Robert Halfon looks at Conservatives relationship with NHS.

Politics / Wed 31st Jan 2018 at 08:34am


HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has written a blog on the Conservative Home website that looks at the image of the Conservative Party in relation to the NHS.

“Whilst the poster picture may have been lampooned, the message wasn’t. It was well received by the public and, for a time, Conservatives were either level with, or had a short lead over, Labour in polls on the NHS.

Somehow, since the NHS reforms during the Coalition – despite the best efforts of Jeremy Hunt – Labour regained a strong lead over the NHS. Public perception is either that we don’t care, or that the Government is cutting/privatising services, even though this is far from the truth.

Moreover, newspaper reports seem to indicate that the NHS is viewed by Party strategists in entirely transactional terms, ie ‘because Labour are ahead, we should only focus on the areas we are strongest at’, or ‘we can only be competitive with Labour on the NHS’.

This is both wrong and dangerous for a number of reasons.

First, because there is an umbilical cord between the public and the NHS. The health service is almost, at least in terms of social capital, part of our political constitution. In return for taxation, the public want a service that is free for all at point of delivery. Woe betide anyone who does not respect that.

Second, negative perceptions – however unfair – of Conservatives in relation to the NHS play into the damaging perception that Tories are not on the side of the vulnerable and those most in need.

Third, attitudes, perception, and polls aside, supporting the NHS is the right thing to do. It should not matter whether our Party is either behind or competitive with Labour on the issue. Despite its problems, the NHS remains a remarkable institution and it is the health system that the British people want.

But it does need reform.


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1 Comment for Robert Halfon looks at Conservatives relationship with NHS.:

2018-01-31 16:48:32

Halfons party and he himself with his votes in parliament changed funding for social care and nurse training places, never mind what other cuts austerity (which is a lie!) have had on our health system. We are seeing our health service unraveling in front of us now and we are expected to let them just carry on because they promise this time theyll be nice??!! Tory Nasty party out- they are destroying our society bit by bit and they know it!! remember thIs about the NHS: WE ALREADY PAY FOR IT THROUGH OUR NATIONAL INSURANCE!! When they say there isnt the money to properly fund the NHS - THE NHS WAS CREATED AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR WHEN BRITAIN WAS AS BROKE AS ITS EVER BEEN!!! we afforded it then and we can afford it now!! THE TORIES ARE SPONSORED BY TAX DODGING MILLIONAIRES- they could pay more to be part of this society but they are being protected. Demand justice!!

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