A letter from America – solidarity with the NHS strike

A letter from America – solidarity with the NHS strike

Defend the NHS!

Defend the NHS!

We are proud to publish this letter from a health care worker and trade unionist from the United States regarding the strike in the National Health Service on Monday 24th November. The letter highlights the inequalities present in the healthcare system under capitalism particularly in the United States. We urge you to read the letter, share it on social media and amongst workmates, friends and family. Under capitalism any gains for working class people such as the NHS will constantly be under threat, that is why we in the Socialist Party fight for a socialist society – if you agree, why not join us? Click here to apply to join

Letter from a health worker in the United States

Fight for decent pay!

Healthcare should be about patient care – not profits!

The current offer – for only some NHS workers in England to receive a 1% one off payment is an insult to the work that nurses and other health professionals do. It will only discourage bright, young, energetic people from entering the field and push those with experience working in the field out. The job can be both highly rewarding, yet also very stressful and dangerous (with patients attacking staff more frequently than many people realize). NHS workers should not be living in poverty and deserve to at least keep their pay up with inflation!

The chaotic profit-oriented nature of the U.S. healthcare system shows what can happen if the NHS is allowed to be privatized. In Dallas in October a man recently arrived from Liberia without health insurance was sent home from the emergency room with tylenol and antibiotics for his fever. It turned out he had ebola! Hospitals in the U.S. have a strong incentive not to admit patients who don’t have health insurance. When he came back and was admitted, two of the nurses caring for him contracted ebola. It turns out the hospital not only didn’t have full body protective equipment for the nurses, they also weren’t trained on the equipment they had and the nurses were also taking care of other patients at the same time! This shows how quickly hospitals will cut corners with our and our patients’ health and safety in the interest of saving a dollar.

When someone without insurance is admitted to a hospital, it can mean their financial ruin. A woman from Canada recently gave birth in the U.S. when she went into labor early while on vacation. She received a $1 million hospital bill! The leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by medical bills. While Obama’s Affordable Care Act has made it easier for some people to get health insurance, for those who have quality health insurance through their job (like many nurses), the employers (and ultimately employees) will be forced to pay an additional expensive tax on their plans intended to discourage quality health insurance plans from existing!

Many nurses in the U.S. are relatively well paid and usually have health insurance and retirement benefits through their job. This has nothing to do with the private healthcare system in my opinion and everything to do with having unions in many parts of the country who have fought back and defeated attacks on health insurance, retirement, and have frequently gotten raises that keep up with inflation. After a national day of action for ebola safety on November 12th, which included strikes in California and Washington, D.C., mandatory guidelines for high standard ebola protection gear – in line with what the union was demanding – were instituted in the state of California. This recent example shows that it is worth organizing and going on strike when necessary! When we fight – we win!

Katie Quarles, RN

Shop Steward with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) at United Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota (personal capacity)

Gaza crisis – online resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Gaza crisis – online resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Dave Nellist speaking outside the BBC

Millions around the world have protested against the continuing slaughter in Gaza as the crisis gathers pace. Here in Coventry there have been protests which have been well attended as people express their disgust as the death toll mounts. Socialist Party members in the city have supported the protests, as we have done across the UK and indeed the world.

In this post we provide some links to what we believe are important articles and film which express the outrage that so many are feeling, but importantly provide a socialist analysis of the situation, and a socialist way forward out of the endless nightmare for the working class and poor of the Middle East.

The Socialist Party is a member of an international organisation of socialists, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) which is present in around 50 countries across the world. We are proud to be linked to the Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel / Palestine which has relentless campaigned against the occupation and in support of united working class struggle across the Middle East.

The following is a short film of a speech by a member of the Socialist Struggle Movement, Shay from Haifa in Israel.

The next link is an article by another member of the Socialist Struggle Movement, Shahar. This goes in to some detail about the current situation in the region, including the current mood of the Israeli population towards the war, Hamas, and the role of socialists in fighting for a solution.

The article can be accessed here

The next film is an uncut version of the recent mass demonstration in London. Click here to view

And finally, here is the PDF of the leaflet that has been mass distributed across the country. To access it click here. A new Socialist Party leaflet will be available in the next few days.

If you are disgusted by what you are seeing on the TV screens every day, and want to help us fight for a socialist solution to capitalist brutality in the Middle East, please fill in the form below.

 

 

Coventry – hear a speaker from the USA on Wednesday, support the strikes on Thursday!

Coventry – hear a speaker from the USA on Wednesday, support the strikes on Thursday!

Ginger speaking at NSSN

Ginger speaking at NSSN conference

There are two big events in Coventry this week.

On Wednesday we are pleased to welcome Ginger Jentzen, an activist from $15now and Socialist Alternative in the USA who will be speaking at a meeting hosted by the National Shop Stewards Network in Coventry. This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear a leading organiser of the successful and growing campaign in the States.

Here are the details;

Wednesday 9th July

6.30-8pm

Central Methodist Hall, Coventry City Centre

The Facebook event page can be accessed by clicking here

Support the strikes on 10th July!

On Thursday 6 public sector unions – Unison, Unite, GMB, NUT, FBU and PCS will take strike against pay and pension cuts, and in defence of public services. The unions have called a public rally after the picket lines; please support the pickets and the rally!

Click on the picture below for full details.

Strike rally

Strike rally

Coventry Socialists campaign for public ownership of utility companies and show support for Kshama Sawant

Coventry Socialists campaign for public ownership of utility companies and show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative in USA

Socialist Party members show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative

Socialist Party members show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative

Members of the Socialist Party in Coventry were out in the city centre today and other locations around the city building a campaign against the increase in gas and electricity prices, calling for these profit loving vultures to be brought back in to public ownership. Many people are having to choose whether to ‘heat or eat’ whilst huge profits are made at our expense.

Discussing with Saturday shoppers

Discussing with Saturday shoppers

We took great pride in letting people know about the Socialist victory in Seattle for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative, displaying the poster supplement from this week’s issue of ‘The Socialist’ newspaper. Leaflets were also distributed for a forthcoming  anti-cuts meeting hosted by Coventry TUC.

Thank you to all who donated to our fighting fund, special mention going to the two separate donations of £5 that were given.

‘No wonder people are becoming more cynical’ An opinion piece by Dave Griffiths

An opinion piece by Coventry Socialist Party member Dave Griffiths

Dave Griffiths being interviewed by Channel 4

Dave Griffiths being interviewed by Channel 4

The following article is by Dave Griffiths, a longstanding member of the Socialist Party in Coventry. We welcome feedback on this article and ask that if you agree, to consider joining the Socialist Party. Please complete the form at the bottom of the page.

No wonder people are becoming more cynical.

A multi-millionaire government mouthpiece/minister only too keen to get on TV to denounce people on benefits for ‘dependency’ discovered he had ‘mistakenly” been heating his stables out of MP’s ‘expenses’!

Imagine what might befall the pensioner claiming she had mistakenly left her gas fire on over the winter but couldn’t afford to pay the bill? Or someone ‘mistakenly’ took a benefit they weren’t entitled to. But we’re meant to accept his ‘mistake’.

Meanwhile, an ex Labour minister admits in court fiddling his expenses.

Government ministers who cynically used the crisis at Stafford hospital to argue our NHS was in crisis so they could introduce more cuts and privatisation are still refusing to staff wards adequately when it is as plain as the nose on your face from the Stafford report that staffing levels affect patient care.

The Royal College of Nursing made ‘Freedom of Information’ requests that revealed that spending cuts have led to a shortage of 20,000 nurses. No wonder government refuses to adequately staff hospital wards. This hidden workforce crisis had been “missed” by government figures. For “missed” read ‘hidden’.

The other night, celebrity ‘stars’ on TV told me with their sincerest faces just how much another few of my pounds would help people. The same celebrities with tax arrangements that ensured they didn’t pay huge sums to the public purse that they should have.

In the last year my bank was almost broken by someone who seemingly knew more about drugs than banking. He nearly broke my bank the Cooperative.

Now, I don’t share the view that we get the ‘leaders’ we deserve.

We’re getting the leaders that fit the rotten system we’re in. A system based on exploitation, rip-off and short term gain is breeding exactly the rotten establishment we have, an establishment who as the News of the World ‘hacking’ trials show, from journalists, to ministers, to police and MI5 are all closely interlinked and even related.

As the rich are getting ever richer while ordinary Joe’s like us pay for the crisis, they feel they can get away with their arrogance and scandalous management of things.

The antics of ‘our’ elite disgust most of us. If we’re to stop it we need an economy and society owned by us, and democratically run by us. With no special privilege for those put in charge. That’s what a socialist society would offer.

And in a week of news laden with rotten cynicism, there was one shining light. In America a socialist won an historic election victory. Working people, offered a credible fighting socialist alternative, supported it. To build that alternative here should be the mission of us all.

Dave Nellist on historic victory for Socialist Alternative in Seattle election

Dave Nellist on historic election victory for Socialist Alternative in Seattle election

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

Former Labour MP and Socialist Party Councillor Dave Nellist made the following comments regarding the historic victory of Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant in the election for Seattle City Council. Her Democrat opponent has conceded with Sawant on an incredible 88,222 votes to the Democrat’s 86,582.

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant

Socialist Alternative in the USA are the co-thinkers of the Socialist Party, under the banner of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), an organisation that unites Socialists around the world in nearly 50 countries.

“The stunning work being done by Socialist Alternative supporters this autumn in Boston, Minneapolis and, particularly, Seattle, is truly inspirational.

For years it has been received wisdom that any challenge from the bottom up to the two-party system in America was doomed. Only billionaires would be able to dent the fortress of American politics.

Well socialists in America are proving it’s not only possible, but in Seattle they have achieved the most significant working class election result in America for years, if not decades.

The lessons will not be lost in many other places as well. A left alternative to big business politics can be built, and socialists around the world grouped under the banner of the CWI are showing how.”

To read more about the Socialist election campaigns in the US, click here

To view an interview with Kshama on a major news channel click here

To get involved in helping to build a socialist alternative to capitalism, fill in the form below and we will be in touch

40th anniversary of bloody overthrow of Allende government

In re-building a socialist movement, lessons of coup need to be learnt

Tony Saunois, Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)

 The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 was not the first ’9/11’. In Chile, on 11 September 1973, a bloody coup, led by General Augusto Pinochet and backed by the US administration, overthrew the democratically-elected, Left government of President Salvador Allende. In its aftermath, thousands of trade unionists and socialists were slaughtered and thousands more imprisoned, tortured and exiled.

On the fortieth anniversary of the coup, Chile is embarking on a new presidential election scheduled for 17 November 2013. Following a massive student movement, which has continued to rock the country, the first possible important steps are being taken to rebuild an alternative for the working class.

2013-09-10Grafik4527417302095498011

The two main political blocks, the ‘New Majority’ and the ‘Alliance’, both represent the existing ruling elite. They have offered no alternative for the working class and poor of Chile. The parties of the “left”, like the Socialist Party and Communist Party, have long since abandoned the radical left ideas they adhered to during the Allende-era. Like there counterparts internationally, these parties have embraced capitalism and the market and offer no alternative to the working masses.

Former President Michelle Bachelet of the Socialist Party and New Majority coalition is standing again, as no other credible candidate emerged from the former governing coalition. Bachelet is the daughter of air force General Bachelet, who supported Allende and died under torture following the coup.

The right-wing Alliance is fielding Evelyn Metthei, daughter of former Pinochet junta member, General Matthei.

Neither candidate offers anything but a continuation of neo-liberal policies. Yet also running in this election is Marcel Claude, the candidate of the Humanist Party and Left Alliance. Defending the students’ movement, demanding free quality education for all, and re-nationalisation of the copper industry, banks and big monopolies, Claude’s campaign has drawn big crowds and won enthusiastic support from workers and young people. The campaign represents an important step forward in re-building the workers’ and socialist movement. To build on this and to take it forward following the November election, the lessons from the bloody coup 40 years ago need to be learnt by a new generation. The reasons for the defeat 40 years ago are relevant for the workers and youth of Chile and all countries.

Tony Saunois, 11 September 2013

To read about the background to the coup and the lessons workers and youth must draw from it, we are re-publishing,

‘The other 9/11 – 1973 bloody coup against Popular Unity government, lessons for today’, by Tony Saunois, written in 2011.

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