If you are deciding how to vote in the EU referendum based on what the rival campaigns are telling you is best for the NHS, you’re doing it wrong
The stupidity and incompetence of the Vote Leave campaign reached such desperate lows today that at this point, I can no longer really blame anyone who has not been paying much attention to the EU debate thus far if they end up voting Remain. Heck, if I hadn’t been writing about politics every day and following the debate for years, I might well do the same.
After all, why put your trust in the Leave campaign, the people proposing a departure from the status quo, when the leaders of Vote Leave are conducting their campaign with all the political aptitude of the slow sibling from a well-connected family whose parents were grasping around trying to find something productive for them to do with their lives, and gave them the fate of our country to play with.
And so today we get this much-trumpeted open letter from “more than fifty” healthcare workers, telling us that only by voting Leave can we Save Our NHS.
The letter reads:
The NHS is a great British institution that families rely on in times of need. But as it slips into financial crisis the NHS itself needs some urgent attention.
The NHS is being asked to make huge cuts at a time of rising demand. Patients are having to wait longer for treatment, hospital deficits are increasing and doctors are on strike after being told they must take a pay cut. The Government must accept responsibility for this – they have starved the NHS of necessary funding for too long.
If we Vote Leave on 23 June we will be able to spend more on our priorities like the NHS. If we put the billions that currently go to EU bureaucrats into the NHS instead it would hugely improve patient care. For example, the £350 million a week we hand to Brussels is similar to the entire yearly Cancer Drugs Fund budget.
As healthcare professionals who have worked for the NHS for years we believe that the best choice in the EU referendum is to Vote Leave on June 23rd and save the NHS.
List of signatories
Well, I suppose it’s marginally better than the ludicrous suggestion that we use the money we supposedly save to whack up a brand new fully staffed hospital every week until there are ten mega hospitals in every town and ninety percent of us are employed by the NHS.
But still, what a bunch of utter nonsense this letter (and the decision to campaign off the back of it) is. Not only does this fail the “common sense” test, it fails the “does anyone at Vote Leave have any measurable brain activity at all” test.
The NHS is one of the largest organisations in the entire world, and the fifth largest employer with over 1.7 million people on the payroll. Rounding up fifty NHS workers to put their names to a letter supporting either Brexit or the Remain campaign means absolutely nothing – one could just as easily circulate a letter and get fifty signatures from NHS employees who believe they have been abducted by aliens, demanding a massive budget appropriation to build space lasers to keep us safe.
Furthermore, it would be utterly naive to base a geopolitical and constitutional decision like Brexit on the gut feeling of a bunch of people who not only work in an entirely unrelated field, but who toil for an organisation so large and all-powerful that it positively screams “vested interest” and “deeply ingrained bias in favour of the status quo”.
Besides, a bunch of predominantly conservative politicians and activists not known for their doe-eyed devotion to the NHS suddenly going prancing around the country acting like the health service’s greatest defenders is not going to fool anyone. By a huge majority, the most committed devotees of the NHS are the same people who will unthinkingly vote to stay “in Europe” come hell or high water. Worshipping at the altar of Nye Bevan doesn’t do great things for one’s critical reasoning skills, after all.
All of this time spent repeating the risible notion that only by voting Leave can we Save Our Blessed NHS is time that could be spent – oh, I don’t know, maybe promoting a comprehensive plan for a safe Brexit with the minimum of disruption. A plan which would instantly negate 90% of David Cameron’s fear-based Remain campaign and really bring this campaign to life.
But why do that, when Matthew Elliot and Dominic Cummings are more than happy presiding over their children’s finger-painting exercise of a campaign, preaching to the already converted and singularly failing to tackle any of the counterarguments quite rightly thrown in their faces by David Cameron and Britain Stronger in Europe?
Fortunately there is another shadow Leave campaign – an underground resistance, if you will – who are intent on fighting this referendum with facts, and who understand that the public rightly expect those who advocate for Brexit to have put some thought into what Brexit should look like.
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Top Image: Daily Express
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