— Rupa Huq (@RupaHuq) January 10, 2015
The Labour candidate for the Ealing Central and Acton constituency is on Twitter and facebook this morning trying to use the NHS as a weapon in her campaign to unseat the current Tory MP Angie Bray.
As ever Huq has no answers. We all know that A&Es are under strain in the winter and that our population is ageing (thankfully) and that our behaviour as NHS users is changing. The mustnâ€™t grumble generation is fading away to be replaced by the Boomers who are more demanding. We all dislike the disproportionate effect that local NHS changes have had on Ealing.
But what is Labour’s policy? We get no answers from Labour. Not from Rupa Huq, not Julian Bell, not Onkar Sahota. None of them propose any alternatives. Labour will not reopen any A&Es closed by the NHS and it will not provide any more cash than the current government or a future Conservative one. The Â£2.5 billion they talk about from the mansion tax is chickenfeed â€“ 2% of current spending, which has already been matched by the Coalition. All three parties will sign up to Stevensâ€™ Â£8 billion plan (which includes Â£22 billion of further efficiency savings).
Labour refuses to acknowledge that the closures we have had locally under the Shaping a Healthier Future programme would have happened under a Labour government, being as they are merely the delayed local roll out of Labourâ€™s own Â£20 billion Nicholson Challenge programme kicked off by Andy Burnham in 2009.
The Labour campaign is built around the simple idea that if they lie big enough, consistently enough then they will win.
In all her literature Huq calls herself Dr but fails to point out that she has a PhD in Cultural Studies. Her thesis was on Youth Culture. You canâ€™t help thinking that she seeks to deceive people about her background. She never refers to herself as a sociology lecturer. Only Dr. What can she be trying to communicate in a campaign where the NHS is going to be the main issue she talks about? This is one of the three silly little lies of her campaign, but more on those another time.