Labour, have no conviction on NHS
Here is an interesting tweet from the Labour party the day before the referendum:
In fact, in the last weeks of the campaign this was one of the key things we heard from Brown, Darling, Lamont, Reid. Miliband, Curran, Murphy and Findlay.
If you look at their speeches around this time they all seem to be saying a similar thing.
They would emphasize the independence of the Scottish NHS and that only the Scottish Government could choose to reduce the Scottish NHS budget. And they would mention how we are stronger pooling and sharing resources as the UK has a bigger, more diverse economy.
Fair play, but the Scottish NHS, although independent, does not exist in a vacuum.
The Scottish Government is funded by a block grant which is affected by spending on services in England. If they spend less on the NHS down south then the block grant will be reduced. If the NHS budget was reduced in England then the Scottish Government would have to either raise taxes or divert spending from other already hard pressed areas to keep the same level of service.
The pre referendum argument by the Con/Lab Better together alliance was perfectly legitimate. In fact, due to the inefficiencies of privatisation down south so far, the Scottish block grant has not suffered to a great degree. Private companies are slowly taking over down south but because they aren’t actually saving money the Scottish NHS has been more or less protected. The main beneficiaries of privatisation so far are the many MP’s who are on the boards of private health firms.
However, contrast the pre referendum line to the Labour General election poster above. Especially the middle line.
“Spending back to the levels of the 1930’s when there was no NHS.”
It is worth repeating that the Scottish block grant is affected by spending levels on the NHS in England.
So, the main issue that Labour is going to fight the next general election on down south is completely contradictory to what they were saying during the referendum campaign. Both statements can’t be correct.
Now, I understand that UK finances are in a precarious situation and that an Independent Scotland would have inherited a similar debt and deficit situation. I also understand that due to many factors such as an ageing population the NHS is in crisis and drastic measures are required to fix the problems.
However, it is fair to ask – can a political party that can slip so easily from saying one thing to saying another, produce the radical solutions needed in order to solve the issues we face?
Labour are a party who create policy, not by conviction, but by public relations. Four months ago the strategists were telling them to say the NHS is safe and they did. Now they are telling them to say it is in peril and without any hint of embarrassment they proceed to do so. They will say whatever they think gives them the best chance of winning. In a few short weeks they have adopted the point of view of those they were decrying as scaremongering separatists pre referendum.
Here is a pre referendum quote from Neil Findlay:
“After that debate, yes were clearly in trouble as Salmond’s performance was very poor. They obviously regrouped in a bunker, said ‘what can we do now?’, looked at focus group research showing how important people feel the health service is and identified the NHS as being their last throw of the dice.
The NHS had never been an issue in the campaign but suddenly it became the biggest issue. Forgive me for being extremely cynical about that tactic, which is the biggest lie of the campaign.”
It seems Labour are now using the same focus group. The problem is, unlike the SNP, they were saying everything was fine a few months earlier.
Yesterday, Jim Murphy was reaching out to 200,000 Labour Yes voters telling them:
“Now they can decide whether to vote Labour to get rid of the Tories or to vote SNP and keep the status quo.”
Let’s ignore the fact that voting Labour to get rid of the Status Quo could only make sense if they had a manifesto policy to ban Boogie Rock. And lets also ignore that fact that choosing between Labour and the Conservatives is basically selecting which colour of Neo Liberal you prefer.
A more pressing question should be – are you prepared to vote again for a party that is willing to say completely contradictory things, in such a short space of time, on subjects as important as the future of the NHS? I voted Labour in 1997 for the first and last time. I quickly realised that they were a spin driven party who had lost their convictions.
So I urge those Labour Yesers, the ones who were recently being defiled by Labour as Vile Cybernats following a virus, the ones who were likened to Nazis – compare the pre and post referendum positions of Labour on the NHS. You may have fallen for their spin in the past but please don’t fall for it again.
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