On 5 August, NHS doctor Sonia Adesara took down the UK corporate media’s pro-Boris Johnson propaganda blitz on Sky News. Asked about money being “pumped into the NHS”, she responded:
I think firstly we need to un-spin the headline behind this [and] put out the facts. So this ‘new money’ which I heard Matt Hancock say this morning on your channel, it’s not new money, it’s old money.
Nonetheless, the corporate media has dedicated a lot of its coverage to promoting Johnson’s line:
So Adesara set the record straight:
'This money is not new, it's not enough, and it's not going to do what's promised'. @SoniaAdesara, an NHS Doctor and supporter of @keepnhspublic, lays bare the facts behind the Government's #NHS announcement. pic.twitter.com/4vWwjMqT6N
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— NEON (@NEON_UK) August 5, 2019
“Not going to cut it”
The Nuffield Trust, a very respected health thinktank, have said that this is old money that was already given to hospitals under Theresa May. Today essentially they’re removing the controls to allow hospitals to spend it. Number two: this money is not going to be able to do what is being promised. Boris Johnson is saying they want to get rid of the backlog of maintenance, of repairs, in our hospitals. We have huge problems in our hospital buildings including ceilings falling in, water leaks, lifts not working. The cost of doing that is six billion. So this money is just not going to cut it. And thirdly, the reason why our hospitals are in such a state, in such disrepair, is because we had four billion being taken away from capital funding by this government. So this money is not enough, it’s not new and it’s not going to do what’s promised.
A Conservative health minister has himself admitted the money isn’t new. On Channel 4 News, interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy forced Chris Skidmore into a corner:
"It's money hospitals have saved by cutting on services that they're now able to spend on capital projects. Are you saying that's untrue?"@Krishgm challenged a health minister on claims it was all "new money" being spent on the NHS.
Skidmore said it's "not untrue." pic.twitter.com/9jJ0TRIyJM
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) August 5, 2019
And the lack of new money comes against a backdrop of chronic underfunding from successive Conservative governments. This chart from healthcare research charity the King’s Fund demonstrates one aspect of that underfunding:
Johnson is dressing up ongoing austerity with money that isn’t even new. He wouldn’t feel able to do so if the corporate media didn’t generally give him a helping hand, as Adesara alluded to. We need a general election because until then the Conservative leader is basically squatting Number 10 Downing Street.
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