Not to be outdone by the rest of their comrades in the public sector, yesterday it was the Fire Brigade’s turn to announce strike action.
Tomorrow, up to half a million workers will run off in what they call a grand general strike, ransoming high school students, university students, and train and bus passengers to chase unpayable, inflationary wage claims.
On Friday and Saturday, NHS patients will be added to the list of innocent victims, as nurses and paramedics repeat their own reckless action, apparently oblivious to the risk of people dying.
So is Labor trying to persuade them to put people above politics and ridiculous wage demands?
Tomorrow, up to half a million workers will run off in what they call a grand general strike, holding students, university students, and train and bus passengers to demand ransom for unpayable, inflationary wage claims (Photo: Union members attend a rally to protest against legislation restricting the right to strike, yesterday, January 30)
Does it provide cross-party support to the government in this time of national distress? On the contrary. It applauds its union payers.
Yesterday in the House of Commons it fought tooth and nail against a bill to require unions in key sectors to provide a minimum level of service during strikes, describing it as ‘the Pocket Nurse Bill’, which it clearly is not.
Yes, the bill needs to be cleaned up, especially with regard to what constitutes a minimum service in any industry.
But it is a sensible and proportionate measure to keep the country running, limit economic damage and protect public safety.
In opposing it so vehemently, Labor is behaving more like a left-wing pressure group than a government party.
Rishi’s NHS Pledge
Rishi Sunak’s plan to revive the NHS should alleviate some of the worst effects of the current crisis.
However, whether it will deliver “the biggest and fastest improvement ever in emergency waiting times” remains to be seen.
With 7.2 million patients on waiting lists, heart attack and stroke victims waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance and 13,000 hospital beds blocked by ‘medically fit’ patients, the ailing service urgently needs a shot in the arm.
So a £1bn fund to provide 5,000 extra ‘sustainable’ hospital beds, provide more patients with home treatment and buy 800 ambulances is certainly welcome.
Rishi Sunak’s plan to revive the NHS should alleviate some of the worst effects of the current crisis. However, whether it will deliver “the biggest and fastest improvement ever in emergency waiting times” remains to be seen
But will any amount ever be enough without radical reform?
Despite unprecedented levels of funding, the service is swinging from one crisis to another.
It’s easy to blame Covid, but that only exacerbated the deep-seated problems of inefficiency that already existed.
Getting social care and GP systems right is at the heart of the solution.
As we report today, one in four adults can’t get a GP appointment, leading many to overburdened emergency departments, further increasing wait times.
This vicious circle must be broken.
So all credit to Mr. Sunak for attempting to apply a temporary patch.
But will anything really change without thinking along, smarter management and a huge recruitment drive?
Save our pharmacies
Another key point in rebuilding the NHS should be allowing pharmacists to prescribe some basic medicines, giving GPs more time to treat more serious cases.
However, this can only happen if they are better funded.
Today we have a letter from representatives of pharmacy operators across England – big and small – warning that they are being ‘swamped’ by rising costs.
Over the past seven years, they’ve had a net 30 percent cut in funding, causing a decline in patient care and leaving many on the brink of collapse.
Of course, a lot is being asked of the treasury, but the Mail campaigns passionately for good investments in local pharmacies.
It will pay huge dividends. Indeed, it may be the key to saving the primary care system.