hosted by York TUC and Defend Our NHS York, which will include debate, discussion and planning for future coordinated action, and will feature speakers from the Labour Party, the TUC and the health unions, NHS workers and - most importantly - the public. Share this event with friends who may be interested and spread the message to get the campaign active and stop further erosion of the NHS by the profit-seeking sector.