Dan Palmer produced 5,00 leaflets at cost price and distribution of these flyers, which outline the aims of the campaign, and advertise our March through Hull City centre (12 mid day, assemble Victoria Square) began in earnest at the Freedom Festival.
Further street campaigning took place right across the area with Hessle being covered on Sunday, Hull Royal, Beverley Road, Orchard Park, Newland Ave and Anlaby followed suit and on Friday we had a great turnout at the Interchange in Hull City Centre to talk to a great number of people. The over riding theme of this week has been the stunning lack of knowledge in the community as to the severity of the cuts and their devastating impact for workers and patients alike.
Roaslie and Jim Kelly even lobbied staff and patients whilst waiting for an Out Patient appointment!
In addition the number of staff who were feeling too intimated to sign the petition for fear of workplace reprisals from Management, and who related horror stories of everyday problems in under staffed wards was truly shocking. Poor staff morale has become apparent and this was reflected by a story in the Hull Mail on Friday: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Staff-morale-growing-concern-Hull-Royal-Castle/story-16901636-detail/story.html
Saturday saw Labour Party grassroots members from all over the East Riding swing behind the Campaign at a meeting in Beverley organised by George McManus.
Labour’s Deputy Leader in the Lords, Phil Hunt spoke at the meeting. His insistence on continuing to champion private sector meddling in the NHS left many Labour Party stalwarts wondering if the Leadership have the slightest clue as to how the public are feeling about what is happening on the ground to our NHS. In addition Phil repeated the mantra that we can’t make spending commitments. We can and should. It’s called making the rich pay their taxes, and legislating to release the £750 BILLION residing in the Banks who are refusing to liberate our money into our economy. Finally where are the Front Bench when they are needed by local campaigns to be in the media backing us? Silence is the watchword.
But the cross community talent that we have in our Campaign means we can make the difference ourselves, but it is a damning indictment of the perceived disconnect between the Labour Leadership and the community. They must get proactive if they are to avoid becoming “irrelevant to the needs”.
By Dermot Rathbone (Personal Capacity)