Coffee House

Miliband revels in his NHS attack

22 February 2012


Today’s PMQs was a reminder that whenever Ed Miliband goes on the NHS he is guaranteed a result. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Miliband enjoying himself as much in the
chamber as he was today.


When Andrew Lansley leaned over to try and tell Cameron the answer to a question, Miliband mockingly remarked ‘Let me say to the Health Secretary, I don’t think the PM wants advice from
you’. As Cameron’s assaults became more direct, Miliband did not — as he often does — go into his shell. As he sat down at the end of it all, the Labour leader had to
push down on his knee to disguise the adrenalin shakes he was having.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the exchanges was Cameron’s explicit defence of competition in the NHS. It was good to hear and a sign that he’s not about to water the bill
down further in the face of threats from Lib Dem peers or activists.

Bercow again decided to extend PMQs. He called the last three questions at 12.34, 12.35 and 12.36 respectively. By the end, the Treasury bench was ostentatiously looking up at the clock

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  • Holly ……

    Ed won then right?
    Don’t think Ed has actually WON anything since he ‘won’ a leadership contest to lead a party of losers.
    You seem to think it matters to us whether Ed even bothers to get up at all, trust me it doesn’t.
    He has said NOTHING positive about the UK, Britain,the working class,NHS staff,or business since becoming leader of the loser party..NOTHING.

    What has Ed ‘won’ that is of any importance to the general public?
    An election?
    A vote in parliament?
    The debate on free shcools?
    Oh yeah Ed ‘won’ PMQ’S.
    Tee hee
    While Ed’s doing the rounds on the news tonight, Cameron is grateful that the focus is on negative Ed.
    All the better for Cameron who shows he is concerned and actually interested in the nuts & bolts we out here are concerned & interested in….Getting out from Labour’s car wreck.
    Ed can ‘win’ as many PMQ’s as he likes.
    The NHS reforms bill will go through and the NHS will be better.

  • Fergus Pickering

    I think it most unlikely that Labour will win the next election. I believe polls show that most people quite like Cameron, are only just aware of who Miliband is and would never buy a used car from stout Balls.

  • URAllPigs

    Yes, and the article is a report of PMQs – where the Prime Minister is supposed to be held account for his government’s actions, not where opposition parties launch their own policies.

  • geoffm

    @UR: Probably because the title of this article is-Milli revels in his nhs attack

  • Magnolia

    Also, the waiting times for out and in patients being down needs another pinch of salt because it might mean that hospitals are more productive and efficient or it might mean that GPs are making less referrals perhaps because they’ve been told to or maybe because they’re starting to advise patients to bypass the NHS altogether and go straight to private care if one can afford it.

  • Magnolia

    This constant statistic of four thousand new doctors should be taken with a pinch of salt because it might be referring to a total increase in the number of working doctors in the uk or it might be referring to the latest batch fresh out of the medical schools.
    It might even refer to a total increase in doctor numbers that masks a reduction in total doctors hours worked if more doctors are part time as is likely given that 70% of medical school intake is now women.

  • Russell

    Blatant lies and scaremongering by labour will backfire on them big time. 80% of the public don’t have a clue about the NHS reforms, and don’t care as long as they get good treatment.
    The public don’t want thousands dying from mrsa or cdiff when they visit a hospital for a minor operation, they don’t wanr repeats of Stafford and other failing hospitals, they don’t want elderly people left in soiled beds and dying from lack of basic care including food and water! All of these things occured under the labour party and have to be changed.
    Labour only care about one thing….getting elected by any means, even if they have to lie, spin, confuse and scare the population, labour are a total disgrace.

  • URAllPigs

    Why are you so bothered about Labour’s plans? After all, while in Opposition, David Cameron did very little to recveal his intentions for the NHS. Indeed, his promise, “We will stop the top-down reorganistions of the NHS”, suggested his government would do the exact opposite of what it is currently doing.

  • TrevorsDen

    Labour policy was outlined in their 2010 manifesto
    It entailed more competition and more privatisation. And more reform.

  • wmcht

    NHS is Milliband’s comfort zone. He goes with it every week because he’s got nothing else. Health unions know that if they win this there will be no reform and no increase in productivity and they will then start on getting more money for themselves with endless shroud waving.

  • Ian Walker

    telemachus, if they don’t vote for you, it makes sense to kill them off.

  • toco

    As usual Red Ed displays a scary weakness and duplicity but he is desperate to stop the important improvements to the NHS because he knows they work and indeed some are already having a positive benefit on the lives of patients-four thousand more doctors and shorter waiting lists are but two.Come the next General Election the rejuvenated and excellent NHS will be a huge vote winner for all but those members of trades unions who are irrelevant and committed to a policy of wreckage for their fellow workers.

  • DavidDP

    “Keep kicking the poor and the sick and the 2015 result is guaranteed”

    Good point – bandwagon populism may well win the next election for Labour, but that will be cold comfort to the poor and sick let down by an unreformed NHS unable to cope with a changing healthcare environment. Kudos to the government for sticking to its guns on this- even if the bill has been watered down, the door will be open to proper reform as people see that the NHS doesn’t in fact collapse. Lives will be saved.

  • Ruth

    Pure opportunism on Milibland’s part. What should be mentioned more often, is the appalling fall in patient- care standards in the majority of hospitals whilst Labour were in power, due to their obssesion with targets. Not much mention of the scandalous rise in HAI’s ,again due to substandard care. The reforms are necessary and they should have the guts to admit it.

  • Jeremy

    You must have been watching a different PMQs to me, James. I thought it was pretty clear that Cam got the better of both Dead Ed and the Shadow Health bod – Burnham, I think his name is.

  • BigAl

    Easy geofm, wait for the government to sort out the finances and then Labour can go on another spending spree just like all of the other times they have been elected.

  • geoffm

    Fair proposition that the object of the opposition is to oppose and as in debate you have to put forward alternative argument. So, perhaps sometime within the next 36 months we can have an outline on the labour policy for the nhs before ths GE

  • telemachus’

    Keep kicking the poor and the sick and the 2015 result is guaranteed

  • telemachus’

    So the message is…

  • Fatbloke on tour


    When will it finally sink in that Dave the Rave is just the Grocer with better breeding?

    I fear he believes the tripe he spouts so as the contradictions get bigger and his initiatives collapse it will be only a matter of time till he cuts and runs.

    He is a political soufflé – full of hot air ready to collapse when the media turns.

  • luke

    Fourth win in a row for Miliband. What’s going on?

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