Saturday, 30 November 2019

Fighting Health Cats

In 2010 Defend the Whittington Coalition (DWC) was set up to stop the closure of the Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Maternity and Paediatric departments at the Whittington Hospital, North London. The closures were stopped. Success

In 2013 the DWC campaigned to stop the sell-off of half the hospital, including maternity services. The sell-off was stopped. Success.

More recently Whittington Hospital was told by the government to sell off land and buildings. The Whittington Board offered Ryhurst, a subsidiary of Grenfell ‘refurbishment’ contractors, Rydon, the contract to manage this project. Following another DWC campaign the hospital withdrew the offer. Success.

BUT … Rydon is now suing the hospital for breach of contract. If succesful this will result in the hospital having to pay a fine, from our health monies, to this company. The fight continues - support the Defend Whittington Campaign at Royal Courts of Justice on 9 December.

Throughout these campaigns local MP, Jeremy Corbyn, has played an active and vital role.

On Friday 29 Nov 2019, and in the middle of his busy election campaign, he arrived outside the hospital as part of his continued support.


 Jeremy Corbyn with Ben Gelblum of The London Economic

If you live in North London join with the DWC and defend this hospital. Wherever you live join local campaigns in defence of your hospital and oppose cuts and privatisation of our National Health Service. And for your future health vote Labour on 12 December.

The DWC banner was made by the indomitable Alice Kilroy, who despite serious illness, was there to support her local hospital.

On my way to the hospital for the rally a woman passed by and asked if I was a Labour party member. When I said 'yes' she proceeded to rant about the 'Jews' 'sabotaging' Labour's election chances. I attempted to explain the distinction between 'Judaism' and 'Zionism' Not easily done on a cold November morning when she was heading for her hospital appointment. 

When I got home I read that the Israeli President had joined the UK Chief Rabbi in attacking Jeremy in the name of the UK Jewish 'community'. This is where Zionism takes us. In attempting to stop a socialist government which would recognise Palestine, Zionists increase anti-semitism. The Israeli state is everything to them so I doubt they worry about that. I do as do Labour-voting Jews. One of these is Shirley Franklin, Chair of DWC and, like Alice Kilroy and Jeremy Corbyn, an indomitable fighter for the NHS. I am proud to stand alongside them in this struggle.


 JC with Shirley Franklin, Chair of DWC and Paul Mackney, ex-Gen Sec of NATFHE, today UCU


  1. Thank you all.. I was an emergency patient some years ago and was looked after to the highest level, despite severe staff shortages.

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