Sorry about the hashtag-as-a-title thing, but it will make Tweeting a lot easier.
The media is alight today, as it often is in silly season, with news of Dan Hannan, erstwhile Tory MEP from the South of England calling the NHS a ‘sixty year mistake’ and saying he wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Fact One: Dan Hannan has zero say in formulating party policy on the health service. None. Niente. NHS matters are not decided or discussed at European Parliament
Fact Two: David Cameron, the party leader, has clearly come out in favour of the NHS, has praised it lavishly, has agreed a formula to ringfence NHS funding. He said:
“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.”
Fact Three: Labour plans to reduce funding to the NHS and has admitted it has no plans to ringfence NHS funding
Fact Four: Andrew Lansley, Conservative Shadow Health Minister has rebuked Daniel Hannan, as has Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative Leader in the European Parliament. David Cameron has described Daniel Hannan’s views as ‘eccentric’.
Fact Five: Andy Burnham claims the NHS for Labour, but plans to open impersonal, cheaper Polyclinics which would damage the family doctor and GP system. Conservatives plan a very different future.