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Howard backing Cameron to tell indirectly to the activists that those on the right should support Cameron too instead of feeling ignored by recent policy announcements. Its a party morale thing this one.

I don't see how holding on to the Communist NHS is a sign of preparing for "21st century challenges" must that must be silly old me.....both the Continent and the US provide much superior health care to their citizens but of course neither use state-provided care. Canada, on the other hand, does and although it funds lavishly it's a mess there too!

The NHS provides a good system for the people, you are entirely wrong if you expect any leadership to discredit rhe NHS, people value the service and as an MP going PM Cameron has a duty to respect the wished of the people.

The American system leaves something like 1/5 people without healthcare..Thats not acceptable whichever system is used, and its unacceptable where people have less money cant get good healthcare.

The NHS does not provide a good enough service for a vast number of people, but has become a sacred cow. The US model is far from being the only alternative.

Just the other day, two British NHS nurses were singing the praises of the French system to me. Their view was that, in France, they do a proper 'repair' job to get you back to work, whereas the NHS is very much a 'patching up' service. (One of them had recently had treatment in France following an accident whilst on holiday.)

Under the NHS the doctor has become a career bureaucrat rather than a professional. The same is true of nurses since the abolition of the Nightingale wards. As a result, whatever the public believes, British healthcare is among the worst in the developed world, and that includes the uninsured in the US (the correct figure, by the way, is nowhere near the 1 in 5 cited above). Simply because the public wants something does not mean they should have it. Thats what we have representatives for, as Burke noted to the electors of Bristol.

We need to return to private provision of health care, but the current US system is not the model to follow, as it also leads to overuse of the system. A system of tax-exempt individual savings to pay for basic doctor visits, combined with catastrophe insurance to pay for treatment for serious accidents and diseases, would go some way to restoring sanity to the system both here and in the US. Prudence and self-reliance should play their roles in our own approach to health, and wanton disregard of those virtues should be punished.

The continentals can do what they want, of course.

Re Jaz's comment on US healthcare:

When you say "without healthcare", you mean I think "without health insurance".These are not the same thing. I read somewhere many years ago that the vast majority of uninsured Americans could afford health insurance but choose not to take it up, adopting instead a "pay as you go" approach.

The NHS cant be fully replaced. As Richard said its a sacred cow. Instead the Conservatives need to improve what is there. Labours fiddled with it an almighty lot since they came to power. There are lots of options. Pity Labour's nicked a lot of them, say with the Patient Choice idea which has just started.

Maybe I'm just an old fashioned Thatcherite but I would suggest that he is heading "the left way"!

or even The Third Way!

The reason for high US healthcare costs is explained here: http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?Id=1749

I agree that the NHS is a disaster but it would be electoral suicide for the Tories to advocate replacing it. There is, however, growing public support for greater private involvement. Perhaps we should look towards the European systems for ideas.

"George Pascoe-Watson is certainly warm towards Mr Cameron in his first column as The Sun's new political editor."

Where's Trevor Kavanagh these days then?

I think that Kavanagh has retired.

Kavanagh has apparently been promoted to 'Associate Editor', which sounds rather like a sinecure to me. There was short article about it in today's Sun.

Kavanagh has been "promoted" to Associate Editor

I stand corrected. A certain member (I will spare him embarrassment) of the Davis team told me that he was retiring.

This (from The Guardian's Matt Wells) on The Sun and the Conservatives is also worth checking out...


It's the neo-con connection, Ed!! Murdoch publishes the Weekly Standard. Bill Kristol of the WS is a Patron of the Henry Jackson Society. Murdoch's adviser Irwin Stelzer is a HJS signatory - with Gove, Vaizey and Boles.

"Michael Howard says his protege is heading "the right way"
David Cameron may be distancing himself from Michael Howard's policies on immigration and the NHS but the ex-Tory leader had nothing but praise for the man he positioned to succeed him. He promised to loyally cheer Mr Cameron from his new position on the backbenches. Mr Howard told Radio 4's World at One that Mr Cameron had made a "dramatic impact" since becoming Tory leader and that he was proceeding "in entirely the right way".

Well, he would say that wouldn't he! So much for Mr Howard's policies then, and which he now cheerfully confines to the dustbin, but maybe to be resurrected later. Who knows? Softly,softly catchee monkey - but it could be a crab.

Alas, there was little of "the night" about Mr Howard - only something of the sunset.

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