Monday, 22 July 2013

Don't be taken in by Tory propaganda

Remember the sell-off of British Rail, which began with the Railways Act 1993; and culminated with Railtrack being hastily privatised in May 1996, the last piece of wrecking legislation carried out by the Thatcher/Major governments who sold off and privatised most of the country's utilities and state owned industries.

From 1979 on British Rail was set-up to fail with a programme of underinvestment and a calculated propaganda campaign softening it up for privatisation. And when it came the organisation was broken up into over one hundred separate companies. The effects of this fragmentation still resonate through the industry today as we're faced with a confusion of ticket prices, the highest rail fares in Europe and a higher public subsidy than when the railways were in the public sector.

Protesters bring their message to Parliament earlier in 2013

Do you get feelings of déjà vu when reading and listening to the news stories coming out about the NHS? Since 2010 there has been a ratcheting-up of bad news stories concerning the NHS. Of course poor practices and failing hospitals are newsworthy; and the public should be aware of what is happening with the service that delivers most of our country's health care. However, the constant drip-feed of negativity concerning the NHS is a prelude to the carve-up and sale of our NHS.

British Rail became the by-word of a poorly delivered service; thus allowing its dismantlement and sell-off. Disabled people became synonymous with benefits fraud and scrounging; thus an easy group for the government to target with cuts. So now the NHS is receiving the softening-up process. When it is ready the ConDems will turn to the horror stories and bad news events that it is helping to create, and present the NHS as a failing structure in dire need of the direction only the private sector can deliver.

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