GROUNDSWELL – 999 Call For The NHS founder Joanna Adams’ Trafalgar Square speech (6.9.2014)


My name is Joanna Adams, and I am founder of 999 Call for the NHS. The Peoples March has made it to London.

To most people, it may feel like we have reached our destination.

But, I know that to the 300 milers the Mams and Coordinators..we know its more like the battle has just begun.

This journey will never end until the NHS is safe from those seeking to take it from us.

And the bad news, my friends, is that they will NEVER stop trying. And so we too must never be off our guard.

You see the battle for the NHS is not just a political one.

Its bigger than that. It’s bigger than any political party and cannot be saved JUST by voting for one party or another. That’s why we are not supporting any political party over another, and not promoting any party as a solution.

As well intentioned as those parties may be, the only solution to this crisis comes from a quite different direction.

From below. US. The ordinary folks..

The NHS represents humanity and cooperation. It’s the symbol of all that civilization has achieved. Imagine a busy road full of cars.

When we hear a siren screaming in the distance, we all check our mirrors and clear the way.

We know the siren represents another human life in danger and the fight to save it. So we cooperate, clear the way and allow it priority. And it works. No matter how busy the traffic, that siren is understood and respected. We all pay in to provide that safety net for all.

That reaction isn’t an accident, it was learned. And so to, can we learn the opposite reactions. Selfishness, greed, spite. And for the last 30 odd years, that is exactly what we have all been force fed and made to believe is normal.

We have repeatedly been told, that all our problems are caused by our generosity being abused . We are led to believe that all around us people are abusing the system and abusing our trust.

Well, they are right. We are being robbed blind… but once again, we are looking in the wrong direction..

This time, we need to look UP. Look up to those right at the top of the pile controlling our economy.

The super rich playing monopoly with our lives. The same people who caused a global economic crisis that we all get to pay for by shutting down libraries and selling off our public assets. We bailed them out and now, they are telling us, that we can’t expect to live beyond our means. that we can’t afford to invest in ourselves.

Well, I think we bailed out the wrong people.

Our parents and grandparents invested and worked and fought to build us a country fit for heroes, and we have allowed the smash and grab capitalists to steal that inheritance.

They’ve gobbled up our Royal mail, Railways, Water, Electric and Gas and now they are coming for the National Health Service. Its the cherry on top of the cake they have pretty much already devoured. Well they will get it over MY DEAD BODY!

It’s time the rhetoric was changed. We the people of this country need to stand up and demand that our taxes are used to build us homes, schools, parks, hospitals and that our children can be educated and helped to grow into thinking, caring human beings,· not merely potential employees for the same fat cats that are buying up anything and everything that has any value at all.

A fine man once said, “These lot know the price of everything and the value of nothing” And he was right.

We have marched 300 miles and linked hands and shared stories with the other ordinary people of this country. We have formed a human chain all the way to the seat of power and now we are here to deliver a message to those people who think they run this country.

You don’t run anything!! You answer to us. The people you disrespect and blame for everything.

It’s time you listened. We don’t buy into your version of our country.   We don’t believe you when you talk about protecting the hard working families. What about people without families anyway? Don’t we care about those people? Politics has become largely remote from ordinary experiences. People see through the political stock phrases and are left cold.

If we are to save our National Health Service, and equally important our Nations soul, then we need to stop the infighting. Stop the electioneering, and start dealing in ethics not tactics and principles not opinion polls. Its time for a change in how we treat the most vulnerable and neglected in our country. The NHS is the last bastion of this type of force for good. Its the one thing that even the evil baroness didn’t dare touch. If we are to save it, then we cannot afford to stand back and watch.

I am not a religious woman. But I believe that there is a power within all of us to affect change. I call all of you into action.

Our call has always been, walk with us, one mile, ten miles, or the whole three hundred. Just do what you can to make a difference.

Refuse to be passive.Your voice, WILL be joined by others in calling for change if you just try.

And your single voice, will absolutely become part of a furious, defiant chorus. Only by working together can we hope stop the avalanche.

You don’t need me to tell you what the Coalition are doing to our NHS. As we marched almost the full length of our country, everywhere we went, people told us about the damage, the deaths, the suffering the decay. They told us they felt relief to know that we were there too. They met others, as they marched. They joined up the dots.

All of us.. made to feel that we were alone. Well, we arent.

Before I end, I have two more things I would like to tell you. The first is, that this last year, it has been an honour to work with all of the local coordinators and the determined marchers to make this possible. Just ordinary people, who took on a huge challenge and had the faith in themselves and in us to guide them.

Thank you all.

My final words .. are to dedicate my part in this event to my late sister Sarah and to remind you all, that SOCIALISM is neither dead, nor a dirty word. And that some politicians would do well to remember that.

Thank you.


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