If we don’t fight to save emergency services, who will?

21st November, 2012 4:01 pm

Heard about the 999 SOS campaign? Probably not before today unless you were unfortunate enough to meet me on a doorstep in the last couple of weeks and ask me what I was working on.

However, if you follow any City Hall Labour Group members you might have seen the soft launch this morning of the Twitter account @999SOSLondon. The Tories on the London Assembly did and we don’t think they were impressed. A few of the more avid Facebookers among you may also have noticed a slight flurry of ‘likes’ yesterday afternoon for the campaign’s Facebook page (which as a result got a name of its own – www.facebook.com/999SOSLondon).

999 SOS (as the name suggests) is a campaign against the cuts being made by Boris Johnson to the Police and Fire Services in London. These are a text book example of cuts being too far and too fast. The campaign also calls on Boris to stand up for Londoners on emergency services generally, including proposed cuts to hospital A&E services as part of ‘reconfigurations’ across London.

A joint campaign between the London Labour Party and the City Hall Labour Group, 999 SOS will largely be a social media campaign linking localised campaigns together and providing a central online petition via www.999SOS.org.uk. It is not intended to replace or duplicate the work of existing local campaigns, but to add volume to the noise about the cuts, making the extent of public opposition clear. It also provides a central point for sharing information. It would be great if all of you already running campaigns would post information and pictures on the facebook page and tweet us about your progress so we can pass it on.

We know from research carried out by the London Fire Brigade (and hidden at the back of a phone directory size report for tomorrow’s London Fire Authority meeting) that the cuts to the fire service do not have public support. Boris Johnson is weak on this – and on police cuts – and the more we can attach his name to his cuts, the better. LabourList readers might not understand quite how Boris reached the heady heights of being the most popular politician in the known universe. However, he appears to quite like being popular and so if enough people object publically, the Mayor might even think twice about the scale and speed of the cuts.

Apparently it is a weakness to want people to like you but please, please, please like our page, follow us, retweet us and use the resources on the website.  And if you are a London CLP Secretary, a London Labour Councillor or MP, please look out for the pack of resources winging its way to you.

We are stronger together, and by working together we can hopefully save our emergency services – if we don’t, who will?

Fiona Twycross AM, City Hall Labour Campaign Co-ordinator

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