Last night’s BBC Question Time was filmed in Tory-heartland Hereford. Many consider the typical ‘BBCQT’ audience to be Tory councillors and angry old right-wing men and this audience was angry.
But in a possible sign of the times, they were outraged by the government’s treatment of the NHS – angry enough to shout down Culture Minister Margot James with cries of ‘liar!‘ when she denied that the Tories are setting up the NHS to fail.
But there was another moment that is likely catch the mood of a nation furious at the induced collapse of the NHS and the impoverishment of ordinary people in a crisis that they did not cause.
When Ms James had tried to gloss over the crisis of the NHS – which is around forty thousand nurses short of its proper complement and is losing ten percent of its nurses a year – by talking about nursing apprenticeships, an audience member told her there were unlikely to be enough nurses to train any apprentices and, in the most unmistakable terms, why this is so:
The audience’s enthusiastic applause showed what most of them thought of the point.
The Tories make noises and empty gestures so that they can claim they are doing more for the NHS – but it is, by design, far less than any previous government has done.
And nowhere near enough.
But if Tory Hereford is wise to the falsehoods, the rest of the country will be waking up too.
[The NHS] will last only as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it.
Words attributed to Aneurin Bevan by the author of a play about his life
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