Sir Keir Starmer is right to say that the government is in no fit state to undertake the huge task of rebuilding the National Health Service after the biggest public health crisis since the NHS was founded. Ministers are distracted by the crisis of the prime minister’s leadership, unable to devote their full attention to the people’s priorities.
The Labour leader is right, too, to say that Conservative governments since 2010 have allowed the NHS to slip back from the strong position it was in then – long before the pandemic struck. He glossed over Boris Johnson’s commitment to provide the health service with huge sums of public money, both before and since the arrival of coronavirus, and the courageous decision to raise taxes to pay for it, which Labour pretends to oppose.
But Sir Keir was right to say in his speech to the Fabian Society that more money is not all the NHS needs – “the NHS also needs reform, so that it works in a different way”.
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