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For all Labour's claims of improving our cancer survival rates, statistics like that terrify me. The suffering of the NHS will only increase as the strain of an ageing population takes its toll.

Praise for Sarkozy.

Mrs T should be running for the White House!

Brown understands the war on terror!

Liam Fox gets a hug.

Was Duracell Dave mentioned by the Mayor?

Actually, all Rudy's dissing of the NHS is going to do is give Labour a pleasantly large stick to beat us with. Still it was nice to see Liam giving a good kick to that tick who implied that Mrs T is senile and exploitable. And gosh, but doesn't Liam seem happy at the moment, almost for the first time in just over two years I'd say. What on earth can he be expecting within, say, six or so weeks?

"My chance of survival in the US is 82%; my chance of survival if I was here in England is below 50%. Breast cancer, very similar."

Not true prostrate cancer survival rates are over 70% in this country.

"What on earth can he be expecting within, say, six or so weeks?"

A policy.

I fully back Giuliani's call for a stronger military. The geopolitical situation can change quicker than most people imagine and its right to be prepared for any eventuality. Better to have and not need than to need and not have. The intelligence services need to be given priority. Already we have seen Russia and China carrying out military manoeuvre's together and the threat of terrorism is constant. More military spending is not open to debate, it is an absolute requirement.

"A bigger military. All armed forces (and intelligence services) were cut too deeply after the end of the Cold War. We need new capacities including the capacity for a large war with a nation state. Gulp! 'Prepare for the worst but hope for the best,' Giuliani said."

Hear, hear! I could not agree more. The indecent haste with which a Conservative Government( I am ashamed to say) cut our Armed Forces without considering for one second how that might play out in the long term has long struck me as one of the worst mistakes of the Major administration. At the moment the Polish Army would probably clean our conventional forces up without much effort.

I post regularly on the nascent threat of Russia and China as prospective enemies and the need for us to revitalise our ability to take a proper part in the fighting a major war against a major foe. I hope others will pay attention to Guiliani's voice and join in that enterprise.

On another matter, looking at the Conference agenda (http://tinyurl.com/ytx8f9), I am pleased to see no mention of the awful Paul Kagame as a guest. Can anyone confirm for sure that he has now been ‘disinvited’ and shed any light on the circumstances thereof?

actually, where was Cameron?

What a shame Rudy wasn't wearing his far-famed pink party frock and Norma Jean blonde wig.

That would have really made the occasion and guaranteed front page coverage.

This man can beat Hillary Clinton. He deserves our support.

The real threat remains the islamist countries in the Gulf and increasingly in East Africa. We face decades of turmoil as political islam is allowed to develop, then take control, then rule by laws all decent people would regard as despicable.

We must defeat this threat in Iraq - and by proxy in Iran - in Afghanistan and in Sudan. We can help do that through strong political leadership here and an absolute "no-pandering" line to those who call for bits of sharia law to be allowed. But the key thing is to get another 20,000 troops into Iraq and Afghanistan and to get those countries into a fit state for democratic rule.

The "surge" was never adequately resourced and Blair/Brown's weakness in defending higher troop numbers for longer has left us dangerously exposed to resurgent islamist action.

Personally, I was very pleased to see the French backing the sensible US line re Iran of never taking the military option off the table. What a refreshing change from Jack Straw's lily-livered capitulation of a few months ago. For the world's sake, I hope Miliband is made of sterner stuff.

A real coup for Liam Fox.

MHDH, Yes, I agree. I don't share Hillary's world-view but I really respect her as a campaigner. She is tough, articulate, lightening quick to respond to current events as she did over sub-prime. She can claim experience of the job already has a formidable back-seat driver in Bill, and she's a good-looking woman too. A formidable opponent. A big hitter is needed to floor a big hitter. Rudy looks like he's the man right now.

Hinchcliffe: "actually, where was Cameron?"

Maybe only Conservatives were invited.

" Earlier in the day the Mayor had criticised the British system of healthcare:

"Healthcare right now in America, and I think it has been true of your experience of socialised medicine in England, is not only very expensive, it's increasingly less effective. I had prostate cancer seven years ago. My chance of survival in the US is 82%; my chance of survival if I was here in England is below 50%. Breast cancer, very similar. I think there's something to the idea that there are many more private options driving the system that create altogether better results." "


- He criticised the *British* system of healthcare did he?

At the end of the evening Giuliani went up to Liam Fox and hugged him

On second thoughts it's very fortunate that Rudy left his frock back at the Ritz. A Liam Fox vid on Youtube next to 'Rudy smooches Donald Trump' would be a hair-do too far.

No one has so far mentioned the fact that the big picture in the Telegraph is of Giuliani meeting Brown, accompanied by 'Rudy Giuliani scored a coup in his White House campaign yesterday by meeting Gordon Brown at No 10...'

If only we lived in Alabama Ed., all this guff might actually be 'inspiring'. As it is, my mind turns to the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi's, 'liberated' into an early grave and my stomach turns at the hypocrisy of it all.

Noon update: Photographs of Giuliani with Blair, Brown and Thatcher

Cameron?

Probably for the first time ever, I agree with Gareth.

A Neocon love-in is hardly the way for the party to regain popularity.

Even Victoria Borwick met Giuliani!

Rudy's proposal of expanding NATO is excellent. His intense commitment to security is an essential for a potential President.

BUT increasing spending on the military is a disastrous path to take. Surplus armaments beget war. What about Rudy's 4th point, on IDEAS.

"...on the basis of available statistical data, it can be said that less than half of the huge sums spent worldwide on armaments would be more than sufficient to liberate the immense masses of the poor from destitution." - Pope Benedict XVI's address to the diplomatic corps, 6 Jan 2006.

If we consider what the terrible consequences of war are that we are trying to avoid; and then reflect that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering these trials through their destitution (injury, separation from family, death, fear, misery); then how hard is it to recognise that mankind is already being savaged by a war on a deeper level than militarily.

If we have a choice between spending more on the military in the hope of avoiding potential suffering for ourselves, while at the same time turning our backs on the hundreds of millions who suffer presently, people we could help but prefer not to because of a fear-driven existence, then we are already losing the civilisation we hoped our army would protect.

Good luck to Rudy. God bless our Armed Forces. But better than guns we need ideas, and the best idea that ever hit humanity is Caritas.

Well at least there is one conservative leader who is actually conservative and has the genuine chance to win an election. Shame he isn't British though.

to be lectured on social (not socialised; that's meaningless) healthcare by a Republican is, well, sickening. People like Rudi, ie well-off, white and educated, are served perfectly well by the American system. Unfortunately it fails 80% of everyone else. If the Tories take up his vision of handing over the NHS to private health care providers and insurance agencies Labour would walk the next election.

Tony Makara: wow, we agree. Hillary will be a formidable opponent and I sadly do not discount her going all the way. Never underestimate the Democrats blowing it though. Much as I would probably agree ideologically more with McCain or Thompson, I think Rudy(with a good Veep nominee) could beat her.


Liam Fox is unelectable, and a poor Commons performer as well.

hang on, I've just made a quicksearch on the internet for statistics on prostate cancer. The latest figures I could find were 2001 and they were under 60% survival rate for longer than 10 years ( from the graph at http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/prostate/survival/
it looks like 56%).

So Guiliani is not far off. He would have had his cancer in 2000 if it was 7 years ago as he said. In 1991 the 10 year survival rate was about 39% according to the same graph). Of course the 5 year survival figure is much higher.

Any nation with military readiness and a commitment to global responsibility should be able to join NATO. He mentioned Australia, India, Israel, Japan and Singapore.
I would agree with all of those with the exception of Israel which is too preoccupied with issues in it's local area to actually play any broader world role - I can't imagine Israeli troops being deployed in the Balkans, Iraq, Sudan or Afghanistan anymore than I could imagine troops from Saudi Arabia being deployed under NATO in Lebanon or Kashmir - it would merely provoke a reaction from other countries, even for them to be in NATO - India could play a very useful role in NATO, but I imagine that they could only be admitted if Pakistan and Bangladesh could be admitted too.

The UN Security Council needs reforming or scrapping, I rather think though that if the position of Permanent Members is to be retained that India, Pakistan, Brazil and Mexico should also be admitted as Permanent Members.

Liam Fox is unelectable, and a poor Commons performer as well.
And why is he unelectable any more than anyone else currently in the Shadow Cabinet? He is the only member of one of the frontbenches while a frontbencher, during a leadership contest indeed to have openly said that it might be neccessary to leave the EU - John Redwood and IDS and many others at various times on both main frontbenches think this and about half the electorate would agree with such a statement.

MHDH, yes, I agree completely. Its a pity that Hillary is the wrong side of the fence because I can't help liking her fighting spirit. I think if Rudy goes on a ticket with John McCain it could just work. Rudy will pull in the patriotic Democratic vote and John will reel in the core Republican vote. Looks like Hillary will take the nomination, Obama is still too naive to get the nod. I think Edwards is probably the most presidential of the three, certainly the most diplomatic. However it really looks like a Rudy/Hillary face-off is on the cards. That would certainly bean interesting contest. Looks like the US/GB electionsare going to be the most exciting since the 1970s.

Tony, very fair post. I can't see Rudy going for McCain as they're too big beasts. Maybe Thompson or ANother? Romney's Mormon thing is just to big an obtacle as is his opportunism. And that's a comment not on his faith, but realpolitik. A Catholic like me is just about acceptable in the South, but a faith that says the second coming is in Missouri might just struggle to be heard in Texas, Tennessee or Mississippi.

I rather doubt that John McCain would be prepared to be a Vice President, unless he thought the President was liable to drop dead soon - I'm rather inclined to think that he woudl agree with John Nance Garner that the position of Vice President was not worth a bucket of spit.

I can see the possibility this time of there being some kind of compromise with there being a Republican President such as John McCain and a Democrat Vice President such as John Edwards or Barak Obama - possibly as part of a stop Hillary campaign, but of course if Congress goes further towards the Democrats having such a split might make relations between the White House and Congress easier.

I can't get worked up about any of these dreadful Americans, most of whom voted for the genocidal Iraq War. What a shame they can't all lose.

I suppose the excitement of some of the Tories posting here is fuelled by a desire to forget about the political situation at home.

“to be lectured on social (not socialised; that's meaningless) healthcare by a Republican is, well, sickening. People like Rudi, ie well-off, white and educated, are served perfectly well by the American system. Unfortunately it fails 80% of everyone else. If the Tories take up his vision of handing over the NHS to private health care providers and insurance agencies Labour would walk the next election.”

I for one am grateful that Rudi Guiliani raised the issue of socialised medicine – and yes it is – shovelled from one queue to the next and when the problem is sufficiently acute you might get treated.

As one with close experience of both the US and UK systems of medicine give me the US anytime. And it is absolute rubbish to say that the US fails 80 %. Nowhere is perfect and the bottom 10 per cent in the US need support but even our cleaner with no money whatsoever in Florida was treated with radiotherapy for breast cancer within 24 hours of diagnosis – where will you get that here?

Yet in London my neighbour is being abused by Charing Cross hospital even as I write. Filthy ward, he hasn’t been washed for 4 days, hungry and fighting for attention from virtually non-existent doctors but then he is over 70. In A and E the admissions doctor said all his mates had just gone to Australia.

I hope the Conservative Party will face up to the NHS as it is, clipboards and all, and have a radical re-think.

Lindsay - I have also had experience of the US and UK systems I far prefer the UK one! First of all my friend broke a tendon in his finger in the UK. Went to A & E on a saturday night, but was in and out within two hours. Same guy broke a finger in the US - 11 hour hosptial wait, wouldn't even see him without him showing his health insurance card, had to pay upfront.

My aunt had heart disease in America. She had health insurance but the cost of her heart medication - hundreds of dollars per prescription - and the fact that her health insurance company bumped up her premiums hugely when she needed repeated heart surgery - meant she had to move back to the UK (where she had three angiograms, two angioplasties and a radioactive investigation within nine months all for free) so she could receive treatment. Thousand of americans go bankrupt because of the costs of medical bills - even those who have insurance! the UK system might not be perfect, you might have to wait longer to see a specialist, but I would rather be ill in the Britain than America.

Well, Leftie in Disguise, I am sure you and I could trade punches all night on treatment here and the US - my own unfortunately lengthy experience as you will have gathered has been almost uniformly dire in the UK and good in the US.

At heart is Guiliani's charge on outcomes in prostate cancer and he is right. If you check outcomes in other areas the same is true.

Conclusion the US is doing something right and the UK is doing something wrong. Final result: more people die here than in the US.

That is what the Conservative Party has to address.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

Well, prostate cancer survival outcomes alone cannot be used as an indicator of how effective two health systems are. Using measures such as life expectency, level of diabetes, heart disease outcomes etc a recent study showed that middle class Britons were better off than middle class Americans despite the fact that both groups had universal health coverage. According to the study, lifestyle choices could not have been to blame for the huge disparity in outcomes between the two groups. (http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/295/17/2037). The US institute of medicine reckons that around 18 thousand americans die each year because they do not have health insurance, and cannot afford preventative care.

We can learn from America in the field of patient choice. But 50 million americans have no health insurance - if they become ill, or need prescription medication, they have to pay huge out of pocket costs. Even Americans who do have insurance often have high excesses and have to pay $40+ for prescriptions. I would rather wait 2 weeks for cancer treatment and not have to worry about bills than get it in 24 hours and have to worry about paying for continued aftercare, drugs and losing my home.

More people do not die in the UK than in the US. Middle class americans with good quality health insurance (apparently a dying breed nowadays) may have better outcomes from cancer. But if we moved to a US style of medical care not only would the average person's healthcare costs would rocket and the Conservative party would never, ever, ever again be elected. Remember: perception is reality in politics. And the perception would be that the conservative were trying to deliberately break up the most treasured UK institution.

I think if Rudy goes on a ticket with John McCain it could just work. Rudy will pull in the patriotic Democratic vote and John will reel in the core Republican vote

This is just *bizarre*. Any watcher of American politics knows that McCain's great weakness in US politics is precisely that he commands *none* of the core vote. As the man who voted for Campaign Finance Reform, an Economist poll found that "two in five Republicans either distrust him or refuse outright to vote for him." The reason why the US liberal press loved him so was exactly because he is not a Republicans' Republican - a maverick on torture, campaign finance and the like. He would be a *disastrous* running mate for Giuliani.

Giuliani needs to look at someone to complement, not compound, his weaknesses. So he needs a Christian conservative with a serene, nice-guy style. Not obvious who that should be just yet, but Rudy needs and deserves all of our support. This'll be a really interesting election!

According to BorisforPM, John McCain is a "maverick on torture". McCain has vigorously opposed the torture of prisoners in Iraq, Guantanamo and in other countries (via the US's illegal use of extraordinary rendition).

This is no surprise to any informed Conservative. McCain was a victim of torture himself when he was a prisoner in Vietnam. He gave a vivid account in his autobiography.

I am not a supporter of McCain but he is a man of integrity unlike the torture advocate who calls himself BorisforPM. The real Boris would be appalled.

Moral minority, let me clear one thing up - it is my fault that I didn't before. I absolutely, 110%, agree with McCain [and indeed with you] on torture; the use of such disgusting practices has no place in a modern, civilised society.

However, the core conservative base of the Republican party does not - sadly - agree with me, with you, or with Mr McCain. It is they - not I - who consider him a maverick. That is why they will never vote enthusiastically for him - and why he would be, politically, a disastrous choice of Veep.

I happen to believe that a Giuliani-McCain team would be excellent at the job once in office. But I think taking on McCain would be *electoral* suicide. Sorry I didn't make that distinction clearer before!

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