Are Southend Conservatives in health service distress?

Flying a flag upside down is — as any good Boy Scout will tell you — internationally recognised as a sign of distress. How, then, to read the above photo from Southend Conservatives, published in today’s issue of theĀ Southend Echo?

One could argue the wisdom of launching your local election campaign with the Secretary of State for Health, at a time when the NHS is in crisis and thousands of local residents are flocking to the Save Southend NHS banner and marching against health service cuts. Particularly when the very voters who you are going to be calling on in a matter of weeks have been systemically denied consultation on costly and dangerous local NHS reorganisation, which seems designed to cover up budget cuts and poorer services. Indeed, your blogger was one of many who were denied access to a “consultation” event after the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership required tickets late in the day, and refused to allow people in even though there was space.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the local Conservatives, chaining them to an unpopular and failing Health Secretary, have taken leave of their senses. But perhaps there is one small voice of sense, crying out in distress from the back of the group photo?

Who can say…