‘Groundswell’s unique, long-running documentary saga set among the grassroots of the ‘new’ politics follows its main protagonists Joanna Adams, Steve Carne, Deborah Harrington and Jo Land and fellow Save Our NHS campaigners facing growing dangers to the NHS from hugely powerful private sector forces. It’s a David And Goliath story.
Darlington working mum Joanna Adams’ involvement began with her sending out a tweet from her living room. It ended up with the campaign group she founded 999 Call For The NHS leading thousands into Trafalgar Square at the culmination of the group’s 300-mile Jarrow to London People’s March For The NHS in September 2014.
Their March was a journey of struggle and hope. But it was also a journey that took political innocents into the darker recesses of British democracy as they were confronted by the machinations of the ‘old’ party politics which they defied.
‘Groundswell’ follows this resolutely non-party, people-powered, internet-savvy group from early 2015 through to the General Election in May 2015 and its aftermath. It reveals grassroots Britons’ anger and disillusionment with the status quo which led to the Labour Party’s historic General Election loss and Jeremy Corbyn’s shock Party Leadership win. The film features Corbyn, Green MP Caroline Lucas and ex-Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham before these remarkable events occurred.
In 2016 ‘Groundswell’ continues with the 999ers journey as they find themselves directly involved with the Corbyn leadership who are fighting off further challenges from ‘old’ New Labour. The film follows the campaigners’ increasingly urgent efforts to alert the public to the threats from drastic new plans to reconstruct the NHS on private sector business lines involving major international corporations.
The 999ers have committed support to a vital new NHS Reinstatement Bill that will restore the NHS as a publicly owned and publicly run service. But will they and fellow campaigners have to resort to more extreme street actions to save the NHS?
2017 sees a crunch looming for the NHS as radical plans to transform it from a fully publicly funded and run service to a US-modelled, largely privatised one approach their realisation. Will the British public rise up against the destruction of this epitome of the Post-War Dream?
‘Groundswell’ covers a tipping point in Britain’s political landscape as the ‘new’ politics confronts the ‘old’ in the wake of the 2008 global banking crisis in what Joanna Adams calls “a fight not just for the NHS but for our Nation’s soul”.
Independently made on a shoestring budget over 3 1/2 years ‘Groundswell’ is a film on the pulse of our times and our future.
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