Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Marching to save the NHS - and more
I hope the weather improves for the Peoples' March to save the NHS, which has UNISON's full support.
It's shocking how far and how fast this Government has been able to go in the direction of dismantling our national health service, as it has in its general project of savaging public services.
Whilst it's true that our trade unions haven't suffered the sort of defeats and setbacks which we saw from the 80s onwards, I'm not sure that vindicates the decision to retreat from the pensions dispute two and a half years a go - which was the decisive moment of this Parliament.
In fact (as regular readers of this blog - Sid and Doris Marxist-Leninist - will be aware), I think we made a tragic error in 2011/12 which has overshadowed our ability to organise ever since. Nevertheless, the spate of pay disputes, together with the forthcoming TUC demonstration, taken together with the modest indications of popular opposition to Government policy (of which the People's March for the NHS is an important example) provide a context for campaigning and organising in the run up to the General Election.
We need to aim clearly for the defeat of the Coalition Government (which means support for the only available national alternative) - but we also need to energise our movement so that we can place demands on a Prime Minister Miliband from the first day.
The next few months will require more activity than at any time in a generation if we are to turn the tide which has been flowing against us for so long.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.