at the Labour Party’s conference in Manchester, England, on Wednesday in what seems like poetic verse, the nearly century-old Harry Smith recalls his youth in the tenements of Britain, the “desperation of poverty” and the horrors of life before the National Health Service was implemented, all of which inspired him to vote for the first time. Though Smith starts off with a joke about the BBC show “Downton Abbey,” the rest of his speech is gut-wrenching as he recounts the preventable death of his 10-year-old sister due to lack of funds and the cries of a neighboring woman dying of cancer without being able to afford morphine. In the middle of his talk, the 91-year-old British citizen received a standing ovation from an emotional crowd.

Smith also highlighted the importance of keeping the NHS free for all, and warned that if it wasn’t, “Your future will be my past.” And when he eventually concluded by urging everyone to shout at any chance, “Mr. Cameron, keep your mitts off my NHS!” he was cheered on by an auditorium filled with, one can hope, people who will do just that in their struggle to keep the promise of universal health care alive.

Also read: British PM Cameron Enabling Wall Street’s Takeover of National Health Service

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.