Unions call for National Vigil to save NHS


1:10 pm - May 23rd 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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Health Unions across the UK have today put out a call for a National Vigil to save the NHS.

The vigil will take place on the evening of the third of Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill, in the House of Commons. The date has not yet been set for the reading.

A yes vote on the third reading will move the controversial measures significantly closer to becoming law.

The TUC has been coordinating discussions between health unions to discuss their response to the HSC bill.

Today it put out a call for a national vigil:

That evening, as our health service faces its biggest shake-up since its creation in 1948, people across the country will be showing their concern by lighting candles for the NHS, in their windows at home, or as part of local vigils.

Can we please call on you to join us?

Please make a pledge to light a candle on the evening of the debate. We’ll send you an email with more information when the date is announced.

In every town in the UK, in every street, we’ll be showing our support at the NHS’ darkest hour.

Sign up to the vigil from this website.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


And there are mistaken people out there who claim that the NHS isn’t the new religion…..

A candlelit vigil?!

Given what past generations sacrificed to get us an NHS the TUC should be ashamed that this is the best they could come up with.

How about a massive protest outside Parliament on the night instead? I really don’t want to be sat at home sat in front of a miserable little candle singing ‘We Shall Overcome’.

I agree with Oliver, typical middle class thinking – let’s meekly stand there with oour candles while we get fucked up the arse.

How about breaking into parliament and BURNING IT TO THE GROUND!

4. Kit Leary

Nothing, but NOTHING annoys me more than organising pathetic “vigils” for services that haven’t been lost yet.

You organise a vigil for something that has DIED. Now correct me if I’m wrong but the NHS has not died yet, has it? So why are we acting as if we have already lost? We haven’t!

No, no stupid vigils – why not organise a lobby of parliament or something, even if it’s just to look as if we’re actually standing up and fighting.

What was it that Nye Bevan said about the NHS and folk with the faith to fight for it?

I despair for the trade union movement sometimes, I really do.

Looks like cheap (and ineffective) gesture politics. Apart from anything else, fighting the wrong battle (‘saving the NHS’ when it is not under threat) is at best insulting to the public you are trying to attract. At worst it is very stupid, as it means you are making a desperate last stand which allows those you oppose to get on with making changes to their hearts’ content – whilst you focus the media and public on a phantom threat.

The unions seem to be spoiling for fights that just aren’t there (and will only be there at a time of Messrs Cameron and Osborne’s choosing).


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Health unions call for National Vigil to save NHS http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q

  2. bryan

    Unions call for National Vigil to save NHS | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Xeur9BY via @libcon

  3. Tony Braisby

    Unions call for National Vigil to save NHS | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nk8dOl1 via @libcon

  4. Andy Bean

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  5. UNISON Health

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  6. Sian Davies

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  7. sunny hundal

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  8. Kim Blake

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  9. Jos Bell

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  10. Mabel Horrocks

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  11. NWTUC

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  12. Richard Murphy

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  13. Right To Work

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  14. Brummie Protestor

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  15. ajehals

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  16. Graham

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  17. Tony Dowling

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  18. Unions call for National Vigil to save NHS

    […] See? It’s true, the NHS has become the new national religion. […]

  19. blogs of the world

    Health Unions across the UK have today put out a call for a National Vigil to save the NHS… http://reduce.li/pzpidk #save

  20. fauxpaschick

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  21. Jane Calveley

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  22. Edgar Kail

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  23. conspiracy theo

    Unions call for National Vigil to save NHS | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/jV2xJB

  24. Lloyd Russell-Moyle

    Health Unions have called for a National Vigil to save the NHS on the third reading of Andrew Lansley’s Health Bill http://ow.ly/50E2x

  25. georgie elliot

    Health unions call for National Vigil to 'save the NHS' on 3rd reading of Lansley's bill http://bit.ly/kvFL2Q (via @neilrfoster)

  26. NHS reforms live blog | Rubytall News

    […] Sunny Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy says “health unions across the UK have today put out a call for a National Vigil to save the […]





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