NHS strikes: How the UK newspapers have reacted
The NHS strikes dominate the UK news today and depending on which paper you buy, you’ll get a very different take on the strikes.
The left-wing papers are blaming the government and say NHS workers should be paid fairly, whilst most right-wing papers are blaming unions and say if anyone dies, the responsibility lies with the unions – and some right-wing papers even suggest there should be a total ban on strikes for emergency workers.
However, it’s worth noting that over the past few weeks, several right-wing papers have dialled down the language used as recent polling shows most of Briton is in support of the strikes.
Who’s to blame? The government or the unions?
The health secretary writes in the Daily Telegraph that bosses have made a “conscious choice to inflict harm on patients”. A source close to Steve Barclay tells the FT that “lives could be lost” and says “the unions have to take responsibility for that.” The Daily Mail asks: ‘How will they live with themselves if people die today?’.
But the Daily Mirror says if anyone does die because of the strikes the only people to blame are the government, saying “responsibility will rest with Conservative ministers who have failed to fund the health service adequately”. The paper says NHS staff were clapped during Covid but are now being “slapped financially in the face by a callous and incompetent Tory government”.
Plenty of the tabloid papers lead with digs on the government’s warning to avoid “risky activities.”
The front page of the Sun reads: “Don’t use your car, don’t go running, don’t play sport, don’t get drunk, don’t have fun.”
The Daily Star recommends its readers wrap themselves in cotton wool or, it suggests, “we could just give NHS staff a well-deserved pay rise”.