I was one of the London crowd who, in the summer of 2014, did the final little leg of 999 Call For The NHS’s 300-mile Jarrow March from Holborn to Trafalgar Square. Its amazing range of people of all ages and origins was an inspiration, full of vitality and celebration.
Because the NHS is a cause to celebrate. You wouldn’t know from the media that it’s been rated the best and most efficient public health service in the world despite the depredations of successive governments. Nor how much the banks, through their financing of its privatisation, are bleeding it to restore their bankrupt balance sheets.
In her Trafalgar Square speech founder of 999 Call For The NHS Joanna Adams said “We bailed out the wrong people!”; and that the battle to save the NHS is also a battle to save "our Nation's soul". In her clearsighted vision she puts to shame the mealy-mouthings of so many politicians and their entourages.
999 are great upholders of the original vision of the NHS, born of the sacrifices of the War, of free and equal health care for all. It's a mirror to the best side of our nature, the social and compassionate rather than the predatory and self-serving.
The 999 Call For The NHS team are resolutely independent, an authentic grassroots campaign group unadulterated by party politics and determined to speak in their own voice and make it count. They should be heard as widely as possible.
By Producer/Director John Furse
999 faces many challenges and ups and downs. Commended by leading film director Ken Loach our film project ‘Groundswell’ shares their journey through the pivotal General Election in 2015 and the extraordinary upheavals that followed with the Labour Party leadership contests and Brexit.
‘Groundswell’ is a testament to the extraordinary things that ordinary people, inspired by the likes of Joanna and the team, can achieve.
‘Groundswell’ gives 999 valuable exposure on many fronts including regular film episodes on my blog.
It will provide them with valuable archive material of a critical time in their endeavours. And it tells a stirring story that may hopefully help encourage others to take up the now urgent fight to save our NHS.
Like 999 we very much need financial support to continue with the Groundswell project. Any donations, however small, would be enormously appreciated.
Find out more about Director John Furse and his work.
Read John's thoughts from his filming and media angle on the NHS campaign
We'd like to thank John Furse and his colleagues who have supported us in making MY NHS. They have put up with a lot!
If you’re interested in supporting the larger project that has inspired MY NHS - 'Groundswell' - you can give something via the details below
Like many of us leading ordinary lives, dealing with family, job, day to day survival - I was under the naive impression that the public controlled the political debate. We choose MP's, they form governments who are supposed to represent us. I felt, that if we wanted to see change, we could simply make a loud enough noise and our voices would be heard and recognised.
A few years down the line, after three years of NHS campaigning and working with others around the country,
I think I, have a rather dimmer and less optimistic view of the political landscape. Grassroots campaigners, so vital to the democratic process, are systematically ignored, diverted, subverted and discouraged.
In 2017, the public, rather than leading the debate and choosing representatives to put forward our national aspirations, are left with no one they feel they can trust, no source of unbiased information, no real access to influence power. They find themselves dealing instead with a day-to-day slog just to survive whilst being bombarded with misinformation and conditioned to desire trivial distractions.
MY NHS is an attempt to show the reality of campaigning - "ordinary people putting themselves in extraordinary positions.
I hope it allows the viewer to gulp a lung full of the now rather thin, and foul air we campaigners have to work in - the hope, hurt, effort and disappointments we face, and the personal human cost to each of us, as we try to change the way things are.
At the end of watching - I hope they feel they too can join us.
Fighting is hard, we've learnt that, but fight we must.
A short film by Steven Carne
By Steven Carne
Huge thanks for technical support and advice from
Pat Scott Robson
We are all volunteers and there is no polite way to say it. We now need some money to help make 999 a effective success.
Please think about donating. No matter how big or small the amount every penny will go towards the Campaign
Branch Sort Code: 56-00-03
Account Number: 17415748
If you notify John of your donation he will get back to you to acknowledge your donation and keep you informed of the project's progress