All too often workers are treated as enemies to be loathed by our ruling politicians. You might be forgiven for forgetting that it is workers, not politicians or their rich banker friends, who generate all the wealth in society.
Apparently organised workers are seen as a clear and present danger to our leaders. Hence the Tories obsession with passing their Trade Union Bill, which is nothing less than an ode to their fear of the threat posed by an organized working-class.
Leicestershire’s firefighters, who are united within the Fire Brigades Union, have been totally ignored by our local Fire Authority, which is scheming to gut our regions vital fire service.
In a similar manner, doctors are still being ignored and maligned by the Government. In response, the leader of NHS junior doctors in England, Dr Johann Malawana, has urged Jeremy Hunt to reopen negotiations in a bid to stop their threatened strike.
“Stop attacking us. We are not the enemy. We are just health professionals who want to have a meaningful discussion,” Dr Malawana said. “Talk to us, talk to us reasonably.”
On Saturday (October 17) thousands of junior doctors descended upon London to call on the Government to listen to their concerns. Speaking at the rally for justice, Dr Malawana added:
“In recent weeks the health secretary has acknowledged junior doctors play a vital role in the NHS, which is at odds with his relentless and extremely damaging rhetoric attacking doctors, which has led to the anger on display today.”
More locally in Nottingham, a 400-strong protest of medics made their presence felt on the streets.
Nevertheless, our Government of the 1 per centers continues to ignore workers while continuing to service the needs of their rich corporate healthcare clients. In 2014-15 alone, private companies won £3.5 billion of new clinical contracts — up 500% on the previous year. Moreover since 2010, profit making firms have taken more than 60% of all healthcare contracts.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks for many people when he says: “It’s our NHS. Let’s not just protect it from being further destroyed but let’s take it back and ensure it’s completely publicly run and publicly accountable. Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.”
Workers have no choice but to continue to escalate their co-joined struggles. But if we are serious about building a future where those employed in our treasured public services are truly valued, we will need to replace capitalism with socialism — a fair and sharing society run by the people for the people.
As a step towards this eagerly anticipated future, we will need to renationalise all privatised services, terminate the rip-off Private Finance Initiative’s and nationalise the pharmaceutical and medical supply industries. Only then will we be in a sustainable position to provide adequate care for all, including for us, the workers.
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on 17th October.