IT WAS widely reported in the national press on the 21st July how and true to form, Conservative MPs had voted down an amendment designed to protect the NHS/publicly-funded health & care services from being subjected to any form of control from outside the UK in a future post-Brexit trade deal, by 340-251.

The government’s excuse being that this was totally unnecessary, as the PM has given his “assurance” that the NHS is “not for sale” to the USA or anyone else, this, of course, coming from a person who’s relationship with the truth is far from harmonious and whenever cornered on any difficult subject, always seeks to bluster his way out of the situation.

Out of interest, I then checked whether my own MP (Royston Smith, Itchen) had backed this amendment or not and, surprise, surprise, he was one of the majority voting against it and so I thought that all those of you who, like me, have the misfortune to live in his constituency, should know that if he’s ever praised the NHS, the care system or their heroic workers in the past, this man would rather vote with the rest of the “sheep”, than support all those battling in the challenging world we now find ourselves in.

Obviously, I did not put my cross against his name on my ballot paper, but do feel genuinely sorry for all those working in the local health and care services who (foolishly) believed that he would stand up for their rights and thus placed their trust in him to do so and elected him in, it certainly puts paid to the Tory myth that “the NHS is safe in our hands”.

So it will not be any great shock to me if, in the future and just like with another completely separate amendment about banning chlorinated chicken imports, which was also defeated, our unique healthcare system does indeed end up being sold out to Trump and the US “big pharma” companies.

Ralph Frost