I am contributing a draft to a leaflet for the Croydon Communists, it is to be the basis of our intervention in the area by the party,it’s been many years since we have done this type of work.
In my previous blogs “Croydon and beyond” I have emphasised the world capitalist crisis as being the central driving force behind the “riots” in Britain and the “Arab spring”
In South West London including Croydon, a NHS review published this week says one of four accident and emergency departments and a maternity unit in the area will close, with the aim of saving £64.6million by the end of March 2013. How can you put a price on life and health? but the capitalist system does. The NHS was part of the welfare state set up after the war, to prevent the conditions that previously existed, where if you did not have the money, common diseases or accidents often meant death or being permanently disabled. In a civilised society health care should be an area of ever-increasing budgets as new cures are found. In the last two or three decades with the acceptance of the neo-liberal agenda by all the main political parties including the Labour party, the NHS as become an internal market, where if you live in the wrong postcode, you may die because the local NHS trust as used up its budget, and now they are proposing to increase the internal market even further,which will drive down patient care, as lower tenders are excepted. It is said that nothing exemplifies Britain like the NHS, all politicians have called it a national treasure, it’s what the people of Britain was prepared to accept in 1945, capitalism with a welfare state, Labour and the Con-dems all say the NHS is save in their hands, but all agree on the need for market lead reforms. Andy Burnham Labour shadow Health secretary has criticised the present Tory-Lib coalition Health and social care bill, and if it helps to prevent it’s introduction good, but it should be remembered he introduced GP commissioning in the NHS. His opposition as more to getting back in power and diverting attention from Labours role previously of being the main conduit for marketing of the NHS, just as they were for student tuition fees, they have become a stalking horse for the capitalist class. they are the means by which the profiteers get their foot in the door to public services. Here is what John Lister a leading campaigner in the defence of the NHS and against it’s privatisation, in an interview with Tomasz Pierscionek of the “London Progressive journal” 18th June 2010:
TP “There seems to have been a big expansion in PFI contracts (Private Finance initiative), in recent years, What is the reason for this?
JL: Well, PFI never happened under the Tories. The Tories devised the policy but they were never prepared to go as far as New Labour to placate the private sector and allow them to sign these deals with no risk to them whatsoever. The only piece of legislation New Labour passed in 1997 that pertained to the NHS, was short act : the National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997 which stipulated that in any PFI scheme that went broke, the debt would be picked up by the Secretary of State for Health” that is you and me the taxpayer, Labour bent over backwards to introduce the market to the advantage of the profiteers.