By Jenny Shepherd, Mar 20 2015 11:33PM
Yesterday we noticed something on Twitter that we feel requires speedy clarification.
Grahame Morris MP for Easington tweeted a link to his blog "Labour fighting for the future of the NHS". We have a lot of time for Grahame. He's a good man and a great MP. Principled and straightforward, so we are sure there was no intent in the choice of photo he used on his blog. However, it did make us sit up and now, in response, write this post.
The photo on the tweet was from an event that 999 organised last year called The People's March for the NHS. It was a group shot of some of our 300 Milers holding up our old march banner. It’s a lovely photo and Grahame did indeed play a part in the 300 mile march from Jarrow to London, and kindly offered us his support. But we need to just state once more for the record and absolute clarification...
999 Call for the NHS is not affiliated to the Labour Party or any other party.
We cannot allow even a hint that we are a Labour campaign group to go unchallenged. I don't suppose this is what Grahame intended to suggest, but objectively looking at the photograph that's how it looks. In fairness, It is confusing to outsiders and we have been asked about it before. This recent event has forced us to speak out.
Since the end of our 2014 march, two new campaign groups (using our old banner colours) called People's Vote for the NHS and (even more confusingly) one claiming to actually be The People's March for the NHS, have emerged.
It’s not for us to say whether they are happy to be seen as aligned and supportive of Labour policy - that is for their organisers & board members to make clear. But the recent blog displays a large photo which lends itself that impression.
And why we have to state categorically 999 Call for the NHS is not affiliated to any political party.
So let’s explain our actual position. Firstly our team consists of a pretty small group of committed NHS fighters within which there is a rainbow of political backgrounds. Greens, Left Unity, Labour, TUSC and NHA supporters. Indeed, some are even standing for election for their own parties.
It would be a ridiculous suggestion that THIS cross party group would or could unite behind Labour 2015 policy. We don't. We are though united firmly behind the NHS and any policies that we all feel would mean a genuine and secure future for our NHS. 999 Call for the NHS is, and will always be, about policy not parties.
Click here to see our 999 POLICIES