New year, new Labour. Sir Keir deployed his latest strategy at PMQS, contrasting the Tory-run NHS with the glorious record of the Labour administration. When his party were in power, he argued, the NHS was such a triumph that hardly anyone used it. There was no need. Doctors’ appointments were available within days. Cancer referrals took no more than two weeks. Waiting lists were a fraction of their current levels, he went on, (although he quietly admitted that 2.3 million people were usually awaiting treatment when Labour ran the system). Again and again he cited his party’s golden age. Labour, Labour, Labour. Marvellous, outstanding, world class.
Sir Keir’s lurch to the right is dangerous because it may goad the dormant Corbynistas into action. The hard left caucus are already dismayed by their leader’s bizarre strategy of appealing to the electorate. And if Sir Keir provokes them further they may mount an insurgency that will split the Labour vote and hand election victory to Rishi. Which the Corbynistas would love. The far left relish a Tory win because it proves that the Labour manifesto wasn’t barmy enough.
The backbenches were in full cry today. Many MPs were following a trusted long-term strategy. You pick a crisis. You bang on about it week after week. You scare off any rival attempting to muscle in on your territory. And you continue to monetise public suffering until you end up in the House of Lords with a reputation as an ‘expert’.
Marsha De Cordova claims to have found an Ophthalmology Crisis which can be solved with another Private Members Bill and a ‘national eye health strategy.’ Rishi Sunak checked his notes and replied that £100 million has already been spent on research into this field.