Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tory MPs' no show at Brighton's last hurrah to save the NHS

Yards of column inches have been written about the way the Government is dismantling the NHS. About the way hospitals will be renting out their equipment, space and skills to the private sector to fund healthcare for those who can't afford to buy it. About how doctors will be distracted from the day job by being sucked into management of local health services. And about how unpopular it all is, among healthcare professionals as well as patients. Etc. I'm not gonna add to them here.

But there's a different, local issue: the contempt shown to Brighton and Hove residents by the city's two Tory MPs, Mike Weatherley and Simon Kirby. Both were invited to address residents outside Hove Town Hall yesterday, to explain the reforms. Both refused, saying they were too busy, according to the event's organisers, Brighton Against the Cuts. Too busy to talk to residents? As the hundred or so city residents gathered, Mr Weatherley tweeted: "This weekened I'm relaxing at home. Might stick on a film. Any recommendations?"

Personally, I think the moment for the Government to back down over its plans to privatise the NHS has probably passed. But, given that Messrs Kirby and Weatherley have consistently voted for the reforms, I think their failure to explain how they think they'll benefit us is nothing less than shameful. I hope they start taking their responsibility to communicate their positions to residents more seriously in future - perhaps by taking a leaf out of Green MP Caroline Lucas's book. Dr Lucas (pictured above) not only turned up (along with at least six local Green Party councillors), she spoke with residents, explained her position on NHS health reforms and generally doing the job of an MP.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Cllr Duncan, if you read my declaration you will see that I work for ‘Thales Training and Simulation’. They make Flight Simulators, not bombs. I wouldn’t recognise a ‘Missile‘ if I fell over one in the street. Indeed, the only damage a Flight Simulator could do was if the thing fell on somebody!! And, as it happens, Flight Simulators help the Environment – allowing airlines to teach pilots to fly without resorting to burning fuel. Or, maybe you are against people flying? If so, please explain to your residents that they must spend their holidays in the UK in future, and that Brighton and Hove doesn’t welcome tourists. I look forward to your Manifesto.

    Tony Janio