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Statement: A united campaign against co-location, health privatisation

A united, democratic campaign open to all!

24 April 2008

The Socialist Party conference on Saturday 20th April ended in disaster with the proposal that there be two health campaigns.

Des Derwin of Dublin Trades council was correct to propose a single campaign to the meeting, but his proposal that that campaign be subordinate to the trade union bureaucracy and that collaboration with the bureaucracy was the road to victory does not merit serious discussion.

The Socialist Party opposed a united campaign on the ground that it needed to be independent of the bureaucracy.  This is sectarian hypocrisy.  A separate, isolated campaign would not be independent of the Socialist Party and would not have the strength to succeed.

To make matters worse both campaigns are equally vague about the political basis on which we can unite.  One calls for a decent health service, the other for a real health service.  What we need is a public, democratic health service that bans co-location and private capital.

We need a united campaign that is open to all, not in order to collaborate with the social partners in the trade union leadership, but in order to oppose them and persuade workers to organise independently.

If we fail to do so we face a re-run of Irish Ferries marched to the top of the hill by the bureaucracy, used as a bargaining chip in another dirty deal with the bosses and ending with workers and patients sold down the river.


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