By Alan McSpestos
MP for Totnes, former GP and Chairman of the health select committee Dr. Sarah Wollaston has decided to switch sides in the EU referendum from Leave to Remain after she admitted she could not tolerate the lies of the leave camp.
Speaking specifically of their claim that, were Britain to leave the EU, they would magically have £350m a week to plough into the NHS Dr Wollaston said “I am a Tory, and I work in the NHS. They must think I’m stupid. The only figure of £350m a week with regards to the NHS the likes of Boris and Gove want to see is £350m a week from a firesale of NHS assets. Of course, Cameron on the other side probably full well agrees, and the Remain camp has lied out of their backsides as well, but what am I supposed to do? There’s no “I’ll Remain out of Caution but Really They Are All Idiots” camp.”
Dr Wollaston’s change of heart is the first occasion in modern history in which a politician has admitted having perhaps been wrong without having the entire weight of public opinion against them. While the Tory government is so used to U-turns it is a wonder they are not dizzy, they generally come after pressure from the public and not from, as in Dr. Wollaston’s case, using their own brains. For this, Dr. Wollaston deserves much credit.
Michael Gove certainly does not think so, as immediately after the event he spray painted ‘Traitor’ on the Doctor’s car and keeps taunting her from a distance. However, Dr. Wollaston got her own back when she suggested his inability to hold a pint correctly is indicative of an overall weak constitution and that if he shows any other symptoms such as a yellow belly or a sudden loss of spine he should consult a GP immediately. Which he will have no problem doing given the amount of money he plans to spend on the NHS.
And yes, Terminal Context just gave a politician credit. She changed her mind in a heated debate based upon the evidence. She will likely receive a lot of problems from virulent members on both sides of the debate. Yet she did it because she analysed the data and believed the public were being lied to, and essentially bribed to vote Leave with healthcare.
Terminal Context hopes this is the beginning of a new age in UK politics in which more politicians are scientifically educated to be able to analyse and interpret data for themselves and come to evidence based, rather than emotional, idealogical or even just pandering to pressure decisions in public life.