Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
3 March 2015updated 24 Jul 2021 2:46pm

“By God, believe in something“: watch actor Michael Sheen slam NHS cuts and “bland“ politicians

"Burning hatred for the Tory party".

By Anoosh Chakelian

The actor Michael Sheen has given an impassioned speech condemning cuts to the NHS, and our “bland” politicians, at a St David’s Day march. 

During the rally, which was to celebrate the health service’s architect, Nye Bevan, the Welsh actor lamented:

No one says they want to get rid of the NHS, everyone praises it . . . But for decades now there has been a systematic undermining of its core values. This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS as any Tory or coalition-led one.

He also railed against the political establishment:

In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear . . . all political parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality and the real values we suspect are kept behind closed doors. Is it any wonder that people feel there is little to choose between . . . You must stand up for what you believe, but first of all, by God, believe in something.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

To great applause, Sheen approvingly referred to Bevan’s “burning hatred for the Tory party”.

Watch him here:

Content from our partners
Stella Creasy: “Government’s job is to crowdsource, not crowd-control”
With capacity comes opportunity
On the road to efficiency