Andrew Tait gave this speech at a protest outside Dunedin hospital on Friday:
Nga mihi nui ki te tangata whenua o tenei rohe Kai Tahu whanui. Ki te
whare e tu nei, tena koe. Ki a koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
That’s my hospital. I pay for it. My family and friends work there, were
trained there, were healed and even saved there. That’s my hospital and it’s also yours, and yours, and his and hers. It’s ours.
This demo is about food and a lot more than food. Food is the stuff of
life. Food is medicine. It is the source of strength and healing. It is
also symbolic and always has been symbolic. Sharing food means sharing respect. We are not fooled by Coleman’s fake praise. If he really
thought this food was excellent he would be eating it at Bellamy’s.
The outsourcing of food to a multinational contractor is outsourcing
responsibility for food and for the wages and conditions of kitchen workers.
CEO Carol Heatley says we are wrong to raise philosophical disagreements about outsourcing, that this issue is only about food.
Don’t be fooled.
Here is some basic philosophy: This is our hospital, our healthcare
system. It exists for human need and is open to all.
It does not exist to make a profit.
In their rapacious greed, Coleman and the like would love to take it
Don’t be fooled.
They would take it if they could and Carol Heatley would manage the process of privatisation while Commissioner Kathy Grant ($500K Kathy) and her overpaid sidekicks would mastermind the plan.
They have no scruples. They exist only to obey their bosses and collect
their pay checks. And their bosses obey only the Almighty Dollar.
This is our hospital and this is about way more than food, Carole Heatley. This is about philosophy and this is about socialism vs capitalism. That’s what it comes down to and Carole Heatley knows because she owes her training to the socialist NHS in England, which like our hospitals here was won by working people in the face of opposition from the Colemans and Keys of their day.
This hospital is socialism in action right here. It is the biggest
employer in Dunedin. And this, practical socialism, is love, love for
your neighbour in the most simple way and in the most real way.
We help each other out because we know we will need help ourselves.
We have simple demands:
Kick Compass out!
Sack $500K Kathy and her lackeys!
Bring back the board!
Fund health care everywhere fairly.
The last point is apparently impossible. They say there simply is no
money anywhere. We know that is not true and the Panama Papers do too. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich.
We must. We have no choice because if we do not they will continue to
serve up slop, to cut costs, to run our nurses ragged until there is
nothing left but overpriced ghetto care, making private profit of course.
Food is medicine, food is life, food is respect, food is love. Don’t try
to fool us, Compass, Carole, Kathy.
Photo Credit: Michael McQueen