Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dan Hannan – Defender of the Faith

Cranmer comes to praise Daniel Hannan, not to bury him.
The evil that politicians do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So decree the journalist-guardians.

Cranmer cannot recall the last time he was inundated with so many emails requesting comment upon an issue. And this one perhaps comes as no surprise, though it is an awful lot of ado about nothing.

Well, not quite nothing. For the NHS is a venerable institution. But the column inches and airtime which have been devoted to remarks made by one MEP are out of proportion to any rationality. With the present journalistic purdah on the inept lameness of Mssrs Brown, Mandelson, Darling, Miliband and Ms Harperson – who, you may recall, constitute the Government – one might be forgiven for believing that their actions (or inactions) merit any investigative scrutiny at all. Indeed, with the constant critical focus on matters Tory, one might think the Conservative Party were in power.

The funny thing is that when Cranmer heard Mr Hannan’s first interview on this matter a few months back, he had an inkling that it would come back to haunt him, carefully edited, re-crafted and perversely remoulded to cause harm and make mischief. The journalist-guardians have a habit of carefully selecting and re-ordering one’s words in order to create their story ex nihilo.

They have to earn a crust, you see. And this justifies their slander, misrepresentation, misinformation, disinformation, lies, duplicity and deceit.

After the recent treatment meted out upon MPs and Peers, they ought to be next.

But His Grace digresses.

Daniel Hannan is one of the most upright, honest and fair men in politics. But he is convicted, and, in an age of postmodern relativism with its imposition of a uniform pattern of public utterance, the merest trace of orthodoxy reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.

And he made a few comments in the US about the NHS.

He praised its 1.4 million workers for their patriotism and dedication. But he pointed out that the system has flaws. It is the third biggest employer in the world after the Red Army in China and the Indian National Railways, and this has resulted in bureaucratic waste and inefficiency. He favours personal responsibility for healthcare rather than sprawling state imposition, with the proviso of a ‘safety net’ to protect the poorest and most vulnerable. This would be, he says, more cost effective and efficient than a healthcare system funded wholly out of general taxation. He points out that Britain does not always compare favourably with other countries in terms of survival rates and waiting times, and so proposes transferable health savings accounts (which, he emphasises, would be met by the state for those who lack the financial means).

All of this is consistent with Conservative philosophy, though it is not present policy. But if the party can argue (as they do) for localism, deregulation and the involvement of the private sector in education, why is it anathema to apply the same principles to healthcare?

But David Cameron hath told you Daniel was eccentric:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Daniel answer'd it.
And David is an honourable man.

Andrew Lansley says Daniel is 'negative and distorted' on NHS.

And Andrew is an honourable man.

Timothy Kirkhope says that Daniel's remarks about the NHS were ‘unwise’ and that he could face discipline from the chief whip.

And Timothy is an honourable man.

But Andy Burnham says he is unpatriotic.

And Andy is an honourable man.

And John Prescott says he has made an ‘appalling misrepresentation’ of the NHS.

And John is an honourable man.

And for the journalist-guardians, Adam Boulton of Sky says Daniel is ‘an arrogant right-winger in love with the sound of his own voice’.

And Adam is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men.
But they say he is eccentric / negative / distorted / unpatriotic / arrogant;
And they are all honourable men.
He hath sought to liberate captives from the Treaty of Rome
Whose taxes do the EU’s coffers fill:
Does this in Daniel seem unpatriotic?
When that the poor have cried, Daniel hath wept:
Arrogance should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet David says he is eccentric;
And David is an honourable man.
You all did see that at the Tory Party Conference
He was granted his own slot to make a speech,
To which the Leader did not object: was this eccentricity?
Yet David says he is eccentric;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
Cranmer writes not to disprove what David speaks,
But here he is to write what he does know.
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with His Grace;
His Whiggish heart is on the rack there with Daniel,
Though he hath not the slightest intention of pausing...

With a thousand apologies to the Bard, not least for not having the time to scan the iambs in coherent pentameters. But this ‘story’ is nothing more than a Whig-Tory tension; a Roundhead-Cavalier resentment.

Toryism has traditionally been a synonym for stability and Whiggism for experiment, and these antagonisms coexist in the ‘broad church’ of the Conservative Party. Individuals within the party hanker after one or the other on the basis of ingrained disposition. Toryism is the guardian of order while Whiggism the defender of liberty. They combine a religious adherence to what is ancient and past with a passion for knowledge and enlightenment. Tories are for the establishment of ‘Church and King’: Whigs tend towards Protestant dissention. And the one side has always accused the other of heresy, treason and irreligion.

The Roundhead Mr Hannan holds to such principles as personal liberty, small government, parliamentary supremacy, patriotism, localism and Euro-scepticism. He favours the interests of small traders over concentrated wealth and liberty over the powers of state. Yesterday’s Whigs favoured Parliament against an autocratic King; today’s Whigs favour Parliament against the oligarchic European Commission. It is instinctive for Conservatives of the Whig tradition to oppose any kind of unaccountable, centralised power-base.

But his Anglo-Saxon political right-wing philosophy of free markets, liberty, tolerance, and a sovereign legislature is the antithesis of the continental right-wing of autocracy, cohesion and corporatism. And Mr Hannan is up against the Cavaliers in his party who are Europhile, interventionist, corporatist, statist, and favour the centralised power of the Executive and the consequent sidelining of Parliament (if only in the form of quangos).

Daniel Hannan is the defender of an important tradition within the Conservative Party, indeed, one of its foundational strands of thought. To greet his Whiggish philosophy with ad hominem attacks and to dismiss him as ‘eccentric’ is either to misunderstand his creed or to misrepresent his conviction. Or perhaps ‘eccentric’ is simply the postmodern term for ‘radical’.

All Conservatives should be united on the need for the dispersal and democratisation of power. Daniel Hannan defends this article of faith, and he does so consistently, forthrightly, passionately and eloquently.

Would to God that some of the Tories had his conviction.


Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

You have made your position very clear, not that I have ever doubted it...birds of a feather and all that. No doubt the seagulls will be flocking here later.

But a system in America which has 47 million citizens with no health care insurance, and a further 25 million more who are under-covered, is in my own opinion "Orwellian", and maybe not directly "evil" but extremely selfish and typical of the complete bullshit that you have outlined in your post. Class: I think you will find that the veil has slipped to labour's advantage on this one.

15 August 2009 at 10:51  
Anonymous kensington and chelsea said...

The WHO rankings do not say much for the USA system.

15 August 2009 at 11:17  
Anonymous Jonny said...

To Jim Bartlett - oh, for goodness sake. As Mr Hannan said himself this morning:-
"There is a difference between saying that the US shouldn’t adopt the British model and saying that Britain should adopt the American model. Think about it for a few seconds and you’ll see that it’s quite an obvious difference."

15 August 2009 at 11:21  
Anonymous Katy said...

Normally I'd agree with de-centralising authority, but unfortunately, the NHS has fallen apart as a direct result of it! Local GP surgeries make their own rules about when they open and how they prioritise patients, but since patients don't have any real choice over where they go, this has backfired. One worse thing; polyclinics. Now, I know one story doesn't make an argument, but my sisters both work in the NHS and both say the same thing. Tiddly sister works in a polyclinic. She's 26, and has been qualified as a physiotherapist for a mere 4 years (and a damn good one, with a first from a well-respected Uni). But she can't seem to practise any more. You see, every polyclinic has its own rules, its own recruitment procedures, and its own mini-politics. She was happily treating patients in a very deprived area, which is all she wanted to do, but these little clinics only offer temporary contracts. When it came up for renewal, she didn't get her own job - her trainee got promoted into it, and a newly qualified person took the trainee's job. Before polyclinics, if a large authority knew it needed 20 physios, it advertised for 20 physios. Possibly 30 people applied, but they filled out one form. Now, if a large authority needs 20 physios across 15 polyclinics, those 30 physios have to fill out 15 forms, and attend 15 interviews, (taking 15 days off work at their current job requiring 15 days cover from the recruitment agency), and 15 clinic managers and 15 deputies have to trawl through the same 30 application forms that 2 people would've looked at in the wider authority, and 30 people have to wait on tenterhooks for 15 replies saying 'yay' or 'nay', and the lucky few who get more than one offer take the pick of the jobs, leaving some clinics having to write out again and offer the job to another candidate...

and I could go on, but you get the picture that this is an unholy mess and a 'right farce', as my friend would say.

Hence, after the game of musical chairs, tiddly sister has a management post (at 26) she didn't want, and probably has no hope of treating a patient ever again. Beasts as large as healthcare need to be centralised to cut out the waste of all these management people.

15 August 2009 at 11:34  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

I may be missing something here but if Hannan cares so much about Britain, what’s he doing wasting his time in Brussels?

Of course—silly me!—there’s so much more money to be made in the European Parliament. MEPs make a profit of £200,000 a year on their expenses alone, without even trying.

Once Hannan has made his fortune, and Britain, courtesy of the Conservatives, has become too ‘enriched’ and Islamized for his taste, he’ll stick two fingers up to us and b*gger off to the States.

•Johnny Rottenborough’s August blog•

15 August 2009 at 11:37  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...


Dan has exposed himself for what he really is, an attention-mongering political hack. I have read what he said this morning, and all it seems to be is a plug for his book.

He epitomises what is wrong with the Tories and the political landscape in general. Instead of offering positive suggestions of improvements to current failings, he misrepresents the real situation grossly to meet his political agenda. We are ready for a serious debate, yet all the seagulls do is spew spin and sensationalism (one not so far away from here) . Controversy sells, and profit is the name of the Tory game.

Dave is going to have to do a lot of convincing to spin his way out of this one. People have had a stinking gut full of politicians, and if he thinks he can worm his way into power by ducking and diving the real issues, he is sadly mistaken. I honestly believe that people will decide to stick with the present nightmare until a real alternative shows up.

15 August 2009 at 11:40  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Jim—KUDOS!

Reading my post, typing your reply and posting it in three minutes! We are not worthy...

15 August 2009 at 11:49  
Anonymous Morus said...

Your Grace, I have a different perspective on this.


Generally speaking, I like Hannan and I like "The Plan". I would support some structural reform of the NHS (making it Single Payer like Canada or France for example), and I had no problem with his article in the Independent calling for a Singapore-style system (though I disagree with it).

Conversely I had a huge problem with Hannan appearing on Glenn Beck. Partly because I don't think representatives of this country should be anything but glowing about this country to a foreign audience (and even if you don't think he badmouthed the NHS - and I am far from convinced - he was invited as the "you really don't want what we have" guest).

But oddly, I am not concerned about the NHS, because Hannan (sadly) is not in a position of any influence within the party. I am furious at him because of his contribution to the debate about Healthcare in the US.

There are many modes of healthcare, and only some would be suitable for the US (politically and culturally). I do not think an NHS would be the right solution for America, or that it would ever happen, or that anyone should try. I would suggest that Single Payer (either Federally or by State) or some universally available public insurance option would be the best fit whilst still making sure that all were insured (without the Massachussets mandate of Mitt Romney's time).

Healthcare reform in the US is being undertaken by Congress, but the opposition to the Bill that will likely be passed is ill-informed, anti-intellectual, ridden with corporate self-interest, anti-free-market (the intra-state insurance oligopolies are well recognised) and led by the most malevolent hate-mongers in US politics. Glenn Beck is primus inter pares of this sordid bunch.

Talks of Death Panels, the Screamers (similar population to the Birthers), the lies and misinformation being given out - not just about NICE (which I hate, but has been defamed by the US Republicans) and the NHS (which has been parodied), but about the solution that America will see.

15 August 2009 at 11:51  
Anonymous Morus said...


The Bill is being looked at in several House and Senate Committees. There are lists of clauses and amendments that may or may not make it to the floor of each - when passed, there will then be a comprimise Conference Committee draft.

NO VERSION - and I cannot be clear enough - contains any plans for nationalised healthcare like the NHS. None at all. It has never been tabled, let along voted on in any Committee.

NO VERSION recommends let alone institutes a Single Payer system like Canada or France, at either the Federal or State level. The only amendment that comes close was introduced by Rep Kucinich who has inserted a clause saying that any Federal solution cannot prohibit States from setting up their own systems even if that includes Single Payer. This "States' Rights" Amendment was supported by his Committee, but with Republicans in favour and Democrats opposing.

NO VERSION - will contain a public insurance option available to all, or a mandate for private insurance (as supported by Romney and Hillary Clinton). 75% of Americans will be barred from any Public Option that might be passed.

What the Bill will, at best, do is to extend existing Medicare and Medicaid insurance models to accommodate the "very poor who are employed" not just "the destitute who are also unemployed" and the "very poor over 65".

This is an insipid Bill which does very little to even reform the Private Sector Insurance market, even though (from a freemarket perspective) it needs reform.

And that is why I'm furious at Hannan. Nothing he has said was unsayable, but the act of going on Glenn Beck's show to run-down the NHS (the purpose for his invitation, and they seemed happy enough with his performance) was to take sides in the US healthcare reform debate and to support malignant and anti-intellectual lie-mongering.

Not for anything he thinks or has recommended for the NHS should he be criticised, but for aligning himself with those who would lie and spew fear to trick the gullible, he deserves to be castigated.

I am most disappointed in him.

15 August 2009 at 11:51  
Blogger Christian said...

Death to Wiggery!

(sorry, it just came out)

15 August 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger Gnostic said...

If we were to adopt the US system, which the Nu Fascists seems to be trying to sneak in via the back door, then you can bet your bottom dollar that NI contributions will not be reduced accordingly.

As far as Daniel Hannan is concerned, why is he wasting his time in Brussels when he should be home giving Cameron the best political common sense kicking of his smug life?

15 August 2009 at 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know it makes sense:

Private Health Care, make it too expensive and keep the scum off the waiting lists...It's the Christain way!

Keep The Faith Dan.

15 August 2009 at 12:14  
Blogger Tom said...

We really are in Holy Cow territory on this one.

Having communicated with Cameron's office on the subject of NHS shortcomings at one hospital - I can tell you that they are sweeping the ground ahead of the holy cow and pretending to eat and drink it's excreta as a form of homage.

Nauseating to behold I can assure you.

Stafford NHS Trust alone have by their own admission prematurely ended more British lives than Iraqui Insurgents, Al Quaeda, and the Taliban - yet I don't see the SAS sliding down ropes from a helicopter into the admin offices to sort them out.

I have benefited greatly from the NHS and also suffered greatly - is is unreasonable of me to seek to reward and punish as appropriate?

15 August 2009 at 12:39  
Blogger Soho Politico said...

You are deliberately evading the point, though. Nobody objects to Hannan giving his views about NHS reform. There was not this kind of anger when he published The Plan. What people object to is the misinformation and the manipulative horror-stories he has been peddling. You can't have a reasoned debate about health reform with a man who is prepared to tell outright falsehoods about what NHS treatment involves. As I have been arguing on my own blog this week, Hannan doesn't want a debate: like his chums on Fox, he appears instead to want a culture war, with all the screaming hysteria and the paranoia that that entails.

15 August 2009 at 12:48  
Anonymous Greed Police said...


Thank God for common sense. I just wish His Grace would sometimes be more constructive and less inclined to follow party lines like a sheep: It is very off putting and nurtures a deep sense of suspicion over motives and intentions. Mr Hannan has certainly opened the debate, but he comes across as being a million miles separated from the rest of us. He positions himself on a self constructed and assuming pedestal taking liberties in foreign countries with his elected political status. He is out of order, and to champion him as the 'defender of the faith' is very weird and slightly scary.

It is this oddball and blind subscription to a political party that people should question more often.

15 August 2009 at 14:16  
OpenID jobtwenteewun1to3 said...

Not ten miles from my home town there is a memorial on top of a mountain. The site in question is a memorial to Aneurin Bevan. He was of course a chief architect and founder of the UK National Health Service. In 2004, he topped an online poll as the greatest of 100 Welsh Heroes, beating other national figures such as Owain Glyndwr into 2nd place and pop icon Tom Jones (what??????????????) into 3rd. His citation in the poll by Culturenet Cymru pertinently states ‘As the Minister of Health, Bevan was responsible for one of the most profound acts of modern social reform. By establishing the National Health Service and expanding the system of National Insurance created by David Lloyd George, he personally shaped the creation of the modern welfare state.’ Essentially, if one were to tour the local towns and valleys opinion of Mr Bevan and his achievements are unequivocal. He is considered a genius, a brilliant man, a true Socialist who changed the course of British history. Yet tales are regularly told of waiting lines, administrative delays, billions of wasted pounds and denied services. Such horror stories are everywhere. British people from Land’s End to John O’Groats regularly wait months for hospital treatment. Personally, I tore cartilage in my knee several years ago and was informed that I would have an 18 month wait for a corrective operation during which time I was welcome to some prescribed pain killers but basically had to just put up with it. I was very fortunate that my employer of the time provided private health insurance. Consequently the very simple procedure required was completed within 7 days.

The average Accident & Emergency waiting time at my local NHS hospital is 6 hours — just to be seen. I recently had unfortunate occasion to take my daughter to the A&E dept. The 6 hour waiting time expected was beamed luminous orange from some deeply impersonal neon sign, whilst the plethora of reception staff filed their nails and chatted merrily. The indignity and inhumanity of the mode of communication served as a pertinent reminder of the dehumanisation of the individual and of where power lies. 5 hours in, and a young boy, perhaps aged 11 or 12, entered the unit in a wheel chair. He had fractured his arm playing rugby and probably needed an operation. There were however no beds for him to be accommodated in, no porters to wheel him to a ward, no doctors to make an ultimate decision on an operation and of course the painkillers he had been administered barely addressed his overwhelming pain. He was left to sit crying inconsolably with pain, whilst his mother learned the harsh lesson that she had no power or means of delivering a speedy outcome for her beloved son and that any attempt to complain would simply not be tolerated. It was a disgraceful incident met with a callous and brutal official disinterest in the plight of a young boy. Meanwhile, my daughter who was by then cold and extremely hungry no longer wished to wait. In sheer frustration I took her home.

My brother in law had a motorbike accident three weeks ago. He fractured his shoulder. His corrective operation was carried out yesterday - yesterday for heaven’s sake!! How on earth can this be? How on earth have we the audacity to proclaim that a healthcare system such as this is the ‘envy of the world’? As mentioned, Aneurin Bevan, who created the NHS was voted as the greatest Welsh Hero. Is it not ironic that the very people who suffer most at the hands of such a dehumanised NHS are the very people who voted for this slave master as the Greatest Welsh Hero. This is what Socialism will do to you. It won’t just make you a prisoner of the system. It won’t just destroy the respect due to you. It won’t even just provide shocking system of care and nauseatingly tax you for the privilege of being treated like a slab of meat. It will weaken you to the point where you look upon those who enslave you as your heroes. This is modern day idolatry folks, and it is high time we took the ‘holy cow’ out and shot it.

15 August 2009 at 14:27  
Blogger Dr.D said...

"But a system in America which has 47 million citizens with no health care insurance, and a further 25 million more who are under-covered,..." You have been listening again to those lying SOBs that call themselves the US government.

It seems to be difficult for the socialists in the UK to understand, but the US is different. The US Constitution guarantees "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Note that it does not say "achievement of happiness," only the pursuit thereof. No one is guaranteed anything tangible from the US government except non-interference. Tough concept for European socialist to understand, but that is how the US was intended to operate. It gives us freedom to work and prosper according to our own efforts, rather than being dependent on someone else. It also has bred the most generous people on the face of the earth, giving as individuals, not as a government, because this is the only true charity. Daniel Hannan has an appreciation for this.

15 August 2009 at 14:43  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

Dr D

Your description of the country which I consider to be the ultimate shit hole is quite eloquently put. But its just that I do not want to be there, nor do I want there to be here. You keep it sir. My beef is with our own elected politicians who seem eager to pander to your nonsense.

Our country has many problems, but I would not want to live anywhere else, I am hoping that we can make things better here. I consider the USA to be a lost cause that is drowning in its own vomit.

15 August 2009 at 14:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

USA not such a good health service...

"The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of GDP on health services, ranks 18 th"

"Several studies estimate the number of uninsured Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007, their latest data available."

15 August 2009 at 15:14  
Blogger Costello said...

"But a system in America which has 47 million citizens with no health care insurance, and a further 25 million more who are under-covered, is in my own opinion "Orwellian""

There are not 47 million American citzens without insurance. About a third of this figure that is bandied about is made up of non-American citizens who, quite frankly, should not feature in any honest counting. You also put forth the most clearly invalid use of the term "Orwellian" i have ever seen. Abuse deriving from the excessive power of the state is what the term "Orwellian" covers. Whatever your position on healthcare and whether you think it moral or not that the state does not provide a certain type of healthcare for 47 million inhabitants of that state this is lack of action on the part of the state and is thus the very opposite of anything that might rightly be described as "Orwellian".

If one bothers to look into the 47 million without insurance, you find that the great majority of them fall into 3 categories. The first is non-citizens. The second is the significant number of Americans who do not have insurance because they choose not to due to their being rich enough for it to be financially unecessary. The third is made up of the young who, because of their youth and the health and carefree life that goes with youth, are uninsured because unlike those with families or who are middle aged and older they do not feel any pressing need to insure themselves.

If Obama and the Democrats were genuinely concerned with the needy they would be attempting to legislate for the needy alone and would leave the great majority of Americans who have healthcare, and are content with the current system, alone. However the move towards healthcare reform is as much about increasing the power of politicians and giving the left a permanent hook in the lives of all Americans as it is about providing for the poorest of society. This figure of "47 million uninsured Americans" is a chimera and powerful example of the ability of mendacious politicians to abuse statistics.

15 August 2009 at 15:29  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Well I've told a lot of people about my shitty experience in hospital. Excellent surgeon, brilliant outcome for the operation. No complaints there at all. But eating my first hospital meal sitting up in bed with a newly fitted catheter with soaking wet trousers round my legs (I'd peed!) was not a tasty time!

Cameron needs to get a grip. A reality course might not go amiss. The NHS is like the curate's egg. The Tories know where the bad bits are. Let them start the cauterisations immediately!

15 August 2009 at 15:53  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Amused to see how the debate over health care in the US has sparked an increasingly loud debate over the same issue in the UK.

Which is exactly what the Democrats here don't wish to occur, after decades of pointing to the NHS as the role model!

Thanks due to our English cousins!

15 August 2009 at 15:58  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...


In a sudden urge to defend my comment I went over to your profile and followed it to your blog - 'Obnoxious Ranting', where I discovered your recent post - "The NHS is to Politicians What Shit is to Flies".

I will concede the Orwellian remark being up the creek some what, but the rest still stands. There are people in the State who go bust and loose their homes because they have large outstanding medical bills. The is a tad Orwellian, slightly.

15 August 2009 at 16:15  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Mr. Bartlet, I can return all the compliments to you in kind. There is a very good reason why your kind stayed behind when America was settled.

15 August 2009 at 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The is a tad Orwellian, slightly."


If you cannot afford to purcase something - no matter how badly you need it then you cannot afford to purchase it. If people lend you the money to buy the new car, or the new liver and you cannot repay them then you loose.

15 August 2009 at 16:43  
Anonymous York said...

America thy name is treachery
This deadly blot,England's digressing cousin
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart
Her eyes drop no tears,her subjects
Her words come from her mouth,ours from our breast
She prays but faintly and would be denied
We pray with heart an soul and all beside:
Her prayers are full of false hypocrisy
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity
Our flawed NHS does out-do hers;then let them have their cruel and heartless policy
England will rise like Lazarus from the dead even on crutches.

15 August 2009 at 16:50  
Blogger Dr.D said...

York, you are hitting the socialist sauce pretty hard, aren't you? Where do you come up with this nonsense?

What treachery do you allude to? Put some facts on the table.

15 August 2009 at 17:03  
Anonymous York said...

Oh vile strumpet!
Dare thee blacken the heart
of thy Majestic bard.Let thine
ignorance and cur-sed poison drown
thee in a sea of inflation and debt
and a pox descend on ye, removing
all white from thy countrymen's unnatural teeth.

15 August 2009 at 17:29  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

Never mind anyways, if you have to talk crap then why not use the internet eh? You've got rid of the Bush idiot and now you have something quite unique, even for America. I suppose there will always be Dan Hannans and there will always be Fox TV.

The problem is that I have very litte to say of a positive nature about this place at the moment. Time for a cup of tea I think.

Pox be with you.

15 August 2009 at 18:02  
Anonymous Bah said...

Condescension is one reason why healthy conflict becomes destructive. It's a conversational technique that many use without thinking, and others use with aggressive intention. Either way, it can hurt everyone involved.

I hope I have made may intentions perfectly clear, even to all you idiots!

15 August 2009 at 18:20  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Thankyou for your prose your grace an interesting read .

It is always interesting to note when hedgemony begins to fail a corrupt goverment , and as you say the stench of there bad deeds reaches into the most complacent of nostrils and they raise there heads to question its origins.

The clip that has been circulating that supposedly incriminates Dan Hanna , is not so wrong , yet of course we have been served up with the headline by the media .

No one has thought to question what the tax increases would be to suddenly put 47 million people onto health care , and the fact that once it is done it is not easy to undo if it goes terribly wrong . However that is not what has been pinned to Dan although no one could deny its good intentions of pointing that out in the absence of President Obamas details.

Dan was in fact refering to the waiting lists for certain treatments in the NHS and making a difficult point , that it does not always meet needs as much as everyone thinks , in that there are ques often for urgent treatments or painful conditions .
these ques can be manipulated to show certain performance targets are happening , without much further opening out of the problem so as to make us all feel it is working .

Dan has a european eye on these things , he has seen french , belgium and german medical care systems , so he does have certain right to speak in general terms as what he sees as an MEP , where perhaps it has jarred a little is that he seemed to single out the NHS , as somthing no country should be doing given knowledge of other systems of care .

We are comfy with the NHS , we hardly ever question if the money could work better or not, to hear labur trot out the origional argument made back in 1945 , was the behaviour of a party who dont want to admit they have bankrupted the country and run out of money.

It certainly cannot be buisness as ususeual in the next decade.

handing out leaflets to reduce Cannabis smoking doesnt reduce the health problems that occure through it use. When a goverment creates an unhealthy nation , by lax liberal ideaology why should we then be so pleased when we are asked to pick up the medical care tab ??

Dans shot across the bows , woke quite a few up , but no so much about the NHS , more about the way this obsolete government handles political debate, labours hedgmony is crumbling , its own spiv spin is finally begining to weigh it down into the lumbering bankrupt dinosaur , it always transforms itself into , alas again at mine and yours exepense .

we may end up thanking Dan Hanna and David Cameron , John Redwood for making us think more than we have had to in a long while .

15 August 2009 at 18:22  
Anonymous Will said...

Bah and humbug!

15 August 2009 at 18:25  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Dr.D (16:39)—There is a very good reason why your [Jim Bartlet] kind stayed behind when America was settled.

A Christian desire not to dispossess the Native Americans of their country, perhaps.

15 August 2009 at 18:43  
Blogger Dr.D said...

@ Johnny Rottenborough (18:43) I'm sure you must be correct in this! No doubt it is well documented in your thoroughly re-written history books. Comes with a large yellow strip up the middle of the spine and a strong desire to be cared for by someone else.

15 August 2009 at 19:09  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Dr.D—Terry-Thomas as Lt Col J Algernon Hawthorne in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Don’t you like the English?

15 August 2009 at 19:39  
Blogger Tom said...

On reflection - it occurs to me Daniel Hannan would have great difficulty getting a platform in British broadcast media to convey his message to the population...

Would the BBC show it? - clear nope there, Sky? - unlikely , ITV?

All the indignation about attacking the NHS from overseas - just sour grapes because he went around the media gatekeepers here. Just a shame he had to use Fox News as the springboard eh?


15 August 2009 at 20:22  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This country cannot afford to upgrade, improve or tinker with the poor old NHS and I blame McBroon for auctioning off half of the countries Gold reserves in 1999 for a huge loss because he didn’t take or listen to advice at the time. He gave away 8 billion $ by miss selling.

Decentralising will only cause more expense and paperwork and look at PFI that’s just an excuse for the government not being able to afford to build new hospitals. A new one was built in my home town under this initiative it’s an MRSA riddled, hot, low ceilinged rabbit warren type shack with no proper equipment to treat anything more than a burn! Well maybe not quite as extreme as that but for anything like kidney dialysis or a complicated birth, patients have to be sent off to the nearest proper hospital in the area. It’s a total waste of money which the government will be having to pay rent to the private sector owners for years to come for an inferior building and it’s many temporary staff more concerned with form filling in triplicate incase they get sued and little time for actual nursing patients.

Added to the fact that they are vigorously fleecing the visitors and patients alike with extortionate parking and clamping fees of £25, the ground floor inside is like a shopping mall with units subcontracted out to shops and café’s. The contract cleaners do the bare minimum because they are the cheapest they can find.

15 August 2009 at 20:35  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Great post, Your Grace; and some good responses to boot. Round Old York Green Boats I View!!!!! [With a touch of infra-red and another of ultra-violet...]

To parallel Shakespeare/Mark Anthony/Caesar's Deeds against YG/Hannan/NHS Deeds provides fascinating analogy. I haven't time to explore it, but one strand involves rhetoric/ political leadership/the reality under discussion.

To focus on the latter: how do the undoubted atrocities that sometimes occur in the NHS compare with those that Caesar undoubtedly committed (ostensibly to 'save' Rome...)? Truly, the NHS can be nasty. Your communicants do not exaggerate about how patients are commonly mis-treated - and I have my own anecdotes about what they do to 'elders.' (I personally should expect to go blind once I hit 60 - that's what Sister told me in Scotland. They don't believe in treating people that old - so they completely igonored my glaucoma, as well as the retinal detachment).

It wasn't ever thus. I was trained to work in the NHS (40 years ago). They told me I was there for the sake of patients - not for myself. None of us would have believed that we were there to murder 'inmates' en masse; rather, matrons and sisters ensured that wards were cleaned and sterile techniques applied. Clouds of dust weren't encouraged - they have things like staph in them.

I suspect, then, that something has happened to the outlook of people who run the system. And because of that, no amount of tweaking the system will change the results. It's the philosphy somebody's feeding the professionals that's the problem.

i.e. The Fault, dear Britons, lies not within our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.
[Yon Cassius, you know, has a mean and hungry look; and, furthermore, the euSSR is busy making us "fly and ordinary pitch."]

As to the American thing, I exist there. My observations are: they really don't have a system. The insurance companies abuse power outrageously - they give and take away at whim. The poor and deserving can get helping a hand, if they're lucky (NHS timeframe). The doctors can be very, very, good indeed.

Now I must return to "Ic swefna cyst..."

15 August 2009 at 21:34  
Anonymous no nonny said...

'fly an ordinary pitch' - sorry.

15 August 2009 at 21:37  
Blogger Andrew BOD said...

Morus Parts I and II

Excellent posts.

Can I add, however, that Hannan's interview was not about US Healthcare, nor about the NHS, it was purely about Hannan. He is like George Galloway: amusing to listen to, but never to be taken seriously.

15 August 2009 at 21:38  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Thank you your Grace for an interesting and thoughtful post as ever.

I have blogged about this myself (not to your insight and detail of course) and I have also posted on Dale's site that I feel you cannot really have a rational debate on healthcare as the left just puts its foot down and makes you into uncaring turds whenever reform is talked about, so I won't go on about that here.

I am interested in the fact you identify yourself as a Whig and this some-how turns you into a conservative .

I would humbly point out, however, that Whigs were seperate from what became the Conservative party (and were allied to what was to become the liberal party) until the later 19th century and then as a seperate force united with the radical Joe Chamberlain as the 'liberal unionists' following Gladstone's conversion to Irish Home Rule and indeed some whigs stayed behind in the liberal party even then.

So you are basically a liberal conservative ?

Just thought I would point this out .

15 August 2009 at 22:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Normally I do not post at the weekend.

But there is one issue we must not forget about New Labour and its approach to the NHS in a post-Christian Britain (accelerated by the Marxism of this government).

New Labour's materialistic (consistent with the dialectical materialism of Marxism) approach to the NHS is to throw suitcases of money at this decaying institution.

Prior to the interference by New Labour staff in the NHS were working on the basis of the Judaeo-Christain idea of serving the sick and the dying. Millions of man hours were worked upon a free basis.

After the sustained attack (1960s) by Left-liberalism upon Judaeo-Christain social capital - the consensus within the NHS that workers should put in that little extra effort for free to the sick and dying - disintegrated.

All that was then needed was the present socialst government to pur large sums of money into the NHS. When those massive extra funds became available - workers in the NHS questioned why they should work for free (of course the answer was that they had been working for free because they were operating on the Judaeo-Chrsiain consensus).

NHS costs rocketed.

The materialistic world-view of Left-liberalsm entails, for its implementation, lage sums of finance for it to work.

15 August 2009 at 22:42  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I think what I am suggesting is this; the paradox of Marxism is that one of its ideals is: each according to his ability and each (is rewarded) according to his need.

But the NHS provides a classic example why Marxism does not work in th real world. It cannot manage 'greed' and 'envy' nor encourage self-sacrifice for the sake of others; as it anchors itself in the material world (walks by sight).

15 August 2009 at 23:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr (or Dr?) Singh

Just wanted to note that you don't seem to have a blog of your own or at least one that I cannot read. I would just like to say, it might be well worth the effort as I am interested in your posts and feel that you might add more to the debates by posting a few items ?

Also think Gnostic could do with putting a few posts on as I can't see anything has been put on the blog - another person who raises interesting comments on this blog, but does not appear to post on their own.

Also I see some people don't let anyone read their blog- why is this?

Well, will you make a cantakerous lord happy ?

15 August 2009 at 23:02  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Yes, I would also like to see D Singh and others do some blog posts . Would be very good I think.

15 August 2009 at 23:05  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Anon - I do post regularly. It is Mr Singh.

However, I cannot have a blog that may reveal my identity as I am afraid of my employer.

15 August 2009 at 23:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand .

Under the current climate of fear which the socialists have put into the heart of every freedom loving person, we must all be weary of revealing identities. Therefore we must be content with reading your regular posts .

But I believe that we are all worse off for it .

15 August 2009 at 23:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to follow God on Twitter? Maybe the second coming will be a facebook page! And Armargeddon will turn out to be an XBox Game. Or maybe God will just shut down the system and buy some new gear and start over. So many possibilities. At the end of the day it doesn't seem to really matter when you consider everyone that has gone before. The words "Game Over" are always written in your code somewhere.

It's Game Over and you run out of credit, then the standby light dims away and your just a piece of lifeless biological hardware.

It makes you wonder what happens to all your thoughts and dreams. It's no good saying they don't exist because they have been created. What exactly they are is highly disputable, but they have been created non the less. When you consider how a deleted file gets written over, maybe that's what hell is, you get deleted and written over by new stuff.

At the end of the day everything must have some kind of code somewhere. A signature in the universal cosmatic scheme of things, like every atomic particle is stringed out in code that gets deleted and written over.

God is probably just an operating system or something, full of logic and sub routines. It's all a huge programme running sub routines and the user is in bed asleep. This idea sucks, but come up with something that doesn't.

My life has been weird really. I would describe myself as a glitch. You know what a glitch is? I just get bings and bongs, that's all I have ever achieved. You know when you try to do something that microsoft has not considered necessary and the computer goes bing or bong, that's me basically every day. I have tried to expalin this and I just get a bing or a bong, it doesn't compute, it's not allowed, an 'ilegal operation'. That's what a glitch is anyway.

15 August 2009 at 23:19  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Morus shares with us, in typical style and technique of The Left:

Healthcare reform in the US is being undertaken by Congress, but the opposition to the Bill that will likely be passed is ill-informed, anti-intellectual, ridden with corporate self-interest, anti-free-market (the intra-state insurance oligopolies are well recognised) and led by the most malevolent hate-mongers in US politics. Glenn Beck is primus inter pares of this sordid bunch.

Notice? All he does is call names!
Anyone who dares oppose is, by definition, a vile hateful person!

People like me, on the other hand, he cannot explain: When I repeatedly hear Barack Obama call for a nationalized single-payer system (and he said it in the open air, to large groups, and the video of him saying it is readily available), I feel compelled to take the man at his word.

He graduated from Harvard, is a member of the bar, was elected to the Senate from a large state.

He's the President of the United States, and ran on the promise of health care for one and all.

Now, he stands up and proclaims something entirely different, after years of promising a single-payer, NHS-style scheme.

This is known as 'dissonance', aka 'is this guy lying to us?'.

Add to this his track record in office: Breathaking spending, (12.1 trillion dollar debt ceiling requested for this year alone!), utter disregard for both the Constitution and black-letter law(GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, for one example).

Stir in the vitriolic comments of Pelosi, the amorality of Geithner, and there is little wonder that normal mild-mannered citizens are pretty teed-off at a Congress that refuses to listen.

It's not hate fueling the situation--it's reasonable people who are utterly fed up!

Yes, all of us wish to have a country where health care is within the reach of all, and most believe it can be done.

We just don't think the gutting of the Constitution will achieve that end, and we suspect the gutting of the Constitution is Obama's true agenda.

Morus is happy for Mr. Hannan to have his views, and write about them, well away from view of the public, where he is safely ineffective.

Bravo for Mr. Hannan, and God bless him!

15 August 2009 at 23:38  
Anonymous The Glitch said...

I think I will open a Google account and call myself the Glitch. Probably find that it wont be allowed. In fact I am fairly certain this will be the case. It's all part of being a glitch, you just get to know stuff and have this uncanny ability to predict the outcome. In fact I am going to bed before it gets worse.

15 August 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous The Glitch said...

Old South

Go to bed, your medicatioon is wering off.

15 August 2009 at 23:49  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Sorry for typos.

Otherwise, it was bothering me - I had to correct: "...Yon Cassius has a LEAN and hungry look..." (I.ii.194).

So re my point on NHS employees, I note Antony spoke similarly of Lepidus - who also voted to kill a family member:

They shall treat patients as the ass bears gold/
To groan and sweat under the business,/
Either led or driven, as we point the way,/
And having brought our treasure where we will,/
Then take we down his load, and turn him off/
(Like to the empty ass) to shake his ears/
And graze in commons.

But then again - speaking of Commons...

Anyway, if I revise slightly to replace wounds as victims -plain-speaking Antonius suggests another idea:

"I tell you that which you yourselves do know,/
Show you our Patient Peoples' wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths,/
And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,/
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony/
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue/
In every wound of Britain, that should move/
The stones of England (and the US?) to rise and mutiny." [JC III.ii.224-230 - more or less]

So, if Hannan be Antonius, where's our British Brutus, then?

Sigh. ...secgan wylle
hwaet me gemaette to midre nihte,
sythan reordberend reste wunedon.

16 August 2009 at 00:15  
Blogger Morus said...

OldSouth - even if I wanted to join, I don't think The Left would have me as a member!

I call everyone names, you paleo-conservative frothy-mouthed loon - it's nothing personal. You should hear the words I use about the Democrats. There are good reasons and good people who oppose Obama's healthcare reform: my ire was aimed at the anti-intellectual liars and charlatans who whore themselves out to anti-free market insurance companies.

I thank you for introducing verifiable facts, but your deductions are seriously faulty. Obama DID publicly state he wanted Single Payer a few years ago when he was running for office. (News Shocker: Politician fails to keep campaign promise). I'm prepared to be generous to you, and accept he still wants Single Payer.

Problem is that he isn't LBJ, and has seemingly little control over the Blue Dogs on the key comittees in the Senate. He hasn't fought for Single Payer (or an NHS), he has buckled on the public option, and so the bill will be as weak as supporters feared.

Does that make him any less Left Wing? No. Does it mean that he wouldn't like to spend trillions on Single Payer? No. But he is only the PResident, and with Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, Obama had little chance of ever getting that sort of Bill, and now that chance is effectively zero.

It's good that people are speaking out and demanding what they really want, but anyone whose campaign is based on the lie that there is any sort of Socialised Medicine on the way deserves to be exposed as a cynical liar.

As for Hannan: I want him to speak out, and criticise the NHS, and to suggest reform and make us think and debate it. He can even do so abroad if its serious and intellectual.

But if he decides to join the Glenn Beck circus and support anti-intellectual dishonesty, then he deserves the criticism thrown at him. That's my standard, and I'm sticking to it.

16 August 2009 at 01:34  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

In just the same way that the Bank of England is not the Bank of England, the National Health Service is no longer the National Health Service, do other animals have to take so many drugs to stay in health.

16 August 2009 at 01:44  
Anonymous Voyager said...

ut a system in America which has 47 million citizens with no health care insurance,

The last 4 words are important. No insurance, ie they are not insured. Very few people in Great Britain have 'health insurance' as such.

They have access to hospitals which treat them at taxpayer expense. Even Obama's stemother appears in today's newspapers as a woman with 'no health insurance' but was treated by the NHS - Ms Obama said she fell seriously ill during a summer visit to the UK seven years ago. "I suffered severe kidney failure and pancreatic problems so there was a very real chance I might not have made it," she said.

Two hip replacements later (recall 75% hip replacements in the UK are private) and still 'no health insurance'

Without health insurance in the USA the County Hospital becomes the only option and the ratepayers end up paying the charges, or Medicaid....Medicaid is a means-tested, needs-based social welfare or social protection program rather than a social insurance program. Eligibility is determined largely by income. The main criterion for Medicaid eligibility is limited income and financial resources,

There is a difference it is true between a visitor from Kenya getting full health treatment without seeing any bills and having means-tested health coverage......I often wonder what I will end up with as a health system in the United Kingdom; dentistry has no so far impressed me...but no doubt GP surgeries will follow the same route

16 August 2009 at 13:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Conservatives should be united on the need for the dispersal and democratisation of power. Daniel Hannan defends this article of faith, and he does so consistently, forthrightly, passionately and eloquently.

As does George Galloway. Perhaps they should get together, and have a real man to man. They may find that there is far more that unites them, then divides them.

16 August 2009 at 23:53  
Anonymous nemosile said...

Voyager - I don't know how or why British dentistry became what it is. They messed up my mouth so badly when I was young I later spent thousands, and years, getting it sorted in the US.

On returning to the UK I couldn't believe that standards are even lower - nowadays they can't even balance out 'bite.' Plus I strongly suspect some of keeping the pain medicine for their own pleasure.

17 August 2009 at 18:29  
Blogger kasou said...

What have we here, from the BBC, published criticism of the NHS.

Wow Cameron, Prescott and Brown will now have to switch off the BBC, cant be seen to be reading biased can we.

Basic care 'lacking' in hospitals from BBC News page today.

27 August 2009 at 08:18  
Blogger DWMF said...

@ D. Singh: "... each according to his ability and each (is rewarded) according to his need."

Unfortunately in today's world this rapidly becomes mutated to: "each according to his ability and each according to his greed."

27 August 2009 at 15:04  

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