Simon Carr: Cameron says he loves the health service... the lie detector stays quiet

Sketch: No one from the mainstream of the Labour party can object to any of what he said

Share
Related Topics

Nice that the Prime Minister is still free at the point of use. At Ealing Hospital where he was giving his keynote speech there were those who had to pay handsomely. But they were filming Silent Witness up on the 6th floor.

We were a bit silent ourselves in this part of the NHS Future Forum "listening exercise". As he said himself, he was going to do most of the talking.

The audience listened politely but looked suspiciously unrepresentative of the health industry. The lack of morbidly obese professionals (20 per cent of most genuine NHS gatherings) hinted at some secret selection process. I was probably the fattest person there – and I can still fit on one seat.

The other absentee from this keynote occasion was the Health Secretary. Whether he'd refused to come or been refused entry there was a big Lansley-shaped hole in the meeting. The PM has taken control. They are now his reforms.

The song Cameron sang wasn't exactly "I Love You Just The Way You Are", rather "I love you but lose some weight, work harder, take more control, be better."

He must have used the word "love" half a dozen times. Normally I bristle at the word. It's like swearing. Not that it's a sign of a small vocabulary but that it stops others understanding what you are trying to say.

And there are those who say that Cameron uses his personal experience of the NHS to give credibility to his amorous assertions. It has been suggested he is cloaking his real intentions and putting them beyond interrogation by using his family grief for a public purpose.

But its hard to look at the PM fairly and accuse him of bad faith – that he's secretly planning the privatisation of the NHS when he says he is not.

Do we think he's made covert commitments, prepared a dodgy dossier, is going to make millions when he retires on the basis of this reorganisation? Is his ulterior purpose to get Labour "on the wrong side of the argument"?

Is he, in short, giving us his "promise" honestly?

The geiger counter that still squeals over Tony Blair remains quiet over Cameron.

And whatever he said, no one from the mainstream of the Labour party can object to any of it. It all was, is, or will be Labour policy – a point Cameron might make more often. Not only is it a decent and generous thing to do, it is also fatal to the Opposition's opposition.

PS: Cameron was very curt in his expression of confidence in Chris Huhne. "He denies the allegations," is all he said. But it really doesn't need a six-month police investigation – just 12 minutes of Paxman exploring Huhne's explanation of the taped phrase: "Why are you suddenly saying that?"





React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour and the Liberal Democrats would both end winter fuel allowances for pensioners with enough income to pay the 40p tax rate  

Politicians court the grey vote because pensioners, unlike the young, vote

Andrew Grice
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a drink after agreeing a deal on carbon emissions  

Beijing must face down the perils of being big and powerful – or boom may turn to bust

Peter Popham
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable