All style and no substance today with David Cameron, and he isn’t even that stylish. Another win for Ed Miliband and this shall continue to be the case so long as the health and social care bill is around.
Lively exchanges at prime minister’s questions were dominated by the NHS, as expected. Miliband described the costly, damaging and dangerous Conservative plans as ‘confused and confusing’ which will set the NHS back. Very wise move by the leader of the opposition to list the array of professional organisations vehemently opposed to the bill highlighting picturesquely the lack of support among NHS staff. Cameron tried to hit back with a miniscule list of organisations that happen to be supporting the bill. This, however, was the fatal move of the day: Cameron was not able to list even one significant health organisation that supports what may turn out to be his ‘poll tax’ legislation and yet again he forgets who the most important stakeholders of the NHS are: those who actually use it. It turns out also that Nick Clegg is supportive of the NHS bill, today – I wonder how many times he will flip-flop before the end of this bill.
Labour are in tune with public opinion with the NHS. This is because Miliband is fundamentally right. On welfare reform, however, Cameron is able to make easy swipes against his opposite number successfully: the leadership support the welfare cap on principle but opposes it in practice; Miliband supports elements of the welfare reform bill but doesn’t specify which parts clearly; the welfare reform bill is bad, yet the party has failed to articulate why exactly this is the case in language people across the country understand. More pertinently still, however, some are now wrongly coming to the view that the Labour party is a party for the workless, not the workers and labourers it was set up to be in 1900. The leadership need a clear vision and coherent message regarding welfare reform, complacency on this issue will not chime well.
Sheila Gilmore MP. Gilmore asked the prime minister about how many businesses have been helped by credit easing, a scheme announced by the chancellor of the Exchequer last August to which the answer is a big fat zero. David Cameron responded by ignoring the question and responding in soundbite. This is becoming a habit of his now and highlights his pure lack of substance on an array of matters.
One good line used by Cameron today was that under his premiership there have been 4000 newly trained doctors, but it takes six years to fully train a doctor, so isn’t this the result of New Labour being in power?
Best question, answer, comment or joke?
Luciana Berger’s quick quip to Cameron ‘Why does the prime minister find it so hard to keep to promises?’
Gurjinder Dhaliwal is a member of Progress
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