Ealing’s council leader, Cllr Julian Bell, has used his last opportunity in 2013 to write in the Gazette to return to the NHS and Ealing’s A&E closures. Labour has been trying to get away with its big NHS lie ever since the 2010 general election. This press release from Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma is typical. Labour’s big NHS lie was the basis of Onkar Sahota’s GLA campaign and it will get repeated all through the next 17 months until May 2015.
Bell used his New Year message to discuss a matter over which he has little if no control to the total exclusion of anything he has any responsibility for such as the poor state of our roads or the litter in our streets. All very dull bread and butter matters and nothing you can take through the courts on the public purse.
As I have explained before the NHS changes in Ealing follow on directly from Labour party policies that were spelt out in their 2010 manifesto. Anyone with any knowledge of NHS finances knows that the Shaping a Healthier Future programme is being driven by the Nicholson challenge – a programme put in place in 2009 by the then Labour Secretary of Health, Andrew Burnham. It is designed to take out £20 billion in efficiencies and put it back into new services in order that the NHS can deal with new demand within a flat real terms budget.
It is quite easy to prove that this is Labour’s policy – they wrote it down on page 4:3 of their 2010 manifesto:
This is the Nicholson Challenge in black and white in the Labour manifesto.
Labour’s big NHS lie is that it would all be different under Labour. Yet the policy constraints that have given rise to Shaping a Healthier Future were all put in place by the previous Labour government; the Nicholson Challenge and the 35 year PFI at the West Middlesex.
Shaping a Healthier Future came up with a solution for North West London (NWL) that was manifestly unfair to Ealing, a solution that was opposed by all local politicians. The NHS NWL bureaucrats came up with this not the government. The courts agreed that the NHS NWL proposal was reasonable and lawful. The Independent Reconfiguration Panel agreed with NHS NWL subject to a couple of caveats. The only decision maker who has done anything at all to mitigate the effect of the Shaping a Healthier proposals on Ealing is the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt.
Bell’s last paragraph make his intention clear:
Well now we know the truth and the people of Ealing have only one recourse left to them – to hit the government where it hurts in the ballot box at the local and European elections on the 22 May 2014 and at the General Election in May 2015.
Bell knows he is lying to you and that his party is not proposing to find another £20 billion to undo Nicholson. Bell, Sahota and Sharma really are that blatant.