Tag Archives: NHS

Candlelit vigil for NHS outside Nick Clegg’s Sheffield office

Protesters outside Nick Clegg's Sheffield Office

A candlelit vigil was held outside Nick Clegg’s Sheffield office this evening in protest against the NHS Bill, which has just cleared it’s final reading in the House of Lords.

The bill will now return to the House of Commons where MP’s will consider any suggested amendments to the legislation.

The vigil lasted 45 minutes from 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm and was attended by approximately 65 people, including NHS workers.

Clegg ‘a disgrace’

At 7:55 pm, there were 16 protesters gathered outside Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam office. They included a lady holding a sign which read ‘Nick Clegg, you are a disgrace to our city. Shame on you for defying the people of Sheffield’.

“Now we have to debate whether he’s the worst MP in Sheffield’s history,” she suggested.

Also present was the Sheffield Central Constituency Labour Party’s Secretary Jim Smith. On the bill, he commented that the coalition “have no mandate.

“They didn’t talk about [the bill] in their manifesto,” he said.

Bill ‘a disaster’

By 8:25 pm there were approximately 65 people present. A few words were said by some of the more outspoken protesters including a Sheffield doctor who said that she is “deeply deeply worried” about the bill.

She went on to say that the bill is “a disaster in terms of the fragmentation of patient care.”

After one minute of silence the crowd disbanded at 8:45 pm. Faith Salih, one of the organisers of the vigil, said the protest showed that “people from all backgrounds care.”

The vigil is one of many which are taking place across Britain tonight. They have been orchestrated by political blogger Dr. Éoin Clarke.

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Paul Blomfield MP protests against NHS bill in Broomhill

Paul Blomfield MP in Broomhill today

Labour MP for Sheffield Central Paul Blomfield set up stall outside Broomhill’s shops today to protest against the government’s proposed NHS bill.

In an interview with TGS News, he said that the bill is “going to cause enormous damage to healthcare in this country.

“It will lead to the privitisation of the NHS as we know it.”

Bill ‘deeply ideological’

Blomfield contends that the bill is largely ideologically motivated. “I think it’s joined up with a number of other aspects of government policy,” he said.

“It’s part of a vision which sees a smaller public realm, a smaller state, and the private sector being the key operator.

“It’s deeply ideological.”

He pointed to the state of healthcare in the United States to illustrate the potential drawbacks of private sector involvement in the NHS: “The wealthy in the states get the highest standards of care – but those people who lose their job and therefore lose their occupational health insurance will find themselves not provided for by the state.”

Thatcher’s dream

Also present was Broomhill Labour councillor Stuart Wattam. He said that the coalition are doing “what Thatcher only dreamt of doing in the 1970’s.”

Wattam also argued that the bill has been poorly thought out. “It’s just appalling really,” he said.

“They’re going to spend more than they’re actually going to save.”

Member of the Broomhill Labour party Val Binney was at the stall, speaking with the public about the bill. She spent 25 years working as a clinical psychologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

She said she was confused by the coalition’s proposal to abolish primary care trusts as they have been functioning well.

On the bill, she concluded: “it’s become a matter of pride to push it through no matter what.”

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