The Green Party and the NHS

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 .

Martin Deane

Hull and East Riding Green Party

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14 thoughts on “The Green Party and the NHS

  1. Hi Martin,
    I write from Stafford ! Not only are we trying to recover from the horrendous events of the middle 2000s, we are also now facing the prospect of loss of hospital services such as maternity and ICU.

    It seems to me that some public services are not only subject to the risks of creeping privatisation but profound bureaucratic irrationality and political “make-your-namesmanship” via spurious novelties of re-organisation. Examples of the first are superficial inspection and care systems , wasteful accountancy,IT systems and tiers of management and Landsley will suffice as an example of the second.

  2. God bless our NeoLaboural operatives, where would our bankers be without them ?
    Can’t wait to see Hull Royal infirmary flogged to Richard Branson and turned into a rehab clinic for the rich and famous.

    Anyway, question on the string pullers that yank the chain of the NeoLabourals and tell them who to kill and when.

    Have you seen this –

    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-iraqi-war-wasnt-waged-for-oil-greg-palast

    – account of how Diane Johnson’s masters in America fought each other to either privatise Iraqi oil, or nationalise it and keep the oil prices high by keeping it off market.
    Nationalisation won and flow is capped, apprently, that’s why it cost so much to take a bus in this city.

    That’ll be Johnson, Johnson and Prescott’s doing.
    Thanks guys, thanks for the $100 oil and the war catastrophe, good to know your on our side, I’ll remember you all next time I sign on.

    Theyworkforyou – if you’re Dick Cheney.

    • Hi Riki,
      Wide ranging comment.
      NeoLaboural – very good, a government that gave £1 trillion to the banks – and now we have to pick up the tab.
      Greg Palast – always good. there are of course important contracts for oil now.
      But, indeed, by invading, they took Iraqi oil off the market – so immediately all teh US oilmen become worth more…
      And, geopolitically, it stops Iraq contracts with anyone else… China or Russia for example.
      The same will apply to Iran… God help us…
      M

  3. So Dunkin Donuts said yesterday that the new universal credit will be a contract and the government will be employing people to look for work.

    So wait, I thought Duncan Smith was my employee, because ‘ they work for you ‘, yeah ?

    So they work for me making me work for them making me work for free for taxpayers who employ them to employ me to employ them.

  4. …so I got to work making a flow chart of money passing back and forth between me, the banks, the government, the bond holders and the companies they want me to work for. Here it is.

  5. Absolutely right, this emulation of American health care system is a slide into the sludge

    One thing they do have going for them, though, is a move towards decriminalising marijuana, starting with it’s medical uses.
    I read with interest about the local lady who is being persecuted by the authorities for self medicating with cannabis because it gives her relief from painful medical conditions.
    Our stupid, ignorant poiltiicians with their pointless, failed and fear based drug policies are the bane of decent people like that. Who’d want to vote for these idiots who can’t stand for people to take their own choice of medicine ? In fact there are thousands of cannabis smokers in this city, and they all have to bear the hassle of leading secret lives for no good reason because of the stubbornness, cowardice and lack of imagination of the politicians.

    What are the figures on cannabis use for Hull ?
    What are the figures for cannabis users who vote for the politicians that make their lives more difficult – I wonder ?

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