Johnson can promise the world, but Corbyn nails why we ‘can’t trust the Tories with the NHS’

Boris Johnson/Jeremy Corbyn
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Boris Johnson’s government has promised to spend £13bn on hospital projects. But while the PM spoke about building “40 new hospitals”, the reality was quite different, as Jeremy Corbyn and his team quickly pointed out:


Don’t fall for Johnson’s lies

The BBC reported that:

The plans include a £2.7bn investment for six hospitals over five years.

And as the Mirror said, that number “includes renovations of existing hospitals”. So not ’40 new hospitals’, then.

As the Mirror soon clarified:

They’ll only promise the full 40 if they win not only the next election, but the one after that.

The BBC, however, initially ran with the uncritical and misleading headline Government pledges £13bn for 40 new hospitals. It later said it had “deleted an earlier tweet to provide further clarification in relation to the headline”. But unfortunately for the public broadcaster, people had already taken screenshots of it echoing Tory propaganda:

But while the BBC failed (yet again) to hold the government to account, the Labour Party quickly stepped in to outline all the lies Boris Johnson has told so far as prime minister:

Never forget the Tories’ record on the NHS

Amid Johnson’s attempts to make attractive NHS pledges, we should never forget the Conservative-led government’s terrible record on healthcare since 2010. As Channel 4‘s FactCheck wrote in 2018, the Conservatives have overseen “years of austerity”. So despite the need for higher spending due to “a growing and ageing population”, the Tories have severely squeezed the healthcare sector:

The New Statesman‘s George Eaton, meanwhile, quoted the chief executive of the NHS in 2018, saying “after nearly a decade of austerity… Britain was underfunding the health service by £20-30bn compared to comparable countries such as Germany, France and Sweden”.

Also, as the Guardian reported in February 2019:

Health unions have been warning for years that NHS personnel are cracking under heavy workloads, rising demand for care and widespread understaffing.

And amid “40,877 unfilled nursing posts and a shortage of 9,337 doctors”:

The number of personnel leaving the NHS because of a poor work-life balance has almost trebled in the past seven years, analysis by the Health Foundation thinktank shows.

A month later, the Independent revealed that “more than 200,000 nurses have quit the NHS since the Conservatives entered government”.

As Full Fact said in July, meanwhile, health experts have stressed that, amid “tight spending in recent years and increasing demand for services”, “access to some treatments is being rationed and… quality of care in some services is being diluted”.

As shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has insisted:

The NHS is not safe with the Conservative Party

Around 70% of the British public believe that their taxes should fund a public NHS. But as YouGov reported in 2018, “there has been a noticeable deterioration in the public’s perception of how the government is running the NHS” in recent years. And many blame the Tories’ underfunding and backdoor privatisation – not the NHS or its staff – for worsening conditions:

In fact, even high-profile Conservatives don’t trust Boris Johnson on the NHS. In 2016, for example, former prime minister John Major said it was “rather odd” to believe Johnson “would care for the national health service” as he had previously “wanted to charge people for using it”. He then said of Johnson and his allies:

The NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python.

With the Conservatives’ record in power and Boris Johnson’s elitist instincts in mind, we can’t afford to just take his pledges at face value like the BBC did. We need to hold him to account now more than ever.

Featured image via Chatham House and WDM

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  • Show Comments
    1. The Tories are THE party of disaster capitalism, and it is quite clear to me that their intentions with the NHS are to privatise it, no matter who or what is said in its defence.

      This may seem a bit paranoid, but I think the plan is to sell as much off of the NHS as they can, then sign a trade deal with the U.S., so that when we all go hopping mad at the Tories, they will point out that they can no longer change back to a publicly-funded NHS because under the ISDS, we (actually you and me lets remember), will have to pay all those private American businesses who have invested (attempted robbery scheme IMHO) in the NHS for breach of contract, and damage to their business model, which will likely cost Billions of tax-payer money, money without which will be very difficult to rebuild the NHS, leading to further claims from the Private sector and Tories (possibly LibDems too), that public ownership (nationalisation) is a yesteryear socialist failure.

      The Tories/Trumpites are so close to achieving their goals in regard to the NHS, that we all must be extra vigilant, even paranoid about our NHS. I for one will easily forgive anyone who mistakenly sees a new potential plot against the NHS, as that can at least be turned into a protection for the NHS, by exposing potential new vulnerabilities that the private sector might try to exploit behind our backs.

      If we love our NHS, want it to remain in OUR hands, and want it to be the best healthcare service in The World, we must be aware of every trick in the book against that, discover any new ones before those who would pervert the NHS, and prevent the implementation of those tricks.

      I sadly would not be surprised if Boris Johnson/The Tory Party tried to make as many deals with the U.S. as they could whilst still in power to achieve those goals.

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