A calmer Dennis Skinner July 2015
Op-ed: Living legend Dennis Skinner has been at it again.
This time Dennis told Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to wipe 'that smirk from your face' as the row over the Junior Doctor's new working contracts deepened.
Tuesday junior doctors walked out on strike in what will be two-day all out industrial action. That is unprecedented for the NHS.
But for the record they are only striking between the hours of 8am and 5pm on each of the days.
The last major junior doctor's strike before the recent flurry of industrial action occurred in 1975; at that time it was a Labour government under Harold Wilson.
In the House of Commons Monday Jeremy Hunt tried to lay the blame for the current industrial action anywhere but at his door.
It is safe to say the government will not give in on this one at least not without a fight. They hope that more strikes from junior doctors will lead to a tragedy. In effect they are playing with our lives.
The Tory government will sit back and wait for public opinion to shift in their favour; in months the new intake of junior doctors will begin work for the NHS and if the government has its way it will be with new working contracts in place.
Once new working contracts are implemented the government hopes to move on to other NHS staff.
In the Commons Monday Hunt tried to say that junior doctors were working against the wishes of the people. He cited the Tories election pledge of a seven-day NHS once again cherry picking from that manifesto.
"The first line on the first page of this government's manifesto said if elected we would create a 7-day NHS," Hunt said. "No trade union has a right to veto a manifesto promise voted for by the British people."
But they do; it depends how any government tries to fulfil its election promises and this time it is by foul means.
Many election promises melt into nothing but those that suit are spun and spun again. And the Tories may be in government but they did not win a true majority representative of all the people.
Hunt pathetically and insincerely begged junior doctors not to strike when he appeared in the Commons Monday but Hunt, or is that the Tories, refused to accept a cross party solution; a deal brokered by Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander and backed by a Tory former Health Minister, the Royal College of Surgeons, Lib Dems and the SNP.
Make no mistake changing working contracts for NHS staff has little to do with meeting an election manifesto pledge and all to do with Tory plans for a privatised NHS.
Hunt has been shown to be a waste of space, time and money even being 'chauffeured 50 yards to avoid a Downing Street doctors protest' Monday.
Tories may have opted to shout 'shame' when the Beast of Bolsover Labour MP Dennis Skinner, yelled, "Wipe that smirk off your face!" but we were with him in spirit.
The Daily Mirror reported "Mr Skinner told MPs: "There's a smirk and arrogance about him that almost betrays the fact he's delighted in taking part in this activity. “He could start negotiations today - wipe that smirk off his face!"
And how many watching wanted to wipe it off for him?
Emergency care will still be available during junior doctors' strike, BMA says
Who is Jeremy Hunt, a career of cock ups
Hunt imposes new working contracts on NHS Junior Docs
Dennis Skinner all guns blazing
British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.