by New Worker correspondent
PROTESTERS angry about cuts to the NHS marched on an East London university theatre last week to demonstrate against the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley's appearance on Question Time, the BBC flagship politics programme, which was being filmed there. The protest, outside London University’s Queen Mary College, was organised by the Lewisham Keep Our NHS Public (Lewisham KONP) that was formed in February as a local branch of the national campaign to save the health service from privatisation.
Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) is a broad based, non-party aligned campaigning organisation that seeks to defend the NHS as a publicly owned and publicly provided service that stays true to the founding principles of the NHS as a service that is equitable, comprehensive and free.
The NHS is under threat, as never before, from the Tory-led Coalition government’s Health and Social Care Bill, which aims to transform the NHS into a competitive market where "any willing provider" can bid against NHS organisations to provide health services, allowing the for-profit private sector to take over large swathes of our health service.
One of the demonstrators had a ticket to attend the discussion programme inside, where he was called on to present a question the Health Secretary. Strong feelings against the Bill were evident among the audience and most members of the panel, who included Ken Livingstone and doctor/journalist Phil Hammond, who writes on health issues for Private Eye.