Today at conference is one of the most important days in this party’s political history. It is the day when we can save the NHS from the clutches of the Tories and ourselves from political oblivion at the same time.
Yesterday was a sad day. The motion to drop the bill was defeated by just a handful of votes showing the stranglehold that the orange book grouping have. Instead a motion is up for debate which calls for the party to support the NHS Bill. To do so could be political suicide for the party and gives the Conservatives the opportunity to continue with the capitalist privatisation of the NHS which Labour started some years ago.
We all KNOW that privatisation of state assets does not work. You only have to look at the disaster that is this country’s railway system to see that for yourself. We also know that the governments own report details serious concerns about the vulnerable people that will be impacted by the bill, yet still the Conservatives and the OB liberals in the leadership of the party press on regardless. The end game does not end well for us or the NHS and this is our last chance saloon.
Today I am calling on all conference voting rep’s to vote AGAINST the motion put before them at conference. If they have the courage of their convictions to do so they will be upholding the values of the party and doing what the majority of people in this country want, protecting the NHS from private profit making companies. They’d be protecting the NHS from a Tory party that would be happy for the NHS to be privately run and which doesn’t care about vulnerable people.
My concerns about the bill are these:
- The NHS Bill is the thin edge of the wedge. This bill was NOT in the coalition agreement and therefore has no mandate and should not even be on the table. The Tories will use this bill to leverage other changes to the NHS in the future unchecked. You cannot trust the Conservatives with the NHS. They are toxic with it.
- The Bill contains a number of fundamental risks to people who are most in need (see here). We cannot, as a party of fairness be part of a process that leaves those people behind.
- Nearly every single health care professional that has read the bill has serious concerns and misgivings about it and believes that it will lead to serious issues within the NHS. We have to listen to the people on the ground who work in that service on a day to day basis and know what the real issues are. Politicians in government, do not always know what is best especially in such a specific service as the NHS.
- Voting to support this bill will have political ramifications for this party both in the forthcoming elections and in the years ahead. The public have long long memories and will not forget that this party propped up a right wing administration hell bent on continuing the privatisation agenda of Margaret Thatcher in the 80′s
So i say to you all as conference voting reps. Do you want to be part of something that has no mandate and is highly toxic for the NHS and indeed your party? Do you want to be responsible for allowing the NHS to become a system which fails those that need it the most. Do you want to watch the party that you have worked so hard for over the years become even more of a laughing stock with the public at large?
If you care about this party and that values that we all hold dear, then vote against this motion at conference today and fight for the vulnerable people in our society that need it the most. At the same time, you might just save this party from impending political oblivion.