|We Are One NHS Demo, Bristol, December 2012|
"Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the Tories on the
top... Put the Lib Dems in the middle and we'll burn the
- Popular variation on a chant sung widely during
demonstrations in the era of the ConDem coalition,
The NHS that we know and love is under threat. One of the biggest challenges is the pressure to cut costs and make savings. This has resulted in 20 NHS Trusts across the South West, including University Hospitals Bristol Trust and North Bristol Trust, paying £200,000 of tax payer’s money to form the South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium which is proposing radical changes to pay and conditions and the creation of a regional pay system.
Plans published by these employers envisaging changes which could cut pay, terms and conditions for nurses and other healthcare staff by up to 15% demonstrate yet another example of how working people are being forced to bear the brunt of cuts to vital services.
This will be bad for the NHS, bad for patients and bad for all NHS staff across the UK*
Local pay hurts the local economy, compromises patient safety, seriously damages staff morale and creates instability in the workforce at a time when the NHS is going through unprecedented change.
The rally started at College Green at 11am. I travelled up with members of Occupy Bath and BARF, and we arrived just as people were starting to assemble. Marching under our usual BARF banner, we set off with chants, whistles, flags and a huge Unison ballon through the streets of Bristol. The editors of the Westcountry Mutineer, the finest anarchist paper this side of London (which I may or may not have contributed articles to), joined the march also, and gave out free copies, amongst all the other literature being handed out. The march ended at Castle Park, where flags and banners were planted in the ground and speeches were given.
The NHS has never been under threat as much as it is now. The rich Tories don't care, and would sooner see it abolished. We must fight the fuckers at every opportunity, at every corner, and make sure that it is protected.
*Note: Part of this article was taken from the Facebook event description