Sunday, 29 September 2013

NHS March

 Public =Good
Private=Could do better

The station at New Mills was closed this morning. It was a Sunday. The train was a longer one than usual at six carriages. It was not packed. More people got on at Hazel Grove and  it became busier. There was no sign of the guard/ticket operative. At Piccadilly terminus two lines formed. Those who had bought tickets at a station which had them for sale were checked and went swiftly on their way. The rest of us had to queue to buy tickets as two harassed workers did their best to cope. Aint private business brilliant? Not on this evidence.

The reason for the journey was the ‘Save the NHS’ demonstration in Manchester - held to co-incide with the Tory Party Conference. The designated gathering place was the usual organised chaos. The nearest coffee bar was struggling to cope with the numbers. Sticking strictly to their ‘barista is best’ approach they were being inundated with customers and potential customers all wanting a coffee before the protest. This private company had not got a clue. A touch of lateral thinking, a hint of foresight and voila! A big tea urn selling tea, a bog standard jug (large) of coffee, all at a £1 a pop-with milk and sugar available- result! Many more contented customers, happy staff and joy all round. It did not happen.

The march itself was a well-supported affair. It was sunny and windy which made banner-holding a challenge. Difficult to say how many attended but it did take a long time to file past. Many, many banners - some home made with pithy points on them e.g. ‘This government = 1% Eton, 99% Mess.’  

The privatisation of the NHS has begun and many people present were very angry about it. Nye Bevin was quoted at length, particularly, “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.” This was juxtaposed with Cameron’s whopper “No Top Down Reorganisation in the NHS.” How must Clegg feel when he (rightfully) copped so much flak for reneging on his tuition fees promise?

Bevin would have been sickened by NewLabour, who opened the door to privatisation; unsurprised by the Tories - a species he despised and not best pleased with the LibDems collusion with the nasty party.

There were many very angry today at the bedroom tax and others unhappy at the surveillance culture revealed by Snowden. Zero-hours contracts also rightly came in for some stick. The changes in legal aid were also challenged. Quite a collection. These were decent people prepared to spend their own time and money to stand up for their beliefs.

Compare and contrast with the slimeballs of our three main modern political parties who attach themselves to the wealthy and aspire to become corporate whores.Everything they do is with an eye for future enhancement. 

The Tory party, happy in their gilded balloon inside the GMEX security wall will slither on, unconcerned at the plight of the weak and vulnerable.... but anxious that UKIP’s loonies are enchanting their core support. They will enjoy the corporate hospitality and do their unrecorded deals. 

Such is life in 2013 Britain.

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