“If you can help somebody in the positions we’re in, keep going another day, it’s one in the eye to this government that they haven’t died, and you’ve kept them going and inspired them to keep going. Because when you show strength to them, with what we all have and we all have impairments, that we’re fighting and we’re fighting for them as well as ourselves, you’re inspiring them to say ‘Yeah I can hold on one more day. I can fight back.”

kamsandhu —  September 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

by Kam Sandhu @KamBass

In the second part of our interview with Paula Peters and Sean McGovern from DPAC, we talk about the work they do, what they are fighting, and the effects of the austerity measures. You can hear the audio or read some of the quotes below. 

DPAC Campaigners at a protest. Image: Demotix.com

DPAC Campaigners at a protest. Image: Demotix.com

“Jeremy hunt is trying to do that at the moment with the Lewisham A&E decision. He’s trying to re-write the NHS Act of 2006 so that he can downgrade Lewisham and plunder the trust. And I think what surprised them was the most prolific campaign we’ve seen for quite some time, on our NHS, on anything. And it really got out in the public conscience. It got everywhere.”

Paula Peters

“The other thing with this, it’s very dangerous at the moment, it’s been creeping on us in the last year or two, is the incidents and frequency of bad news stories about the NHS. It’s right that poor practice is exposed. But, this is a pattern building here. And this is exactly what they did with British Rail. They made it into such a crap service by disinvestment, non-investment.”

Sean McGovern

“I would not be here if it wasn’t for the NHS and the life saving surgery. My parents both worked for the NHS, and I think Bevan knew a long time ago when the NHS was founded, when he said that the NHS will exist as long as there are people with the strength and the faith to fight for it. I think right now, he’d be really, really proud of seeing thousands of people come out on the streets in Lewisham, in Stafford and all over the place, and seeing people get out there and fight for their hospital.”

Paula Peters

“Nelson Mandela’s quote is so important to me; ‘Nothing is impossible until it’s done.’ So I think don’t think nothing is impossible until it’s done. And we’ve got work to do, we know that.”

Paula Peters

On The Grey Vote: “He’ll [Cameron] keep them on board for the next election. And then it’ll be the pension. State Pension next.”

Sean McGovern

“One thing they can start in this country would be to build a million or two houses. People say it puts half a million building workers back to work, it goes further than that actually, because once you move in your new place what do you tend to do? You buy furniture. You buy a new fridge, buy a cooker. You might even buy new plates, wallpaper, carpet. It’s across virtually every industry. Insurance. Every industry. They did it in 1945, that’s what they did. Built a million new houses, and started up a welfare state, the NHS, universal education, all round about the same time, [with a deficit].”

Sean McGovern

“One of my highlights this year is going to be the visit to IDS’s [Iain Duncan Smith] house. We took a video of all his grounds and put it on Youtube and he’s really angry with us over that. You know, his flock of sheep, and his three tennis courts and his swimming pool, and we put an eviction notice on his door. And he’s very angry we got in there. He’s very upset about that. But sometimes you need to do these things, and say you’ve got eight bedrooms and you’re giving your friends a tax cut and we’re paying for that.”

Paula Peters

“People underestimate people power very, very much.”

Paula Peters

“If you can help somebody in the positions we’re in keep going another day, it’s one in the eye to this government that they haven’t died, and you’ve kept them going and inspired them to keep going. Because when you show strength to them, with what we all have and we all have impairments, that we’re fighting and we’re fighting for them as well as ourselves, you’re inspiring them to say ‘Yeah I can hold on one more day. I can fight back. I can appeal my assessment. I can fight for my care package. I can fight for my treatment in hospital.’ If we can inspire someone to do that, then I think we are doing something to get our message across. I hope more people do get what we’re trying to say and I hope we do get more people to come out with us.”

Paula Peters

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