Parliament to debate vote of ‘no confidence’ in Jeremy Hunt

Not the right kind of tree-hugger: This is an artist's impression of what Jeremy Hunt looked like, hiding behind a tree to avoid being seen going to a meeting with Rupert Murdoch.

Not the right kind of tree-hugger: This is an artist’s impression of what Jeremy Hunt looked like, hiding behind a tree to avoid being seen going to a meeting with Rupert Murdoch.

Don’t get your hopes up too high.

The debate on whether Jeremy Hunt should get the boot will take place on Monday (September 14), but is taking place as a result of a petition on the government’s website – meaning nothing is likely to come of it, even if the vote is in favour of his removal.

Remember the debate on the first ‘Wow’ petition? The demand for a cumulative impact assessment on all cuts and changes affecting sick and disabled people, made by the then-Coalition Government. The motion was passed resoundingly – and the Coalition Government did nothing. There has been no such assessment. David Cameron’s aides said the vote was “advisory”.

Still, the exposure certainly won’t do Mr Hunt, the well-known Murdoch minion and humorous misprint, any good at all.

The petition, created by Dr Ash Sadighi, states that “Jeremy Hunt has alienated the entire workforce of the NHS by threatening to impose a harsh contract and conditions on first consultants and soon the rest of the NHS staff” and calls for a vote of ‘no confidence’. It has attracted 219,488 signatures – more than double the 100,000 required, well ahead of its January 20, 2016 deadline.

The Conservative Government has already responded to the petition with a lengthy justification of the decision to require contractual changes that will worsen the conditions of work for NHS staff. You can read it here.

It is interesting that this statement contradicts itself by suggesting that, in order to counter the claimed fact that, “if you are admitted to hospital on a weekend, you have a 16 per cent greater chance of dying”, the government wanted to end a contract “that allows senior doctors to refuse to work non-emergency work in the evenings, at nights and at weekends” [italics mine].

That’s non-emergency work. Obviously, life-threatening conditions don’t come under this category and so ending this contract would do nothing to alleviate the problem that has been identified.

What, then, would be the reason for worsening the conditions for medical staff?

Could it be another attempt to “sour the milk” at the NHS, making it less attractive for medical staff in order to scare away the talented physicians that are needed in order to make the system work?

Could it be that the long-term aim is to make private healthcare a more attractive option – to both staff and patients – despite the increased personal costs that this involves?

This seems likely.

But of course, this issue is only one of many in which the Health Secretary has demonstrated his incompetence. Remember the series of inaccurate (to the point of being laughable, if the consequences weren’t so dangerous for patients) statements he issued on Twitter at the beginning of the year?

Remember his confession that he would rather burden Accident and Emergency departments with non-emergency concerns affecting his family, rather than wait for an appointment with a doctor?

There is no mention of these in the Conservative Government’s response to this petition, even though they also create serious concern about the abilities of this man.

Let us hope that Mr Hunt’s inadequacies are fully aired on Monday. Feel free to contact your MP if you want particular issues raised.

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  1. mohandeer September 9, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

    It’s a sad fact that although this government fully intends to privatise the NHS and the evidence for that is mounting, no action we can take will halt their assault on the doctors and nurses. The aim is as much about pitting the electorate against the NHS staff as it is in resolving any issues within our hospital services due to lack of funding by the government. As for incompetent government ministers, especially within the current administration, they number several, Michael Gove has proven himself a total incompetent, George Osborne has no idea what he is doing and has made one bad decision after another, IDS is now proven to be a lying incompetent as has Priti Patel, we have always known the degree of incompetence Jeremy Hunt has made self evident, Esther McVey, thankfully is out of the picture and will not be required to lie to Dame Begg but that still leaves David Cameron himself and not many people would know where to begin detailing his level of incompetence since he appointed all these fools. Unless we can organise a movement to have the present government dismissed(and David Cameron obviously has no problem with illegal coups) we are stuck with all of these incompetents. With the Labour Party a dismal failure with a vote rigging scandal out in the open and their dirty laundry in view for all to see there is no plausible alternative. Integrity, honesty and competence are not words that readily come to mind when considering Ministers of Parliament and in some cases the terms would be considered mutually exclusive. The only chance British politics has is about to get buried by his own party.

    • chris September 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      there a lot of action we can take will halt their assault on the doctors and nurses ;) also Jeremy will win

  2. daijohn September 9, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Write to my MP! – John Penrose – Some time ago Hunt came to Weston-Super-Mare and went along to a posh hotel to address the tory faithful. We were outside to demonstrate against his policies. To avoid us he and Penrose sneaked into the hotel in the back of an unmarked van. Nuff said really.

  3. Joanna September 9, 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Are you saying that it is a waste of time and for some people extreme energy to sign a petition?

    What is the point of debate if the end result is nothing? It is like mocking all the people who are being wronged.

    We seem to be living in a Fake democracy, which is to say the illusion of it!!

    I know this very pessimistic but everyday I am still struggling to hang on.

    I have just finished 20 sessions of talk therapy with a private company, which hasn’t worked at all.

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      No, I’m saying that the Conservative Government won’t pay any attention to the result of any debate. The bad publicity generated by such debates will be extremely useful. I just mentioned the Wow Petition debate, for example.

  4. john kettle September 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Wouldn’t the fact that doctors are refusing to carry out non-emergency work in the evenings and weekends then free them up to do the emergency work that the government wants?
    This smacks of a deliberate act of confrontation in order to cow the rest into submission. Start at the top and work down.

  5. Mr.Angry September 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I truly believe enough is enough, give them a bit more rope and they will eventually hang themselves. I am perfectly willing to provide that rope. They are not fit to govern and thanks to people like VP and others alike, their hideous crimes are being exposed to a lot more UK citizens. You only have to hear today fifty judges are resigning because of tory policies, not one organisation has been safe from these evil politicians.

    The main media is controlled by these morons so we must be grateful to have issues like the slippery fox hunt exposed.

  6. mrmarcpc September 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    There shouldn’t be a debate, Hunt, like all the tories, are useless, greedy, incompetent liars who should all have a vote of no confidence, none of them are fit for government so they should all be voted this way and booted out!

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