aneurin_bevana

Whilst the right wing media still has daily fits over the rise of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives fall ever further into the abyss where they rightly belong.

At 66 years of age I remember the post war era, of moving from an ageing prefab to a brand new 3 bedroom house with a garden front and back, of visits to the doctor when needed and the dentist as a matter of course for regular check ups and treatment. I vividly recall a life saving operation as a child in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, writ large because of the agony I was in and of being cared for at home afterwards by a district nurse. In the new, post war, world I grew up in we learnt to take such care for granted, available to us even though we were dirt poor.

So it is with some authority that I can say that what Jeremy Corbyn is offering us is not new, it has been done before in a time of immense upheaval in this country which had suffered what today in Britain is unimaginable destruction, save in the memories of those older than I am, and bravely survived.

In those days Britain had to draw on skills from across the world to realise the vision of a National Health Service and to run Transport for London. Without that influx of immigrant Labour the dreams would never have become reality and the NHS would have collapsed. Then, as now, immigration was a thorny issue, Britain has never shied away from hypocrisy and bigotry to serve its own ends.

Age provides a longer memory and a longer perspective, so imagine my rage when Theresa May was told by nursing staff on the election special of BBC Question Time, “My wage slips from 2009 reflect exactly what I’m earning today. How can that be fair, in the light of the job that we do?” and another telling her, ‘the 1 per cent cap on annual public sector pay rises had meant a real-terms decrease in his salary of 14 per cent since 2010, adding: “So don’t tell us we’re getting a pay rise”,’ to which Theresa May responded, “there isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.”

First and foremost my fury was directed at the sheer arrogance and patronising contempt of Theresa May with which she insulted the intelligence of not just nurses but the entire nation, on prime time television, and then the fact that what May had said was an ideologically driven bare faced lie. There is more than enough money to do whatever her party wants to do, including MPs pay rises. Cut price, tax payer funded, sell offs to vulture privateers of national assets and public services across the board, tax breaks for the rich and for corporations, vanity infrastructure projects like High Speed Rail, with its tidal wave of unnecessary destruction on our tiny island nation which has no need of any such thing.

What Jeremy Corbyn is experiencing from the Conservatives and the right wing media is something about which, were he alive, Aneurin Bevan could share a tale or two about the bloody Tories of his time which led him to declare in bitterness and rage, in 1948 at a Manchester rally:

“… no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.”

If Jeremy Corbyn had said the same at Glastonbury, Manchester, Liverpool, Gateshead or London, not a word of it would have been out of place other than ‘Lord Woolton’ who could be replaced by any Tory propagandist of our time.

It is a hatred that burns inside me today at the suffering and destruction the Tories have inflicted upon us.

The united voices of people chorusing, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn,” is more than a cry of sentiment from the ignorant masses, it is a cry of protest that we’ve had enough of Tories lies and destruction. It is a cry of hope, aspiration and yearning the like of which has never been seen in Britain before.

Millions of people have had enough of Tory eugenics (what else can I call it?) which have cost tens of thousands of lives and “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” means ‘enough is enough’. The Conservatives do not serve the nation, they serve the interests of a tiny few, those interests of polarised wealth and greed, betraying the hopes and dreams of millions who just want to get on in reasonable prosperity and comfort, with the right to a roof over our heads and a decent meal on the table.

At 66 years old I do not aspire, nor ever have, to becoming a millionaire, what use would that be to me? I would like to end my days in peace, with enough to survive and thrive on and for any rainy days which inevitably fall, to attend my local hospital for vital treatments in the knowledge that such health care will outlast me for the future. That is no great ask, it is a modest demand and expectation.

Do not tell me it can’t be done. It has been done before and it can be done again. All it requires is the people’s will to make it so, to drive the Tories and austerity off the awaiting cliff and rebuild a better Britain for the many, not just the grasping few.

KOG. 25 June 2017

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/immigration-and-the-national-health-service-putting-history-to-the-forefron

https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/assets/downloads/Generations.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nurse-magic-money-tree-bbcqt-question-time-pay-rise-eight-years-election-latest-a7770576.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10249815/High-speed-rail-scheme-cost-to-double-to-80bn-economists-warn.html

https://www.sochealth.co.uk/national-health-service/the-sma-and-the-foundation-of-the-national-health-service-dr-leslie-hilliard-1980/aneurin-bevan-and-the-foundation-of-the-nhs/bevans-speech-to-the-manchester-labour-rally-4-july-1948/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

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