Dan Hannan MEP (an acronym that is short for “Muppet”) appeared on Fox News, saying the following, and worse,
We have 1.4 million people employed by the National Health Service. It is the third biggest employer in the world after the Red Army in China and the Indian National Railways. Most of those 1.4 million people are administrators, that the managers outnumber the doctors and nurses. And that is the electoral bloc that makes it almost impossible to get rid of.
Contrast these words with what David Cameron said:
The Conservative Party stands four square behind the NHS …. We are the party of the NHS, we back it, we are going to expand it, we have ring-fenced it and said that it will get more money under a Conservative government, and it is our number one mission to improve it.
While I do not intend to get into the healthcare debate in the US (that is for Americans to debate and decide, after all), one thing that this debate on the NHS that Labour stirred up after Hannan’s unfortunate interview is that it has shown the public that the Tories – not Labour are the party of the NHS – as the latest Guardian/ICM opinion poll shows the Tory lead widening and, staggeringly:
While 48% think healthcare would be better under a Tory government, only 41% agree with Labour warnings that it would be worse. Even 24% of current Labour voters think the Tories would improve the NHS.
So Hannan can *really* boil his head, as his outburst on Fox News was not representative of the policies of the Conservative Party’s leadership. It again confirms that Labour has well and truly lost its raison d’etre.
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.
- 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