Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Labour cries 'outrage' but could it be they started the slide toward privatisation?

Share
Related Topics

It's a constitutional outrage, a violence against the people, a forerunner of the apocalypse, oh let us discard party politics, let us forget our low tribal allegiances and rise together into the life-enhancing ozone of the national interest and please, please (some sobbing in the public gallery) abandon the Bill.

That was the advice of the shadow Health spokesman Andy Burnham, on terrific form at the Commons debate on the Heath Bill. He's one of the Labour frontbench who's blossomed in opposition. He's an angry flower. A snapdragon, perhaps. "Dropping the Bill is the right political decision," he said, "but nonetheless we support it." Not the Bill; dropping it. That "but nonetheless" has a whole dictionary of politics in it.

He made one point everyone understood. Lansley had dismantled the basic administrative structures of the NHS before putting in place their replacements. This was thought to be a bad thing. It ought to be a disaster but have you noticed?

The minister did better than he's ever done defending his Bill – but that only showed what a lamentable job he's done so far. Simon Hughes (sic) helped him. "No private-sector profits were to go out of the NHS," he said. I haven't been following closely enough to know whether this was true. A colleague clarified: "The private sector can do NHS work, but the NHS can't do private work."

If that's true, a) what's the fuss about and b) why hasn't Lansley been saying that for a year? And does that confirm Burnham's assertion that the "whole legal structure" of the NHS has been rewritten to privatise it?

Labour was castigated, though probably not chastised. Oh, the things they did in government. The practice-based commissioning. The private treatment centres. The £67 billion of private money debt. The £12bn private IT system. And the franchising out of a hospital that Lansley is being vilified for. "The only secret Tory plan they find is a Labour plan," he yelled. For all the fury, maybe there is a secret consensus underneath it all.

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum