Archive for the ‘burnham’ Category

Quite aside from all his other disastrous decisions, mainly on foreign policy, it seems perfectly fair to me that Blair be blamed for not seeing while he was Prime Minister that Britain wasn’t saddled with a successor he himself thought was unfit to govern. This is, according to Andrew Rawnsley in his extraordinarily excoriating assault on virtually the entire Labour administration, the thing for which Blair, ultimately, is most guilty. It’s a heck of a read and should be disastrous for all Labour’s leadership candidates, tainted as they are with the charge of cowardice, arch and chronic dishonesty and, simply put, self-interested misgovernance. Anyway, here’s a taste of something which, if you haven’t already read it, is well worth a look:

If Blair thought that Brown was unfit to be prime minister – and there’s now lots of evidence that this is precisely what Blair thought – he had an obligation to his party and his country to do something about it. At the very least, he should have, as he could have, ensured that there was a contest for the succession in 2007 rather than allow Brown to be crowned without proper scrutiny. It was one of Blair’s most selfish acts and a gross dereliction of duty to swan off to make his millions while leaving his party and country to cope with the consequences of a Brown premiership.

The implication from this is that by the time he had finally given in to the forces of hell unleashed by Brown in the form of Balls, Wheelan et al in 2006, Blair simply didn’t give a toss about what happened next. A more damning indictment of the man as Prime Minister is simply inconceivable, even one involving his misleading the House of Commons, the country and the world over WMDs in Iraq. It’s actually quite difficult accurately to describe a person like that, whose self-interest and vanity is only trumped by his greed and dishonesty. In some ways if one views it in the light of this unforgivable dereliction of duty, as Rawnsley rightly calls it, Blair ends up as an even worse national leader than Brown, difficult though that might be for some (like me) to swallow.

If you do accept Rawnsley’s characterisation of Blair, it is, however, perfectly possible to argue that he was worse than Brown as a man and as a leader. The only difference between the two frauds being, therefore, that Blair was a far better con man than Brown ever could be, which meant that Blair was able to trick the country into believing him and then voting for him. By contrast, Brown was just Brown: paranoid, delusional, vicious, incompetent even in disguising his many falsehoods and, ultimately, a total electoral liability and a catastrophe for the nation.

The impact of these realisations on the Labour leadership campaign as I said should be massive. All the candidates are as discredited as each other for failing to make the decision Blair couldn’t be ar*ed to make and stopping Brown once it was crystal clear he was utterly hopeless. As Rawnsley says, quite fairly and quite mildly in truth:

Andy Burnham was one of the nodding dogs who would declare to TV cameras that the cabinet had every confidence in Gordon Brown when the reverse was the case. Ed Balls ran the thuggish Brownite machine and the decade-long insurgency against Tony Blair to put his master in Number 10. Ed Miliband makes pious noises denouncing “factionalism” as if he is a saintly figure who never had anything to do with it. “The emissary from Planet Fuck” – as he was known among Blair’s aides during the civil war – was at the heart of the Brown faction.It is a bit tricky for David Miliband. He was one of the senior members of the cabinet who knew Brown was taking them to defeat and failed to act before it was too late.

So they all should be screwed – and rightly so. For all his hypocrisy, Mandelson doesn’t really matter because he’s not a leadership candidate. So, assuming (and this is a big assumption) the MSM ends its own version of Labourist dishonesty and begins to treat the rest with the contempt they should have coming to them for their pathetic behaviour in propping up Brown, the only untainted candidate in the Labour leadership race is, hilariously, Diane Abbott!

Either way, and this is essentially Rawnsley’s conclusion, Labour is truly, deservedly and royally buggered. And in the end, of course, they themselves are the ones who are to blame for it. After all, Blair only gave us Brown because he’d given up, and that’s how history will judge him. But the Milibands, Burnham and Balls (and Mandelson) are the ones who propped the disastrous loser up. That was unforgivable – and the country isn’t going to forgive them, ever.

Now, thankfully, their past seems finally to be catching up with them. Soon there’ll be nowhere left for them to hide any more and no amount of continued lying will save their collective political bacon. If the PLP is stupid enough to elect one of them, (and it’s almost certain that it is that stupid) then they should prepare to be out of power for decades, if not forever. Mind you, exactly the same thing will happen if they choose bonkers Abbott.

Catch 22 for the Labourist wreckers – and music to my ears!


Read Full Post »

Listening to Andy Burnham on the way to work this rainy Tuesday morning was one of the less pleasant experiences of my life. What a load of tosh that idiot spouts, and in that ridiculous yob voice of his. I’ve never heard such a giant stream of steaming waffle, hissing piffle and stalling widdle in my entire life!
Life! Ah, life. Yes, indeed – life. As in ‘long life’ – and getting longer. My five year-old nephew, so we are told, can reasonably expect to live to the age of 100+. However, I think that figure could be even higher. The generation of my family born at the turn of the last century almost all died in their 80s. What is more, we read today that a horny old goat (who is 75) has just impregnated a woman.

It wouldn’t be unfair to imagine, therefore, that with medical technology advancing at the rate it is, my nephew, who will hit the royal telegram age in the year 2104, can ‘reasonably expect’ artificial organ replacements, bionic limbs and eyes, anti-aging gene therapy and, above all, a cure for cancer. And every bit of it will be available on the NHS (honest). With all that intervention, he can ‘reasonably expect’ to live until he’s 200 – and actively, too. He could be the first centurion daddy.

So what, I hear you scream, is the point of all this? I will tell you. The point is that the problem of care for the elderly is a problem we are facing now. It’s my parents who very soon will need the kind of care that only children and expensive professional ‘carers’ can provide. There are elderly people now who are on their own and struggling to cope, or have lost their life savings and equity to pay for the privilege of being neglected in some dump of a care home. (This was the result of one of the most iniquitous laws ever passed, in my view. But that’s another story).

It seems to me that all I heard from Burnham was a piece of pisspoor procrastination on a social issue that he doesn’t seem to get (well, he’s only young himself). Let’s set up a commission and see what they say in five year’s time, he suggested. Thank the Lord for the Big Ideas, eh readers? So, after his Death Tax suggestion was rightly rubbished, and ruled out by Darling, this whole thing appears to have been kicked into the very long grass by Labour, simply because it’s too big a challenge for them to confront.

The Conservatives, by contrast, have a plan that can be implemented now. Lansley was excellent on Radio 4. Sure, the insurance plan might not help people who are already in old people’s homes today, but it would certainly help my parents, who are heading in the same direction; give it a decade. By the time they need it, the system would be well-established – mature, even – and well-funded. The Labour grand plan for a National Care Service would, by that time, you can guarantee it, have been delayed, would be billions over-budget and just about to be scrapped. The Conservatives are telling us what’s do-able, and how to do it.

Labour just gives us pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams that wouldn’t work anyway. ‘Twas ever thus.

So the Tories had better win the next election – if nothing else, then for my parents’ sake! As for my nephew, well, he won’t be needing a National Care Service. He’ll be taking part in the Olympics when he’s 150 (in 2154 – I believe they’re being held in Kandahar that year).

Don’t get me wrong, care where care is needed is a decent idea. But it should be the duty of children to provide that care. That’s the real sign of a healthy society. I would expect, however – demand, even – that that sense of duty finally be recognised, and financially rewarded, by a Tory government. As for the State, well, its duty is clear: where there is no alternative, i.e., where there are no close family members who can provide support for their elderly or infirm loved one(s), or where that family, motivated by some form of perverse selfishness, has abrogated their duty and abandoned the needy member, the State intervenes.

Where the care becomes too difficult for the dutiful family, however, that’s when the Conservatives’ insurance scheme really will come into its own. It is not merely a step in the right direction – and Labour and Liberal Democrats won’t even admit that, remember – it is an excellent solution to a problem confronting Britain now. The Lib Dem spokes-idiot said that a similar scheme in France only had a “20% uptake”. What the Lib Dem spokes-idiot probably doesn’t know (or would care about if he did) is that the other 80% in France look after their own families. Always have, always will. So the problem of how we mend Britain’s broken society, where grown-up children turn their backs on sick or elderly relatives, is a separate, massive problem, you see, and one that no fantasy ‘National Care Service’ is going to fix.

The National Care Service is, therefore, a red herring (surprise surprise). Rather than opposing it with the expression “over my dead body”, however, (which seems to be tempting fate), I’ll just make a prediction: “National Care Service”, laugh out loud. Not in my lifetime. Not in anyone’s lifetime, for that matter. Certainly not my nephew’s. He won’t need the stupid thing.

And neither do we.

Read Full Post »

Having been bed-ridden with some kind of stinking cold for the past few days, I thought it appropriate to do something on health tonight. That’s not the only reason, of course, nor even the main one. The main one is Labour’s latest attempt to steal Tory policy thunder with an announcement by their child of a health minister, Andy Burnham, that filled this morning’s front pages, to rig NHS waiting list figures by making taxpayers pay for other people to go private.

Aside from the fact that this is an admission of abject failure, and that this sudden pledge, designed as it obviously and dishonestly is somehow to “Tory-proof the NHS” (as one Labour apologist put it) in an area where they are making significant headway with some excellent policy commitments of their own, some might be tempted to argue that making use of surplus capacity in the private sector in this way is a good idea. They would be entirely wrong.

Three of the central reasons why they would be wrong are that, first, private health care is preferable to NHS care, and many millions of people choose to pay the extra cost, because the spare capacity, deliberately made, creates a better service and zero waiting times. The spare capacity itself is made possible by high levels of properly managed investment and best management practice. The NHS – and government – has a lot to learn from private health care. The effect of the government intervening and paying private hospitals effectively to solve the problem of over-demand and inefficiency in the NHS will be to spread the disease: it will kill spare capacity in the private system leading, inevitably and quickly, to price hikes. In the end, private patients will actually be squeezed out of the market by government subcontracting. Perhaps this is the Labour party’s real aim.

The second of the central reasons why this is such a bad idea is partly a moral one. It’s not just private patients who will end up being clobbered by a government that once again seems willing to rig the market to mask its own total incompetence. It’s the taxpayers as well. Who does this government think it is? It must think people are astonishingly stupid if it thinks they will not notice that they will be paying for the same health service (already the most expensive and inefficient in the world) twice if, God forbid, this government actually won the next election and brought these measures in. It is not only an insult to the electorate’s intellegence, however, it is morally wrong for a government to use legislation to fleece the population for political and dishonest motives. Those motives? 1. To massage waiting list figures; 2. To further the notion that “entitlement”, in the socialist sense, is some sort of moral absolute and is something that only the state, not the market, can fulfil; 3. To embarrass the Tories (though I’m not sure how they expect this policy announcement will achieve that); 4. Possibly to gain some control of the private healthcare system by, effectively, buying it off. Some might have their doubts about this last one, but people should never forget that it has always been a long term aim of the Left to kill off all competition to the state provision of services, particularly in the areas of education and health.

The third central reason why this is such a bad idea is, of course, the most simple to grasp and straightforward to explain – and it’s the most powerful: it’s Labour’s idea and it would be a Labour ministry trying to enforce it. The past 12 years tell us very clearly, especially when it comes to PPP or PFI or subcontracting arrangements with and within the NHS (and everywhere else), that it would be a full-scale, monumentally costly catastrophe.

Health care is never free, but at least with the Tories there’s a chance we might get a bit more value for money. If this Labour government is re-elected all we will have is less and less for more and more – and Burnham’s blustering policy announcement proves that point perfectly.

Read Full Post »