Guest post pt 3: entrepreneur says #VoteLabour for our #NHS #GE17

This is the third and final part of a guest post by social entrepreneur Paul Riley of Sustainable Liverpool, in which he lays out the reasons he’s asking everyone in this country to vote Labour. Part 2 (with a link to part 1) can be read here:

A large part of Sustainable Liverpool’s goals are focused on the improvement of quality of life. I have stopped working on my own organisation’s projects until after the election, because the threat posed by a newly elected Tory Government is much bigger than anything else. For the last month I have been campaigning against the Conservatives, and writing some guest posts for SKWAWKBOX is just part of that effort.

I have already written about why I support the Labour Manifesto on the Sustainable Liverpool site [http://www.sustainableliverpool.org/not-voting-jeremy-corbyn/]. These short blasts of sourced material are designed to quickly and efficiently get across some of the worst excesses and failures of the current leaders of our country, in the hope of adding to the numbers of people who go to the polls tomorrow to give their support to Labour.

In this post, I will be focusing on public services. We have seen an ever-increasing amount of pressure on our most vital workers. Twenty hospitals declared a Black Alert in January, meaning that they can no longer assure patient safety [1], while the Red Cross declared the NHS was in humanitarian crisis [2]. Also this January, around 1000 NHS England patients waited more than 12 hours on a trolley, compared to just 17 in Jan 2011 [3]. 


nhs corridor
The UK’s greatest achievement is dying under the Tories


There’s been a 504% increase of patients waiting over four hours at A&E since Jan 2011 [4], A&E diverts are up 86% on last winter and over 4000 urgent operations were cancelled last year, up 27% in two years [5].

Knee and hip operations are “rationed” for only those who can’t sleep because of the pain [6]. The rules on how much the NHS could pay agency staff is breached 50,000 times a week because of staff shortages [7], while applications for nursing degrees are down 23% on September 2016 because nursing bursaries have been scrapped [8]. Further to that, half of junior doctors chose not to progress to specialty training last year and less newly qualified doctors are staying in the UK for their first appointment [9]. NHS staff are suffering pay cuts [10] while private contracting has doubled from £4 billion to £8 billion since 2010 [11].

The current Tory manifesto hardly mentions the GP crisis. 300 practices across the country face closure, while many patients are struggling to get appointments [12].

While the NHS is on its knees, it would not do to forget that our other public services are also on the verge of collapse. Between March 2010 and March 2016 we lost 9,668 firefighter jobs [13]. The fire service budget has been slashed by 30%, and there is another 20% cut planned by 2020 [13].

People are dying because of these cuts and these record fire station closures. Government statistics show that between 2014/15 and 2015/16m, fire-related deaths increased by 17.5% [14]. That is not a price worth paying for austerity, if you still believe in that debunked ideology.

The £15 billion in corporation tax cuts the Tories are enacting would be enough to train 10,000 teachers, 10,000 police officers, and 12,000 nurses full time every year for a decade [15].

Finally, for our whistle-stop tour of the damage the Conservatives have done to our lives, we get to one of the main reasons that Sustainable Liverpool exists. We began in response to concerns about climate change and environmental issues. Here are some of the Green policies that have been cut by the Tories since 2010, in what some environmentalists are calling ‘the worst period for environmental policy in three decades [16].

The tories have scrapped subsidies for onshore wind [17] and larger solar installations [18]. They killed the flagship Green Homes Scheme [19], sold off the Green Investment Bank, which even a leading Tory thinktank thought was a bad idea [20], and they gave up on zero carbon homes [21]. I could go on. They are environmentally disastrous.

Never mind, eh? We still have Hinkley Point Nuclear Station, which hasn’t at all descended into an utter £18bn farce. Honestly [22].

I can’t write any more. It is just too depressing. Perhaps, if I wake up on Friday morning to the spectre of another Tory Government, I could start looking at starting up Sustainable Montreal instead of Sustainable Liverpool.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/11/nhs-crisis-20-hospitals-declare-black-alert-as-patient-safety-no-longer-assured

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/nhs-faces-humanitarian-crisis-rising-demand-british-red-cross

[3] http://news.sky.com/story/worst-month-on-record-for-ae-waiting-times-10795364

[4] http://news.sky.com/story/worst-month-on-record-for-ae-waiting-times-10795364

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/27/record-number-urgent-operations-cancelled-hospitals-england-2016

[6] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/26/hip-operations-much-pain-cant-sleep-new-nhs-rationing-plans/

[7] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36341285

[8] https://www.ucas.com/corporate/news-and-key-documents/news/applicants-uk-higher-education-down-5-uk-students-and-7-eu-students

[9] http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Half+of+foundation+trainees+now+choose+not+to+progress+straight+to+specialty+training

[10] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/nhs-staff-pay-cut-one-per-cent-rise-health-workers-doctors-dentists-nurses-midwives-a7654251.html

[11] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37087304

[12] http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/views/blogs/tory-manifesto-promises-nothing-but-more-nhs-cuts-and-privatisation/20034474.blog

[13] https://www.fbu.org.uk/news/2016/09/13/fire-service-crisis-10000-firefighter-jobs-axed

[14] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incident-response-times-april-2015-to-march-2016-england

[15] http://press.labour.org.uk/post/155290716819/tory-cuts-to-corporation-tax-worth-15-billion

[16] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/24/green-policies-conservative-tory-attacks-environment

[17] https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statement-on-ending-subsidies-for-onshore-wind

[18] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/controlling-the-cost-of-renewable-energy

[19] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/23/uk-ceases-financing-of-green-deal

[20] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/25/senior-tories-slam-governments-green-investment-bank-sell-off

[21] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/10/uk-scraps-zero-carbon-home-target

[22] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/29/from-feast-to-farce-how-the-big-hinkley-point-c-party-and-project-got-put-on-ice



  1. Thank you for this series of posts from Sustainable Liverpool. They really do focus the mind on the catalogue of horrors inflicted upon us by the Tory regime.
    I was one who campaigned against the selling off of the Green Investment Bank but the Tories still flogged it to the Australian bank, Macquarie, with only flimsy pretensions of ‘safeguarding’ the GIB’s green mission. That’s the same Macquarie who are notorious for asset-stripping …

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