Nobody can have escaped hearing that Boris is taking over as Prime Minister. We know he intends to form trade deals with America, which could have disastrous consequences for our NHS. But, we also know that he is likely to enforce greater austerity measures, throwing many more into poverty. He is a man who made jokes about dead bodies on Libyan beaches and made that famous lie about £350m extra for the NHS on the side of a bus if we left the EU. It is inconceivable to think that he is going to do anything other than speed up the rate at which our NHS is destroyed.
Although our primary function as a campaign has to be about working to protect our local healthcare services, unless we fight for a General Election our efforts are likely to be in vain. Austerity, and the poverty it creates, is a threat to health in itself. Some time ago the BMA released the figure that 120,000 deaths had occurred as a direct result of austerity.
But Boris is also a warmonger and happy to make threats against Iran. If money gets spent on war it will not be spent on healthcare. Boris is also extremely racist. Racism has already found its way into the NHS as our previous governments have chosen to blame foreigners for the crisis in the NHS hat they have created. Under Boris, this strategy is only likely to increase.
Trade deals with America would mean US healthcare corps would have a right to profit from our NHS. They already are profiting from the NHS but a trade deal would mean that if any future government put in place policy that restricted the level of profits they can make they would be entitled to sue our Government. We saw how Virgin Healthcare was able to sue our Government when they were not awarded a contract. But the Investor-State-Dispute-Settlements that are a consequence of trade deals are more worrying. These settlements would force our Government to lower regulations on healthcare – even a simple pay increase for staff could be deemed as restricting the level of profit the US healthcare corps can make. If we agreed to end the trade deal the healthcare corps would still have the right to sue our Government for another 20 years.
Boris was elected by 92,153 people in this country from a very narrow demographic which is largely white, male, affluent and from the older generation. Once again we have an unelected Prime Minster who is likely to make drastic changes to Government policy without any real democratic mandate. It really is time the people had a say.
To fight for the NHS, we must believe in democracy, we must fight racism, we must stick resolutely to the anti-war message, we must fight poverty and anything that extends inequality in our country. It is a tough ask but the consequences of us allowing this man free reign over the country are dire. Solidarity.