Tagged: Nye Bevan

North Labour leader says Scotland should go it alone

A former Labour mayor and trade union figure from the north of England has urged people in Scotland to vote for independence.

Craig Johnston, the former mayor of Carlisle, says a Yes vote will “energise the debate about devolution” across the UK.

Mr Johnston, a regional organiser for the RMT union, also hopes a new constitution in an independent Scotland will implement workers’ rights and “instil a bit of fairness in the workplace”.

Criticising the Labour Party, he said:

“I don’t want the Labour Party to be like it is.

“I can’t support a Labour Party that introduced the private finance initiative and let the moneylenders into the NHS – Nye Bevan’s temple.

“This is the party that oversaw the crisis, bailed out the bankers and started selling off the NHS. These are the people who are trying to scare us now.”

Dennis Canavan, chair of Yes Scotland’s advisory board, said:

“This is yet more evidence of the breadth and sheer energy of the Yes campaign.

“Craig Johnston is a highly-respected civic and political figure in Carlisle, which of course sits very close to the border and for centuries has had strong links with Scotland.”

Steve Bowditch, current Labour mayor of the city disagreed and said a Yes vote would be “extremely damaging for Carlisle”.

Source –  Newcastle Journal, 17 Sept 2014

New ‘Jarrow March’ reaches London

The People's March for the NHS

A group of north east mothers and other campaigners who staged a modern-day ‘Jarrow March’ to protest at the privatisation of health services arrived in London at the weekend.

The People’s March, which followed in the footsteps of the famous 1936 Jarrow Crusade, began in mid-August.

After leaving Jarrow, the protest took in more than 20 towns and cities, with union activists and other supporters joining the six women from Darlington.

Organisers said 5,000 people took part in the last leg from Red Lion Square in Holborn to Trafalgar Square, where they were addressed by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

Speaking ahead of the rally, Mr Burnham said the “Darlo mums” symbolise the concern felt by millions across the UK for the future of the NHS.

He said:

“Surely even the great Nye Bevan couldn’t have imagined a group with more faith and fight for his NHS than these Darlington mums.

“In them, David Cameron has more than met his match and their fighting spirit will give hope to people everywhere that the NHS can be rescued from the damage caused by his Government.”

A Department of Health spokesman said:

“Use of the private sector in the NHS represents only six per cent of the total NHS budget – an increase of just 1% since May 2010.

“Charities, social enterprises and other healthcare providers continue to play an important role for the NHS, as they have done for many years – however, it is now local doctors and nurses who make decisions about who is best placed to provide care for their patients.”

Source –  Shields Gazette,  08 Sept 2014