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The latest NHS crisis ignited on January 7th.
The British Red Cross, describing the current state of the NHS as a ‘humanitarian crisis,’ acknowledged that it was providing assistance to NHS hospitals and patients.
In the normal run of things you might expect the Health Minister Jeremy Hunt to respond. After all, the NHS is his bailiwick and, you might think, his responsibility. Until today Hunt had seemingly vanished, leaving Theresa May to blunder through the problem.
The Health Minister had become the Stealth Minister.
With May muddling through and Hunt having high-tailed it out of sight, the Blairites lost no time in using it as ammunition against their own democratically-elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Some kept silent. Others attacked him for not responding visibly enough and the best that can be said for the rest of the Bitterites was that they made little or no effort to defend him. It’s not unfair to suggest that he could have responded in a faster and more high-profile way.
That said, the same people criticising his lack of visibility don’t seem to acknowledge that he’s been pushing a pro-NHS agenda even through two leadership contests, total hostility from large parts of the mainstream media and every kind of skulduggery the Bitterites can muster.
He’s already done more to push the issue than they are prepared to admit. He’s already responded infinitely better to the current crisis than the Stealth Minister whose job it actually is. Theresa May’s response seems to consist of inept interviews and the usual half-hearted remarks along the lines of ‘Something must be done’ that are heavy and severely lacking in credible, workable ideas.
One particular critic of Corbyn’s response has been actor Eddie Marsan, whose Twitter feed comprises months of bitter-sounding, disparaging remarks about Corbyn’s leadership. Looking through those remarks, there’s little acknowledgement of Corbyn’s efforts to address the many problems faced by a chronically under-staffed and under-resourced NHS. There are, however, plenty of barbed, acidly-toned remarks about the uselessness of Corbyn and the malign influence of Corbynistas. Such pearls of wisdom as, on September 11:
But Corbynistas don’t care. Death of NHS is price worth paying for keeping Corbyn in power and Labour in opposition.
His attitude hadn’t improved by January 7:
Our sick are now being cared for by the Red Cross rather than NHS. What’s Corbyn doing, waiting for Ken Loach to make a film about it?
While Jeremy Hunt has been away and the Bitterites at play, one of them has tossed a spanner in the works. Corbyn has been attacked for not being visible enough. He has, however, responded by demanding Theresa May account for the situation in the Commons. Now, Corbyn having been visible, Blairite and bitter opponent Caroline Flint has come forward on BBC Radio Four’s ‘Westminster Hour’ to state that, in her opinion, Labour is wrong to focus on the NHS during its crisis moments as it isn’t an election-winner and that the crisis would be better solved with cross-party consensus.
So what exactly do Corbyn’s critics want. Should he capitalise on the crisis or not? Should he be visible or not? Should he ‘play the game’ as critics like Marsan want him to or try to be the first person since Guy Fawkes to enter Parliament with honest intent? Even they seem confused except about one thing;
That they believe Corbyn should be ousted and their gloves are off.