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Out on the streets to ‘Save our NHS’ in Crouch End

March 31st, 2015 by

Building on the great success of the national ‘Save our NHS’ day of action in February, 38 Degrees members took to the streets of Crouch End in north London on Saturday 28th March.

38 Degrees member Alex organised the stall and was joined by her granddaughter and 5 other local members. Together they gathered over 200 signatures for the massive national petition to ‘Save our NHS’. The petition calls on all candidates standing to be an MP in the May general election to do everything they can to protect the NHS, including:

  • Stopping privatisation
  • Making sure it has the funding it needs to provide high quality healthcare to everyone
  • Protecting it from US health corporations by keeping the NHS out of TTIP
38 Degrees members in Crouch End

38 Degrees member Alex and her granddaughter in Crouch End

The group spoke to hundreds of people from across the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency about why the NHS is such a critical election issue. They had such a successful morning collecting signatures that the group ran out of petition sheets!

Want to get involved in future ‘Save our NHS’ actions? 38 Degrees members will be back out on the streets in Crouch End and Wood Green from 11am on Saturday 11 April building even more community support for this important campaign (there will be enough petition sheets for everyone this time!)

Visit the 38 Degrees election website to sign up for these actions or to connect with other 38 Degrees members and find out what else is happening in your area.

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Day of Action against TTIP in Scotland – come rain or shine!

March 28th, 2015 by

Today, 38 Degrees members took to the streets from Dundee to Saltcoats. Braving gale-force winds, we persuaded thousands more people to sign the petition telling Scottish politicians to stop the dodgy TTIP trade deal.

And then this afternoon we saw another great sign of our pressure starting to work. The SNP announced a tougher stance, expressing “strong dissatisfaction both with the process and content of TTIP”. They even mentioned our TTIP Day of Action in their press release – a very clear sign that the efforts of 38 Degrees members have got their attention and are helping shift their position.

38 Degrees members are speaking out because TTIP is a threat to Scotland’s public services and Scotland’s democratic future. Together, bit by bit, we’re making sure every Scottish politician realises that.

So now we’ve got the attention of politicians in Scotland, let’s keep the pressure up. Even if you couldn’t make it in person today, you can help amplify the call to stop TTIP.

Please can you take two minutes to email your MP candidates, asking them to oppose this dodgy trade deal? Click here to send a quick email.

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Here’s some pictures and tweets of the fantastic 38 Degrees members out campaigning across Scotland today:

 

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Save our NHS phone calls – FAQs

March 27th, 2015 by

What if someone asks me who I should vote for?

38 Degrees is independent of all political parties, so it’s important you don’t tell anyone who to vote for. What you can do though is talk about how important it is to go out and vote to protect our NHS, and you should encourage them to look into where the parties stand – and what their records are – when it comes to the NHS.

You could also direct them to Votematch – it’s a completely neutral and independent website that asks you to rate statements on issues like our NHS and tax dodging, and then matches your position with where the parties stand. It’ll help show people which parties will protect our NHS. It can be found at:

http://38degrees.votematch.org/

Where will the people I’m calling live?

All over the UK! The site will let you call members of the public from anywhere across the UK. But each time you’re connected to a new call you’ll be able to see on your computer screen where the person you’re speaking to is from.

How has 38 Degrees got the phone numbers for people I’d be calling?

The company who created the new site bought the phone numbers of the people you’ll be calling. However 38 Degrees won’t be saving the phone numbers, or using them for anything other than these phone calls.

We’ve made sure that anybody who has requested to be on the Do Not Call list won’t be called by 38 Degrees members, and the list will be updated daily so nobody will be called who has asked not to be.

What if someone asks me for more information on the NHS – will there be information provided?

Yes! As part of the instructions pack that the office team will be sending out, we’ll include some talking tips and information about the NHS.

Is linking my phone and computer to make the calls secure?

Yes – the site is 100% secure. The way it works is you enter your phone number into the site, and it will then call you. Once you answer the phone your screen and phone will be connected and you’ll be able to make calls. The second you hang up your phone and computer will be disconnected from each other.

Can I see the script before calling?
Yes! As part of the instruction pack that the office team will be sending out, we’ll include a copy of the script. Also, once you connect to the site, you can have an another read through of the script before you click the button to start making calls.

Where can I see the online petition?
The online petition – as well as other information about the 38 Degees ‘Save our NHS’ campaign can be found at www.38degrees.org.uk/NHS.

Where can I see local candidates?
All candidates can be found at:

https://yournextmp.com/

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Cardiff North: taking on tax-dodging

March 27th, 2015 by

On Saturday 21st March, 38 Degrees members in Cardiff North hit the streets to talk about tax-dodging. Together they gathered over 200 signatures for the massive petition against the Mayfair – tax dodging – Loophole. A tax loophole, used by rich private equity bosses, to help their clients dodge hundreds of millions of pounds worth of tax.

The group spoke to hundreds of people in Whitchurch about why tax dodging is an important – and outrageous – issue. Together, alongside everyone who signed the petition, 38 Degrees members in Cardiff North want to push the MP candidates standing in this election to back ambitious policies that tackle tax-dodging. Starting with promising to close the Mayfair Loophole.

Brian said of the day “I think the day went very well. We distributed about a third of a box of leaflets and managed to get about 200 signatures in not much more than an hour and a half. ”

38 Degrees members voted to make tax dodging a big issue this election – and on Saturday Cardiff North members started to do just that.

Most of us pay our tax, and play our part in society. Because we’re serious about protecting our vital public services, like lifesaving NHS care and teachers to nurture our children. At a time when people are relying on food-banks, some rich individuals are stashing away billions. Tax dodgers have had special treatment for too long.

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Cornish Campaigners Say NO to Hospital Privatisation

March 27th, 2015 by

38 Degrees members from across Cornwall led a lively demonstration outside the Royal Cornwall Hospital yesterday, to protest against plans to privatise three NHS departments. They were joined by local NHS campaigners and hospital staff keen to send a strong message to hospital Trust board members and politicians: Our NHS is not for sale!

79- 38Degrees-Cornwall Hospital

Over 100 people joined the 90 minute demonstration with an impressive display of placards and banners. Some demonstrators even turned to song to express their feelings. 38 Degrees member Neil Foss penned a special protest song for the occasion and led everyone in a rousing rendition of ‘God Save our NHS’ set to the tune of the national anthem. Passing motorists waved and tooted in support and the local media were out in force to cover the event.

16- 38Degrees-Cornwall Hospital

The demonstration concluded with the handing-in of a petition to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust board. The petition, calling on board members and local politicians to stop the privatisation at Royal Cornwall Hospital, was created by a 38 Degrees member from Truro last month and has attracted over 8,000 signatures in the last six weeks.

Box Hand In

The Trust assured demonstrators that they would take the petition into account in their ongoing discussions but gave no indication that they would reverse the privatisation plans. 38 Degrees members agreed to keep the pressure up by continuing the petition. There are plans to stage a second demonstration at the hospital on Thursday 30th April to coincide with the Trust’s next board meeting. Watch this space!

To add your name to the petition click here.

95- 38Degrees-Cornwall Hospital

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Tomorrow: Scotland says ‘NO’ to TTIP

March 27th, 2015 by

Tomorrow at 11am, hundreds of 38 Degrees members are hitting high streets and town centres across Scotland – it’s set to be a fantastic day.

Together, we’ll collect thousands of signatures telling our MP candidates to scrap the dodgy TTIP trade deal. If everyone who’s signed up collects 60 signatures, we could push the total number on the petition to 50,000 – that’s a force politicians can’t ignore.

At the bottom of this post is a set of useful questions and answers which should cover everything you need to know about the day. You can also check the details of the event near you, and chat to other 38 Degrees member going along by clicking this link here.

Its scary to think what could happen in Scotland if our MPs allow TTIP to pass – it could mean further privatisation of our public services and our government being sued by profit-hungry corporations. But if we push this message out to friends, neighbours and locals across Scotland, we could force politicians to rethink.

Through people-power, we’ll be sending a clear message to all candidates hoping to be our MPs: if they want our votes this election, they need to protect our public services and scrap TTIP.

See you on the streets!

What will happen on the day?

38 Degrees members are coming together to tell as many people as possible about this dangerous trade deal. We’re going to meet on our local high street and collect signatures to build up the local petitions that tell our MP candidates to stop TTIP.

One 38 Degrees member (- the person who set up an event!) from every event has been sent a big pack of petition sheets and flyers. They’ll have these materials with them on the day so there should be enough for everyone to hand out. But if you want to print out extra petition sheets and leaflets, click here.

What if I don’t fancy meeting up with other 38 Degrees members to collect signatures?

That’s fine!  If you don’t want to meet up with other 38 Degrees members, you could still print out your own materials and get the word out.

You could post the leaflets through the letterboxes on your street and collect signatures on your own. Some 38 Degrees members have been gathering signatures as part of their normal routine – in the local supermarket, at work, or in book groups, gym classes or playgroups!

Is there anything else I should take?

Here’s a checklist:

  • Petition sheets (if you want to print extra)

  • Leaflets to hand out (if you want to print extra)

  • A camera or smartphone if you have one to take pictures and share what’s happening on social media, or emailing the 38 Degrees office team

  • Any posters or placards you’d like to make and take

  • An umbrella

  • A warm coat and hat!

Will there be a 38 Degrees staff member there?

There won’t be a member of the 38 Degrees staff team at your local event, but there should be other 38 Degrees members there. You can click here to see how many people are signed up to take part.

I’ve not done anything like this before – any tips?

Lots of people will have done this before and lots will be doing it for the first time. Use each other for support. Whatever your level of experience, there’s a few basic things to keep in mind.

The first is to make sure you’re being respectful to everyone you meet and to keep yourself safe at all times.

The second is to have fun and be proud! Talking to people in your community and leafleting on an important issue you care about is fantastic. Whether you’re part of a big group with a market stall in a town, or walking your own street letterboxing in your village, you’re part of a much bigger movement to stop TTIP.

What sorts of things should I say when stopping people on the street?

It can be a little nerve wracking approaching strangers on the street, so it’s good to think about how to start up the initial conversation. Try a few different approaches with your group and share what happens! Here are some opening lines you could try:

“Hi, I am out today as I want to stop corporations taking too much power in Scotland. Can you spare a minute to talk to me about it?”

“Hi, have you heard about TTIP? It’s a secret trade deal between the EU and the US, which could threaten our public services in Scotland with further privatisation. Will you sign a petition to stop the deal?”

“Hi, my name’s XXX and I’m a member of the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees. Do you have a spare minute to help save our public services in Scotland?”

Although it may seem daunting, having a conversation with others is one of the most effective ways to communicate your message. Remember, not everyone will agree with you (or even want to stop and talk at all) and that’s okay. Don’t be disheartened or take it personally, by being on the streets you’re already raising awareness about this dangerous trade deal.

How do I answer in-depth questions about TTIP?

You don’t have to be an expert! If someone has a question about TTIP and you’re not sure about the answer, you can point them to the web address on the bottom of the flyer. The site includes links to further reading about TTIP, and should give any interested members of the public the answers they need.

If you do want to read up more on TTIP before Saturday, here are some articles and blogs here to get you started.

Where should I give out my leaflets? Is it legal to give out leaflets?

There are a few different rules about giving out leaflets, but it’s definitely legal!

If you’re in a public place, you’re well within your rights to hand leaflets out to the public if it’s for a charity, or a political or religious group. So these leaflets will definitely be allowed. If anyone does ask you to move, put the ball back in their court and ask where you can hand them out instead.

If you’re meeting up somewhere that could be considered private property – like inside of a shopping centre – security or the centre’s managers could ask you to leave. If you are asked to leave somewhere by staff or security it’s best to do so and move to a public space to carry on handing out your leaflets.

What do I do with the petition sheets once we’ve collected signatures?

Either on the day, or straight after, please add the names and details you collect to the online petition. Here is the link:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-petition-upload

It shouldn’t take too long, and it might help to divide the work between your group. Please add all of the signatures you collect by Monday 3rd April. Adding the details ASAP will help build the pressure quicker in Scotland  because we’ll be able to email the new petition signers!

Remember that completed petition sheets contain some personal information so you need to take care with them. Don’t leave them lying around, and don’t let anyone use the contact details for any purpose other than for adding them to the petition. Once you’ve added the signatures online, please tear up or shred the petition sheets.

What do I do if someone signs the petition without an email address?

Please encourage signers to add their email address, so they can be sent an update about the campaign. But don’t worry if they don’t, they can still sign the petition. As a minimum, everyone should be encouraged to give a postcode in order to prove they live in Scotland.

What if someone lives in a different constituency to me?

The online form, where you type in the petition signatures you collect, will automatically add people to the right petition for their area depending on their postcode. So don’t worry at all about people signing from a different constituency to you. You’ll be helping to grow your neighbours’ petitions, and they’ll be helping to grow yours.

Where do I send pictures and how can I tell the press what we’re doing?

If you’re on social media, please make sure you tweet using #noTTIP or share your pictures of the day on Facebook.

You can also keep other 38 Degrees members up to date with what you’re doing by sending pictures to emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk.

A selection of the best pictures will be sent out to all 38 Degrees members in Scotland!

If you want to send a press release to your local paper along with pictures of the event, you can find a template at the top of this page.

What if I have a question on the day?

The 38 Degrees office will be also be available to answer any last-minute questions from 9am onwards on Saturday:

Call: 0207 970 6023

Tweet: @38_degrees

Email: emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

What happens next?

This is the start of a big push to get our MP candidates to listen up and stop TTIP, so there’s plenty more we can do in the next few weeks to keep the pressure on.

Once you’ve finished collecting signatures, you could all go for a drink to talk about how it went and whether you’d be up for doing it again!

 

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Press release for- Ongoing ‘Save Our NHS’ Days

March 26th, 2015 by

You can copy and paste the template press release below into an email to local journalists to tell them about what you’re doing locally to ‘Save the NHS’. Remember to change the red text in square brackets to the details of your local event!

You should find contact details for your local papers here. Or if that doesn’t work, Google “the name of your local paper + news desk” and you should see the contact details for the editor.

When you need to see how many people have signed your local ‘Save our NHS’ petition, click here.

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TEMPLATE PRESS RELEASE

Remember to include any clear pictures you’ve taken in your email!

Contact: [your name, your phone number and your email address]
For immediate release

Locals out on [day] in [area] to “Save the NHS”

Local people in [area] are taking to the streets on [date] to gather signatures on a petition in support of the NHS.

Members of campaign group 38 Degrees in [area] will be joining hundreds more across the UK, who are doing all that they can to fight for the future of the NHS before the next government is elected.

[x,000] people in the area have already signed a petition to all of the candidates standing to be an MP in [constituency name] in May’s general election. The petition asks each candidate to commit to protect the NHS from privatisation, make sure it has the funding it needs, and keep the NHS out of the TTIP trade deal with the US.

[name], a 38 Degrees member from [area], said “[This quote is the place for you to write why you care about the NHS and why you want to challenge your local MP candidates by taking part in the day of action. Here’s an example: “We all need the NHS at our best and worst moments in life. That’s why I’ll be going out this Saturday to spread the word about our campaign and collect signatures on our local petition. [area]’s day of action will show our MP candidates that if they want to sell off or run down our NHS, they’ll have a fight on their hands.”]

David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees said: “This day of action should send a clear message to politicians: you’re being watched by millions of us fighting to protect our NHS.

“The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world, and it belongs to all of us. But too many politicians have ignored the doctors and nurses on the frontline. They’ve turned their back on the principle of an NHS owned by all of us and working to save lives, rather than to make money.

“People in [area] will be standing with thousands of people across the country to say that we love our NHS too much to let it be sold off to the highest bidder.”

The local petition to save the NHS is at: www.38degrees.org.uk/nhs

 

Notes to editors

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Hove shouts loud and proud: We love the NHS

March 25th, 2015 by

High streets of Hove

38 Degrees members took to the high streets of Hove on Saturday for their second action on the NHS. The sun shone (hooray) as they collected hundreds more signatures for the petition calling on all candidates to protect the NHS after 7th May.

The NHS saved my life. I had a life threatening situation, saw my doctor and the very same day was in an operating theatre. We have the best health care system in the world, why would we want to commercialise that?!” Pat

I feel desperately uncertain about the future of the NHS. We do not want a USA health care system here: people die. This really is putting people’s lives on the line.” Helen

Next up in Hove we’ll be watching the leaders debates on the tellie in The Sussex Pub (tbc) on the seafront. We’d love people to join us from across the city – details and RSVP here.

Hove stands up for the NHS

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Brighton Kemptown: out on the streets for the NHS

March 25th, 2015 by

Brighton Kemptown speaks out for the NHS

Brighton Kemptown took to the streets for the NHS on Saturday – collecting hundreds more signatures for the petition calling on all candidates to protect the NHS if elected in May.

Later that night we were treated to a screening of “The Sell Off” a fascinating, but hard-hitting documentary made by doctors about the NHS. It’s freely available online: watch it, and tell your friends.

Loads going on in Kemptown over the next few weeks – notably a Debate on the NHS at George’s Church on Thursday 9th April, details here.

Join in the conversation and find out what other events are up next here.

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Urgent: Mayfair loophole

March 25th, 2015 by

News just in: this afternoon, MPs can vote to shut the Mayfair tax loophole.  That’s the tax dodge the government set up to let rich city bosses avoid up to £700m of tax a year. We need to act fast to make sure MPs close it.

Can you send an email to your MP now asking them to vote to close the loophole? Hundreds of their constituents getting in touch just before they walk in to vote could tip the balance.

Your email will be copied to all the candidates who want to be your next MP too, to ask what they’d do if they were voting today. The last thing your MP wants a few weeks away from an election is to look soft on tax dodging compared to their rivals – socopying in the other candidates will pile the pressure on them. Click here to email your MP and candidates.

Politicians have admitted that tax dodging is a problem. But they blame the fat cats who dodge tax rather than taking responsibility for setting up the dodgy rules and loopholes in the first place.

38 Degrees members exposed the Mayfair loophole earlier this year. It’s an unfair rule that lets private equity bosses get away with dodging up to £700m of tax a year. MPs could vote to close it today – and get that money back for our NHS and other public services.

We can’t let millionaire finance bosses pay less tax than nurses and teachers. It’s election season, so MPs are trying to look good in front of their constituents. The more emails your MP gets this morning, the more likely they’ll vote to shut the loophole later - especially as every email they get is copied to their rivals.

Please urgently email your MP and candidates to demand they vote to close the Mayfair loophole later today.

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