It’s not remarkable that the Chair of the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee should voice a strong opinion on a national health crisis. What is remarkable – certainly to NHS campaigners fighting the cuts and privatisation of our NHS – is that Hunt, chief architect of the destruction of #OurNHS over the six years of his tenure as Health Secretary, is publicly criticising his party leader, the Prime Minister, for lack of care in relation to the health of the public.
The lack of capacity in our NHS to cope with Coronavirus – ICU beds, A&E provision, trolley waits of well over the 4-hour target, 43,000 nurse vacancies, community hospitals closed, the fragmentation of our National Health Service into disconnected marketised segments – can largely be laid at the door of Jeremy Hunt.
So, when even he – a long-standing advocate of profit over people – baulks at the laissez faire and dangerous approach of the Tory government, we know that Johnson and Cummings are taking a step too far in their plans to "cull" the many and benefit the few.
In 2013, the Centre for Genetics and Society posted an article with the headline “Advocating Eugenics in the UK Department of Education.” The author pointed out that “it's worth looking a little more closely, because Cummings' technocratic, effectively eugenic, definitely gene-focused approach is dangerously close to affecting public policy.” Cummings was then a senior adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. He has now worked his way further into the heart of government.
His recruitment ad for "weirdos and misfits" gave rise to the scandal around Andrew Sabisky, as Sabisky’s views on eugenics came to light. But no such scandal or calls for resignation attached to Cummings himself.
In the recent cabinet reshuffle, Sajid Javid refused the portfolio of Chancellor when Johnson explained he would effectively report to Cummings. Sunak had no such scruples, and given his short time in post, it’s a fair assumption that much of the content of this week’s budget came from Cummings. Close analysis of the much-publicised additional spending shows that it is mainly focussed on supporting the economy through the Coronavirus crisis – not on supporting the public in general or workers, the elderly, high-risk groups in particular. Unelected and unaccountable, Cummings is now free to implement his sickening ideology.
We must not allow this humanitarian crsis to be exploited by those who would exploit us and happily see the NHS sold off and left to ruin.
Cathy Augustine Keep Our NHS Public Committee Member and Oxfordshire KONP.