Wednesday, 24 December 2014

'No Health Sell-Off' signs raised as Scotforth households step up

Households across Hala make their point

Rows of houses in streets across Scotforth East have taken a collective stand against the irreversible sell-off of their health services to America by raising Cameron & Hunt Estate Agency boards with the clear message to veto the NHS from the EU-US trade deal called TTIP.

The collective action is the continuation of a growing nationwide movement called The People’s NHS, across thousands of households throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The action is supported by No Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay who have been campaigning locally against the sale of the hospital pharmacies at the University of Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust.
(See our previous blog 'Protesters call on Morecambe Bay Trust board to halt Pharmacy sell-off'.)

A similarly popular and and highly visible protest began last month in Heysham South - see our blog and pictures. The collective action is just part of a nationwide movement by the People’s NHS national campaign across hundreds of neighbourhoods in England, Scotland and Wales. You can find out more about it at http://www.peoplesnhs.org/.

More signs going up - pictures online
You can see more pictures of local streets of households displaying their signs going up all the time on the 'No Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay' campaign facebook page.

The UK’s entire health system is now up for sale because of the coalition government’s Health and Social Care Act. Since 2012 almost 70 per cent of NHS contracts put up for sale have gone to the private sector.

EU/US trade deal aims to cut UK powers of regulation
David Cameron's government aims to make the sell-off irreversible through a European Union / US trade deal called the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) although this fundamental blow to UK national sovereignty was not advertised prior to the 2010 general election. The core object of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. It would effectively do so by levelling the standards required of transnational corporations bidding for contracts to the lowest common denominator.

The TTIP deal, is being negotiated behind the closed doors, between the EU and the United States. It is the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated. It threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS irreversible by giving the profits of corporations precedence over national lawmakers. TTIP could give US multinationals, or any firm with American investors, new rights to sue the UK government if it ever tried to take privatised health services back into public hands.

Exempt the NHS from TTIP
The No Health Sell-Off campaign is demanding that David Cameron exempts NHS services from the TTIP deal.

The action is a strong message to Eric Ollerenshaw MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood that his constituents oppose the Tory agenda to hand control of our health services over to unregulatable companies dedicated to making profit.

Calling on Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Jean Taylor, local resident and No Health Selloff member said:
“The people of Scotforth East are demanding David Cameron uses his veto to get the NHS out of TTIP. They are appalled that our NHS could be irreversibly sold-off to US corporations. Hundreds of households are sending a clear message by raising‘stop the sale signs’.

"We are also urging our MP Eric Ollerenshaw to pressure David Cameron to take health out of the dangerous trade."


No Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay' campaign facebook page

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Plenty of Hala residents woke up this week to discover these signs planted in their front gardens without their knowledge or consent. Gardens have been damaged, the police have been involved, and in some cases the people who planted the signs have been made to remove them and apologise to the householders.

Just because you have a good cause it doesn't give you the right to invade and deface people's property like this.

Chris Satori said...

Virtual-Lancaster contacted No Health Selloff when the previous negative comment was received (on Christmas Eve). Unfortunately, in the absence of any response we posted this anonymous comment. We have now received a strong rebuttal from No Health Selloff. As the previous comment has been standing for almost a fortnight it seems more just to allow the rebuttal to appear with it than to simply remove the negative post unchallenged.
Here is the reply from No Health Sellof:

"Thanks for your email and we appreciate you contacting us, the allegations are however factually incorrect and totally untrue – as such I hope you will not print the claims which are malicious fabrications from an unknown person pretending to speak on behalf of local residents.

"The reality is hundreds of households across Scotforth East did take a collective stand against the irreversible sell-off of their health services to America by raising Cameron & Hunt Estate Agency boards with the clear message to veto the NHS from the EU-US trade deal called TTIP.

"The police never spoke to anyone at any stage during the process. We had no complaints either when we put the boards up or when we removed them. Everyone that had a board up had been spoken to, agreed to a time and date for the signs to be erected, signed a pledge, gave full permission and received a leaflet, so residents had the opportunity to communicate with us directly.

"The event was an overwhelming success and in fact we had more people requesting boards than we could supply on the days in question. We had to take them down early and re-erect at other properties to reach the demand. Only one person had a change of heart, and this was on religious grounds and this was not a problem.

"The local residents and the parish hall of St Pauls took part, and the social media sites including Facebook reflect this success.

"We would like to thank you for your support and for bringing this to our attention. We hope you won’t be giving these wholly false allegations and dirty tricks any coverage on your excellent blog site."