Posted by: Dr Kailash Chand9 June 2017
In football terms, Theresa May has scored an own goal. It is a self-inflicted injury, literally a fall from grace for the Prime Minister. She was expecting a landslide victory in the snap election she called despite seven times saying she wouldn’t only to be dashed to ‘secure’ an illusory 20% lead. Her dream now lies in tatters. The country is now heading towards a hung parliament, much as her head should hang in shame too for unnecessarily putting the country in this position.
The Tories have lost their absolute majority in the House. Her party’s campaign was without substance, shambolic and at times deeply unpleasant. In my view, it was the worst Conservative campaign in living memory. She annoyed the NHS family, the pensioners with the so called dementia tax and the withdrawal of winter fuel allowance.
She couldn’t even run a Brexit campaign such was her pathetic leadership. Instead of keeping the floating ethnic votes through sops on visa and immigration, May repelled them with a tough stance. She annoyed the poor working class families by the decision to stop free hot meals for a million plus primary students. She had no answer to fix the broken social care system.
There was no mention about the steps to tame the rising cost of child care. She was unable to give any hope to the NHS in general and primary care in particular struggling with budget cuts and staffing issues. The failure to address core issues of health, education, housing and social care even alienated her core supporters . In fact I would go so far as saying that she was also unable to demonstrate leadership in the wake of the Manchester and London terrorist incidents despite her experience as home secretary, which the public has reacted against.
Whereas Jeremy Corbyn’s game changing manifesto promised proper investment in our NHS, social care and schools, more police on the streets, reversing SureStart cuts, free childcare for two- to four-year-olds, scrapping tuition fees and the bedroom tax, a real living wage, no more zero-hours contracts, protecting pensioners’ incomes, investing in infrastructure, and taking back control of our rail, water and energy industries.
The popularity of the manifesto is evident .The Labour vote has increased to over 40%,highest since Atleein 1945.
The future has now become very uncertain, but one thing we can be sure of is that Theresa May’s authority has evaporated. She is a damaged Prime Minister whose reputation may never recover. The NHS family can afford to have a sigh of relief, I am certain Jeremy Hunt will no longer be the health secretary next week and most of backdoor privatisation policies would have a pause. The crisis in general practice will now need fresh impetus. Politically, to quote a much-ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn tweet: the real fight starts now.Looks, very likely that we will have another snap general election within next 12 months. Theresa May will not be governing the country despite being PM, which gives me hope that some of the more damaging and toxic policies of the Tories will be neutralised.
Dr Kailash Chand, former BMA deputy chair