Posts Tagged ‘ANEURIN BEVAN’


(Not blowing my own trumpet here, but this is what I said to him when he visited or United Valleys Action Group meeting 11months ago 😎)

Michael Sheen has called for people to be given the power to run communities instead of “career politicians”.
The actor delivered a rousing speech on St David’s Day in Tredegar where he criticised “disconnected” politicians.
Now he is calling for people in Wales to “believe in their potential” and have more of a say on how their communities are run.
Sheen said:

“Many people have become alienated by career politicians who are disconnected from them.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales’ Jason Mohammad programme, he added: “We have to believe in our own potential.
“There’s a lot of frustration when people from quite privileged backgrounds are laying down the law to people who come from very challenged realities.
“It’s hard to listen to someone who has been educated in a certain way and had all sorts of advantages telling people how much money they should live on and to work longer hours when they’ve never had to do it themselves.
“Politics needs to be responsive to the different needs in communities. It’s not one size fits all for Wales or for Britain.
“Developing people to work within their communities for the specific need of that community is going to be very important in the way forward.
“Political parties need to respond to that because clearly what they’re offering is not what people want.”

Following Sheen’s speech at the People’s March for the NHS on 1 March, questions were asked about whether the actor was considering taking an active role in Welsh politics.
But the Hollywood star, from Neath Port Talbot, said his immediate future lay away from his home country.
He said: “I live in America because my daughter has grown up there and I made the choice to be with her.
“But Wales is my home and where I come from and this is the culture I care about the most.
“Once my daughter has gone to college and I don’t necessarily have to be there then things will change.
“When I made the speech in Tredegar, I felt a real connection that I haven’t felt for a long time. I want to try and continue that in the next couple of years.”

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, we assembled at the statue of Aneurin Bevan at Queen St, Cardiff at 1pm. The procession ended outside the new Library in the Hayes, Cardiff.

radical workers bloc

anti austerity march

Cardiff’s People’s Assembly group organised Saturday afternoon’s event, which saw up to 1,000 protestors march from Queen Street to Cardiff Library where several speakers addressed the crowd.

Speaking in the shadow of Cardiff Library, Sue Leader of Unite said:

“We face 259 more weeks of the Tories in power and I will not be wasting those weeks away.

“We have it within our power to challenge this government at every lousy step it makes. I urge you to be Mr and Mrs Angry from Adamsdown, be Mr Peeved from Penarth and Mrs Evil from Ely.

“Cardiff, trust me, we have got the love to see this through.”

Dominic MacAskill, of Unison, added:

“Austerity is robbing us of our collective worth, and selling our public assets, with our libraries and leisure centres closed or privatised.

“We cannot rely on the once-in-every-five-years election, based on the views of 20% of people eligible to vote – it is a broken democracy.

“My one message today is to join a union and use your mass organisation for a better Wales and a better Britain.”

Len Arthur of the People’s Assembly Wales added:

“Another term for austerity politics is class war, but their class war is full of problems – for one, there is the anger that it’s going to make.

“In Wales, we did not vote for a Tory government. We need the Welsh Assembly not to implement these cuts, even if it leads to a constitutional crisis.”

The hundreds of protestors had marched to Cardiff Library via police escort, chanting:

“Tories, Tories, Tories – out, out, out!”


“when they say cut back, we say fight back.”

Young and old held banners urging an end to austerity, with one inscribed with the words: “happy community = austerity” and another: “Austerity kills.”

The rally ended with organisers saying they want to take at least five buses full of people from Cardiff to London on June 20 for the UK-wide protest, urging people to sign up for the event.

communist party wales banner

The march ended with poet Patrick Jones reciting an anti austerity poem and speakers from campaigning and trade union movements .

Me talking to Pippa Bartelotti of the Green Party.

Me talking to Pippa Bartelotti of the Green Party.

The message was clear the Resistance starts now!

Full credit to Chris UCA for filming this

March 1, 2015, Tredegar, Bedwellty House & Park. The People’s March for the NHS.
A fantastic reading of his poem “The Healing House” by Patrick Jones.

Michael Sheen speaks on protecting the NHS – Bedwellty Park

I was filled with pride at the emotion of this man’s speech.

The speech was impressive passionate and rousing, the best speech of the day by far. He said it all.

It is such a pity we do not have a politician with this much conviction that we the people can get behind. He took all of the political parties to task, including Labour! Our NHS is above politics!

We have to take this fight to Westminster and throw the freeloading carpet-baggers out, with solidarity we can show the buggers the will of the people is not diminished!

Please share this video with everyone you know!

Michael Sheen’s disapproval of NHS privatisation at a St David’s Day march in Tredegar echoed around Bedwellty Park.

Speaking against the Tory Party’s austerity cuts Sheen bellowed that it was a far cry from the original passion that underpinned the NHS at its birth and praised it’s architect, Nye Bevan.

“In 1945 Aneurin Bevan said:

‘We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, and now, we are the builders.’

And my God, how they built. And what they built. Every bit as much a wonder of the world as any architectural marvel, or any natural miracle …

The National Health Service. A truly monumental vision. The result of true representation. Of real advocacy. A symbol of equality, of fairness, and of compassion.

The nation that swept the postwar Labour government into power was made up of people who had faced the horrors and the hardships of the second world war. And had bound together as one community to overcome them. They had been sustained and inspired by their feeling of comradeship, and their sense of responsibility for their fellow man and woman. Compelled to help those in need and those struggling in the face of hardship.

These were the experiences that shaped them, and this was the vision of life that the welfare state was born out of. Faced with an enemy that sought only to divide, the National Health Service strove for unity.

Where they traded in fear-mongering, and blame, and exploitation of the vulnerable, the NHS represented compassion, and generosity, and acceptance. Where they slavered with voracious self-interest, the NHS symbolised courageous self-sacrifice for the good of all.

In his book In Place of Fear, Bevan said:

‘The collective principle asserts that no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.’

‘No society can legitimately call itself civilised’: now that begs the question, what sort of society do we want to be?

What is our vision for ourselves?

What are the qualities and the principles that we aspire towards, and choose to defend?

Because it is a choice.

Do we want to be a society that is fractured, divided, disconnected?

Do we want to be a society that is suspicious and mistrustful of its own people? A society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers. Mere instruments of profit, to be used while they have use, drained of whatever they can offer, and when they are seen as no longer useful, just abandoned, cut adrift. Preferably unseen and never again heard from.

Or … or … do we want to be a society where each person is recognised? Where all are equal in worth and value. And where that value is not purely a monetary one.

A society that is supportive, that is inclusive and compassionate. Where it is acknowledged that not all can prosper. Where those who are most vulnerable, most in need of help, are not seen as lazy, or scrounging, or robbing the rest of us for whatever they can get. Where we … we do not turn our backs on those facing hard times. We do not abandon them or exploit their weakness. Because they are us. If not now, then at some point, and inevitably, they are us.

We are not afraid to acknowledge that we can be ailing, that we can find ourselves weak, that we can be infirm, and that we all at some point need help. We don’t shy away from this hard truth, we embrace it. Because in that way, together, we are always strong. We leave no one behind. We only say we’ve crossed the finish line when the last of us does. Because no one is alone. And there is such a thing as society.

This is what I believe to be Aneurin Bevan’s vision of a living tapestry of a mixed community, as he said.

At a time now, when people mistrust politicians as being too professional, too disconnected, no longer representing the voice of the people they have been elected to serve but more likely to represent the voice of wherever the money is. No longer standing for anything meaningful, or inspired by strongly held beliefs.

At a time like this a man like Aneurin Bevan seems like a mythical creature. Like a unicorn perhaps. Or perhaps more fittingly, a DRAGON!

He didn’t care what the polls were saying.

He didn’t worry about his PR, or what the current popular trends might be.

His vision was long term. It was far-reaching, visionary in its scope and revolutionary in its effects.

He had cast-iron integrity and a raging passion.

This was a man who had no fear in standing up for what he believed in. And he made no bones about how he felt.

This was a man who publicly stated: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical, or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep, burning hatred for the Tory party.’

In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear of alienating a part of the electorate; where under the excuse of trying to appear electable, all parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality; and the real deals, the real values we suspect, are kept behind closed doors – is it any wonder that people feel there is very little to choose between?

Bevan said: ‘We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.’

So when people are too scared to say what they really mean, when they’re too careful to speak from their hearts, when integrity is too much of a risk, it’s no surprise that people feel disengaged with politics.

There is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right. You must stand up for what you believe. But first of all – by God, BELIEVE IN SOMETHING!

Because there are plenty out there who believe in grabbing as much as they can for themselves. Constantly sniffing around for markets to exploit, for weakness to expose. They won’t say it, of course – they’re too smart for that.

No one says they want to get rid of the NHS. Everyone praises it, across all parties. It is about as powerful a symbol of goodness that we have, so it would be too dangerous not to. But for decades now, there has nevertheless been a systematic undermining of its core values.

This is beyond party politics.

The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS as any Tory or coalition-led one.

This is about who we want to be as a nation, and what we believe is worth fighting for.

Too many people have given too much, and fought too hard, for us to give away what they achieved and to be left with so very little.

To those across the whole party political spectrum, and to anyone in any position of power or authority, I ask you to search your heart, and look at who and what you serve.

To those who have discarded all principles, save that of profit before all else; to those who have turned their backs on the very idea of a truly democratic society, and aligned themselves to nothing but self-interest; to those who have betrayed the vision of equality, and justice, and compassion for all – that vision that provided the crucible from which came forth the National Health Service – I say to you, as Aneurin Bevan said in Trafalgar Square in 1956: you have besmirched the name of Britain; you have made us ashamed of the things of which formerly we were proud; you have offended against every principle of decency and there is only way in which you can even begin to restore your tarnished reputation.


* Update from twitter and the march organisers

FULL UNEDITED Michael Sheen speech, watch it here : Credit:



“Only yesterday it was the fight for a free health service. The day before it was the struggle to win education for all … In any civilised community the arts and associated amenities, serious or comic, light or demanding, must occupy a central place.

Their enjoyment should not be regarded as something remote from everyday life.”
– The words above were published 50 years ago 25th February, in 1965 when the UK Government’s first, and only White Paper on the Arts, led by then Minister for the Arts, Jennie Lee, wife of Aneurin Bevan.

Adam Johannes ‘ Lee’s appointment came four years after the death of her husband, Aneurin Bevan.

Their combined impact on the nation we know now was considerable: between the two of them, they gave us not only the first ever Arts Policy, but also the National Health Service and the Open University.

 What Have We Learned?


999 Save the NHS, Tredegar Nye Bevan march Sept 6th 2014

My photographs of the day we marched through Tredegar, the birthplace of Nye Bevan’s National Health Service.

The photos are best viewed using Flickr’s in built slide show rather than the thumbnail views. Thanks for looking.

The Aneurin Bevan 999nhs Tredegar birthplace of the NHS march had a great turn out and amazing serendipity when we reached Tredegar Town Clock exactly on the stroke of High Noon.
Support our NHS.
95 photos to upload soon

listen to what GP @drbobgill said in parliament the other evening…

Stunning analysis on NHS privatisation which he says has been ongoing for 20years.