One of the stranger arguments I noticed while following the No More Page Three team was the one that suggested that somehow there were more important issues to get het-up about; the destruction of the NHS, for instance, thus there campaign was invalid. This is a very odd argument, as to take it to it’s logical conclusion we would all have to be utter polarised idealogues fighting for one entrenched position on a macro level as all others would be invalidated by their triviality. It’s a bogus, self-important stance and one that leads to the dull hectoring of militants on either wing. It’s a form of ideological fascism, where the will must triumph over all else.
The second fallacy of this argument is that they are not exclusive. You can care about both. You can care about neither. You can care about one but not the other. That’s how opinion works.
I care deeply for the NHS, and, although I wasn’t initially convinced, now see that using soft porn to shift papers is a shoddy, out-dated thing. And with that, I can segue nicely into the next part.
We’re just over halfway through the life of this government, unless it implodes soon. The Tories have less than two and half years to go to get as much policy through as possible: polls suggest that come 2015, they could be in for a rout. One of the most precarious seats is that which Soubry occupies. That’s the newly promoted Health Under-Secretary Anna Soubry.
This makes the NHS possibly the most key issue in the consituency right now. Thus, over the next week, I’ll be reporting on campaigns in the area opposed to the top-down changes; showing you some deeply worrying connections our MP has in the Private Sector, and much more. Please send me your thoughts, this is far from a simple issue and I want to encourage debate as well as outright anger. If you support the reforms, please let me know and I will guarantee publication.
Our first piece is sent from Broxtowe Save Our NHS, on their campaign launch:
The Broxtowe Save our NHS campaign was officially launched at a well attended public meeting in Broxtowe on Friday 2 November.
The meeting, attended by over 100 local people and activists, heard how the Health and Social Care
Increase waiting time for complex, life saving treatments
Reduce the quality of care to NHS patients as hospitals treat more private, fee paying patients
Introducing a profit motive to health care providers, driving down quality and leading to abuses like that at Winterbourne View
Nick Palmer, the former Labour MP for Broxtowe who said that, should he be returned to Parliament, he would oppose any further privatisation but not seek to undo the restructuring of the NHS allowed by the Health and Social Care Bill. Setting a standard for others to follow, he said that a future Labour Government should “end the pressure on hospital managers” to open services up
to private patients and introduce a “presumption against private providers” in the commissioning of health services.
Speaking on behalf of Unison members working in Nottingham’s hospitals, Sharon Vasselin gave the meeting an overview of the creeping privatisation of health services over the last 10 years and
sketched out a post-Bill future of increasing private ownership, increasing costs, reducing services and an ‘American’ style health system based on ability to pay.
Anne Pridmore, a disabled user of the Independent Living Fund and Disabled People Against Cuts member, talked about the proposed closure of the ILF and how that would jeopardise the
independence of thousands of disabled ILF users across the UK. Anne also talked about how the privatisation of the NHS will disproportionately affect many of the 10 million disabled people in the UK today.
Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Arun Chopra, speaking in a personal capacity, described a publically owned NHS as “a statement of social solidarity” adding, “most people don’t understand the severity of the threat” of privatisation.
In summing up, meeting chair and president of Notts Trades Union Council, Liam Conway said that the campaign should build to the 2015 general election in Broxtowe becoming “a referendum on the
future of the NHS”.
The Broxtowe Save our NHS campaign will be holding an ‘alternative’ Christmas carol singing event on Beeston High Street on Saturday 8 December at 12.00 noon.
A full audio recording of the meeting is available here:
Paul Martin, Trades Council secretary