It was an immense privilege to welcome the esteemed Harry Leslie Smith, survivor of the Great Depression, RAF Veteran and activist to Padiham on Sunday. Harry spoke to a packed room at Padiham Town Hall and his passionate and sincere portrayal of his experiences moved many of us to tears. Harry described how in the days before the NHS his poverty-stricken parents had no choice but to take his 8 year old sister to the work house hospital to die, when she contracted TB. He spoke of hearing the screams of a neighbour as she died from cancer unable to afford any pain relief. Harrowing stories that struck a chord with everyone in the room.
It was a stark reminder to us all that we cannot take the NHS for granted. Aneurin Bevan said when he created the NHS that it would survive as long as there were people to fight for it. We must make sure that we elect a Labour Government on 7th May because Labour is the Party of the NHS and the Only Party that will always fight to maintain it for future generations. For those of you who weren't able to make the meeting on Sunday I recommend that you read Harry's book: Harry's Last Stand, you won't regret it!