New Internationalist

Virgin on the ridiculous


Photo by Alan Hughes.
As part of the Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) weekend of action against Virgin (which has already taken over community health services in Surrey, sexual health services in Milton Keynes, and tens of ‘GP provider companies’ across the country), there was an anti-privatization protest outside the Virgin Media store in Oxford on Saturday.

Activists from the Oxford branch of KONP, the Oxford Anti-Cuts Alliance, and other local campaign groups gathered outside Virgin Media in opposition to the activities of Virgin Care, a division of Branson’s company.

After the Health and Social Care Bill was passed (making it the ‘Act’), activists in Oxford vowed to keep up the fight against the fragmentation and privatization of the NHS by targeting the private companies that stand to gain from it. The protest was a marker that other companies attempting to profit from the Act could expect to face growing resistance.

Many NHS staff welcomed the action when they were leafleted with details of the protest earlier in the week. A public meeting will follow in mid-May when the organizations involved will invite all comers to discuss what tactics can be used to prevent the implementation of the Act at a local and national level.

It’s up to every one of us to get involved. Before it’s too late.

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  1. #1 Jimbob 27 Apr 12

    At one time Virgin was one of our
    great British icons, however that
    has changed overnight since
    they have crawled into bed with
    an unpopular government in
    regard to the NHS.

    Virgin has taken over the
    community health services in
    Surrey, and it does not stop there
    either they have also got the
    contract for sexual health
    services in Milton Keynes
    followed by a number of GP
    Provider companies.

    It makes one laugh especially
    the sexual health whilst they sold
    millions of records exploiting sex
    and drugs, now they want to
    heal it, yea sure. They were part
    of creating it in the first place with
    our free love and love of music
    that turned us on to drugs and
    sex.

    His influence with his Virgin
    Media empire had and has been
    part of that culture since way
    since the seventies, he did not
    mind selling us it, now he wants
    us to pay him for the treatment
    to recover from it, what can I
    say its laughable in the least.

    Kind of jumping on the
    bandwagon and followed by a
    spice of hypocrisy!

  2. #2 Nicholas 27 Apr 12

    Here's a video of the London Oxford Street protest on that same day:

    tinyurl.com/bransonprotest

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About the author

Alan Hughes a New Internationalist contributor

Alan Hughes was a graphic artist at New Internationalist. He retired in 2014. He is a life-long socialist and trade unionist and is currently involved in the Keep Our NHS Public Campaign. He is passionate about The Beatles and has supported Aston Villa FC for over 50 years. He lives in Oxford with his daughter.

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