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The image above shows a letter from shadow health secretary Andy Burnham to our comedy Prime Minister David Cameron, demanding answers to the questions he dodged during PMQs on Wednesday. The date shows it was written immediately after the incident.
It would not have been necessary if Cameron had bothered to answer the question, rather than indulge in a pointless relativistic attack on the Labour-run NHS Wales instead.
We are sick of these distraction techniques. We understand them and they merely strengthen our long-held conclusion that Cameron is at worst a liar and at best a dissembler, who would not let the facts pass his lips under any circumstances.
Look at the evidence:
- He is trying to convince us that the European Union has only just presented him with a bill for £1.7bn when in fact he was served notice that an increased charge was coming, back in January this year.
- That national disgrace, Lord Freud, was caught out as having said that disabled people could work for £2 per hour – much less than the minimum wage – and Cameron lied that these “were not the views of anyone in government”.
- And three years after he withdrew selling off the nation’s forests to private developers from the Public Bodies Bill, Cameron has gone back on his word and reintroduced a plan to give them to privateers in the new Infrastructure Bill.
Those are just a few examples from the last two weeks!
Mr Burnham’s questions are relevant; the public deserves answers on them.
Why have 16 leading health organisations representing doctors, nurses and patients warned that health and social care services in England are at “breaking point”?
Why can’t he confirm that:
- National Health Service (England) currently has the highest waiting lists for six years;
- It has the highest number of people waiting more than four hours in Accident & Emergency for 10 years;
- It has missed its cancer treatment target for the first time ever; and
- Millions of people there cannot get to see their GP?
Does he, or does he not, agree with his unnamed Cabinet colleague that his former boss Andrew Lansley’s hugely expensive – and unexpected – £3bn top-down reorganisation of the NHS was a huge mistake?
And why won’t he support a plan to fund one-week cancer testing by levying a tax on tobacco companies? Would the answer have anything to do with the other business interests of his campaign manager Lynton Crosby?
“The country and the NHS deserve better,” wrote Mr Burnham. “Rather than indulging in smears and diversionary tactics you would be better advised to spend your time addressing the fact that [the] NHS… is at breaking point under your government.
“Until you focus on saving rather than smearing the NHS, the public will be understandably confronted with the sad truth that all this government offers is five more years of crisis in the health service.”
Perhaps Mr Cameron needs to be reminded of the information in this BBC report from 2011 – before his government made such a mess of the service – showing that public approval of the National Health Service was at its highest point ever and questioning why he (Cameron) felt the need to change it.
“If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it,” as the saying goes.
Now the NHS is broke, thanks to the Tory (and Liberal Democrat, let’s not forget) scheme to siphon off our tax money into the hands of private health ‘providers’.
And the nation is still broke, despite years of unnecessary Tory and Liberal Democrat austerity that have brought hardship to millions and caused the deaths of tens of thousands, thanks to the Coalition scheme to put people to work for a pittance and let business bosses keep the profits.
With a general election just a few months away, more than 60 million of us are looking to David Cameron for an explanation, only to find…
He has nothing to say.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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