Labour lying about the Burnham Challenge (again)

All political parties in Ealing have been working together to fight the closures of four local A&Es. It is hard to work like this sometimes when your fellow campaigners are prepared to tell lies about you.

Labour leaflet 7-4-2013Today a Labour leaflet dropped on to my mat. There is a piece on the hospitals campaign but towards the end it goes horribly off message. Labour says:

Labour supports the campaign to oppose Tory Hospital closures and will continue to fight for local people.

They clearly fear the Conservatives locally as they don’t bother mentioning the LibDems and think it is somehow insulting to refer to my party as Tory rather Conservative. They really believe in the power of words these people.

The last bit is fine – it doesn’t differentiate Labour as all of the local parties are on the same page on this issue. The first bit is the lie. The reconfiguration is arguably a Conservative/Liberal Democrat one in that the doctors and the health service bureaucracy proposing the Shaping a Healthier Future proposals are publishing them and consulting on them whilst Coalition government is in power. But, the whole exercise was kicked off under the Labour government and is often referred to as the Nicholson Challenge. The idea of the Nicholson Challenge is that in order to be able to provide new services in an era of constrained overall health service expenditure, existing services need to take £20 billion of savings out of their existing cost base. Hence the slightly confusing situation where the government says it is protecting health spending (and it is) but services are changing anyway. I would argue that Labour’s Nicholson Challenge policy was sensible, and indeed the Coalition has accepted it, but that the response to Nicholson chosen in North West London unfairly impacts our borough and a more equitable solution needs to be found.

Ironically Labour have used this picture in their leaflet. It dates back to the 2012 London Mayoral campaign and was taken on a day when both Ken Livingstone and Labour health spokesman Andy Burnham visited Ealing hospital. Of course it was Andy Burnham as Health Secretary who instigated the Nicholson Challenge which might usefully be called the Burnham Challenge. So Labour are calling their own policy “Tory hospital closures”. How easily they lie.

The MP for the Southall half of the Ealing Southall constituency has been peddling this lie since the general election. Sharma knows it was a Labour policy but still he carries on.

3 replies on “Labour lying about the Burnham Challenge (again)”

The closure of Ealing Hospital would come as an enormous relief for many real Ealing residents especially the elderly among whom it is known as the place where you go to die. Most people who have experienced its accident and emergency would rather take a taxi to another place rather than go by ambulance to Ealing hospital
What none of you politicians realise is that many Ealing residents would rather see it closed and take their chances on a longer journey to somewhere proper.
All the people in that photo are playing politics – politics with other people’s lives – in order to further their careers, not to represent their voters.
Many voters would prefer to see Hammersmith or Charing Cross kept open rather than Ealing accident and emergency and travel further to get there.


Dear Cllr Taylor,
Thank you for publishing my comment. It shows a great deal of statesmanship on your part to allow me to express an opinion that is I know from reading your blog not in line with your own. It is a shame that the Ealing Today Forum is somewhat less egalitarian as it has not only summarily deleted my account, but also a whole thread about Jerry/Gerry Tan. I think that that is censorship, not editing. When, oh when, is Ealing ever going to have local media that are independent and where you can have a proper forum discussion. Ealing Today is falling down on the job badly, and the Ealing Gazette never really go started. We need good media and ideas exchange.
Best regards,


The Jerry Tan/Gerry Tan thread is back on the Ealing Today Forum minus a ton of comments by myself, Jemima Roka, and Nigel Brooks . Other comments also missing here and there particularly about violent Fullers pubs in South Ealing. Clearly someone is editing the Ealing Today Forum around midnight each night. One wonders what sort of organisation backs an openly racist website while deleting comments against Jerry/Gerry Tan, and local South Ealing Fullers pubs that are staffed and run by malicious and violent staff? Even a tongut-in-cheek comment in support of Councillor Dennehy while commenting on the Ealing political scene disappeared at around the same time.


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