The junior doctors have recently voted for strike action by a staggering 98%. In my opinion this is a pivotal struggle that will determine the future of the NHS. It is imperative that the public are seen to be supporting this action in overwhelming numbers to oppose the bad press which will be generated by this strike, by the likes of Murdoch’s media monopoly.
This is a drastic action that the junior doctors have been forced to adopt, and lives may be put at risk. But that risk is miniscule when compared to the future good health of our nation that is threatened by government plans for the NHS.
The longer this struggle continues the less likely it is to succeed. Thats why I think we should all support this strike action by showing up at the picket lines on the days of action and show our support. If this action fails there will be no stopping the further privatisation of the NHS, this is the moment to act!
The days of action will be on the 1st, 8th and 16th of December, I will be there in Manchester supporting the Junior Doctors. If you are able, I urge you to do the same.
And here is Jim Naughtie’s pronunciation of Hunt, as unforgettably uttered on Radio 4’s Today program. It cracks me up every time I hear it 😉
An adapted version of the poem, First they came … by Martin Niemoller.
First they came … (Remix)
First they came for the unemployed, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not unemployed.
Then they came for the disabled, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not disabled.
Then they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an immigrant.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I have created a new poetry form to celebrate the greatest day in the year, which if you didn’t already know is the 2nd of July. I have decided to call the form Mancu, because it sounds a bit like Haiku, and I have adopted Manchester as MY city. The poem is entitled Fulcrum.
I know fuck all about poetry so maybe this isn’t new, or poetry, let me know.
I met George Watt in St Peter’s Square, Manchester. We were both there to support the Homeless Rights of Justice Manchester protest camp. He is originally from an Irish traveller family and told me he had previously been homeless himself. When he had seen the protest on the evening news he had to come down to help them.
George was one of the first people to sell the Big Issue in Manchester in the early 90s.He was full of praise for the Big Issue and said that it had ‘turned his life around’ and helped him into accomodation after a long spell of homelessness. The big Issue had originally been set up in Swan St Manchester, by Ruth Turner and her partner, but has now moved to a new site.
George also mentioned having a chat with Prince Phillip of Spain when he came looking round the Big Issue office with the Prince of Wales. He had a poem to recite, I have included a transcribed version and the audio version can be heard below along with a montage of photos from the various protest sites
I Cried on a Sunday
‘I cried on a Sunday the salt in my tears was stinging my eyes
We moan about the weather the snow and the rain
It helps us forget about the sorrow and pain
We seem to be content within our own bubble
Turn a blind eye to others and all of their troubles
I have spent sixty years looking for the meaning of life
Is it a job, a home, two children and a wife?
There is a time in our lives to take off our blinkers
To take notice of others become more of a thinker
We all have a duty to look out for others
Fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers
Just try to do a good deed a day
Inside your heart you will find your own pay
A good deed can be fleeting, you might miss it if you blink
Most people are kind hearted but seldom stop to think
And it’s the thought that counts.’
This is a poem I got from an enterprising homeless man called Sean. He was in Piccadilly gardens with a sign saying he didn’t like begging and so he sold poems instead.
Poem by Sean