Hello, my name is Michael, I have worked in the NHS for 15 long years, and I am incredibly proud of the service and the original principles. I believe in the right to a healthcare service free at the point of use. However, the foundation of the service and principles are becoming challenges and that is a direct result of chronic underfunding.
The current government and media narratives would have you believe much of the problem is due to an ageing population, un-affordability and lack of staff.
The truth is these are all credible issues facing the modern-day health service, but the current situation we are witnessing has more to do with priorities and deliberate underfunding. While the ageing population does increase the cost of health care and services, it is a positive outcome of a successful health service. It is something that we should be proud of, but often seen as a negative by those who have ulterior motives.
The NHS has suffered since the Tories and liberal democrats came into power during the era of austerity caused by the global economic crash, which is a political choice, not a necessity.
The average increase on NHS budgets every year since the NHS was introduced was 3.7% but since the Tories came into power the yearly increase on average is 1.5% between the years of 2009 to 2019 a massive reduction in the NHS budget (The King’s Fund, 2019). The above information explains the real reason why the NHS is failing to provide the service we are used to; because it has been deliberately underfunded.
The underfunding, reduction and closure of service has painted the picture that the NHS is unaffordable and paths the way for privatisation or outsource which is the current term of choice. The involvement of privatisation started under a labour Government but has massively increased under the Tories despite the constant denial. Furthermore, year on year, underfunding has added to the narrative that the NHS is unaffordable. Well, of course, it is if you are underfunding by the lowest levels in history.
The NHS crisis has been created by the Conservative and in the early years the Liberal Democrats. They do not prioritise your health and well-being, showing utter contempt for the service, values, ethics and survival.
Imagine another five years of a Tory government, what would the NHS look like?
If they continue to underfund it the service as we know it is under threat and could cease to exist. The talks with America is of grave concern because with a proven history of underfunding services and a deal to increase drugs prices could result in certain drugs being withheld or worse, individuals having to pay unjust and extortionate prices. The above adds to the lack of funding, social security, care, empathy and support for those experiencing poverty (14 million, un report, 2018) adding to an increase in health problems leading to more pressure on our health service.
There can only be one conclusion and it is this.
The NHS is being deliberately underfunded, and the vulnerable are being left to rot, and none of the above is safe in the hands of the Conservatives.
Vote for yourself, a neighbour, friends, those with a long term illness or with a terminal illness, the vulnerable and those who are suffering in poverty. We must stand up protect our health service, people, history and things that unite us. Please vote for anyone other than the Conservatives on the 12 December.
Michael Tyrone Shortt
John Sargent from Helston, Cornwall, shares his election thoughts. For the record this not BBC personality and former newsreader John Sragent simply a member of the electorate:
"I'm increasingly concerned and annoyed at the way Jeremy Corbyn continues to be portrayed by the media.
Sadly they have done a very good job on Jeremy from Day One.
They have painted a picture of him as a disrespectful, non-tie wearing, nuclear disarming, unelectable Communist with no idea about how to run the country or manage the budget.
It's been cleverly done and this dishonesty makes me so angry.
I wonder how Mrs May and her government's record would stand up to similar undermining scrutiny and ridicule?
The fact is that her mistakes, flip flopping U Turns, and the commonplace despair that this government's policies have caused across the country get no coverage.
If issues are raised they are quickly dismissed.
At this time, with an election looming, why is it that the most vulnerable in our society are not being asked for their views on how they have suffered during the last six years?
Why is the plight of those forced to use food banks not being highlighted?
What about families who cannot afford a mortgage or the increasing rents?
How are they coping?
Why are those struggling on zero hours contracts being canvassed for their views?
Why isn't May taken to task over and over again over the collapsing NHS and her ridiculous proposal to bring back Grammar schools that nobody supports?
Why aren't the funds desperately needed by these services being constantly compared with the figures that are proposed for refurbishing Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and a royal yacht?
Why aren't the tax affairs of corporations and leading Tory MPs taking centre stage and compared with average earners who have to pay their whack?
Why isn't Iain Duncan Smith always being put on the spot for his inhumane treatment of those who rely on society's support? Why isn't he held to account for the increased incidence of suicides and deaths amongst those declared fit for work?
If there was fair and balanced reporting in the media it might lead to a very different attitude towards Corbyn from those with closed minds and others too lazy to think and carefully reflect.
The problem we are all faced with is that the Tories control the media and they are only too happy to fight dirty.
It never ceases to amaze me that when Jeremy Cotbyn asks Theresa May about an issue that she'd rather avoid, she doesn't answer but resorts to personal insults.
The appalling thing about this is that rather than the news bulletin centring on the fact that she couldn't or wouldn't answer, her insults are also broadcast.
To the unthinking, this gives the impression that she has dealt with the issue and also with the silly man opposite.
It's all completely wrong.
A vast swathe of people have been manipulated into thinking that Jeremy Corbyn is some total incompetent.
If they simply stopped and thought, they might, just might realise that Mr Corbyn is a man of integrity, a man with decent values, a compassionate man who understands and can empathise.
Through voting for him, they would be voting for a different type of politics where people are valued more than money and where society was fairer and better for all.
Why don't we all see that?"
Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour MP for Salford and Eccles writes Tuesday;
"Today Theresa May announced her decision to call a general election on June 8th.
Salford and Eccles like many other communities in Britain has suffered immeasurable damage at the hands of this Government.
Over the last 2 years I have heard first hand in my constituency office, the horrific stories of hardship and injustice people and businesses in Salford have faced.
Our public services are on their knees, our NHS is on the brink of collapse, social care is teetering on a cliff edge, our education and skills sector is facing cuts on a scale never seen before and most people are worse off financially than they were before the financial crash in 2008.
Lest we forget that we were told that this austerity was necessary in order to rebuild the economy, that we were 'all in it together'....
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Instead the Government has presided over a rigged economy that has turned a blind eye to tax avoidance and seen tax cuts for a wealthy elite whilst at the same time imposing savage cuts to the support of the most vulnerable.
When the Government should have been providing business and industry with the tools they need to succeed and to deliver the high paid high skilled jobs of the future that would have ensured more money for our public services through increased tax recepits, they failed.
They failed to adequately invest in infrastructure, research, development, and skills. They failed to provide access to finance and they failed to adequately address even the most basic issues affecting businesses such as the recent hike in business rates.
Britain’s record on investment is already poor relative to our EU counterparts. In 2015, as a proportion of GDP, we invested about 17.6% compared to 19.2% in Germany, 20.3% in the US and 22.3% in France.
Even in the sphere of Brexit, where it is critical that we forge a new industrial agenda that fiercely promotes and supports British manufacturing, the Government is failing again to provide businesses with the assurances and stability they need. For example, reshoring supply chains, investing in skills and infrastructure, dedication to securing single market access. Simple assurances that would demonstrate that Britain is a good place to do business.
Instead they seem to be offering certain businesses bespoke Brexit deals on an adhoc basis and leaving the rest to sink or swim.
These are not the actions of a Government that wants to make sure we are a world economic leader nor are they the actions of a Government that seeks to ensure that through economic and political will, they deliver the best possible quality of life for all.
Now we have the opportunity to elect a Prime Minister who will really put our communities first.
A Leader who will deliver a vision of hope for the future where British businesses are supported with an industrial strategy that ensures that business has the skills and infrastructure it needs to thrive.
An economy that leads the world in new technological and scientific advances and uses political and economic decision making to promote and champion home grown businesses and supply chains.
An economy where it is patriotic to ensure that workers in Britain are the best paid, best supported, most secure workers in the world.
An economy that delivers wealth to every corner of every community. Where we demand nothing less than world leading living standards for the people of Britain, building high quality homes for all and delivering the best education system and NHS in the world.
A society that respects and supports our retired people after having put so much into our country.
An economy that says 'thank you' to our armed forces veterans and gives them the support they deserve when they return home.
An economy that makes sure that places like Salford truly do become a economic force to be reckoned with where we are leaders in a 'real' Northern Powerhouse that gives us the investment we need to thrive and prosper.
We have the talent, we have the drive and we have the passion to succeed, we just need a Government who helps us to realise our potential.
On June 8th we have a chance to elect a Leader who will deliver this vision and more.
His name is Jeremy Corbyn."
Tuesday unelected Tory PM Theresa May announced a snap General Election scheduled for June 8 if parliament approves Wednesday.
There are many reasons why May has chosen this move and we will look at just a few later.
But one dead cert is the Tories have money to burn with plenty of fat friends who will fund a Tory election campaign.
The Labour Party is not so lucky when it comes to funding but it has the bets and fairest policies in place.
As the GE2017 election campaign kicks off an appeal from the Labour Party for donations; whatever you can afford to contribute will help Labour win.
"Theresa May has just announced a General Election on 8 June.
We're proud that our campaigns are funded by small donations from passionate supporters like you.
Will you be one of our first donors?
I'll donate £8
I'll donate £18
I'll donate £29
I'll donate another amount
The Tories already have a war chest provided by a small group of multimillionaires, and with just 50 days until this election, whatever you can afford will help. We will hire organisers across the country, order print and advertising and kick-start our digital campaigns.
Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
Together we can work to ensure the British people vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
Leader of the Labour Party"
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary