Because Matt Hancock wasn’t lying when he said he was hard at work we now have a new Health Secretary, I think this is a good appointment even before the self confessed liar Dominic Cummings denounced the appointment (after all Javid wasn’t fired by the PM, he resigned, but as usual facts are inapposite in Cummings world.)
My expectation is that being Health Secretary is going be even more of a challenge than in a pre pandemic world with an unfortunate cocktail of extremely long waiting lists caused by the pandemic and long Covid-19 which is another issue that worries the medical profession. The Sunday Times reports ‘Five million people in England are waiting to start hospital treatment, the most since records began. Patients whose surgery was abandoned last spring may be forced to wait until 2022.‘
Sajid Javid isn’t just Secretary of State for Health, he’s the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care. Social Care is one of those things governments and political parties talk about but never solve and one day due to the neglect of the political parties it will all keel over, I think the pandemic has only brought that date forward. The budget deficit means the Treasury will be reticent to give the appropriate funds to the Department for Health & Social Care.
That gives Javid an ability to wipe out a potential leadership rival by saying Sunak is putting the lives of voters at risk. Thanks to the pandemic the voters will make the NHS even more of a national religion.
At 16/1 to be next Conservative Javid is worth a punt, he can also point out he has excellent judgment as he refused to kowtow to Dominic Cummings, something which should be a positive with Conservative MPs, the people who choose the final two candidates to send to the members.
PS – The Treasury, Home Office, Health, and Business Departments are headed by non white children of immigrants. It is possible the final two candidates sent to Conservative members are likely to be non white that is something the Conservative Party can use to their advantage to nullify their nasty party side. Forty-six years after they elected their first woman leader they could elect an ethnic minority leader ahead of the Labour Party?