David Cameron finds out
London’s Pensioners are a feisty lot –
Determinded to have their say about the NHS
Politicians tend to place Voters in categories
As Blair found out when addressing the Women’s Institute – and Cameron discovered recently. Spin Doctors must have thought London’s Pensioners would provide lovely Oooh Aaah sound bites. But he soon found these voters didn’t like being patronised.
Starting with “I’m a huge believer that we should listen to the older generation”, they weren’t impressed – and it went downhill from then on. These OAPs had seen it all before, and learnt not to trust Politicians’ promises.
Trotting out the usual non-answers during the Q & A session at Age UK‘s event, he was rocked by the questionner coming back with “you haven’t answered my question”.
Politics is hotting up
Cameron is more used to questionners putting up hands, or waving Order papers – but he was faced with raised walking sticks attracting his attention. No-one threw a Zimmer frame – but the mood was there, amongst the heckling and cat calls.
Reports after suggest this is politics as it used to be. Age UK’s audience threw some tough questions at the Prime Minister, and he couldn’t escape with the usual non-answer – they just kept demanding “answer the question”.
Sometimes Politicians just don’t know when to leave well alone. At the end Cameron hoped the audience would support another Conservative Government; “not a chance” was the reply.
Listen to the Patients
This lot seemed to have their finger on the NHS pulse, knew exactly where money was being wasted and weren’t afraid to ask questions. Perhaps the questions were too intelligent, and one could see why doctors don’t like to ask patients – they might get the same treatment Cameron received.
There was lively debate about Agency staff, with figures of quoted of £1,600 per shift for emergency cover, and the NHS spending £1 billion in the past two years on them. A Mr. Clemo quoted staff being paid £8 per hour, leaving to join an Agency and getting £15 per hour – and the Agency charging the NHS £30 per hour.
So if you want a lively debate, just follow Granny tonight; if you want to take part, make sure of your facts first – this lot are really clued up!