‘EALING Hospital workers and patients are fully backing us over our confrontation with Tory Health Secretary Hancock here on Monday when he refused to sign our petition to reopen maternity and paediatrics,’ Ealing Southall Workers Revolutionary Party parliamentary candidate Hassan Zulkifal said yesterday.
Speaking on the West London Council of Action’s weekly 7am-9am Friday picket of Ealing Hospital yesterday morning, Hassan continued: ‘In contrast to Hancock, everyone here wants these vital facilities reopened and wants us to provide leadership to achieve it.’
Nursery nurse Lisa O’Neill said: ‘My sister gave birth here yesterday. She thought she was having one baby, but she had identical twin girls. She came in for an emergency scan and had them there and then, seven weeks early.
‘She’s fine and so are the girls, but she’s stressed because she had to be moved to West Mid Hospital. She went into the emergency pregnancy unit.
‘It’s really terrible they closed maternity here in 2015. I’ve signed the petition and I’m voting for Hassan.’
Dental technician Tom Coles said: ‘NHS funding is the most important thing and privatisation is wrong. I back Hassan and agree with him that there’s got to be a general strike to take the working class to power.’
Care worker Muhammed Khan said: ‘I’m voting for Hassan. We want our maternity and paediatrics back. This is a proper hospital and all closed facilities must be restored.’
School nurse and RCN member Rebecca Lynas signed the petition and said: ‘We’ve got to kick the Tories out. I work with children with disabilities and special needs and the Tories are always cutting, cutting, cutting.’
Bus driver and Unite member Robin McPherson said: ‘Look how many flats they are building right here by the hospital. Why should mothers have to travel all the way to Harrow in pain and danger to have their babies? Is it comfortable for people, knowing the hospital is right here, to have to travel all that way? The working class must take over.’
Martin Kowalski, bus driver and Unite member, said: ‘Obviously the maternity should be reopened. It’s exactly the same situation in Romford where I lived before. They built a brand new hospital and then they wanted to shut it down within two years.’
After the picket, WRP candidate Zulkifal said: ‘Labour have published their manifesto at last. On the surface they have radical proposals like renationalisation and abolishing tuition fees. However, without the establishment of a workers government these promises ring hollow.
‘History has shown that the kind of concessions that Labour is promising to give to the working class have never been given without huge opposition from the ruling class.
‘Workers and young people are joining our party to fight for real change and a socialist future.’
• ‘They are privatising the NHS and the unions must come or together to stop it,’ RCN nurse Bridget O’Reilly said yesterday outside Homerton Hospital giving her full support to the campaign team fighting to elect Jonty Leff as MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.
The WRP candidate Leff explained that his party are determined to drive the privateers out of the NHS.
O’Reilly replied: ‘You have my vote then because we can’t have our NHS taken over by the big American health firms.’
In the question of Brexit O’Reilly said: ‘Ireland had been put into serious debt because of the EU. Ireland should come out as well. Outside B6 college in Clapton, Hackney students also supported the campaign to elect WRP candidate Leff.
Maura Robinson said: ‘This is my second time voting. I voted Labour in the election with Theresa May as PM. This time around I am going to vote WRP because of their policy on Brexit and in abolishing university fees.
‘I was disappointed in Labour’s new manifesto because it calls for a Second Referendum and I want the Brexit referendum result to be respected.’
Hannah Abiola, studying Psychology, said: ‘I have to work at a fast food restaurant to help get money to live. I have to work. I am 19 and I live alone. I work delivering on my bike and I only get paid per delivery not per hour. If I get no deliveries in the hour I get no pay.
‘I support the WRP policy to scrap zero hours contracts. I hate the gig economy but I have no choice.’
Edwardo da Costa said: ‘I am too young to vote. I am 17 years-old but I have joined the Young Socialists to get involved in the campaign because I believe in socialism and I am against capitalism.’