A LIVELY North East London Council of Action monthly picket of Chase Farm Hospital won big support yesterday for its determination to keep the hospital open at all costs.
Anna Athow, who is the WRP parliamentary candidate, also won great support for her stand that an occupation must be organised to stop any attempt to close the hospital.
Anna is a consultant surgeon and is leading the fight in the BMA doctors union for policies to stop all hospital closures and to drive the privateers and the profiteers out of the NHS.
She told News Line: ‘Many people are angry that the government is making massive cuts in the NHS because of the public sector deficit.
‘It’s clear that all the major political parties have the same policy, and that is to cut £20bn off the NHS budget and implement a mass hospital closure programme.
‘There is great support for our policy of occupying departments threatened with closure, to keep Chase Farm Hospital a fully-functioning district general hospital.
‘At the end of the day, we need a workers government to nationalise the banks and fully fund all our public services. I am standing to fight for this.’
Bill Rogers, secretary of the North East London Council of Action, said that the election campaign was going really well.
‘Anna Athow is the only candidate who says occupy Chase Farm to keep it open.
‘The government is planning to close most of the District General Hospitals across London and destroy the NHS as we know it.
‘These plans will be accelerated after the election, whichever capitalist government is elected.
‘The Workers Revolutionary Party is the only party that is fighting for a workers government and socialist policies to get private companies out of the health service, nationalise the drug companies and keep all the hospitals open.
‘Only a workers government can stop the destruction of the Welfare State which is planned by the capitalist class in order to make the working class and young people pay for their economic catastrophe that their system is causing.
‘I urge all workers and youth to vote WRP, vote Anna Athow, in Enfield and help us build the Council of Action in North East London to take this struggle forwards.
‘All our futures are at stake with the Tories determined to have an emergency budget to make savage cuts, the Liberal Democrats saying the same thing and the Labour leaders, instead of standing up against the cuts, saying that they will halve the deficit in four years.
‘They have betrayed the working class and workers are very reluctant to vote for them.
‘The experience of the last 13 years shows that only a workers government and socialism can answer the problems workers face and this is the struggle that the working class now faces.’
Local roofer Wayne Ball declared to News Line: ‘If this place wasn’t open I wouldn’t be standing here.
‘About 14 years ago, I was run over be a 14-ton lorry in Hoddesdon.
‘They airlifted me to Chase Farm, and I was in hospital for about six weeks. They stitched me up and put two pins in my knee. They said I would never play football again and wouldn’t walk for five years.
‘But the hospital gave me physiotherapy on my knee and gave me check ups and everything healed up really well. Now I’m a roofer and go up and down ladders every day and play football at the weekends.
‘The plans to close down the A&E are a load of rubbish. It should be kept open. I’d support an occupation to keep the hospital open.’
‘We have to do everything that’s necessary to stop it.’
School cleaner Jone Landa said: ‘The plan to close the hospital is terrible.
‘We need this hospital, there are many people living in Enfield.
‘Why are they closing the hospital – is it the money?
‘It’s wrong to close the hospital. The government is spending money on unimportant things and not on the NHS, which is important.
‘Health and education are the most important things in any country.
‘I will support a sit-in to stop the closure.’
Local resident Roy Smith added: ‘We’re determined to to save this hospital and determined to keep the A&E sections open.
‘It would prove disastrous for anybody going down with a stroke if the A&E was not here.
‘Hospital only have an hour or so to deal with these particular patients, otherwise they suffer and die.
‘We know this is a worthy cause and we need everyone’s support.’
Steve Jones was with Tracey Evans and their daughter Polly, whose leg was in plaster.
Steve said: ‘It’s important to keep this A&E open, it’s a popular hospital and covers a large area.
‘We live in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and we have to come here.
‘Our daughter broke her leg and had to come to Chase Farm. We would have ben in big trouble if we had to go further.
‘We have to stop the closures, we are losing too many hospitals and people are suffering.
‘The unions must do their bit.
‘I support and occupation to stop the closure, we have to fight all the way.’
Local resident Maureen Giles told News Line: ‘We have to save Chase Farm, our health is No.1.
‘If I wasn’t fit, I wouldn’t be standing here.
‘I’m really worried about the hospital. We have to stop these closures.
‘We have to get ready to occupy and demand the unions back the occupation.
‘They should take action.’
l The University of Manchester Students Union held a hustings to which Tory, Liberal, Labour, Trade Union Alliance, Green and UKIP candidate were invited to address the students of Manchester. Workers Revolutionary Party candidate for Manchester Central Jonty Leff was not invited and when he approached the union they denied him his democratic right to speak.
Students were angry about the decision of the Manchester students union to not let the WRP candidate address the hustings.
Stephen Ballinger, a musician and graduate of Manchester University said:
‘I think that everyone has the democratic right to represent their beliefs whether political or religious or otherwise.
‘I had to take out a loan and pay for my fees and I certainly think that people from poorer backgrounds would benefit from free education.
‘There are lots of very intelligent kids who don’t go.
‘Most students would support your policies and the WRP should be on the platform.’
A student at the University of Manchester, Rachael Malcolm said: ‘I am voting for Socialism! I think that it is a human right to have freedom of speech and I would like to know on what basis they selected the candidates for speaking.’
Another student from the University Ste Monaghan added: ‘I think that the reasons behind the fact that not all the parties were represented are tenuous.
‘You can only conclude that it is for political reasons, given that all the parties on the platform share the Westminster consensus of cuts, immigration control and have no consistent working class policy.’