"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Arse from Elbow

(initially spotted by @DRoseTimes from The Times and posted on Twitter) 

The rather dimwitted Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon, Nadhim Zahawi, showed that he could not tell his arse from his elbow yesterday in Parliament. During the opposition debate on the NHS Zahawi interrupted John Healy with this meaningless interjection:

16 Mar 2011 : Column 377

Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) (Con): The right hon. Gentleman wisely started by saying that there is room for reform. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh South West (Mr Darling) had plans in his Budget for a 20% cut in the NHS. Will the shadow Secretary tell us which bit of the NHS he would cut to deliver that 20%?

John Healey: There is someone else who needs a copy of the Labour manifesto. He almost used his six minutes' allocation to make that intervention.

Several hon. Members rose -

John Healey: I am going to move on. If that is the best the Conservatives can do, I am going to move on.
Where on earth does Zahawi get 20% from? Could it possibly be he is getting confused with the £20bn "efficiency savings" that his government is pledged to deliver? (Under Labour, of course, this was £15-20bn, ie possibly less). Clearly the daft figure flummoxed Healey who moved on rather than pointing out what a dimwit Zahawi is.

OK, so you can excuse a person for making a mistake once, but dimwitted Zahawi continues to make them (hence the sobriquet). Later in the debate we had this exchange:
16 Mar 2011 : Column 382

Nadhim Zahawi: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the way in which the Opposition are conducting themselves, when they proposed a 20% cut to the NHS, is scaremongering among our constituents and entirely irresponsible?

Mr Lansley: My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point, and he made it to the shadow Secretary of State, who did not answer it.
Surely Lansley is not a dimwitted idiot too? It appears so because he seems to agree with Zahwai's nonsense 20% figure, even though he must know that an annual 20% cut (or even a cumulative 20% over 4 years) on NHS funding would kill the service: it is not possible to cut that deep without dire consequences!

Then, showing that he really is dimwitted, Zahawi then issues a Press Release demanding Healey tell him how Labour would have cut 20% from the NHS. One thing is for certain, the man does not care looking a complete fool!

(If you want to know how Labour would have funded the NHS had they won the 2010 election, have a look at this previous blog post - hint: they would have provided more money than Osborne.)


  1. You see you're making a basic mistake. You're assuming that anything a Conservative says has to be based on evidence. You need only look at the way Lansley's lied about how bad the NHS is to see that that's just not true.