Election candidate denies Save Lewisham Hospital 'hijack'

Election candidate denies Save Lewisham Hospital 'hijack'

Election candidate denies Save Lewisham Hospital 'hijack'

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

A candidate for the local elections has denied using the words "Save Lewisham Hospital" on his nomination papers is misleading or controversial.

Lewisham People Before Profit (PbP) have registered the name People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital, despite not being backed by the official campaign.

And the list of nominated candidates for next month's local elections show one PbP representative for Lewisham Central ward - Richard Proctor - appears under that name.

People Before Profit say they registered the name to stop other people "hijacking" it - and deny they have hijacked it themselves.

Mr Proctor said he was relaxed about using the words, saying he designed many of the campaign posters and placards.

He said: "The contribution I'd made to the campaign was such that I didn't feel that I don't feel embarrassed about using the slogan."

Mr Proctor added: "It's actually in the campaign's interests for me to be elected as a councillor because I'll be putting their side in the council."

And he went on: "As People Before Profit, as a group, the amount that we've done, we should be acknowledged. Not that we seek acknowledgement, but I think acknowledgement should be due."

The campaign said in a statement: "We are not endorsing any candidate standing in the local elections on May 22.

"Moreover ,we are specifically not endorsing the candidate in Lewisham Central ward who has registered his electoral name as People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital.

"We feel the use of the campaign name on ballot papers is potentially confusing as voters may consider this indicates campaign endorsement and we wish to make it completely clear this is not the case."

The full list of candidates for the council and Mayor of Lewisham are available to view at lewisham.gov.uk

Comments (9)

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3:17pm Mon 28 Apr 14

George Hallam says...

It beats me how anyone who wants to save Lewisham Hospital from closure can object to someone who has done more than most to save Lewisham Hospital from using the slogan "Save Lewisham Hospital".

Our Hospital is not yet safe. It has been merged into a large trust which has locked into massive PFI commitments. In 2013-14 the Trust paid £17.19m in interest payments alone for its two major PFI contracts.

These contracts have been written so that payments to PFI providers grow every year. Unless something is done payments are set to double by 2029-30.

The main political parties are committed to maintaining PFI payments. This is not surprising since all the main political parties work hand in glove with the fat cats of the City. We need to elect people like Richard who are actively opposed to PFI and support as publically funded and publically run health service.

If we rely on the tired crew of professional politicians who run the present system then we will lose not just Lewisham Hospital by the whole NHS.

George Hallam
Chief Steward for the 24th November and 26th January demonstrations
It beats me how anyone who wants to save Lewisham Hospital from closure can object to someone who has done more than most to save Lewisham Hospital from using the slogan "Save Lewisham Hospital". Our Hospital is not yet safe. It has been merged into a large trust which has locked into massive PFI commitments. In 2013-14 the Trust paid £17.19m in interest payments alone for its two major PFI contracts. These contracts have been written so that payments to PFI providers grow every year. Unless something is done payments are set to double by 2029-30. The main political parties are committed to maintaining PFI payments. This is not surprising since all the main political parties work hand in glove with the fat cats of the City. We need to elect people like Richard who are actively opposed to PFI and support as publically funded and publically run health service. If we rely on the tired crew of professional politicians who run the present system then we will lose not just Lewisham Hospital by the whole NHS. George Hallam Chief Steward for the 24th November and 26th January demonstrations George Hallam
  • Score: 197

4:18pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Leah Levane says...

I fully support Richard Proctor using this slogan alongside the name of the Party and, as I live in Lewisham Central, can confirm that I will be voting for him.

Not only did Richard design most (perhaps all) the campaign materials, but Lewisham People Before Profit were involved from the very start of the campaign and have consistently stood not only for saving Lewisham Hospital but against creeping (galloping) privatisation of the NHS as a whole.

The election ticket also does not say 'Lewisham People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign' but - 'Lewisham People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital' - there is a difference. As I understand it, saving the hospital (and it not saved yet) is one of the key things that Richard's Party stands for.

I am also amazed at the hypocrisy since nothing was said when the Labour Party produced placards with the slogan 'Save Lewisham Hospital'. Furthermore Labour has never apologised for introducing the pernicious Private Finance initiative (PFI) that means profits for bankers and impossible constraints for public services - and that was at the root of the problems faced by the South London Health Trust and the reason that Lewisham Hospital was under threat in the first place.

Lewisham Council then tried to take credit for the victory in the court case, rather than highlight that this was truly a community campaign and then did little or nothing to educate the campaigners about the need to carry on fighting for the NHS as a whole and, indeed, for local services.

More power to you, Richard!
I fully support Richard Proctor using this slogan alongside the name of the Party and, as I live in Lewisham Central, can confirm that I will be voting for him. Not only did Richard design most (perhaps all) the campaign materials, but Lewisham People Before Profit were involved from the very start of the campaign and have consistently stood not only for saving Lewisham Hospital but against creeping (galloping) privatisation of the NHS as a whole. The election ticket also does not say 'Lewisham People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign' but - 'Lewisham People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital' - there is a difference. As I understand it, saving the hospital (and it not saved yet) is one of the key things that Richard's Party stands for. I am also amazed at the hypocrisy since nothing was said when the Labour Party produced placards with the slogan 'Save Lewisham Hospital'. Furthermore Labour has never apologised for introducing the pernicious Private Finance initiative (PFI) that means profits for bankers and impossible constraints for public services - and that was at the root of the problems faced by the South London Health Trust and the reason that Lewisham Hospital was under threat in the first place. Lewisham Council then tried to take credit for the victory in the court case, rather than highlight that this was truly a community campaign and then did little or nothing to educate the campaigners about the need to carry on fighting for the NHS as a whole and, indeed, for local services. More power to you, Richard! Leah Levane
  • Score: 208

5:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Lookslikelego says...

Does the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign own the copyright on political action itself?

People before Profit have been involved in the campaign but also, more broadly has taken action, with other groups, against a range of challenges our NHS faces. Recetly PbP lobbied against the proposed privatisation of hospital staff by Serco - painting slogans to promote the issue to the public, writing letters to the hospital committees and attending the public consultation. The Serco outsourcing didn't go ahead, and no doubt political pressure is a part of this. This is just one of the many issues our NHS faces and People before Profit will continue to work with local groups like Keep our NHS Public to defend our hospital and care services.

Elsewhere People before Profit have raised the issue of the dangerous PFI debts - a ruinous New Labour hangover and fully supported by the Tories - and the millions of pounds in profits Barclays bank makes from the bankrupting of a local hospital. Profits that the Tories above want to defend. Labour have so far stayed concerning quiet on the issue.

I would say that the 'save Lewisham hospital' tagline is a rallying cry for anyone interested in real political action to save our services.

It's not owned by committee, it's owned by the people of Lewisham who care about these issues and take action. Richard is one of these people.
Does the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign own the copyright on political action itself? People before Profit have been involved in the campaign but also, more broadly has taken action, with other groups, against a range of challenges our NHS faces. Recetly PbP lobbied against the proposed privatisation of hospital staff by Serco - painting slogans to promote the issue to the public, writing letters to the hospital committees and attending the public consultation. The Serco outsourcing didn't go ahead, and no doubt political pressure is a part of this. This is just one of the many issues our NHS faces and People before Profit will continue to work with local groups like Keep our NHS Public to defend our hospital and care services. Elsewhere People before Profit have raised the issue of the dangerous PFI debts - a ruinous New Labour hangover and fully supported by the Tories - and the millions of pounds in profits Barclays bank makes from the bankrupting of a local hospital. Profits that the Tories above want to defend. Labour have so far stayed concerning quiet on the issue. I would say that the 'save Lewisham hospital' tagline is a rallying cry for anyone interested in real political action to save our services. It's not owned by committee, it's owned by the people of Lewisham who care about these issues and take action. Richard is one of these people. Lookslikelego
  • Score: 215

6:17pm Mon 28 Apr 14

luke sorba says...

Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings which overwhelmingly condemned the use of the Campaign's name on anybody's ballot registration, specifying People Before Profit as the sole culprit and urging them to withdraw it. Why? Because the success of the campaign was built on the non-partisan, cross-community togetherness of like-minded people with different political affiliations but all united against this government's plans to destroy not only Lewisham Hospital but the cherished principles of the NHS. By defying the will of the Campaign as expressed unequivocally (twice) after free and considered debate and by siphoning credit for its success to gain electoral advantage is not only wrong, it makes one question the real motives of PBP entering it in the first place. I joined the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign exclusively to serve its interests; not for it to serve mine. (I was / am active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament too, but wouldn't dream of appropriating their names either, regardless of how many placards I made)
Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings which overwhelmingly condemned the use of the Campaign's name on anybody's ballot registration, specifying People Before Profit as the sole culprit and urging them to withdraw it. Why? Because the success of the campaign was built on the non-partisan, cross-community togetherness of like-minded people with different political affiliations but all united against this government's plans to destroy not only Lewisham Hospital but the cherished principles of the NHS. By defying the will of the Campaign as expressed unequivocally (twice) after free and considered debate and by siphoning credit for its success to gain electoral advantage is not only wrong, it makes one question the real motives of PBP entering it in the first place. I joined the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign exclusively to serve its interests; not for it to serve mine. (I was / am active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament too, but wouldn't dream of appropriating their names either, regardless of how many placards I made) luke sorba
  • Score: -224

7:23pm Mon 28 Apr 14

George Hallam says...

The News Shopper’s report quotes a statement by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign as saying :
"We feel the use of the campaign name on ballot papers is potentially confusing ..”
I’ve just looked at the Lewisham Labour Party’s website. It carries a big photograph with people waving placards that say “Lewisham Labour says Save Lewisham Hospital”. Next to it is a button that says “Contact Us”. Apparently, that’s not confusing.
How about the claim that the Labour Party is “leading the campaign to save Lewisham Hospital”? This was made in back in January 2013 when Labour Party involvement in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign was marginal. The campaign never objected to that either.
Of course there is a reason why People Before Profit’s use of the slogan “Save Lewisham Hospital” is different.
People Before Profit is unambiguous in its support for a truly national health service that is properly funded by general taxation, delivered by public institution on the basis of need not ability to pay. We have worked to save Lewisham Hospital in that context.
On the other hand, the Labour Party attitude towards the NHS is somewhat confused. They say they want to defend the NHS but they were saying that between 1997 and 2010 when they ‘reformed’ it umpteen times. All this fuss about People Before Profit’s use of the slogan is just to divert attention from Labour’s failure to commit to:
1. reversing the disastrous merger;
2. ending the ruinous system of PFI contacts that are bleeding the NHS and other public services dry;
3. reopening Lewisham Hospital in the event that the merged trust closes it.
The News Shopper’s report quotes a statement by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign as saying : "We feel the use of the campaign name on ballot papers is potentially confusing ..” I’ve just looked at the Lewisham Labour Party’s website. It carries a big photograph with people waving placards that say “Lewisham Labour says Save Lewisham Hospital”. Next to it is a button that says “Contact Us”. Apparently, that’s not confusing. How about the claim that the Labour Party is “leading the campaign to save Lewisham Hospital”? This was made in back in January 2013 when Labour Party involvement in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign was marginal. The campaign never objected to that either. Of course there is a reason why People Before Profit’s use of the slogan “Save Lewisham Hospital” is different. People Before Profit is unambiguous in its support for a truly national health service that is properly funded by general taxation, delivered by public institution on the basis of need not ability to pay. We have worked to save Lewisham Hospital in that context. On the other hand, the Labour Party attitude towards the NHS is somewhat confused. They say they want to defend the NHS but they were saying that between 1997 and 2010 when they ‘reformed’ it umpteen times. All this fuss about People Before Profit’s use of the slogan is just to divert attention from Labour’s failure to commit to: 1. reversing the disastrous merger; 2. ending the ruinous system of PFI contacts that are bleeding the NHS and other public services dry; 3. reopening Lewisham Hospital in the event that the merged trust closes it. George Hallam
  • Score: 201

7:27pm Mon 28 Apr 14

George Hallam says...

luke sorba wrote:
Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings which overwhelmingly condemned the use of the Campaign's name on anybody's ballot registration, specifying People Before Profit as the sole culprit and urging them to withdraw it. Why? Because the success of the campaign was built on the non-partisan, cross-community togetherness of like-minded people with different political affiliations but all united against this government's plans to destroy not only Lewisham Hospital but the cherished principles of the NHS. By defying the will of the Campaign as expressed unequivocally (twice) after free and considered debate and by siphoning credit for its success to gain electoral advantage is not only wrong, it makes one question the real motives of PBP entering it in the first place. I joined the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign exclusively to serve its interests; not for it to serve mine. (I was / am active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament too, but wouldn't dream of appropriating their names either, regardless of how many placards I made)
luke sorba wrote:
"Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings".

"packed" is the operative word, I afraid.
[quote][p][bold]luke sorba[/bold] wrote: Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings which overwhelmingly condemned the use of the Campaign's name on anybody's ballot registration, specifying People Before Profit as the sole culprit and urging them to withdraw it. Why? Because the success of the campaign was built on the non-partisan, cross-community togetherness of like-minded people with different political affiliations but all united against this government's plans to destroy not only Lewisham Hospital but the cherished principles of the NHS. By defying the will of the Campaign as expressed unequivocally (twice) after free and considered debate and by siphoning credit for its success to gain electoral advantage is not only wrong, it makes one question the real motives of PBP entering it in the first place. I joined the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign exclusively to serve its interests; not for it to serve mine. (I was / am active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament too, but wouldn't dream of appropriating their names either, regardless of how many placards I made)[/p][/quote]luke sorba wrote: "Like many others, I too have been active in the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and was present at both packed general meetings". "packed" is the operative word, I afraid. George Hallam
  • Score: 170

12:18am Tue 29 Apr 14

SE London Activist says...

Richard Proctor has not hijacked the save the Lewisham Hospital name for the use of his own campaign. This is nonsense to even suggest this. Richard produced the artwork for this community based campaign, which PBP were involved in from the start. Richard should be commended for his imaginative and eye catching artwork/slogans. Therefore, I see no reason why he cannot use it after making such a wonderful contribution.

The official campaign should be supporting Richard Proctor for his contribution, isn't this what it's all about the collective. They welcomed Labour producing placards on "Save Lewisham Hospital" as well as Lewisham Council's input into saving the hospital.
Richard Proctor has not hijacked the save the Lewisham Hospital name for the use of his own campaign. This is nonsense to even suggest this. Richard produced the artwork for this community based campaign, which PBP were involved in from the start. Richard should be commended for his imaginative and eye catching artwork/slogans. Therefore, I see no reason why he cannot use it after making such a wonderful contribution. The official campaign should be supporting Richard Proctor for his contribution, isn't this what it's all about the collective. They welcomed Labour producing placards on "Save Lewisham Hospital" as well as Lewisham Council's input into saving the hospital. SE London Activist
  • Score: 294

9:13am Fri 2 May 14

hcmoore says...

Like many people I marched in the rain, went to meetings, signed petitions, donated money and have had posters in my windows for many months changing them as appropriate. This campaign galvanasied many people into action from all political views and none and the financial and legal support of the Labour run Lewisham Council standing alongside the campaign organisers and their elected team made the differemce to being able to win hard fought legal cases in the High Court. No party should capitlalise by using the name of the hospital and the campaign in their ballot box party description. Any art work was surely done in good faith to support the campiagn and designed for that purpose and as a supporter both fnancially and in action I woudl not have envisaged it being for other use.
Like many people I marched in the rain, went to meetings, signed petitions, donated money and have had posters in my windows for many months changing them as appropriate. This campaign galvanasied many people into action from all political views and none and the financial and legal support of the Labour run Lewisham Council standing alongside the campaign organisers and their elected team made the differemce to being able to win hard fought legal cases in the High Court. No party should capitlalise by using the name of the hospital and the campaign in their ballot box party description. Any art work was surely done in good faith to support the campiagn and designed for that purpose and as a supporter both fnancially and in action I woudl not have envisaged it being for other use. hcmoore
  • Score: 5

1:09am Mon 5 May 14

SE London Activist says...

'Actually thinking about it, if anyone has hijacked the campaign it's Labour!
'Actually thinking about it, if anyone has hijacked the campaign it's Labour! SE London Activist
  • Score: -3

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