This is an appeal from Pat Smith, secretary of Hull North Constituency Labour Party, who gave the speech moving the motion on the NHS passed at last October’s Labour Party conference. Pat will be speaking at the meeting to discuss building a campaign around Labour and the NHS in London on Saturday 23 March – more details here.
Labour Party activists and Labour-affiliated unions bear a particular responsibility in the campaign to save our NHS.
Protests, direct action, organising and action by health workers – all these are key to defending the health service. But the NHS is also a political, a governmental question. We need a government committed and under pressure to rebuilding our NHS. Like it or not, that begs the question: what will Labour do?
At Labour Party conference last October, fifteen CLPs submitted policy drafted by the NHS Unity Network and the Labour Representation Committee, calling for a commitment to rebuilding the NHS as a public service. Following a two hundred-strong lobby, and a pitched battle in the compositing meeting, this policy was passed.
Anyone who knows anything about the Labour Party, however, knows that left-wing policies will not be implemented without a fight. That’s why I’m appealing to you to join a renewed campaign to demand Labour makes a clear commitment to rebuilding the NHS.
My Constituency Labour Party, Hull North, took the proposing speech at conference; and my CLP wants to take a lead in fighting for the policy to be carried out. We have passed a statement which we hope will become the basis for a campaign in the Labour Party, in the unions and among NHS organisations to get a clear commitment from the Labour leadership, and for the next Labour government to carry it out.
We believe that as more and more local campaigns to defend the health service come up against issues like PFI debt, issues which can only be solved at a political level, this aspect of the fight will become more and more important.
Please join the campaign – get in touch to discuss what you can do.
Pat Smith, Hull North CLP Secretary and NHS Unity Network
07515 004 519