Unite union boss Len McCluskey vows to defend NHS against ”private predators” in speech at Cambridge University

Jason Beattie in the Mirror 26th February 2014 reports: Unite union boss Len McCluskey vows to defend NHS against ”private predators”  in speech at Cambridge University

He said a new campaign will target private health firms, pension funds and  politicians responsible for the creeping privatisation of the health service in  England

The leader of Britain’s biggest union tonight vowed to hound private business  “predators” out of the NHS.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said his union would start a “leverage”  campaign in defence of the health services.

He said the campaign would target the private health firms, pension funds and  politicians who were responsible for the creeping privatisation of the NHS in England.

The Unite union caused controversy last week with its “leverage” campaign  against the bosses of the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.

Mr McCluskey said the new drive would not see union members and supporters  “turning up outside directors’ houses” and demonstrating.

But he warned he would use the full force of his union to hold to account the  Tory and Lib Dem politicians “that have given the green light” to the  privatisation of the NHS.

“Let me be clear – this will not target health professionals, or premises  used by patients, under any circumstances,” he said in a speech to students at  Trinity College, Cambridge University.

“This is about defending the NHS from the predators, and it is the predators  we will target, not in the interests of trade unions, but in the interests of  the whole community.

“What society needs is more community leverage over politicians and business  – and I am proud that Unite can give a lead in providing it.”

Mr McCluskey also warned his union would campaign against the private firms  looking to work in the NHS.

“We will be there to take the gloss off your PR events. We will talk to the  pension funds and financial institutions that hold your stock. In short – you  will be accountable,” he said.

He said the NHS was the country’s most treasured possession but it was being  “gutted” by the Coalition…..”

I would agree that the NHS has been evicerated – but by Mr Blair in the devolution which has resulted in much weaker mutuality and protection from the fear of an inferior service..

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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