Lansley's silence

In a normal world, the notion that a trade union would bar someone from taking part in a seminar because of his ethnic identity would be utterly implausible. Trades unions exist to promote solidarity, not to foster hatred and exclusion. But when Israelis are involved we no longer live in a normal world. Trades unions now behave with bigotry towards Israelis as a matter of deliberate policy. The decision to bar Moty Cristal from a joint NHS-Unison seminar, solely because he is Israeli, shames the union. But if Unison is the original villain of the piece, the refusal of the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, to utter a word in condemnation of NHS managers' craven acceptance of Unison's disgraceful demand, is, in its own way, equally appalling. Mr Lansley, it transpires, is afraid of upsetting Unison in the middle of negotiations. Pusillanimous does not even come close to describing Mr Lansley. If he is not prepared to condemn bigotry by one of the core components of the NHS, then he has no place as Health Secretary.

    Last updated: 5:32pm, May 3 2012