The Saturday of the 2nd of October saw a cold, wet and blistering evening but in spite of this, the Brighton Branch of the Workers Party of Britain held a successful public meeting for the Free Parking for NHS Workers campaign.
The Brighton Branch undertook a great deal of canvassing, leafleting and surveying of the residents of the Portslade area for the Free Parking for NHS Workers campaign, as well as to talk about people’s political concerns. Through such canvassing, we were able to talk to hundreds of locals in the area who were sick, tired and angry at the mismanagement of the City Council under the leadership of the Greens.
The gulf between the interests of the people in the area and the ambitions of the Green councillors is vast and acute. The people of Portslade were crying out for a real political alternative if they had not been disillusioned with politics altogether. This gave Jesse Williams, in his speech condemning the indifference and incompetence of the Green council and on the need for a real opposition in Brighton, plenty of ammunition to deliver the message of the Workers Party.
The meeting was chaired by the Brighton Branch secretary, Johnathan Maxton who gave an opening talk on the campaign, its progress and the methods used to drum up as much public support for the campaign as possible. He then gave the floor to Jesse, after whom, our esteemed guest, Dr Bob Gill gave a talk on the new Health and Social Care Reforms 2021 and how they open the NHS further to the vultures of private healthcare insurance.
Alongside this, he talked about the gradual de-skilling of GPs with a financial incentive not to refer to patients in need of hospital treatment. The stories of how this affected patients of his own, some with fatal consequences, were truly harrowing as well as how the government’s political decision to be ill-prepared for the pandemic led to the excess deaths of 100,000 people.
With members of the audience left frightened but agitated after the speech, we had a Q&A session filled with action-focused talking points and questions. This reinvigorated the room with inspiring conversation about the potential of the working class to change society if only it unites and asserts itself with militant zeal.
To finish off the meeting we went to a nearby pub to celebrate the success of the evening and talked about the road that lay ahead of us. Through socialising and celebrating, we forged new relationships, strengthened the dynamic of the branch and went to bed ready for the fight ahead!