HOLD ON THE ROAD!

A night of crazy Forest music to raise money for the legal fight against the closure of Lydney and Dilke Hospitals. £5 minimum donation on the door. A Bar and great music from Pure Evil, NFA and The Acronyms. Should be a great night for a good cause! Donate here though whether you can make it or not (but not to be missed!) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/
facebook event

Advertisements

HELP US SAVE OUR HOSPITALS

For anyone who has yet to visit the Forest of Dean, please do – you’re most welcome, it belongs to everyone after all as it’s public property – we last fought and won for it to remain so in 2011. We have a track record of community action going back at least four centuries to force authorities into doing U-turns. There is a very keen sense of public ownership in the Forest, and this extends to its two community hospitals – Lydney and the Dilke Memorial. Miners and other local workers largely built the hospitals during the half-century before the NHS existed, they paid by subscription out of their paltry wages and acquired land in the middle of the woods near the town of Cinderford for the Dilke (named for the Forest’s Victorian-era Radical Whig MP, Charles Dilke) with a covenant that stated the site should always be used for the care of the poor and the sick.

The reason the Forest has and needs two hospitals is a practical geographic reason: there is a big Forest that separates the northern and western side of it from the southern and eastern side – almost all the settlements are in a bracelet around the main eight-by-10-mile block of woodland.

During its propaganda drive when it was “consulting” on closing the two hospitals to be replaced by a cheap one in an undisclosed location, with undisclosed facilities, the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust reduced this widespread acknowledgement that the hospitals belong to us, as they were built and funded by us to us being “sentimental” about them, or according to one of the Trust’s plants at a public meeting, “dinosaurs”.

What you tend to find now in our Forest community of 50,000+ people – and we have been going door-to-door with a petition against the closures – is that more than 90 per cent we meet are rushing to sign, while only very few express support for the single new hospital of undetermined location and size. Everyone else sees it for what it is, a cutting in half of our health services, our Minor Injuries Units, our non-acute hospital beds and the asset-stripping of two valuable pieces of real estate. The NHS Trust has written off the hospitals as not fit for purpose – despite them getting five-star customer satisfaction surveys. It cites “clinical reasons” – the main issues being an antiquated heating system, leaky roof and lack of piped oxygen… and the staff shortages which are endemic throughout the NHS. We say the working environment and the problems could be sorted in both hospitals using the £11 million the Trust has in its pot. The reason these problems exist is due to managed decline, to chronic underinvestment by the Trust. Who pays for the Trust and for the NHS? We do… therefore it is up to us and all other communities fighting similar cuts proposals and asset-stripping across the country to make sure we aren’t robbed by these corporate entities.

This is the third battle we know of save the Dilke Hospital from being closed by a succession of governments and NHS trusts. The first we know of was in 1988, while the last battle was in 2005-6, and our Tory MP Mark Harper was at the forefront of it, in opposition to the New Labour government. He and fellow Tories soon transformed a traditionally Labour, or even Communist, area into a Tory stronghold on the back of this “save our hospitals” campaign.

It’s a different story this time around – all our local councillors of each party are either keeping quiet or trying to smear us campaigners. We have now discovered that since 2015 various politicians from various parties, alongside voluntary group representatives and those from the private/ charitable local healthcare sector all signed non-disclosure agreements to keep secret the plot to shut the two hospitals, until the NHS was ready with its propaganda drive, post-election. This focus group convened by the Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, we are now told, made the decision on behalf of us, the community!

We beg to differ and so we have taken the plunge and got a major public law firm involved and are applying for a Judicial Review. We desperately need to raise £5,000 by April 28 just for the first application stage. The good news is, the legals have found five grounds for challenge and we have raised almost half via the legal crowdfunding platform CrowdJustice (yes they take a percentage for acting as a bridge between us and the money, but none of us were prepared to be saddled with responsibility for loads of cash!). The scary news is, we still have half of it to raise, and if we don’t…

Anyway, please help us out in every you can, a few of us are full-time on this but we need this out everywhere… people pledging donations and sharing around. Also come to our fundraising gig on April 21st, gonna be a blinder!

Please share this link / or pledge a donation to it (not taken out of accounts until April 28 if we raise the target) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/

RISE UP AGAINST N.H.S. CUTS IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE 25th January 2018

Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are meeting tomorrow (25th January 2018) to decide whether or not to close two Community Hospitals, The Dilke and Lydney Hospital in the Forest of Dean, and replace them with a single, smaller hospital containing significantly fewer inpatient beds and unknown services.

We demand that these decision makers respect the views of the majority of respondents to the public consultation, who DID NOT SUPPORT these proposed hospital closures. THINK AGAIN!

It’s time we turned the tide! The NHS is in crisis nationally already… and it’s time we demanded our rights as National Insurance payers for a properly financed and equipped public health service with decent pay and conditions for staff. This starts by demanding the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group respect and heed the majority of people’s views and keep our 2 hospitals open and invest in them for the future!

facebook event

Petition

Bristol Radical History Festival on Sunday 17th September at the MSHED (day after the anarchist bookfair)

Bristol Radical History and the Remembering the Real World War One groups are teaming up to bring you the Bristol Radical History Festival on Sunday 17th September (10.30am – 4.30pm) at M Shed.

Bristol Radical History Festival brings together historians, history groups, publishers and the public for a day of talks, walks, puppet shows and readings, films, bookstalls and displays uncovering radical histories in Bristol, the South West and beyond.

From mutinous Bristolian soldiers to rebellious anarchist women, from Bristol’s underground networks of war resistors to its rioters of 1831 we promise a ‘history-from-below’ approach, with speakers and performers eager to share authentic glimpses of a hitherto undocumented past.

Two important anniversaries are also being celebrated at the Radical History Festival. It is 800 years since the Charter of the Forest was signed granting rights, privileges and protections for the commoner, something which has been central to recent and past struggles to protect the nearby Forest of Dean. It is also 50 years since the ground-breaking History Workshop project was founded, aimed at breaking down barriers between universities and local historians and researching working class ‘history from below’.

A series of history talks are taking place in Studio 1 and 2 on Level 1 from 10.30am – 4.30pm.

Puppet shows, films and readings are taking place in the Gallery on Level 1 from 10.30am – 4.30pm.

History walks will be starting and ending at M Shed at 11.00am and 4.30pm.

Twenty five bookstalls and displays are situated on Levels 1 and 2.

Radical History Festival Programme

Note: events will be added to this list and there may be changes of times.

Back in the news: Neil Patterson, the god-bothering hunt.

As reported by our contributor Kate Bradley, hunting god-botherer Neil Patterson has been splashed all over the tabloids this weekend – no we’re not giving you links to the right-wing press, here’s another picture of the cunt on a hunt – wonder what he’s eating?

Rev. Neil Patterson, "bashing the fox"

Rev. Neil Patterson, ‘bashing the fox’

Neil Patterson is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, director of vocations and ordinance for the diocese and a former rectum of St Lawrence’s Parish Church in Weston-under-Penyard, Herefordshire.

rectum

The campaigners’ attempts to embarrass the church into sacking Patterson have so far proved fruitless. Annie Holden, director of communications at the Hereford diocese, said: “He has not done anything illegal or anything wrong. He is entitled to go hunting – it is legal.”

Patterson’s hunt, the South Herefordshire, has been filmed throwing live fox cubs into their hound kennels then sticking the dead bodies in the bin – which isn’t legal.

The god-botherers are not bothered, after all they can justify warfare, prisons and pretty much anything else the bourgeois state does. As the archdeacon Paddy Benson pointed out, their main business is property management.

You can sign Kate’s petition here.

Hunt Saboteur’s Association

 

3pm (A song for the Queen’s Birthday) – Muddy Summers & the Dirty Field Whores

Class War Frontline: Eviction of Yorkley Court Community Farm, please share widely.

Video footage of the eviction and destruction of the farm in the Forest of Dean by a small-town villain Brian Bennett. It clearly shows the role of Gloucestershire police, who have acquired a reputation of being for hire to the highest bidder. As Bennet is trying to suppress this footage, we ask our comrades and WordPress followers to share it as widely as possible. The expropriation of land and the myth of property is the origin of the class antagonism under capitalism. It is our battlefield. Land and Freedom!

More info: Yorkley Court Community Farm blog