Monday, 28 January 2013

Lewisham Hospital John Hamiltons Comments from People before Profit.

What a fantastic job we all did with the leafletting of stations and 
streets!  Combined with other publicity, posters and banners we 
succeeded in mobilising between 20,000 and 25,000 people yesterday.

I'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to each of you for the hours 
of slogging the streets and stations and I'm sure I speak for Simone, 
too, who could barely keep up with the list of streets that people were 
reporting back that they had covered.

I was responsible for stations, and after an initial allocation of 
stations to regular People Before Profit campaigners to ensure that they 
were done at least one morning and one evening, I was  inundated with 
offers from people to do follow up leafletting at stations near them.

I don't know about you, but I find it inspiring to talk to people, 
listen to their stories and views (not always positive) and explain why 
we think it's worth fighting for this campaign.

Yesterday's march showed that the people of Lewisham and surrounding 
boroughs really do care about this hospital and the threat to the whole 
NHS.

Whether Hunt decides to close the A&E and Maternity or to spare them, we 
will still need to counter the underlying cause of the bankruptcy of the 
NHS trust in Greenwich and Bromley - PFI payments to Barclays, Innisfree 
and Taylor-Woodrow (United Health Consortium).

We have been paralysed within the campaign meetings by the reluctance of 
the Labour Party to allow discussion of this aspect - Joan Ruddock 
didn't mention it on Radio 4 yesterday, Heidi Alexander didn't mention.  
None of the Lewisham MPs has signed the early day motion on PFI and 
Lewisham ( http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/306// ) presumably 
because they don't want to put the blame for the mess fairly and 
squarely where it belongs - on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Fortunately Lewisham People Before Profit has no such inhibitions and we 
will be discussing how to campaign on this at our regular monthly 
meeting next Monday, 4th February at 7.15 at The Broca Cafe.  All welcome.

We have already performed a short sketch about the PFI scam inside 
Barclays Bank branches in Deptford and Lewisham and set up a petition on 
the Downing Street website at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42460
There is lots of interesting information about PFI at 
www.SaveLondonNHS.org.uk

Don't forget to meet outside Lewisham Hospital at 6pm on the evening 
Hunt makes his announcement.  The BBC is still saying that this will be 
on Friday this week, but it could be another day.

Yours,
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