It was a strange Christmas present last week to be able to read Andrew Stephenson in your paper literally talking turkey. Of course, Tories metaphorically talk turkey with great frequency. Take, for example, recent Government claims the NHS in East Lancashire will receive increased investment. We have no way of knowing whether this will be new money or, a favourite Tory trick, just some of the money they took away earlier.
The Tories are also quick to make absurd theoretical allegations about what Labour would have done had we have won the last General Election. The truth is that under the Tories, waiting times for hospital treatment have reached their highest level for three years. In East Lancashire, the number of patients waiting 18 weeks or more has increased by 84% since May, 2010.
You cannot trust David Cameron with the NHS. He has already broken his pledges to stop the top-down reorganisation of the NHS and the NHS budget that is costing East Lancashire Teaching PCT an extra £27m. The Health Bill is making changes to almost every part of the NHS while hundreds of millions of pounds are being wasted on handing out redundancy notices to staff. The Royal College of Nursing has warned 10,000 health jobs will be cut.
In 2010, the Chancellor boasted about the deep cuts and tax rises he was putting us through to cut the deficit. But Labour’s economic recovery he choked off and the higher unemployment he created mean it’s probably already too little too late to stop a further recession and he has chalked up £158 billion more borrowing to pay for his failure.
So yes, let’s hope it is indeed a happy new year and that Andrew Stephenson can still move about having stuffed himself full of turkey, washed down presumably with best champagne!
Pendle CLP Secretary