March gets big support for defence of NHS

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A section of the march celebrates reaching the outskirts of Bedford, expecting more of the great response they received in Luton
A section of the march celebrates reaching the outskirts of Bedford, expecting more of the great response they received in Luton

ON day three of the Young Socialists’ London to Liverpool March for Jobs, the 20 miles from Luton to Bedford received big support ‘en route’.

The world had got round from the night before from the radio broadcast where marchers were interviewed on Luton Urban Radio.

Cars continually hooted their horns in support. Passers by cheered and people ran out of their houses to give donations.

On reaching Bedford Hospital the marchers enjoyed a well deserved meal, sponsored by Eastern Branch Number 5 of the CWU post office workers union.

Robert, a hospital worker in the Unite union, donated £10 in the canteen to the marchers.

Silvia Tuck told News Line ‘My daughter is a patient at Bedford Hospital. Where I live in Biggleswade, we don’t have an A&E. We don’t even have a hospital.

‘If there ever is a problem we have to go to Milton Keynes Hospital, Luton or the Lister in Stevenage. Distance matters in an emergency, especially if you have kids.

‘What they have done at Stafford Hospital is to pitch tents for a whole month and occupy the hospital, to stop the closure. It’s amazing.

‘One thing you should not do is close a hospital. They already tried to stop the Children’s Ward. That was never going to work.

‘The people of Bedfordshire should occupy the hospital to save the A&E. We have used the hospital A&E numerous times and it has been absolutely brilliant.

‘The A&E is never empty and is always full of patients. What would they do without an A&E? What are people going to do?

‘You should not cut corners with the things that are necessary. We need a government who will do what they say they are going to do. These politicians are a bunch of liars.

‘A workers’ government would be good. If enough people stick together then anything is possible. That is why I support the Young Socialists’ march from London to Liverpool to demand the TUC call a General Strike that will bring the government down!’

Pauline Richardson said: ‘A family member is using Bedford Hospital. Milton Keynes Hospital is 18 miles from here. I think that it is terribly wrong that the A&E is threatened with closure at either Milton Keynes or Bedford Hospital. Both towns are very large, and somebody could die in the 18-mile journey it takes to get to an A&E hospital.

‘I think that the Young Socialists are doing a brilliant job when they do things like this. In Bedford, there are so many unemployed and young homeless people living on the streets. It’s like they are forgotten. I think this government must go!’

Steve Bennett, head of Northampton Unison, met the marchers on their way to Northampton in the afternoon and handed them a cheque for £170 on behalf of the union.

He addressed the marchers saying ‘You’re doing a fantastic job and it’s obvious you are very determined.

‘I know you have a long way to go to Liverpool and hopefully you will be able to have a short rest at Northampton and enjoy its sights, including the museum that shows that Northampton was once the heart and sole of the shoe industry.’