“We will defend our public services—especially the NHS—from attempts to degrade or destroy them, and support, as well as we are able, the overworked heroes who keep them afloat.”
After U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Tory party won a strong majority in the general election Thursday, British progressives mourned the “utterly devastating” result and geared up for a fight to defend the National Health Service from more right-wing budget cuts and privatization efforts.
“People running our NHS are crying out for more help, begging people not to vote Conservative due to the constant cuts,” tweeted London-based activist Ellen Rose. “Seems they were ignored by the people they try to save every day.”
“The fight goes on. We need to occupy every single space with our politics louder and stronger. Protest the privatization of the NHS, defend migrants, fight evictions, take care of your neighbors.”
Following his victory, which is expected to give the Conservatives a 75-seat majority, Johnson declared that the election result has granted him “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”
Just two weeks before the vote, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled over 450 pages of documents that he said showed a Tory plan to privatize the NHS in negotiations with the U.S. over a possible post-Brexit trade pact.
“Mega-corporations see Johnson’s alliance with Trump as a chance to make billions from the illness and sickness of people in this country,” said Corbyn. “And if the Conservatives have their way and this deal goes forward, the changes I’ve revealed will be almost irreversible.”
As Common Dreams reported, documents obtained by the Daily Mirror last month showed that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is lobbying trade negotiators to open the British drug market as part of any new trade agreement.
In a tweet Friday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson on his “great win”and said “Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after Brexit.”
“This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.,” Trump added. “Celebrate Boris!”
Trump has previously insisted that “everything” will be on the table in trade negotiations with the U.K., including the NHS.
A dark day for the NHS.
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) December 13, 2019
In a series of tweets early Friday, Guardian columnist George Monbiot said “mass resistance” and an organized movement will be necessary to protect the people and programs the U.K.’s right-wing government is likely to target.
“We will defend our public services—especially the NHS—from attempts to degrade or destroy them, and support, as well as we are able, the overworked heroes who keep them afloat,” said Monbiot. “We will divide up the tasks, but always in the knowledge that we’re working together. Love and courage to you all.”
“The fight goes on,” added activist Hasan Patel. “We need to occupy every single space with our politics louder and stronger. Protest the privatization of the NHS, defend migrants, fight evictions, take care of your neighbors.”
Supporters of the Medicare for All in the United States expressed solidarity with British progressives following Thursday’s election.
“Our friends in the U.K. are about to have to fight like hell to defend their NHS,” said Jacobin‘s Meagan Day. “We Americans who are fighting for Medicare for All will stand with you.”
Trump defiantly refuses to condemn extremists groups at debate: ‘Proud Boys, stand back and stand by’
President Donald Trump on Tuesday refused an opportunity to disavow right-wing extremists and white supremacist groups.
At his first 2020 presidential debate, Trump was asked if he would speak out against the extremist groups.
"Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacist and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" moderator Chris Wallace asked the president.
"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing," Trump complained. "I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace."
"Do it, sir," Wallace said.
"Say it," Democratic candidate Joe Biden chimed in.
‘He’s Putin’s puppy’: Biden rips Trump — and the president freaks out and breaks the debate rules
Former Vice President Joe Biden invoked President Donald Trump's subservience to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the first 2020 general election presidential debate.
"With regard to being weaker, the fact is I have gone head to head with Putin and made it clear to him we're not going to take any of his stuff," Biden said.
"He's Putin's puppy! He refuses to say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers," Biden charged.
At that point, Trump interrupted to distract by talking about Hunter Biden.
"Mr. President, your campaign agreed to both sides would get two-minute answers, uninterrupted," moderator Chris Wallace noted. "Your side agreed to it and why don't you observe what your campaign agreed to as a ground rule, okay, sir?"
Chris Wallace yells at Trump after debate goes off the rails: ‘Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting’
Fox News moderator Chris Wallace admonished President Donald Trump for repeatedly refusing to let Democratic nominee Joe Biden have the floor at Tuesday night's debate.
Nearly an hour into the debate, Wallace seemed to realize that he had lost control of the president.
"No!" Wallace exclaimed as Trump tried to talk over him. "The answer to the question is no!"
But the president refused to be silent.
"Stop!" Wallace yelled. "Gentleman! I hate to raise my voice by why should I be different than the two of you?"
"We have ended that segment, we're going to go to the next segment," the moderator explained, turning to Trump. "I think that the country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions. I'm appealing to you, sir, to do that."