Hunt v Hawking on the future of the NHS: Who do you believe?

You’ve got to believe Jeremy Hunt, right?

He is the Health Secretary, after all. He’s the man responsible for planning the future of the National Health Service. He should know whether the NHS is being run down to make way for a US-style health insurance system.

And we all know he takes his responsibility as a Conservative cabinet minister extremely seriously and would never lie to the public – right?

So when he says more money is being spent on the NHS than ever before, we believe him – right?

When he says he was right about the number of deaths increasing because of a so-called “weekend effect”, we believe him – right?

And when he says there are no plans to replace the NHS with a privately-run health system in which the public relies on private health insurance to pay for their treatment, we believe him on that as well – right?


Of course we don’t believe him! Jeremy Hunt is a liar – and a fool, if he thinks anybody else is stupid enough to be persuaded by his lies.

His “weekend effect” argument is particularly weak because – as has already been proved, he really did cherry-pick his evidence, as Stephen Hawking stated in his Guardian article.

Professor Hawking, who has Motor Neurone Disease and has, therefore, enjoyed considerable experience of the NHS since 1962, makes the point that it is unscientific to base an argument for anything on only part of the evidence that is available; science demands a solution that encompasses all the evidence.

Mr Hunt’s response was to make an evidenceless claim about the 2015 Fremantle study. This will be the report rubbished in an article referenced above.

Professor Hawking added: “This problem goes beyond the weekend effect. The NHS is in a crisis, and one that has been created by political decisions. These political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on junior doctors, and removal of the student nurses’ bursary. Political decisions such as these cause reductions in care quality, longer waiting lists, anxiety for patients and staff, and dangerous staff shortages. Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people have placed an additional burden on the NHS.”

Mr Hunt, who co-authored a book demanding that the NHS must be privatised, provided this response:

Guess what? Nobody believed him.

Peter Stefanovic, author of the put-down above, sums it up very well in this video:

But let’s hammer the point home with a few more comments:

This Writer hopes someone on the Opposition benches has the presence of mind to call Mr Hunt to account for his lies in the Commons chamber.

Let’s see the Health Secretary prove his claims against the kind of forensic examination that the world’s greatest living physicist can provide.

And let’s have it televised. How about it, BBC?

Jeremy Hunt has accused Stephen Hawking of a “pernicious” lie after the physicist said it seemed the Tories were steering the UK towards a US-style health insurance system.

Hours after the health secretary was criticised for claiming Hawking was wrong in the row about the government’s seven-day NHS plan, he leapt back into the fray with two tweets defending the Conservative party’s record on the health service.

Hunt was responding to criticism from the renowned 75-year-old physicist and author of A Brief History of Time ahead of a speech at the Royal Society of Medicine on Saturday.

In the speech, Hawking will accuse the health secretary of “cherrypicking” favourable evidence while suppressing contradictory research to suit his argument.

In a Guardian opinion piece published on Friday, Hawking also criticised the power of profit-seeking multinationals, which he said had contributed to the inequalities rife in the US healthcare system.

“We see the balance of power in the UK is with private healthcare companies, and the direction of change is towards a US-style insurance system,” he wrote.

Source: Jeremy Hunt accuses Stephen Hawking of ‘pernicious falsehood’ in NHS row | Politics | The Guardian

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  1. Christine Bergin August 20, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Bought a copy of Cash Not Care. The author had hard evidence that the tories have been planning their destruction of the welfare state since 1992. Conniving with American ‘healthcare and insurance’ companies on how to dismantle what our forefathers worked so hard for. That system has worked so well for USA with so many left to rot including veterans who gave so much and now are ignored. we used to treat our soldiers better. in fact we used to treat everyone better. Noam Chomsky got it right about defund, demoralise then destroy. Sell our assets so private companies can extort more Money for profit.

  2. NMac August 20, 2017 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Hunt is a politician with more than just a hint of corruption in a relationship he had with Rupert Murdoch. I consider him to be a thoroughly dishonest politician – one of many we have at the moment.

  3. David Bacon August 20, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    We now live in the age of the free market, which in effect. means that nothing belongs to us. The government has lost control over the main planks of the economy and the public sector. This means that we’ll have less and less control over how our country is run in future. We will, as individuals, be exploited by the big corporations and multi-nationals. Thank you professor Hayek and Margaret Thatcher.

    • Christine Cullen August 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Got it in one!

  4. Colin Oakley August 20, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Hunt v Hawking on the future of the NHS: Who do you believe? Is this a serious question? Hawking only deals with facts, he is a scientist that is what they do. Hunt is a Conservative Minister of State, one does not have to be qualified for this, and of course he will want to appear ‘honourable’. Does Hunt actually fool anyone? Oh yes the gullible!

  5. Christine Cullen August 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    This has to be amongst the most ludicrous things ever said by a cabinet minister, even a Tory cabinet minister. Proof positive that Hunt is either completely deluded or an even bigger liar than previously thought.

  6. Christine Bergin August 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    I most certainly do not believe Hunt and the tories. Even Blair had to pour a fortune into the NHS to try to restore some of what the ThatcherMajor years had sabotaged.

  7. Dez August 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hunt must be a morphing reptile with such a thick skin and thick brain. His data was trashed years ago proving he was a liar and cheat and only has privatisation on his fixed agenda…..All NHS assets now secured under a seperate tame asset company Professional staff assets being secured under similar privatisation agency arrangement so not long before that slime ball Germery Hunt is outed for his blatant lies and privatisation agenda. I’m sure by then he will have secured himself a nice little Ceo appointment with one of the key US companies for his services rendered. So his defence of his data truth is so politically pathetic it is bordering on making him moronic same as the rest of the Conservatives that think he is a representative of what the Cons call good politics. He is totally untrustworthy from his past political plays. Come on JC kick some butt before it is to late..

  8. David Bacon August 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Hunt, like the rest of the conservatives is driven by the free market and neo-liberalism.
    In that system there is no room for conscience or morality. The multinationals who have gorged on privatisations give vast financial support to the conservative party in order to keep them onside. I’m afraid the damage to the NHS, along with the rest of the public sector, will be irreparable by the time we get the tories out of office.

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