Her Parkinson’s has deteriorated from delayed access to the right treatment. But she’s not alone. May’s manifesto means more cuts to the NHS, police and schools.
Election campaigns, like politics, are, in many ways a reflection of the times. As Britain goes to the polls tomorrow, the issues that affect us now – from Brexit negotiations to the role of cyberspace in fighting terrorism – would have been meaningless a decade or two ago, while areas that are universal – from social care to employment – are strongest when seen in terms of modern pressures. But watch Theresa May strive to wake up on Friday as prime minister while the police, schools, and NHS strain around her and what stands out is that, at its most fundamental, we’re being locked in what’s essentially election deja vu: a Conservative government decimates services and asks the public to vote for more.
Just ask Russell Jones, 46. His mum Christine, in her 70s, has battled Parkinson’s since the mid-1980s and watched the choices of Tory prime ministers – through Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron – change her life over the past 30 years. For Christine, that was from the minute she first had symptoms: NHS underfunding in the 1980s meant she waited nearly a year for a brain scan to see if she had a tumour or Parkinson’s. Once diagnosed, it became normal to have to wait up to a year to see a consultant and when she did see a doctor, they told her cuts meant they couldn’t prescribe the medication she needed to hold off the disease.