I only managed to catch the afternoon session, after a morning on housing, but it certainly threw up some interesting ideas:
* One line of attack is on companies that are taking on privatised services, particularly those for which it is not the core part of their businesses. Highlighted was a planned protest against Sainsbury’s takeover of the St Guy’s and St Thomas’s pharmacy – a plan that has already led to a parliamentary question. The next one is planned for next week – I heard on Wednesday 12-2 on Borough High Street. Virgin was also identified as another possible target – and Richard Branson masks and protest balloons certainly seemed to be selling well.
* In Sheffield the local Keep Our NHS Public is organising a protest on Monday to coincide with the Olympic torch passing a major hospital. The aim is not to disrupt the passage of the torch but use the occasion to celebrate the NHS.
* It was suggested that patients ask their GPs to put on their notes for referrals ‘NPP’ – no private practice. (Unless there’s no alternative – we were told all blood tests now done by private providers.)
* But of course the TUC demo on October 20 is going to be big, and one speaker suggested concentrating efforts on that.
I think it was David Babbs from 38 Degrees who pointed out that it was hard to stop a government with a parliamentary majority from passing a law it wanted to pass, but that doesn’t mean they can implement it.