It’s Labour’s economic focus week, so as you might expect Ed Miliband decided to run for the National Health Service (NHS), and why not? He’s in urgent need of treatment after all.
Last week he was the “sick man” of party leaders, and this week he needed a political ambulance to get him from the scene of the crash. He hoped that ambulance would be talking about a subject he feels safe on: Britain’s healthcare system.
His first question was about cancer waiting times. He said that two million people were awaiting treatment. Cameron gently pointed out that 15 percent more people were being treated now than under Labour, and that average Accident and Emergency waiting times were down.
Ed came back by saying that two cancer charities: MacMillan, and Cancer Research UK, claimed that lives were being put at risk. That must be true, it’s not like readers of Breitbart London have seen examples of left-wing charities running campaigns to help their chums in Labour.
The PM was himself charitable, by ignoring bias and instead talking about the failings of the NHS in Wales, which is controlled by the devolved Labour-run Welsh government.
We then got treated to a bit of a spat about waiting time for Accident and Emergency. Cameron focused on average waiting times, which are down from 77 minutes under the last government to 30 minutes under this one. The Prime Minister was also able to drop in some stats about the number of doctors, nurses and midwives increasing.
The exchange hardly got the pulses racing, but then again no-one is convinced that Ed’s leadership has a pulse anyway. Cameron ended the exchange with “cheer up folks, it’s only Wednesday” to cheers from the Conservative benches.
Backbench contributions came from Jake Berry (Con, Rosendale and Darwen) who had been absent last week as his wife had been rushed to hospital. This week he talked about the need to protect women from abusive partners. Greg Mulholland (LD, Leeds North West) was delighted the Tour De France cycling race was starting in Yorkshire this year, and so was the PM.
Kerry McCarthy (Lab, Bristol East) asked about the summer party for billionaires reported in the newspapers today. This gave the PM a chance to talk about the control the trade unions have over Labour. Apparently once you take out the “Red Princes”, sons of Labour bigwigs John Prescott, Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Jack Dromey, eighty percent of Labour candidates are sponsored by the trade unions. Ouch.
Elderly left-wing firebrand Dennis Skinner (Lab, Bolsover) asked the same question he always asks: “Tories… Bullingdon Club… Elites… Cronies?” As usual everyone fell asleep half way through. When will he retire?
Overall: After the car crash you need emergency treatment, so maybe the NHS is the best place for Red Ed. Although if he went to a vet, they might just be good enough to have his leadership put down…. Maybe it would be for the best.
Bercow: 0 (probably restrained as the viewing figures will be low this week)