The Green Party was founded in the early 1970s – when Labour was arguably at the height of its power. In fact this year we celebrate our 40th birthday!
The Green Party believes in a nation using the greater portion of its wealth for the benefit of its citizens. Chief among those benefits is a well-functioning health service.
The Green Party is unswerving in its support for the NHS.
Greens have always valued the NHS – and a great many other social policies, such as welfare for everyone who needs it, when they need it – education for free, for all – and all funded by a fair, progressive taxation system – within a country which is the 7th largest economy in the world.
In 2010, ahead of the General Election, we made a concerted effort to make sure people understood that we are committed to social justice. We’re famous for environmental justice - in fact it’s almost the only thing the media comes to us for! So you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s all we had to say!
But our slogan that year was “Fair is worth fighting for” … This may sound familiar to some as another party came up with almost identical words … But we know that an unfair society is an unhealthy one. Literally. There are reports to prove it – as if it weren’t obvious! And this growing inequality within society has been going on for a VERY long time.
So it is with great dismay that the Green Party looks at the health policies of successive governments which have brought us to the severe threat that the NHS faces today - as the healthcare that people need is TRADED for some sort of lowest cost repair bay!
For years, politicians have been actively aping American political society – academy schools, from America, workfare, the Clinton Welfare to Work scheme. In healthcare, we face an increasing carve-up, with more and more private companies being involved. A “Tesco Basic” healthcare for Joe Public, and a huge ramping up of insurance schemes for anyone who wants or needs a decent level of care, while the NHS itself will continue to be under-funded and cut back .
On Tuesday, we faced the irony of the Health Secretary lecturing nurses on compassion… and promising an Ofsted for hospitals … as if healthcare had nothing to do with the huge shortage of nurses – or the pressure frontline staff are under – or the regular threats to terms, conditions and jobs – which have been part and parcel of the healthcare profession for years… Things are so bad that a group of doctors have set up a Healthcare Party to fight the next General Election!
Healthcare around the country is undergoing severe cuts. Hull faces £100m in cuts and has lost a cardiac ward and a stroke and neurology ward already. With the best will in the world, we cannot describe Hull as one of the healthiest areas of the country… and to think we have lost two wards, with more wards to be lost – beggars belief! None of these beds are empty! And so-called community provision doesn’t match hospital care and will only be cut back further.
Then there’s the spectre of the EU-USA Free Trade Agreement. MPs and MEPs are certainly not saying anything about it, but top of the list fopr these high-level policy makers, is the need for the so-called “harmonisation” of health provision between America and the EU member states…
The American system, and its insurance model of health, costs between 50,000 and 100,000 LIVES a year. That’s what we’re facing.
And it’s an uphill struggle… Many politicians, MPs or Lords – across the biggest 3 parties – have a business interest in seeing private healthcare take off.
The choice is to fight, to organise, to lobby, to demonstrate… to make the biggest noise we can… OR we face losing the greatest gain brought to us by the spirit of 1945 – under far harsher economic conditions than we have now - the Jewel in the People’s Crown, that is a world-class, national, health service paid for by all and free to all .
Hull and East Riding Green Party