Occupation: Technical Manager.
Constituency: Sutton and Cheam
Current MP: Paul Burstow. Lib Dem majority of 1608.
"I have never worked in the health service, and have never until recently felt the need to devote so much of my time to any cause. But the threat facing our wonderful NHS has left me with no choice but to take this on as a personal quest. I don’t know if my actions will have the desired effect, but I feel that it is my duty to offer a concerted resistance to the wicked actors at work here.
I should also confess that when I was first asked to stand, I was, frankly terrified. But then I thought back, and remembered that earlier this year, my 6 year old daughter stood up in a packed council chamber at a meeting which I helped to organise, unprompted in any way by me, and spoke in front of well over a hundred people, in support of saving the health service – if a 6 year old can take a stand, what excuse do I have not to do so?
I should perhaps declare an interest – as human beings, it really is only a matter of time until I, a member of my family, or someone close to me requires the services of our fabulous NHS, so I and indeed all of us, have a vested interest in the continued existence of it.
When people challenge me asking why, given that I do not work in the health service, care so much about our NHS, and my answer is relatively simple, and not really an answer at all – it’s another question – “Why DON’T YOU care so much”.
After the second world war, this country was broke – and I mean genuinely broke, so much so that we only very recently (2006) finished paying off the loans to the US and Canada. It was in the midst of this debt that our NHS was set up, and at that time out of necessity, very cleverly was set up to provide the maximum possible service for the lowest possible price. Indeed many recent studies have shown the NHS is still THE most efficient healthcare service in the world. So, remember this the next time someone tells you that we can’t afford it.
In my campaigning locally, I discovered that Paul Burstow has been running a ‘campaign’ which claimed to be aimed at “saving” my local hospital, but a quick look at his voting record during this parliament paints quite a different picture. Not only did he vote in favour of the Health and Social Care Bill, which has put both my local hospital and the wider NHS at risk, but he also voted for the hospital closure clause of the Care Bill despite tabling his own amendment to this bill, but then voted against his own amendment. To top it off, on Tuesday of last week, he appeared on Newsnight calling for homes to be built for the elderly on NHS land.
The National Health Service really is the greatest achievement this country … correction, ANY country has ever made, and I really could not stand by and do nothing while self serving private healthcare organisations rip the heart out of our fabulous health service – I owe it to my kids, and their kids, and to everyone’s kids to take this stand. I truly believe that when we stand togther, and fight together, we will WIN this together.