vote labour

June 8th

Over the course of the last couple of months I have found myself in more medical facilities than I probably have in the last 15 years – and that includes having two babies.  I went from being healthy – running every other day to being housebound, unable to drive my car or even get down my own stairs, in the course of a month.  There was an extremely dark day when I wasn’t sure if writing my will would be more useful than the weekend’s shopping list.  I wish I was joking.  I’ve seen doctors, consultants, nurses and I’ll never forget the kindness of the professionals who have treated me, the consultant who held my hands, when I was scared and vulnerable, the nurses who were just so kind and ace when I did not know what the hell was happening to me.  I’m telling you this because you honestly do not know when you will need your NHS, when you might need to lean on it heavily. I didn’t.  My treatment, tests, hospital stay etc would have cost me thousands of pounds, I don’t have thousands of pounds.  I’m OK now, I’m pretty much back to ‘normal’.  But that’s only because I had full access to all the help I needed, money no barrier.

Tomorrow we will all go to the polling stations and place our X next to the party we believe in. I’ll be voting Labour, the only party I think will graft to save our precious NHS.  If you need only one reason to sway your vote then I implore you to read on and make your decision on something as tangible as this.  We will lose this service, that’s undeniable, the service that was created for us all.  We live under a right wing media, our news is skewed. Please ignore the character defamation of Jeremy Corbyn and his ability to run the country and and look only to the facts.  They speak volumes.

I’m passing this post over to a front line NHS professional who can explain why far more succinctly that I.

Tomorrow we citizens of the UK get to exercise our democratic right and put an X in the box next to the candidate we wish to represent us in parliament and ultimately to choose a government and Prime Minister. We are lucky. We get to choose, but things are not as straightforward as that, a point that I will come back to.

I don’t hide the fact that I despise the current government. Austerity measures implemented are cruel and divisive. People are suffering. I support Labour and I very much support Jeremy Corbyn.

My work as an NHS midwife allows me a huge insight, both into what is going on in the service and what people’s experience of living under this government is really like.   Like most NHS workers, I have often had to struggle against an underfunded service. I have had to tell a woman that there is no ambulance to transfer her to another hospital to her baby, so that she could end her tiny life in her mother’s arms, a woman who desperately wanted to see and touch her tiny, perfect daughter, who was terrified that she would die without ever feeling her mother’s gentle touch. A woman who tried to be brave and strong and understanding when I told her that there was no paramedic ambulance, no non-emergency transport, no one  to help. The baby had been transferred for specialist care, her mum was too unstable to be discharged. Everywhere I turned for help, I was told the same thing, sorry, we just don’t have enough staff to help you. The ambulance service is in crisis. I’ve watched a baby die because the ambulance took too long to arrive, because there aren’t enough crews on the road and they can only be in one place at a time, the baby would most certainly have survived had he been born just 30 minutes earlier.

Cuts to services, to save money, cause so much suffering, but it’s not just cuts that scare me, they are not the only important issue here, the Conservatives want to privatise the NHS. We’ve all heard about it, maybe some of us don’t really care, but we should. As a midwife, it’s my job to keep women and their babies safe, I screen them for risks and problems, I care for them in labour, deliver babies, suture wounds, support with feeding, play social worker, mental health worker, administer drugs, recognise and act on emergencies, resuscitate babies, refer to other agencies and I work with an amazing team of dedicated health professionals who all have the same aim: to ensure safe, effective care, to be compassionate, caring, supportive. I counsel women who planned for a drug free home birth and end up with a caesarean under general anaesthetic. I care for women who are asked to consent to tests, procedures, operations and are often asked to make that decision when they are tired and afraid and in pain. Imagine if on top of all that, they didn’t know how they would pay for it? I never want to work in a health service where women and babies are put at risk because they cannot afford the care they need.

The Conservatives want to implement the Naylor Report. In a nutshell, this means that they will force the NHS to sell off its land and buildings to private companies and then the NHS will have to pay rent.  Any Trusts who do not comply will have funding stopped until they are so financially crippled they will have to give in. The current government want to financially blackmail the health service that we have all paid for.  It’s not theirs, it’s ours! And what’s more, they will then subsidise using our tax money which will end up lining the pockets of the private companies who own the land that the NHS has been forced to sell. Now surely no one in their right mind will think that is fair?  You can read more about this here.

Then there is the issue of the media. I have heard plenty of people say they don’t like Jeremy Corbyn because he’s a terrorist sympathiser, he’s a loony leftie, he’s a pacifist and also, bizarrely, because he’s a vegetarian!  I don’t understand how anyone could read, and understand Labour’s manifesto, or listen to what Corbyn has to say, and not at the very least think that he is a decent human being, but Corbyn is misrepresented by a right wing media.

The biased media stand to lose out should Corbyn be elected, but continue to gain, remain powerful and rich should the Conservatives remain in power.  One of the most persistent arguments presented against Corbyn is the one about the IRA. Corbyn openly spoke with representatives and has never denied this. He did this in an effort to bring about peace(Thankfully , there is now peace in NI). At the same time, PM Thatcher’s government also talked to the very same people, but this was done in secret. Ask yourself what would you prefer, a PM who does not lie and hide their actions, or a government who will say anything to keep us in the dark and cling on to their power?  There’s some interesting reading about this hypocrisy here and here.

There is so much more to say about this, but the mainstream media have persistently and deliberately misrepresented Corbyn, and we as the public should be asking why? What are they afraid of? What are their motives? Because it sure as hell is not for our benefit  And if on the 8th June, the majority of the UK public vote Conservative, it will mean death to the NHS, death to thousands more disabled and ill people, more terrorism (there is a direct link between cutting 20000 police officers from the force and there not being enough community policing to gather intelligence). Theresa May dismissed the fears of the police force itself as scaremongering, I’d go as far as to say she has blood on her hands.

So now as the PM tells us that there are extra police on the streets and tries to blame the internet for terror in her bizarre speech ‘enough is enough’ following the abhorrent London Bridge attack, the reality is that police have had their holidays curtailed, their rest days cancelled, and been moved from one area to another, leaving huge gaps in the service. There are no extra officers, only tired and burnt out people who have surely had enough of being treated this way. People who quite literally put their lives on the line to protect us all. They deserve better.
This post could be never ending, but there is one more issue I’d like to highlight. Theresa May has announced that she would create the role of Domestic Violence commissioner, to hold the police and other agencies to account when things go wrong, to get justice for victims. As someone who once, very briefly, endured an abusive relationship, I personally feel insulted by this and here’s why: the cap to housing benefit has caused two thirds of refuges to close.  Two women a week are killed by their current or former partner in the UK. Women, who when they finally find the strength to flee, now have nowhere to go.  When women make the decision to leave an abusive partner, the threat to their lives increases. They need somewhere safe. The police, who May wants to hold to account when things go wrong, are thin on the ground affecting their ability to act when required and the conservatives have implemented ‘the rape clause’ to tax credits, meaning that women cannot claim for more than two children unless they can prove that subsequent children were conceived due to rape. So basically, May has made it virtually impossible for women to escape and now she wants to win votes by pretending she cares, and blaming the police, who she has  cut back to the bone.

I hope that you won’t be voting conservative on Thursday, but if you are, I hope it’s because you really do want to, and agree with them and their policies and not because the media propaganda has convinced you to, because five more years of this and I dread to think what our country will be like.

 

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