IAN HART: Will Jeremy Hunt be able to turn the tide?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

It was Harold Wilson who said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’, but for current Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt the last few months must have seemed like a lifetime.

Over the years various figures from all political sides including the likes of Denis Healey, Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock and even Maggie Thatcher herself have been vilified and, in certain cases, ridiculed by sections of the media.

Up until now I would have said it was all part of the game, it almost comes with the territory, but in Mr Hunt’s case, I’m not so sure it hasn’t reached a different level.

I seriously wonder who actually advises Mr Hunt, because he currently appears to be stamping his way through a minefield.

And while, clearly, he’s not alone in making decisions, he appears to be the only person with his head above the parapet for the resulting flack.

When 99.4 per cent of junior doctors vote in favour of strike action, it is fairly clear that they probably have some major grievances.

Add to the fact that, despite the obvious issues the industrial action causes, I can’t remember a strike receiving so much support from the general public.

Yet with all this going on, Mr Hunt reminds me King Canute with the waves, and apparently with a thicker skin than a rhino.

Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t, but just how he’s going to come out at the end of this with his reputation intact could be as big an ask as Canute being able to turn back the tide.


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