People Before Profit: La Rupture

In the down time between elections, local political party People Before Profit like to keep themselves busy and in the headlines with a range of madcap antics. This summer's crossover event is a split between rival factions. The News Shopper reports:

Five members of the party - including founder member Tobias Abse, 2015 election candidate Helen Mercer and secretary George Hallam - have left after a rift between Mr Hallam and stalwart John Hamilton.

In a scathing Facebook post last week, Mr Abse criticised the way the party was run and made a number of allegations about Mr Hamilton and a property he rents out in Nottingham - allegations the party says are unsubstantiated. He wrote: "The organisation has degenerated into an authoritarian leader cult similar to various other left organisations and I could not in all conscience continue to be part of it when all the opposition forces were walking away.

Full the full story, click here. We look forward to the details of Real People Before Real Profit.


Chris Wheal said...


Iain said...

By the way, for anyone who follows the link to the story, they'll notice another of PbP/Helen's repeated efforts to propagate a sanctimonious lie that they gloriously led the hospital campaign, but were then overthrown somehow because of their principled opposition to the takeover of QEH by Lewisham (not a merger, because QEH's trust had been dissolved and taken over by TSA + McKinsey).

You may also have noticed that I relentlessly reply about this rubbish because it's propaganda and misinformation. I'm pasting my comment on Newshopper here too. Feel free to ignore/reply etc.

"How did Helen manage to be simultaneously instrumental in the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign and ignored by it?! I suppose that's how politicians claim all the credit for things they were partially involved in- those demonstrations were a collective effort, but most of us don't try to take all the credit or put it on a political CV (seems a bit leadership cult to me!)

Helen only opposed the merger at the moment it was about to happen. The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign was equally concerned about the merger, nobody was ignored- the PFI debt is grotesque and destructive and it's unfair that it is now a burden for the people of Lewisham- in the same way it is unfair for it to be a burden on the people of Woolwich and Greenwich. Opposing the merger wouldn't have magically made the PFI disappear.

And I'm still waiting to hear what Helen's amazing foresight thinks would have happened to healthcare in south east London had the merger not occurred.

As a nurse at QEH, my job and hospital was on the line. The fact is, without the merger, Queen Elizabeth Hospital would've spiralled into disaster and Lewisham Hospital would've been an isolated general hospital waiting to be taken over and run-down by the foundation trusts surrounding it.

Helen knows these points, they've been made to her repeatedly, but she still never bothers to explain how the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign could have resisted the merger or what it would have achieved by opposing a local (non-FT) NHS organisation taking back Queen Elizabeth Hospital from the TSA.

Helen's quote is another boring attempt to turn any mention she gets in the press into a sideswipe at a successful local campaign. No wonder she lost her deposit at the election.

Apologies if that seems personal, but the egotism of claiming credit for 2 community demonstrations looks a bit leader cult to me, and this article suggests that's fair game. I've seen years of this pointless posturing from People Before Profit and the time to get together and defend the hospital is now. It is not the time to point fingers and falsely proclaim "I told you so!"

G said...

Personally, the party lost all credibility for me after Ray Woolford's laughable flip flopping antics (if you excuse the pun) surrounding the whole Deptford Jobcentre pub fiasco last year. If someone can so blatantly and shamelessly change his story the moment it seems suitable for the press, how could I ever trust the party he represents?

terrencetrentderby said...

What happend to your mascot Barbara, I liked the slogan "You can trust Barbara"?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Anon said...

Can someone called 'Tobias' be taken seriously as someone on the side of the hard working downtrodden folk of Lewisham?

Mark said...

I actually agree with this statement from the article; "We foresaw that threats to Lewisham Hospital would continue if the merger with QEH went ahead because at the root of the problem were the unaffordable PFIs. It is sad that we were ignored at the time by the campaign itself." But agree with you that Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign was not in a position to oppose it; but the Lewisham population have been duped into thinking it won, when it is now saddle with the proportion of this debt. I blame the Mayor, Council, Local MPs, Labour Party and the Lewisham Hospital Board for that.

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