Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rejoinder to Labour's reply re NHS birthday card

Passer-by signs the petiton at the Thornton Heath Festival

7th September

Dear Editor,

I’d like to thank Cllr Mansell for her commentary on the Labour government’s response upon taking office in 1997. There is no doubt that NHS was starved of investment when the Tories were last in power.

However, Cllr Mansell regrettably fails to recognise that the guiding rule, namely the NHS must be ‘publically owned, publically funded and publically accountable’ has been broken by Labour; and with that the model national health service which was once the envy of the world is now reduced to a national health business.

Labour has failed to recognise that there is very little appetite for this rush to embrace multinational corporations who profiteer from the ill health of people in this country.

This strength of feeling to oppose the privatisation of the NHS was made clear to me today at the Thornton Heath Festival (Sunday 7th). On our Green party stall we had a couple of placards saying, “Keep the NHS public” on display. Early on in the day, a lady came up to our table and asked where she could sign? My colleague and I looked at each other quizzically and hurriedly started a petition on a pad I had brought along. We had simply expected to hand out leaflets to revellers who passed our stall.

Astonishingly, within four hours we had two and half pages of signatures under the handwritten statement: ‘We the undersigned would like to see the NHS remain in public hands’. People from all backgrounds were signing the petition, including former and current employees of the NHS. I will submit the petition to Labour’s Croydon North constituency office as soon as possible.

I wonder if Cllr Mansell would too have signed the petition if she still worked in the NHS and was not, as she is now, a Labour spokesperson on health.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party

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