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Strike to save NHS

  • General strike can bring down Tories
  • First step is All Out on 30 June
  • Build cross-union anti-cuts committees
  • Act with the union leaders where possible, without them where necessary
  • Unite the anti-cuts movement – for an All – Britain Anti-cuts Federation

The cat is out of the bag. Cameron’s adviser Mark Britnell says the NHS should be shown no mercy and that Lansley’s reforms are a big opportunityfor private investors to make a fortune out of our health service.

In a clear statement of Tory strategy he says “the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.” The Tories may now delay Lansley’s bill until after the conference season – but it would be a big mistake for us to delay action, let alone wait for the treacherous Lib Dems to change their minds. After all, now we know exactly what the Tories are aiming to do:

  • Get the Lib Dem conference out of the way then return to the attack
  • 50,000 job losses in front line services
  • GP commissioning with a big role for private equity companies to help GPs form big buying blocks
  • Savage competition by private companies ( any willing or any qualified provider, it’s the same thing) selling services in to the GP-led buyers
  • Establish co-payment where patients will have to buy GP and hospital care.

So there is no time to lose. We should be as ruthless as the Tories and show them “no mercy”in the fight to save the NHS.

That means a wave of strike action building up to a general strike. Each group of workers is aware that the anti trade union laws can be used against us when we take action on our own – but altogether we can bust the laws and bring down the Tories. People love the NHS so deeply and hate what the Tories are trying to do to it so much that this issue could trigger a nationwide revolt – so long as a clear lead is given.

But the Unison leadership under Dave Prentis has not given a fighting lead. There should be a national ballot for action across the health service. He should be preparing to lead us out on 30 June alongside the teachers, civil servants and lecturers who have already agreed to take action.

We can’t wait for Prentis to see the light. Nor can we wait for Miliband to win the next election. Why? Because by then the NHS could be in ruins. So we need to organise the rank and file across the unions to take control and deliver action with the union leaders where possible but without them where necessary. That’s what the Healthworker Network and the Grassroots Left in Unite are trying to do. And we need to link up ALL the workers, the students, the disabled and unemployed people who are fighting back.

How? By sending delegates to local anti- cuts committees all over the country – and then uniting them into an All-Britain Anticuts Federation. That way we can pressure the TUC and the Unison leaders to call for a general strike – and do it ourselves if they carry on sitting on their hands. We won’t stand idly by while our NHS is destroyed!

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