UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Manchester demands Coalition drops NHS Bill

Over 1,000 people packed Manchester's Albert Square yesterday in a rally to save the NHS. Organised by NW UNISON and supported by NWTUC and NW Labour Party, the rally called on Cameron, Lansley and Clegg to listen to the voice of the nation and drop their NHS and Social Care Bill.

Paul Foley NW UNISON Head of Health kicked off the rally with a call to arms. He asked everyone to contact their MP and sign the e-petition to put pressure on the government.

Andy Burnham Shadow Health Secretary told the rally that there may be less than 3 weeks to save the NHS. To huge applause he committed a future Labour Government to immediately repealing the Act should the coalition force it through parliament.

Debbie Turner, Chair of the NW Regional Health Care Committee shared her fears for the future of health care should the bill be passed. She said it was the duty of us all to ensure that we passed on a comprehensive and free health service to future generations. The rally also heard from Ella Henry, an occupational therapist and UNISON activist. Ella explained how the bill would threaten the services that she and her colleagues provided to some of the most vulnerable in society.

Actor Chris Bisson, currently playing the character Jai in Emmerdale, told the crowd that he and his family are users of the health service and the threat to from privatisation was worrying. He said the Coalition’s policy on health is a disgrace. He urged everyone to rally around the campaign and demand that the government drop the bill.

In closing the rally Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd thanked UNISON for all their efforts in the campaign and pointed out UNISON was campaigning against the bill long before others came on board, including the medical profession and some politicians.

On a cold and wet morning the crowd were wowed by the Robin Sunflower Quartet who had written three songs especially for the event.

The message was loud and the message was clear. Cameron and Clegg ‘Drop this Bill’.