When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, we spelled out the threat that he posed to our NHS. Between his lifelong adherence to his party’s privatisation dogma and his proposed “trade deal” with Donald Trump’s US administration, he has always represented an urgent danger.
Yesterday, Johnson took a massive step towards proving us right. In proroguing parliament, he is trying to acquire total power over the rest of the Brexit process, and shut down any chance of his plans being stalled by democratic pressure. The outcome could well be a Tory “No deal” Brexit, with the attendant risks to patients and NHS services, followed up by a trade deal with Trump. Top figures in the US administration have made very clear what this would mean: they openly declare that they want to destroy Britain’s “socialized system” of healthcare – what they call our NHS – and open up the UK market to exploitative sky-high prices for basic life-saving medicines.
Coming from a Prime Minister with a parliamentary majority of one, who was selected by the small and unrepresentative membership of the Conservative Party rather than by voters at large, the prorogation of Parliament is also nakedly undemocratic. The waves of protest building all around the country are a sign that people are willing to push back and stop Johnson in his tracks.
Keep Our NHS Public supports this fightback! Speakers from KONP will be addressing the crowds at events called in London and Manchester next week by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. We will be highlighting the acute risk to our NHS and public services from this flagrantly undemocratic government. We encourage our members and supporters to get along to these events if they can, and also to support local protest in their own communities and areas. It’s likely there will be other events happening across the country organised by a range of different groups and by people in no political grouping. We need to make the pushback as large and as loud as we possibly can.
The events of the last few days also point to the possibility of a fresh general election being called soon, if Johnson is not able to get a handle on events. If an election is held, all health activists, health workers and supporters of the NHS will need to spring into action fast and call on voters to #VoteNHS. We can put the threat to our NHS at the heart of the national discussion, reminding people that Johnson’s games could have mortal consequences.