The shocking election results last week pose new challenges to this campaign. It was hardly a surprise that I didn’t win in Hampden Park but disappointing that so many voted for more of the same. I have already written in Bournefree Live about our experiences of speaking to local people. This election result convinced me that our political system is deeply flawed.
Our Prime Minister said: “I am not imposing another f…..ing lockdown, let the bodies pile up in their thousands.” And, we know the bodies did pile up in their thousands.” We have also all recently been told about corruption and cronyism in Downing Street Our nurses, who brought us through the pandemic were denied an agreed pay rise of 2.4% . The fact that they have already suffered a 20% real terms pay cut since 2010 seems irrelevant. The fact many risked their lives to assist those with Covid 19 also seems irrelevant now. And then there was all the furore over this Bill which threatens to make our right to protest illegal. But still many people voted for the Tory Party?
I have spoken to so many people in Hampden Park who told me shocking stories of hardship and suffering. Much of which was the effects of unnecessary austerity cuts by this governments since 2010. But still the Tories managed to narrow the gap between them and the Lib Dems in this area. I have been shocked by the way in which Hampden Park has been neglected by the County Council for years. But still the people voted for no change with our County Councillor.
From canvassing I saw a few issues that were flying in the face of democracy. We talked to so many people who had been fed fake news and believed it. Many others, had lost hope and could not believe there was any point voting at all. There was also a large number of people whose lives drained every bit of energy from them. They understandably felt they had no time or energy to think about voting.
But then we had the election leaflets. We contacted the Electoral Commission about one leaflet that was particularly dishonest. Their reply was that there was nothing in law to say that flyers, used to promote candidates at election times, have to be truthful. How can we have a democracy with all this going on?
We now have many challenges ahead. A priority will be to raise the profile of our campaign again as for over a year we have been unable to get out and about. Our election campaign in Hampden Park relied almost entirely on three of us canvassing and two people delivering leaflets. We need more people involved with the campaign.
At the same time we must fight against low pay for NHS workers. The RCN is now aiming to train up 25,000 front line nurses to become activists in the fight against low pay.
Our Government is planning another top down reorganisation that could be the final nail in the coffin of our NHS. This Bill demands fierce opposition and raising public awareness will be essential.
Governments have always neglected mental health provision. But the services for children and young people are scandalously poor. The Priory Group is closing the unit at Ticehurst so it is essential that the NHS opens a unit for young people in this area.
We also have to fight the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which potentially could stop us fighting for anything. Nye Bevan said: ” The NHS will last as long as their enough folk left with the faith too fight for it.” The survival of the service needs us to fight, so this Bill threatens the future of our NHS.
It can feel very frightening to see this authoritarian Government suggest such draconian legislation. It is terrrifying to realise how far they are prepared to go. If ever there was a time when it was clear how much our country needs radical change it is now. Ironically it is the establishmment who appear to be creating a situation where the need for radical change is so apparent. And the establishment who are desperate to prevent radical change happening.
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