A bit of solidarity goes a long way

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Joan Hewitt is right to congratulate NHS workers for the fantastic job they do and everyone should support them in their fight for decent pay.

They and millions of others are committed to defending the principles of the NHS against what the Royal College of Nursing, calls ‘unnecessary and chaotic reorganisation’.

Labour politicians and others have rightly voted to oppose the sell-off of the NHS.

We should welcome any attempt to roll back privatisation, but few such ‘private member’s bills’ rarely succeed.

Even if it does become law, the NHS still faces the worse funding crisis in its history, with a gaping £8billion black hole.

It’s a similar story in the councils and elsewhere. The cutbacks mean job losses and the run-down of services with devastating effects on our communities.

In the short term this means £14 million in cuts in North Tyneside Council as part of a longer term £50 million reduction. And the proposed cuts in the fire and rescue service will cost lives.

But opposing the cuts begs the question: ‘Where could the money come from?’

Well, for a start there’s £120bn in unpaid taxes by corporations and rich individuals. Billions are still being wasted bailing out a corrupt banking system.

Fuel company bosses, bankers and others are still raking in profits and huge bonuses at our expense. There is even a plan to waste another £30billion renewing an unwanted missile system.

The money is there, but few of the established politicians seem to have the will to take on the bankers, the fat cats and vested interests. Official opposition to ‘austerity’ has been pathetic.

Even Labour remains committed to Tory spending plans if elected and that means further cuts.

Whatever happens on election day next May, trade unionists and campaigners will still need to fight to defend our services.

Preparation for that starts now by supporting our NHS workers, fire fighters, council workers and others taking any action in defence of their pay and pensions – and our public services

Anyone in either the public or the private sector who stands up and says they have had enough should be supported.A little bit of solidarity goes a long way.

Simon Hall

Whitley Bay