It is fair to say that Corbyn had a turbulent day yesterday and he needed a strong PMQs to focus the attention on the Government’s NHS failings, and he did.
It wasn’t hard to be fair, any politician, member of the public, or child for that matter could have asked Theresa May six times why the NHS was crumbling, stood back and watched her squirm.
Corbyn said that 485 people had to spent over twelve hours on trolleys waiting for medical attention, and that the Red Cross had said the NHS was facing a humanitarian crisis.
May wasn’t having that though and had a go at the Red Cross (for an encore maybe she could kick a blind man’s legs away at a traffic light?) and said they were exaggerating the problem.
Surely the Red Cross have been involved in helping to relieve people in humanitarian catastrophes (it’s kind of their job) and if they say it is one, then I’m taking their word for it. Theresa May is fine to have a pop at Jeremy Corbyn, but the Red Cross? Behave.
The question nobody asked, which they should have, was what does May constitute as a humanitarian crisis. Does she have a baseline figure we can monitor? Maybe if 1,000 people wait 24 hours without attention, will that do? She probably doesn’t have a figure, so best to ask the experts in this field…the Red Cross.
Corbyn said that if May won’t listen to those leftard hippies at the Red Cross would she listen to BMA, Royal College of Nursing or maybe the Royal College of Physicians who are all saying the same thing?
May did acknowledge that there were some pressures in the health service and in a small number of areas it is really struggling. For a PM to admit that, multiply the admission by ten, add five and you are almost at the actual level of the problem.
It seemed that the only person in the house who doesn’t accept there is a problem is Priti Patel, who sat to the right of May today and made her (sorry for the Catherine Tate reference, I could have used a girl who threw chips at me on the 159 bus the other day, but that only resonates with me and my chip pan hair) “Am I bovvered” look at every question, of which there were many, from MPs desperately looking for answers about the NHS crisis.
One of the most troubling statements Corbyn made was that one THIRD of all hospital beds might be cut. I don’t even know where to start with that plan, maybe we could just pile up unwell people in sports stadiums like they did during Hurricane Katrina.
Her last response to Corbyn’s questions was the classic, “what keeps the NHS going is a strong economy and you wouldn’t get that with Labour”. Well the NHS is in a complete mess so the only conclusion is the economy can’t be that strong then.
That wasn’t the end of the NHS problems, it was relentless today, Corbyn said that there was a 89 per cent increase of young people with mental health issues having to go to A & E, as they have nowhere else to go. There are also 6,000 fewer mental health nurses and 400 fewer doctors in the same field.
May had made her first speech of the year about mental health, but isn’t doing anything to actually back it up. It is reminiscent of Cameron after the Olympics encouraging sports participation for children, while, at the same time, his party was selling off school playing fields.
Empty words, and as a cold front approaches from the Atlantic in the coming days, maybe we will finally reach May’s humanitarian crisis level. It won’t bring any comfort, but at least the Red Cross would be left alone to do their work.
Sycophantic question of the day
Michael Fabricant, Con, who praised his “beautiful” constituency of Litchfield and its 0.7% unemployment rate, which, for reasons I can’t fathom (maybe my therapist can help) conjured up an image of Michael, skipping through fields of barley, with his golden locks flowing in the breeze.
The whole of the UK