Guest Post – “You have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

Dr Éoin Clarke the Chair of the LabourLeft thinktank and has his own fantastic blog you can access here. This is another one of his recent posts that we found particularly inspiring.

“You have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

The words above were spoken by Winston Churchill in his first HoC speech when he accepted the role of Prime Minister in 1940. I think they sum up what each member of the public can do over the next 10 days to kill this NHS Bill. If everyone who opposes the Tory NHS Bill did half of what I lay out below, Lansley’s bill will fail. On the 22/02/12 Labour have secured a debate & vote on the Risk Register. We will fight and we will be right. See the 10 things you can do yo help below.

1. Pressure your closest MP to signing the EDM 2659 which calls for the publication of an NHS Risk Register. The Labour leadership have cleared all MPs to sign it (see here). This Register, if published, will help persuade Tory MPs to oppose the bill as its warnings play to their fears about the soaring costs as a result of the bill.

2. Email MPs who live in marginal seats to explain to them that 23 million oppose the NHS Bill (here) & if they don’t vote with Labour on 22/02/12 then we will contact their constituents every day to polling day in 2015 to highlight the damage the new bill causes to the delivery of healthcare in their seat. You can get their emails (here)

3. 27% of the UK voters do not understand the contents of the NHS bill. They do not know that their taxes will go to foreign private shareholders who will take over the running of parts of our NHS. Please just take out the time to educate your fellow ‘man’. It might be sufficient to simply post them the NHS song that communicates it well. You can see the song (here)

4. This Bill is a matter of trust in David Cameron. Thus far people have wrongly applied their pressure to Lansley. Henceforth, bring all your topline pressure, attacks and argument to bear upon the PM. He lied to voters. If it is made clear to Cameron that this bill will rest on his head, his desire for self preservation may get the better of him.

5. You can contact the House of Lords Peers who will be voting on the Bill this week. The Lords under the Salisbury Convention could feel justified in blocking this bill on the grounds that there is no mandate for it since it was omitted from Manifestos, and the coalition agreement is for want of a better word ‘bastardised’. Plea with the Lords to heed the cries of the voiceless, implore upon them the need to fulfil their moral duty. We have seen before that the Lords are prepared to take on this coalition. Contact the lords (here) & (here)

6. This is also a matter of corruption. Take a look at the funding Tories have received from private health companies including overseas ones. If you know lawyers, seek their advice on making formal complaints about the ethics of Tory healthcare funding. It is not important if your complaint succeeds, much more important is the stink it creates & the bad publicity that comes with it. Bloggers will help draw your attention to Tory corruption over the next 10 days to make this task easier for you.

7. Avoid other political distractions. The amount of tittle tattle I read daily from good UK socialists about the American election makes me sad, simply because in this dark hour it drains focus and energy from the goal at hand. The US election coverage will still be here in 10 days time. If you could put it to one side in your effort to fight this NHS bill, you will not regret it.

8. Single-mindedness will win the day. The Tories will try to distract and split the opponents of the bill by asking contingency questions. For example, “which bits are most unpalatable?”, or “how will we cope with the chaos if the bill fails”. Do not enter into dialogue on this basis. Our bottom line is that we want the bill defeated. Once we succeed, those considerations can follow afterwards. So, stay united on the main goal. We want the Bill halted.

9. Many of you have signed the NHS petition. It was actually the first petition I think I have ever signed on the government website. I thought it would be complicated but it takes about 15 seconds. You can ask others to sign the NHS petition from this link. If we get 100,000 votes we might be lucky that the Bill receives another day of debate in the House of Commons. But Sunny Hundal is right to advise that we place most focus on the Risk Register publication.

10. Most important of all, divide and conquer will help us beat this bill. Heap praise on the thirteen Lib Dem MPs who signed the EDM to publish the Risk Register, shower them with positive publicity. Say kind things about those who risk their career to block this bill. A lot of MPs secretly oppose this bill but are too scared to break ranks. If we in Labour reach out the hand of friendship to people who ordinarily would not be our allies then we can create the new alliances necessary to win this fight. Nobody likes to be disliked, least of all Lib Dems. Turning the vote into a popularity contest can sway MPs more than they would care to admit.

Let’s do this! Future generations will speak of the men & women who saved their NHS if you can stand with us this once, together, and defeat this Goliath of a Coalition. We have democracy & righteousness on our side, all that is left of us is to fight.


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