The story of Omar Salem’s confrontation with Boris Johnson had a strong resonance for This Writer because I was in hospital myself yesterday (September 18).
I was visiting my father, who is currently on an extended stay in hospital, and experienced for myself an incident in which the way the NHS has been run down was brought home to me.
When a nurse tried to take his blood pressure, no fewer than three of the machines he tried to use broke down. It was only on the fourth attempt – after a considerable amount of time – that he succeeded.
The nurse was a friendly fellow and we all had a laugh about it – but what if the situation had been more serious?
That’s why I can sympathise with Mr Salem, who confronted Boris Johnson while the prime minister was traipsing around another hospital in search of a photo opportunity.
He told Mr Johnson in no uncertain terms, “My daughter nearly died yesterday.” he added that although the A&E department had been “great”, when she was moved onto a ward it had taken nearly two hours for her to receive treatment.
Mr Salem asked: “Would you like that for your own children?”
He went on to attack Mr Johnson for leading the political party that has been dismantling the NHS since it came into office in 2010 – and for then having the cheek to attend a hospital for a photo opportunity.
And Mr Johnson tried to lie to this man’s face.
He tried to say that no press were present.
Here’s the exchange, recorded by a member of that allegedly nonexistent press group:
The NHS is beyond breaking point after years of Tory austerity. BJ turned up to Whipps Cross hospital for a photo op, @OmarSalem is right to call out the PM. Omar is speaking for the public pic.twitter.com/fGgej3lX2R
— Dr Martin Edobor (@martinedobor) September 18, 2019
This was another disaster for Boris Johnson and his failing premiership – and there’s a very simple reason.
He wasn’t being attacked by a member of an opposing political party, or a spokesperson for an organisation that lobbies his government in Westminster; he had been approached by a member of the general public.
Mr Salem could have been you or me (certainly me; especially if Mr Johnson had visited a certain hospital in Bristol).
He follows a legion of others:
That awkward moment when the whole country realises you're a disgusting self-serving racist liar. pic.twitter.com/4EkAQ5F9MK
— Britgirl's Hates Brexit #FBPE (@MarieAnnUK) September 14, 2019
And they encourage us to do the same, if we have the chance.
I would. Wouldn’t you?
And if that’s the way enough of us feel about the current Conservative prime minister, then his days in that position are numbered.
It’s a number that is very low – and decreasing all the time.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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