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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Labour targeting of cancer victims shallow and appalling

When I was scanning the blogs and online headlines this morning, as I do every day, I saw Jeff Breslin over at SNP Tactical Voting had done a good post about this with a link to the story in The Times and I was so angry after reading it, I could not actually write this blog post until now.

The Labour Party have done a mailing to around 250,000 women, many appear to be cancer victims or who have only recently had scans for various forms of cancer reading all of the different newspaper stories covering this.

Labour have strongly denied that the mailshot was specifically targeted at cancer patients, the rest of the story is covered in The Mirror;
"cancer was sadly so prevalent in society that some of the 250,000 people were likely to have suffered from it."
Honestly, what a load of crap, they must have known what they were doing, in an election you do not randomly write to a quarter of a million women voters and hope the message might just resonate!

If the Labour Party have targeted women with cancer, or have been screened for cancer then that is utterly outrageous and Health Secretary Andy Burnham should apologise for the Labour Party stooping so low and campaigning in this manner.

As the Liberal Democrats Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb said;
"However, it's all too easy for the Conservative Party to dismiss this campaign as nothing more than dirty tricks.  Andrew Lansley cannot escape the fact that Tory policy to remove the NHS targets means people have no guarantee of access to cancer services within any timeframe."

Personally, I think Gordon Brown has to intervene here to find out the facts and then act accordingly.  In my view this mailing was nothing short of shallow and appalling.

As I know from painful personal experience with my Mum being diagnosed with and then shortly after passing away with pancreatic cancer only last year, cancer hits people and their families hard, and having a political party write direct in this manner can only cause upset. 

If Mum had received that mailing oh my god would Gordon Brown have known about it.

When I was Vince Cable's Agent in 2001 we did a general health mailing that was specifically about HPV screening, and we wrote to men and women, but every single household, not a small selective group and remember at that time during the actual 2001 election campaign, Vince's first wife, Olympia was losing her 13 year battle with breast cancer.

It does appear that Labour may have scored an own goal on this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what i find even more disturbing is the misuse of patient data. surely that's a criminal offence?

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