In response to the letter by Jim Quinn to SV regarding my recent article “The health of the nation,” it seems Jim Quinn has also failed to join up the dots of the statistics and research in the article.
The key point to the article is that the socio-economic failure of British rule in the North is the reason the NHS in the North is the worst-performing region of the NHS, with abysmal medical outcomes, despite similar funding in all regions.
Far from writing off the 215,000 organised workers in the North, the article suggests that unions are not joining up the dots of their own research. Rebuilding the NHS requires fundamental change to the way the North is run.
To solve a problem you don’t treat the symptom, you must get to the cause, which is British misrule. This must be confronted and tackled to end the dire socio-economic catastrophe in the North. If only the crisis was confined to health!
The article calls on workers and unions to lead the struggle to build a new independent socialist Ireland, pointing out that an all-Ireland public health service would be a good foundation stone to build upon.
One wonders what it is that hinders the joining up of these dots: unionism, nostalgia, or Stockholm syndrome.
Rather than uniting behind making British imperialism seem nicer in Ireland through improvements, concessions or reforms, workers must unite in a struggle against our common enemy, defeat imperialism and transform society. British misrule needs to be exposed to truly unite all the working class in struggle. Our struggle is for the active abolition of capitalism, not patching it up.
Many of our demands in the past have been called divisive: universal suffrage, divorce, abortion rights, reducing the role of the Church. This did not stop us fighting for them. A united, economically independent Ireland may be considered divisive by some, sectarian by others. History will absolve us. In order to advance we need to get to the root of division and not shy away from it.