Lead story

Doctors attack Tory NHS

by Daphne Liddle

MORE THAN 100 senior doctors last week signed an open letter attacking the record of damage done to the National Health Service in England by David Cameron’s government.

In the letter, published in Wednesday’s Guardian, they accused the Con-Dem Coalition of a long list of broken promises, budget cuts and damaging legislation that has undermined the NHS leaving it weak and struggling to fulfil its purpose.

“Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS,” they wrote, “is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

“In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS pledges. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is already leading to the rapid and unwanted expansion of the role of commercial companies in the NHS.

Read the full story here >> [ Doctors attack Tory NHS ]

Penzance strikers demand reinstatement

by New Worker correspondent

STRIKING rail workers and their supporters picketed Penzance station over the Easter holiday, demanding the reinstatement of a dismissed colleague. RMT station staff walked out for 48 hours in support of a member sacked by First Great Western (FGW) for allegedly allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month. But the union says their member was fitted up and victimised by management.

RMT Regional Organiser Phil Bialyk said his members were: “Steadfast in their support believing the company could have taken a different stance... the company refuse to listen and will not back down. RMT members, their staff, are unhappy at how the company uses the procedures to rule by fear; it’s not good to have such a working environment. RMT will always support its members in this way.”

RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “FGW’s refusal to enter into meaningful talks has left us with no option but to press on with a second wave of strike action over the Easter weekend.

Read the full story here >> [ Penzance strikers demand reinstatement ]


No choice but Labour

THE GENERAL election campaign has kicked off with the usual rubbish from all the bourgeois parties in the mass media. The pollsters put the Tories and Labour neck-and-neck amid speculation of another hung parliament and king-maker roles for the Scottish Nationalists, Liberal-Democrats and the others from Wales and northern Ireland.

But on the street there is little enthusiasm for any of the mainstream parties. We’re told that half of young adults have not yet registered to vote and over half of those who have can’t be bothered to troop out to the ballot booths in May.

This is not surprising. Labour’s promises amount to little beyond scrapping the bedroom tax, and a few minor concessions to the unions on employment laws while the Tory campaign is simply to get the faithful out on the day to stave off the challenge from their far-right rivals in UKIP.

David Cameron promises more of the same which means more tax breaks for the rich and a buoyant housing market for the middle strata. Ed Miliband’s answer is merely the “austerity- lite” of Labour’s last year in office — a handful of reforms that are not intended to reverse austerity but merely slow-down the assault on the living standards of workers.

Labour’s affiliated unions — the vast majority of the TUC who fund most of Labour’s efforts — will be urging their members to give Labour another vote of confidence in May.

The NCP supports them. This is not because we support Miliband & Co, or because we think a Labour government can solve the problems of working people. That isn’t possible in a capitalist “democracy”. It is simply the best possible outcome in the current circumstances.

Read the full editorial here >> [ No choice but Labour ]