When people were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that “The NHS would be safer under Labour than the Conservatives”, only 39% agreed and 47% disagreed.
That raises the all-important question, if Labour is not better for the National Health Service than the Tories (which it traditionally is), then just what is the Government for? What is the point of the Labour Party any more?
Under Gordon Brown it continues to fail and fail, and fail again, even on the NHS that it created and has failed to reform.
And Dan Hannan can, as we say in Ulster & in Scotland, boil his head.
The UK healthcare debate is essential, because what Hannan has done is to put the NHS on the political agenda. Conservative policy is to support the NHS tooth and nail (no dental reference there intended), but to reform it to make a national institution better. After all, the poor, working class and lower middle class depend on the NHS; and they’ll trust the Tories on it, while Labour has done nothing to improve the system but has just overbureaucratised and politicised it.
Maybe what right whingers who have been attacking the NHS, just as they have been less than respectful for young people who are suffering hard times (e.g. by calling them ‘NEETs’), need to have “just a little respect”:
Indeed, calling the NHS a “60-year-old mistake” is more than a little disrespectful to the NHS staff and the millions of people, including the late Ivan Cameron and the survivors of 7/7 and many other past terrorist atrocities (not to mention knifings, gun wounds, car accidents, etc), who have relied upon the National Health Service to provide essential care.
It’s time for politicians to have “a little respect” for the NHS and not, as Labour has done, try to use it as a political football, when the Government has certainly not respected the NHS staff, because it has forced targets and other politically-motivated measures on them, which do not accord with clinical priorities.
What the Tories must, therefore, to is to love the NHS but also to reform it (but not to copy the absurdly irrelevant and out-of-context Singapore voucher model espoused by Mr Hannan), so that 12 years of Labour paralysis on healthcare can be put right at last. Mr Cameron’s support for the NHS is, after all, from the heart and is based on the radically-innovative progressive conservatism that will transform the quality of life and opportunities of all people in this one nation. Don’t forget; we’re not the US and never will be.
The Conservative lead over Labour remains at 7 percentage points (Con 41%, Lab 34%, LD, 15%). Hat tip: Conservative Home. However, as I observed earlier today, Brown may be about to make two “excessive” policy risks by printing money and cutting taxes. Actually, the tax cut would be welcome, but would alas dent the Tories’ opinion poll standing.
Because there is a Labour threat — Brown winning a majority or hanging Parliament in a ‘snap’ general election — which means more disastrous Brownian (dis)economics and the grim prospect of a second Brown term.
The Tories’ two looming strategic errors, therefore, are:-
(1) They fail to propose an income tax cut before Brown does. The Conservatives have promised to elimiate lower rate tax on savings (interest on wealth) as opposed to reducing taxes on income tax (earned income) — not very egalitarian. As a result, they would lose credibility further (as it is clear that Cameron will not replace his mate Osborne), and may even gift Brown an opinion poll lead — if he appears to be more in tune with the people. Which Brownian (dis)economics can never be, though it might seem so at the time — after all, these good mortgage deals nowadays for the wine-bibbing “chattering classes” make them just luv Labour.
(2) They bring into the Shadow Cabinet the vilest proponent of europhilia, Ken Clarke.* Just because Labour has woken Mandelson from his coffin does not mean that the Conservatives should wheel in Clarke. This would inevitably create a UKIP bounce that would not only be disastrous for the Tories (and a boon for Labour) in the forthcoming European elections — but would spill over into the forthcoming general election. Cameron is already weak on Europe (i.e. EPP-ED) and bringing back Clarke, a throwback from the Major régime, could split the Tories but would certainly drive Eurosceptic voters away from them in droves.
Therefore, the Conservatives need to propose to cut income tax as well as keeping Ken Clarke on the back benches where he belongs — to see off the Labour threat. Otherwise, there will be a Tory leadership election within the next 18 months if they let Labour back in or gift them a hung parliament.
- Alistair Darling
- animal welfare
- Bank of England buffoons
- Child A
- general election
- Gordon Brown
- gun crime
- intellectual idiocy
- Jacqui Smith
- Labour Party
- Northern Ireland
- older people
- opinion polls
- public sector
- Reg Empty
- Rhys Jones
- Royal Mail
- Shannon Matthews
- social breakdown
- social services