Tony Garnett • Blog Posts

Beware a Tory with his “hurt” face on

Other workers are correct to be wary of the ever reasonable Hunt. Beware a Tory with his “hurt” face on.

Just stand back from the details. The Junior Doctors’ fight is a small step. Instead, think strategically. They do.

Workers in the NHS need to be disciplined, not just to cut the overall budget, but to demoralise the Service and soften it up for more and more private employers. The goal is NHS abolition and privatisation, and the NHS is the biggest prize of all.

They know the NHS is popular, so over time they need to soften it up, one step at at time.

The response should be a co-ordinated walk out across the service, leaving a skeleton staff to deal with A and E and urgent cases. Solidarity leading to a stand off. Let’s see, with the banks in trouble and the Referendum imminent, if they have stomach for a real fight. A budget must be donated by the Unions to stay on the front foot in the media PR battle, to fight fire with fire as the Tories slander the NHS staff. Sympathy strikes by key workers i.e. in transport, plus go slows should kick in to support the NHS. Let’s show them how much the NHS means to people.

This isn’t a local dispute with a few doctors. This is another round in a long assault as the Tories pick groups off one by one.

Where are the Union leaders? Scared of going to jail? At the moment they are leading from behind. They should be combining, with the strength of workers grouped together, to fight the Tories on this issue and start pushing them back.

This is the equivalent of the miners in ’84 and ’26, in this regard: if you can humiliate this respected and important group of workers, you will force the rest to bend the knee without risking a fight.

So, one defeat and they’re all defeated.

Why not one victory and everyone can then breathe easy?