In a show of force nearing 200 strong, Brighton was presented with an exemplary example of bringing people together for a common good. And what could be more deserving than our Nation’s NHS?
Organized by the team at DEFEND THE NHS BRIGHTON, the great and good of Brighton’s politics were out in force. The obvious exception being of-course the Conservative Party, whom neither Simon Kirby (though it was rumoured he would) Graham Cox or Geoffrey Theobald attended.
While the comedian Kevin Day was unable to make it, the top table was occupied by:
- Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion MP
- Nancy Pratts, Labour’s Brighton Kemptown parliamentary candidate
- Steve Mclean from Defend the NHS Sussex
- Carl Walker, NHA prospective parliamentary candidate, for East Worthing and Shoreham Constituency
- Chaired by Dave from Defend NHS Brighton
First up to speak was Caroline Lucas, who as expected was warmly welcomed by the audience as a pair of safe hands for the NHS. The first round of rapturous applause erupted after she cited the insidious Jeremy Hunt and his veto of a 1% pay rise for NHS workers.
“Commercialization and Privatization by stealth,” she summed up in five words.
Next up was Nancy Pratts, who having been chastised by the organizers for dumping her election leaflets on every seat, and told to collect them all up again, simply begun her speech with a volley of acronyms, which left the audience scratching their head.
Parroting what Ed Miliband said at the Labour Party’s conference in Manchester, Nancy Pratt did a terrible job in capturing the hearts and minds of the audience.
“This is the beginning of the end of our National Health Service,” was about the only accurate thing she said.
Next up was Steve Mclean, recently back from Glasgow and somewhat deflated by the No decision from Scotland to go Independent.
“Caroline Lucas is one of the most principled politician ever to speak in parliament,” he said pouring praise on the Green MP, before reminding us all, “There will be a NHS as long as there are people to support it.”
“JOIN OUR PICKET LINE ON THE 13TH OCTOBER.”
Third up was Carl Walker, mental health expert and NHA prospective parliamentary candidate, for East Worthing and Shoreham Constituency.
Sharing a comical story of having to change his first nappy after the birth of his daughter, without having a clue what to do and having to Google it; Carl went onto make clear to the audience, the purpose of getting Brighton’s local politicians to sign the DEFEND THE NHS PLEDGE.
“This pledge holds people to account for what they do in parliament,” he said.
THE SIGNING CEREMONY.
Getting down to the purpose of the meeting, all councilors and prospective candidates were invited up to the flip-chart to sign their name, pledging their support to DEFEND THE NHS.
THE PLEDGE PROMISES TO:
- To the repeal of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act,
- To oppose the dismantling and privatisation of NHS services and
- To support NHS workers fighting reduced pay, terms and conditions.
COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR.
The first boos and hisses of the evening erupted once a UKIP candidate stood up and introduced himself.
“SOD OFF!” yelled certain quarters of the audience, “GET OUT YOU RACIST.”
While DEFEND THE NHS team tried to calm tempers with the message, “Let’s have some respect, this is supposed to be a democracy,” slow clapping echoed throughout the main hall followed by the chant, “OUT OUT OUT.”
“LETS HAVE SOME RESPECT, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A DEMOCRACY,” warned Dave from DEFEND THE NHS BRIGHTON.
Councillor Christopher Hawtree praised Nancy Pratts for being one of the more left wing candidates,” while a nurse in the audience reminded everyone that she may indeed to a left-wing politician, but her hands will inevitably be tied by the party whip.
Madeline from DEFEND THE NHS BRIGHTON broke the news that the Substance Misuse Service had been dropped by the Well Being and Health Board, to which she complained, “Completely subverted the democratic process.”
“ARM YOURSELF WITH INFORMATION.”
READ MORE: HTTP://NHSCAMPAIGN.ORG/
Davy Jones, the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown stood up to give his pennies worth about the NHS, only to amuse the audience with his childhood memories of going to school at BSHAVIC as a young man.
- “I stayed a rebel for 40 years,” he proudly boasted.
“IT WILL HAPPEN IF IT’S ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.”
With the prospect of an American style health system hanging over us, no wonder the idea of saving our NHS garters such strong support. But while the praises of the NHS still rang in the ears of many, certain members of the audience reminded us that the NHS wasn’t as perfect as it could be.
A nurse told the audience, “We have got to realize the NHS service isn’t perfect.”
Perhaps the recent example of the parents of Ashya King, taking him out of NHS treatment for Proton Beam Treatment in a foreign country illustrates just one aspect which implies the NHS isn’t perfect.
- The type of Treatments it provides.
- Did you know Rick Simpson Hemp Oil Cures Caner?
- Watch the Documentary: Run from the Cure.
Another nurse stood up to address the audience, “We are the A&E nurses and we do not want an Americianised system,” to which the audience responded to in kind with a round of applause, “I don’t think the Tories are Evil, they are just stupid!”
I personally think the Tories are indeed EVIL to the core.
“If we don’t reverse it we are going to lose the NHS forever,” became the common theme.
“CO-OPERATION BEFORE CORPORATION.”
A woman from Worthing stood up and told the audience she is organizing a similar meeting at St Paul’s Church in Worthing and that if anyone was interested in speaking and sharing their information to contact her through DEFEND THE NHS BRIGHTON, her name is Mauld Casey.
- “IT’S UP TO US TO SPREAD THE TRUTH.”
- “I’D RATHER DIE DEFENDING THE NHS.”
- “PRIVATISATION IS A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY.”
- “THE NHS IS PROBABLY THE BEST HEALTH SERVICE IN THE WORLD.”
Recommended Read: Owen Jones – The Establishment about corruption between:
- The Press
KELLY TOMILSON: NHS NOT TRIDENT
- “We are Powerful when we are Collective.”
- “Together we can keep the NHS together.”
Brighton democracy at it’s finest. Honest men and women giving up their own time and resources to come together in unity to pledge with one mighty pen; “IT’S NOT DAVID CAMERON’S NHS, IT’S OUR NHS.”
An audience member contributed, “The Tories want to destroy the NHS,” while others noted, “Think about whom you vote for at the next general election.”
As a nurse stood up and looked straight into the eyes of Nancy Pratts, “A vote for Tory, Labour, Lib is a vote for NHS privatization.”
And while any Brighton Labour candidate be it:
- Nancy Pratts
- Peter Kyle
- Purna Sen
Would rather the voter forget; Labour’s hands are as red with blood as the Tories are when it comes to the privatization of the NHS.
“THIS FIGHT IS NOT OVER YET.”
Nancy Pratts did respond to criticism that a vote for Labour is a vote for Tory by reminding everyone that if Labour wins the next general election they will repeal the 2012 Health & Social Care Act. Though what they intend to do with the NHS is actually what the Tories intend to do with it.
Make no mistake: If the Establishment and by the Establishment I mean all the political parties plus the Crown and Judges, are allowed to privatized our NHS, there will never be a free health care at the point of use because all the money would be spent on war, death and destruction instead.
STAND UP! THE TORIES ARE STREALING OUR FUTURE TO FINANCE THEIR NOW!
- “If you opposed Labour policy, get out of Labour!”
The advice and warnings came think and fast and from every corner of life. From the mentally ill young man who warns us that mentally ill people are being let out into society when they shouldn’t be, (enough to send a shiver down anyone’s spine,) to Nancy Pratts who challenged the audience to “Create Unity and double the amount of people each time we meet.”
“People Power can make a real difference,” said Madeline from DEFEND THE NHS BRIGHTON.
“PEOPLE ARE ANGRY.”
Shame on Brighton Health and Well Being Board for dumping the Brighton Substance Misuse Service and private tendering it out to another provider.
- “I AM TOTALLY OPPOSED TO PRIVATE TENDERING.” CAROLINE LUCAS, MP
- “WE CANNOT CHERRY PICK NHS SERVICES. WE MUST SAVE IT ALL.”
- “THE PLEDGE HAS BEEN WELL & TRULY LAUNCHED!”
UNISON, GMB, UNITE DAY OF ACTION –
PUBLIC SECTOR STRIKE –
OCT 14 2014
Outside Brighton General Hospital
BRIGHTON MARCH & RALLY.
Sussex Defend the NHS and Keep our NHS public are strictly non-party political campaigning groups, who have no connection with, and do not support or endorse any political candidates party or individual. Sussex Defend the NHS and Keep our NHS public would not agree to the use of their campaign slogans and material by anyone without their permission and are concerned to avoid any mis-conception of a relationship between our campaign and any others. This article was written without Sussex Defend the NHS and Keep our NHS public’s knowledge or agreement.