Stroud Against The Cuts helped organise two coaches from Stroud to the demonstration yesterday. They write: 70 people from Stroud travelled to the national #OurNHS demonstration in London on 4th March 2017. James Beecher filmed these clips of two speeches – by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and a health campaigner from North West London, combining them with visuals from the demonstration.
More information at: www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk
Matts film of Stroud folk joining march: https://youtu.be/YyqqcfTXG0c
See also Matt Archibald’s film of Billy Bragg playing at the end of the Save Our NHS March in Parliament Square- A part of the song: “Power in a Union”: https://youtu.be/xlW5tzjW78o
A further 13mins from the speeches by Matt: https://youtu.be/Z1b-QaJ-JUc
and more of the march by Matt at: https://youtu.be/eqLGxqNbFyc
From their press release:
James Beecher said “This government is making a political choice to underfund the NHS, to close and privatise services and to reduce our access to healthcare as the system becomes more like the disastrous one in America. The news has been full of terrible stories recently – but these are the direct results of government policies over the past 6 years, not the fault of patients, health workers, or the principles of the NHS. We hope people will join us on the coach to London or at our stall on Kings St at 12noon to show their support for a publicly-funded, publicly-owned NHS providing comprehensive, universal care on the basis of need not ability to pay, and to demonstrate their opposition to this government’s policies.”
The protest comes as local campaigners have been highlighting private company Care UK’s takeover of the management of Out Of Hours care in Gloucestershire, and concerns about the new 5-year Gloucestershire “Sustainability and Transformation Plan”. Opposition to the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which have been produced for 44 areas in England, have been attracting much national press coverage. Stroud Against the Cuts is encouraging councillors in Gloucestershire to follow the example of other councils who have successfully opposed their local STPs. Although the Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council is a signatory to the plan, financial and other details have not been made available to the public or even to our elected representatives.
Writing in a letter to the Editor today, Caroline Molloy, Editor of Open Democracy Our NHS, and colleagues in Stroud Against the Cuts said “SATC believes that cuts to services and sell offs are being hidden as the plan demands £226 million of savings and there is a £100 million hole in the capital budget. Our “Hands Off Our NHS” postcard asks all County Councillors to robustly defend Gloucestershire NHS services against further loss of hospital beds and services by opposing the local plan and the government’s underfunding of the NHS and social care. The plans are a fantasy wish list, heavily dependent on the NHS spending large sums on IT, with no guarantees about the future of our hospitals, and with no evidence to back them up. Not having the detail is a significant restraint on the democratic process.”
Film of ‘Whatever It takes’ film clip: https://youtu.be/3e8JVqmsRfM