Protest on conference opening day
Friday 13th September 2013, 12:10AM BST.
Fresh details of a protest against austerity cuts on the opening day of the Conservative Party conference later this month have been released.
Thousands of people are expected to join a march and rally in Manchester on September 29 which will be addressed by union leaders alongside appearances by musicians.
The protest will highlight the impact of Government policies on jobs and spending across the health service, as well as the “rapid sell-off” of the most lucrative parts of the NHS to private healthcare companies.
Peter Hooton, lead singer of The Farm, which is supporting the event, said: “There are some things in life worth fighting for and we believe the NHS is one of them. One of our members, Steve Grimes, is still alive today thanks to the wonderful care he received after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
“Nye Bevan said the NHS would last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This September’s march and rally will allow thousands of ordinary people to show the Government exactly what they think of their policies.
“Austerity is having a devastating effect on our communities and services, with 21,000 NHS jobs lost over the last three months alone. The NHS is one of Britain’s finest achievements and we will not allow ministers to destroy, through cuts and privatisation, what has taken generations to build.”
TUC North West regional secretary Lynn Collins, who has organised the event in conjunction with the unions, said: “Our NHS is under attack and we want to send the strongest message to the Conservatives that we will not stand by and let them sell-off our national treasure.
“But it’s not just our health service under attack. Workers in the North West and beyond have had enough of a Government that cuts and cuts – whether it be jobs, services or wages.”
Around 30,000 people are expected to attend the march and rally.
As well as The Farm, there will be other musical guests, including The Stalybridge Old Band and John Lennon McCullagh, who is signed to Creation boss Alan McGee’s new label, 359.