Monday 13 November 2023

Farewell then, Neil O'Brien

Neil O'Brien has stepped down from his role as public health minister to spend more time with his family. He will no longer have to parrot ridiculous claims from the Department of Health, although he could have refused to go along with such nonsense in the first place. After all, he was the elected politician and government minister and he was supposedly to be in charge.
In a way, O'Brien's parliamentary career had been a microcosm of 13 years of nominally Conservative government. He spent years running a centre-right think tank and then had five years as an MP before becoming a minister and all he achieved was introducing a policy nicked from the New Zealand Labour Party before the British Labour Party got the chance to introduce it themselves.
It's the same old story. Every minister, regardless of their intentions, goes native within weeks of being in contact with the Department of Health.
Meanwhile, Steve Barclay, the health minister at the time of writing*, has penned an article for the Express promoting the policy of tobacco prohibition which begins, apparently without irony, with the following sentence.

This Government believes in letting you live your life the way you want to.

How does one explain such absurdities? Is it cognitive dissonance or gaslighting?
Judging by the polls, the public have decided that if they're going to have Labour policies, they might as well have the Labour Party introduce them.
*UPDATE - 3pm
Not any more.

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