London: Save Our NHS March (4.3.2017)

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Despite the British people voting for ‘Brexit’ for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), the Tory government is continuing to ‘privatise’ the NHS.  This why a protest march was arranged with people gathering between 11am – 1pm – in Tavistock Square (near Russell Square Tube Station) – and marching to Parliament Square. This political activism saw tens of thousands of people from all backgrounds, and political affiliations, come together in London today, to collectively protest the Tory plans to shut-down the Socialist NHS – which since 1948 has delivered top-notch medical treatment free at the point of use – and sell-off all its assets to private medical insurance companies, and private healthcare corporations, many based in the USA. This means that ordinary people in the UK will have to take-out ‘private’ medical healthcare insurance to pay for their treatment, but the reality is that only the already fit, young, or very rich will be granted this ‘private’ health-cover, and all those who are injured, elderly, disabled or terminally ill, will be left with no cover because the ‘private’ health insurance companies view these masses of people as being a terrible financial burden and unacceptable ‘risk’ in the business of making ‘profit’ out of other people’s misery. As matters stand, the NHS is currently funded by National Insurance Contributions (a form of tax) which is spread over the entire British population. Since the time of Margaret Thatcher, even people receiving State Benefit pay tax, as the amount they receive is reduced at source. The problem is that the New Labour government introduced the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which saw internal markets open within the NHS, and began the process of selling-off large chunks of the NHS to private companies unaccountable to the British people. In 2012, the Tory and LibDem Coalition effectively privatised the NHS (in accordance with EU directives), and removed the last of the Socialist guidelines that had governed the NHS since its inception. It is no longer a legal requirement for a GP or a NHS hospital to ‘treat’ a patient (now termed a ‘client’), or if treated, not given appropriate treatment. This change makes it easier for private healthcare firms to ‘buy’ parts of the NHS and run them into the ground for profit. These trends must be reversed, and to do this, the UK requires a Socialist Labour Party in power. Just as Margaret Thatcher changed the onus from ‘care’ to ‘cost’, a Socialist Labour Party must abolish the exploitative concept of ‘cost’ and return the NHS to a ‘caring’ ethos. Lastly, prior to 1948, only the Soviet Union had a fully comprehensive healthcare system delivering free treatment at the point of use. The British Labour government of 1945 was not without its faults, but it did emulate the Soviet model.

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There was a substantial leftwing presence on this march, including Socialists, Communists, and elements of the Labour Party (which still possesses a Marxist presence that is generally well-hidden from the public eye). Although the political purpose of this march should (and does) take precedence over any and all personal hardships that we experience getting to, or participating in the march, as a family we would like to thank the many male and female Comrades who helped us carry our daughter up the 175 steps at Russell Square Tube Station – due to over-bearing crowds alighting the tube and trying to get out via the lifts or the stairs. As one of the lifts was broken, we decided to attempt the stairs which spiralled through a narrow corridor, and which saw many able-boded people stopping for breath at various points. Our push-chair contained our young daughter Kai-Lin, and had our various bags hanging from it. At various points, very kind people took it in-turns to help lift our push-chair and climb those long and winding stairs!  Throughout the entire process, Kai-Lin stayed asleep. When we finally reached day-light, we needed a minute or two to get our breath – and dodge the parasitic Socialist Workers Party (which always attempts to hijack popular protests without actually taking part in any march).

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