MILIBAND SUPPORTS US-LED BOMBING OF SYRIA – and pledges to repeal Health & Social Care Act

The front of the 20,000-strong march in January last year to stop the closure of Lewisham Hospital
The front of the 20,000-strong march in January last year to stop the closure of Lewisham Hospital

LABOUR leader Ed Milliband opened his speech to the Labour Party conference yesterday by throwing his full support behind the US-led bombing raids on Syria, supported by five Gulf states.

In doing so he signalled to Tory PM Cameron that Labour would give its support to the UK participating in further attacks.

‘We support the overnight action against ISIL’, he proclaimed to the Labour Party conference, even though to bomb another country without their permission is illegal under international law.

‘What needs to happen now’, he continued, ‘is that the UN needs to play its part, a UN security resolution, to win the international support to counter that threat of ISIL.’

He added: ‘We will never turn our back on the world, we will never turn our back on internationalism.’ He said: ‘That’s why we support the coalition not simply based on military action but a coalition based on humanitarian, political and diplomatic action to counter the threat of ISIL. The President of the United States and the British Prime Minister our both at the United Nations.’

He then set out a ten year plan including six ‘national goals’ which Labour would aim to achieve if it got elected and then re-elected five years later.

At the heart of his ten year plan was ‘national goal six’ – to create ‘a truly world class NHS’ in which he pledged to repeal the Tory Health and Social Care Act.

He also pledged 3,000 more midwives, 5,000 more care workers 8,000 more GP’s, 20,000 more nurses for the NHS. He said: ‘In total we will set aside two and a half billion pounds in our NHS “time to care” fund and tomorrow Andy Burnham, will set out our integrated plan for physical health, mental health and care for the elderly, truly a 21st National Health Service.’

This is the Tory plan to join the social care and NHS budgets together, raiding the NHS budget to pay for social care. He continued: ‘The stakes are incredibly high in this election and nowhere more so then on the National Health Service.

‘Because we know the NHS is sliding backwards under this government, we know that they are privatising it. Just imagine what another five years of David Cameron would mean for our National Health Service.

‘We know that is not going to happen, our National Health Service is too precious, too important and we will not let it happen. We built the NHS, we saved the NHS, we are going to repeal The Health and Social Care Bill and we are going to transform the NHS for the future.’

The other five ‘national goals’ that he set out in his speech were:

• Halve the amount of people on low pay.

• Raise the minimum wage by over a £1 by 2020 (by which time inflation would have more then cancelled such a rise out).

• That the UK becomes a ‘world leader as a green economy’.

• There are as many young people in apprenticeships as in university (apprentices are paid a measly £2.50 an hour).

• Double the number of first time home owners.

He also pledged: ‘I will fight with every fibre of my being for a two-state solution. A Palestinian state and an Israeli state living side by side.’