Swire accuses Ottery hospital campaigners of “weaponising” their cause

In an extraordinary rant – no cancel that, Swire seems to be ranting much of the time these days so it isn’t at all extraordinary! – Swire accuses those campaigning for the retention of beds (gone)and services (some) remaining of “weaponising” Ottery St Mary hospital. By implication, he appears to include his arch-enemy, Claire Wright in this “weaponisation” (aka peaceful campaigning).

In a recent Exmouth Journal article (which they will presumably allow campaigners to respond to as a right to reply) he says:

“Regrettably, Ottery Hospital has been weaponised by an anti-Tory coalition for nigh on ten years with them telling a naturally alarmed local community that it will be sold off or closed. I have spent 10 years trying to counter this scaremongering. … “

He then goes on to puff up his recent visit to Ottery – well what do tou call a hospital with no beds? – let’s say “closed community bed building” with the new Secretary of State for Health, when said Secretary refused to meet tireless campaigner Claire Wright and other local people who are keeping up the pressure on him and his mates – though rumour has it that Sarah Randall-Johnson was somewhere in his vicinity. You know, the woman who thinks her DCC committee has no need to scrutinise these changes.


He says we must look to the future not back at the past and see how our changing needs can be met.

Owl has a suggestion: with the ageing population in East Devon how about a Minor Injuries Unit and Community Hospital beds?

3 thoughts on “Swire accuses Ottery hospital campaigners of “weaponising” their cause

  1. Pingback: Who’s ‘weaponising’ community hospitals, @HugoSwire? Two years ago you were happy to sell out Seaton Hospital to save your parliamentary career « SEATON & COLYTON matters
  2. When Hugo Swire says we should look to the future, this is the exact same thing he could have said 10 years ago … but look what has happened to the hospital since he could have said that.

    The only way to predict the future is to look at what happened in the past, so if we predict the future next 10 years by what has happened over the past 10 years, things do not look good for Ottery St Mary hospital.

    Of course, if Hugo Swire had done his job properly (or non-job if you see being an MP as Hugo does – he has stated quite bluntly that he doesn’t see it as a job at all) over the past 10 years and represented the views and needs of his constituency voters rather than getting a tan-coloured proboscis cow-towing to the party leadership in order to become a Minister of State, then Ottery St. Mary Hospital might be in a better state today. Indeed, the blame for the loss of beds and other services at Ottery St. Mary hospital can be laid directly on Hugo Swire and the Conservative Party that he blindly follows.

    As for accusing campaigners that they are weaponising the hospital, that appears to me to be nothing more than an attempt to stifle democratic debate and campaigning just because other people’s views and opinions do not accord with those he holds or those of his Party. Shame on him for being anti-democratic and stifling debate.

    An alternative interpretation is that this is a thinly disguised attempt to prevent his constituents from holding him personally to account for the actions (and lack of action) of him and his nasty party. Shame on him for holding a very well paid role, doing so little for his constituents and then attempting to avoid being held to account.


    • P.S. I should also point out that Hugo Swire should know all about weaponising, given that he is on the record as having acted as an arms salesman’s facilitator to a South American regime accused of human rights abuses. You can even find a page on his web site defending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a country accused of using those same arms to oppress its own population and suppress democracy. Just how ironic is that?


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