Voting in the Labour-affiliated Socialist Health Association (SHA) national elections opened this week.
Red Labour has backed a list of candidates that it considers to be genuine socialist health activists campaigning for NHS re-nationalisation: twenty candidates to the SHA’s Central Council decision-making body, plus the current treasurer Tom Fitzgerald.
As with many of the so-called ‘socialist societies’, the SHA was for many years a ‘centrist’ stronghold. It has been accused of failing to hold the Labour Party to account on NHS privatisation and of putting out often ambiguous public views on the subject. SHA members dramatically changed this by electing socialist, pro-Corbyn national officers last year.
- properly restore the NHS on its founding principles “as per the NHS [Reinstatement] Bill”
- to oppose Tory healthcare policy, which has been quietly channelled outside parliament by NHS England (when it’s not being taken to court by Stephen Hawking).
But claims have been made that the ‘old guard’ is now standing for the Central Council with a new Corbyn-esque rhetoric, claiming anger at privatisation after years of dismissing opposition to it as ‘misguided’, or claiming credit for the health sections of Labour’s 2017 General Election manifesto, even though Labour conference was in fact highly critical of health commitments in an otherwise excellent manifesto:
— Momentum NHS #EL4C (@Momentum_NHS) October 5, 2017
A number of former SHA Chairs are standing as candidates for the SHA Central Council. Also standing is Dame Jane Roberts, who resigned from her SHA role in 2017 and is, according to her Cambridge University profile, a trustee of the IPPR think-tank, which is run by a recent employee of a major health privatiser.
These candidates are not in the slate endorsed by Red Labour. The organisation is asking SHA members to vote for:
Treasurer: Tom Fitzgerald
-Dr David Wrigley
-Dr Andy Thompson
-Dr Kathrin Thomas
-Dr Brian Gibbons
-David Llewellyn Davies
-Dr Guy Baily
-Dr Coral Jones
-Dr Tony Jewell
-Dr Tom Fitzgerald
-Dr Jacky Davis
SHA members who want to make sure Labour takes the firmest possible stance against corporate interests and adopts healthcare policies that benefit patients should ensure that their votes go to the candidates listed above.
For detailed information on the NHS-related issues of Labour’s 2017 manifesto, see health campaigner Professor Allyson Pollock’s analysis here.
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