The Conservatives are getting desperate and their attacks on the National Health Service are showing it.
They are relying increasingly on their ill-informed client journalists in the likes of the BBC and Sky News for stories alleging that people’s lives are being endangered.
So on the BBC website today (December 21) I see claims of “a baby struggling to breathe” being rushed to hospital by parents after an ambulance failed to arrive – but this happened before ambulance workers started their strike; it was a result of Tory NHS underfunding.
“Will we know if more people have died due to strikes” a BBC editorial asks, in a ridiculous bid to say striking nurses will be responsible. They won’t; the strikes have been structured to ensure that any life-threatening situation will have adequate nursing cover – or at least as much cover as may be provided by the Tory-impoverished health service.
Again, it is the government that will be to blame – not nurses.
But like the Nazis, the Tory government and its client media think that repeating a lie often enough will persuade the public to believe it.
That seems to be the reason a Sky reporter quoted Health Secretary Steve Barclay as saying ambulance drivers had made a conscious decision to put lives at risk, while interviewing GMB National Secretary Rachel Harrison.
And what happened? She dropped him right into his place in no uncertain terms:
The point about the 133,000-strong staff shortage is hugely important. The government is spending a fortune on agency workers, and they’re not enough. Higher pay and better conditions form a much better alternative.
And the GMB hasn’t even made a pay demand like that of the nurses; it simply wanted a reasonable rise now, with a promise to return to parity with 2010 levels in the future.
Public opinion remains firmly with the NHS workers:
People don't blame strikers for failure in the NHS. They blame government underfunding that leaves it short of staff. The government cannot win against this. Data from Ipsos Mori pic.twitter.com/2HeDh6nwP8
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) December 20, 2022
When it comes to who the public trust in the NHS dispute, the politicians (trusted by only 15%) have failed to grasp that we believe our nurses (trusted by 92%). The government have already lost the argument!#NursesStrike pic.twitter.com/RsxEMM1HYZ
— Bill Hall 🇺🇦💙 (@Artboy1) December 20, 2022
The problem for the Tories is that they have an agenda: they need to undermine support for people working in the NHS to push forward their plan to privatise healthcare altogether.
That plan is now in jeopardy because they do not expect to win the next general election, in late 2024 or early 2025. A government led by any other party – even Keir Starmer’s Labour – is likely to fortify the health service, rather than undermining it further.
And if the Tories lose an election, it seems unlikely they will ever win another, judging by current demographics.
What does this mean?
I’d say it means the argument over who is responsible for the disintegration of health care in the UK is going to get a lot nastier.
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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