Introduction from NHA co-leaders Dr Clive Peedell and Dr Richard Taylor
We co-founded the National Health Action Party when the disastrous implications of the Coalition Government's intended NHS reforms became clear to us.
Our intention is to improve the health and well-being of the nation through policies that are equitable, fair, evidence-based, sustainable, and focus on the causes of ill-health whether they be economic, environmental or social.
We believed that the formation of a new political party was necessary because public trust in our mainstream political parties and politicians is at rock bottom. From expenses scandals to breaking manifesto pledges, politicians have repeatedly shown that they cannot be relied upon to put their constituents and the public interest first.
The Coalition Government’s undemocratic dismantling of the NHS is a clear example of how rotten our political system has become. The public was clearly misled over plans to introduce new legislation that has resulted in a massive top-down reorganisation of the NHS, which both the Tories and Liberal Democrats promised not to do, both prior to the election, and post-election in their 2010 Coalition Agreement. These drastic changes coupled with a programme of unprecedented financial cuts are fundamentally undermining the founding principles of the NHS, with increasing privatisation and fragmentation of our healthcare system. We feel that those responsible need to be challenged in the court of public opinion at the ballot box, and we will therefore be standing a number of candidates in the May 2015 General Election.
There is clear evidence that the Coalition’s agenda to increasingly privatise the NHS and other public services is underpinned by the flawed and failed neoliberal ideology of the last 30 years, adopted by all 3 mainstream political parties. This is based on the idea that society is best served by the market with minimal state intervention, whatever the risk to a fair society. Thus we have been bombarded by policies of deregulation, privatisation of public services, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest in society, and anti-union legislation. This culminated in the worst economic crisis in living memory and has created a society characterised by gross wealth inequality, which is a recipe for worsening health inequalities, social unrest, environmental problems, and long term economic instability. There is an urgent need to abandon this approach and promote policies that will tackle inequality, to create a more stable and sustainable economy, and a fairer, healthier society.
We believe the National Health Action Party has the power to influence the policy making process through our evidence-based approach. We also believe our focus on trying to clean up our political system will create a more trustworthy political environment to deliver the policies required to improve our society for the benefit of every citizen. We are already starting to make an impact and the more public support we get, the more changes we can make and the more likely we can save our NHS and improve the society we live in.
Please get behind us and support us.
Dr Clive Peedell & Dr Richard Taylor, November 2014