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Wednesday 19 January 2011

Len Freeman | 11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Here is Matt Frei with details of Wednesday's programme:

Tamper with the NHS at your peril. That seems to be the lesson from recent history and it is one which David Cameron has apparently thumbed his nose at by introducing the most sweeping changes to the Health Service in England since its creation in 1948. We will be asking the government, the opposition and a troika of GPs whether this amounts to a radical but necessary make-over or an unwise gamble.

There is clearly no shortage of Hutzbah in Downing Street. The government finds itself caught between the rock of inflation and the hard place of a sputtering recovery relying on historically low interest rates. Before you can say Events, Dear Boy, Events - along comes another - the highest youth unemployment figures since records began. But is the combination of austerity policies and a bleak economy creating a '68 generation of disaffected youth? Or will circumstances just cow young people into submission?

And finally Henry Kissinger, the gravel voiced Maestro of Realpolitik is here to tell us what's at stake in the awkward dance between China and America. He first went to the Middle Kingdom with his then boss Richard Nixon, when the country was a largely agrarian state emerging from the trauma of revolution and famine. Now China has become America's banker.

Do join me at 10.30pm on BBC Two.



  • Comment number 1.

    Why are you interviewing Kissinger in 2010?

    I`ve been on the web regarding him just now and he seems to be a deeply controversial person well beyond his use-by date.Nobody can quite work out what/who he represents.

    If anyone cares to google the phrase "Kissinger to Iraq. We can reduce Israel`s size" you will get a flavour of the feeling towards him by one section of Israeli society as an example of the confusion and controversy that surrounds him.

  • Comment number 2.

    We know Britain isn't working

    This is where their jobs went, and the ones before that, and the ones before that ad infinitum.

    But no one on the streets demonstrating, we've been so crushed we've all given up.

  • Comment number 3.

    Kissinger....erm, the words come back to haunt me....'when did the conflict begin?......just as soon as Mr Kissinger left their airspace....

  • Comment number 4.

    Bankrupt Britain needs to make savings, so it's a good step by Lansley that he will be trimming off the excess fat. One of his plans is to provide private healthcare (on the NHS) if a certain treatment/operation is unavaliable. Source:

    The EMA system was put in place by the nanny state a few years ago. Did that mean pre-EMA, no-one bothered to go to college? Of course not. It's just extra votes for Labour :p
    Also notice how Unison are sponsoring the placards for the 16-18 year olds........

    Didn't Kissinger once say that he thought China was insignificant? Hmmm really great guest for the show.....

  • Comment number 5.

    Make no mistake about the purpose of China's President - Hu Jintao to Washington this week. He's not happy about the Bernanke's second round of QE (in fact he's probably grumpy).

    "In the past there were transitions from currency wars, to trade wars and then to military wars. Just as savers don't like having their assets devalued through inflation (when money injected into the economy isn't asset backed, but just printed it devalues the value of the currency) those abroad holding another country's debt don't like it either, as it means their savings are devalued. They see this as a cheat. When diplomacy and trade wars fail, they have in the past sent in their bailiffs to claim tangible assets from those who owe them money. Since WWII it has been the IMF to sell off Public Sector assets, but before that it was done by military invasion! Today, in an age of MAD, the picture isn't so clear, as nuclear devastation would destroy most of the tangible assets! So, demographic and psychological warfare, and even biological warfare have been turned to as alternatives. My guess is that we're currently victims of demographic warfare. But, who is the enemy? Is it an 'enemy within' our own population or is it foreign?

    One thing to bear in mind is that whilst most people will still think of countries divided vertically by geographical boundaries, the truth is far more complex (see the SI and New Labour for example, it was not like the SCO at all was it, why were they not members??). There are horizontal groupings too. There are in fact the same political ideologies in each nation to differing degrees, hence some countries' 'enemies within' are other countries ruling party. Who are we? My advice is to look to groupings by behaviour regardless of what people announce their groupings to be in order to see how it all really works.

    What patterns do you see? That's how a scientist looks at the world, and some don't like that at all, as it exposes them as actors...."

  • Comment number 6.


    We are losing our CULTURE. Against that, what price a 'lost generation' or two (by which I presume is meant ones that never come to know and love Mammon).

    This is an unstable planet in cosmological, climatic, human and now monetary terms. The greatest gift that can be given to each succeeding generation is COMPETENCE OF BEING.

    Such a prize requires a very different approach to governance and to 'preparation' (not schooling or education) of the young; different from the one we have now. As a nation, we are applying 'CBT' to countering the works of black devils, resident in our bowels. It is a doomed strategy.

    The underlying cause won't matter much when the rioting starts, anyway.
    Thank goodness Dave's mum taught him how to tell right from wrong.

  • Comment number 7.


    I think there will be inter-group strife Liz, even if most indigenes are not in it. Billy Bragg will probably write a song called 'Forty Shades of Brown'.

  • Comment number 8.

    5..There`s an old idea about "following the money" if you want to know who is pulling the strings and winning. So who is profiting?

    And I entirely agree that increasingly nations are less relevant to an understanding of how the world works.See the ideas of Parag Khanna.

    There`s definitely a global aristocracy of financiers who can move location and their resources about to avoid taxes and the law.Tom Bowers on Robert Maxwell is a fascinating account of an exponent of this art.

    And I do wonder if we have a global middle class that includes many of our politicians and business people ..who again have developed the art of moving their assets about the world..and their families.

    And mass migration and the asylum and human rights industry are increasingly defeating organised labour and creating a globalworking class.

  • Comment number 9.

    4 Mistress 76 might find Private Eye`s take on privatising the NHS an interesting counterbalance to the ideas she is currently having?

  • Comment number 10.

    lost generation lost education.

    compare the uk and chinese cultural approach to education and deduce which is more likely to be unemployed? The uk one which is nothing but a child minding service till you go on benefits or the chinese one where it is a gym for the mind to produce excellence?

  • Comment number 11.

    #2 ecolizzy

    Libertarians (i.e. those that push for liberal democracy as a means to covertly promote banking/usury on unsuspecting anti-usury populations/communities) do not recognise international borders. They actively support uncontrolled immigration as this creates more consumers. Consumers sre good for sales, they are good for business and businesses.

    David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are all libertarians.

    You cannot judge these people by their (intensional verbed) rhetoric - aka lying. They can only be judged by the outcomes of their policies (well I suppose we can ignore Ed on this one for a while then).

    I predict net immigration will increase significantly during the current parliament.

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    'How will we judge whether the changes proposed will have been a success?....

    Are we in danger of creating a lost generation?'

    As 'they' come up a lot, but often seem hard to pin down or, often, represent a club one is not invited to (though Groucho had the best view on that), I often wonder who 'we' are.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    #11: so you do not like Liberal Democracy? What would you replace [Liberal theory] with?

    usury is NOT built into Libertarianism, any more than anti-semitism is part of Fascism. Again, question the twisted idiocies flowing from that BBC blogger DJ, he is not helping your thinking processes at all. I would strongly recommend Barrie, or Richard Bunning instead, amongst others.

  • Comment number 17.

    we have to bribe kids to stay at school. the chinese attitude to knowledge is different. they pay for education.

  • Comment number 18.

    ..Any normal, well run economy can easily absorb even up to 5-10% immigration a year..

    er examples of such economies, studies of evidence?

    in a finite world there are finite possibilities. the bin does get full.

  • Comment number 19.


    "All counties are equally just, in the matter of bommbing Johnnie Foreigner, but some are just more just than others - y'all."

  • Comment number 20.

    15 Any normal, well run economy can easily absorb even up to 5-10% immigration a year (which the UK is absolutely nowhere near, net migration prob closer to 0.5% or less)

    Well mindy ever heard of land mass and survival thereon?

    We are an island that is decreasing in size, where are you going to put all these people and come to that feed and water them. It's nothing to do with race hatred, it's all to do with lack of space.

  • Comment number 21.


    I was only teasing. I'll email it to the few who would have read it. (:o)

  • Comment number 22.

    Fine words, but the only trouble is that the Farage celebrity stock market parasite puppet government alternative doesn't stand up to scutiny.

  • Comment number 23.


    Hi Liz. I acknowledge your space issue, but for me it's different.

    Were I not observing animal behaviour, in all those around me, on a daily basis, I would have to worry that I am a very primitive and reprehensible human.

    On balance, I prefer to admit I am unusual, in that I 'come out' with my preference for people like me (ME being top of my preferences). But I can't help suspect all my 'betters', who PROFESS to love all that is strange in Johnnie Alien, are not being quite honest. Who might learn from whom, I wonder?

    Come to think of it - did Mork have an answer to the Manglish problem?

  • Comment number 24.

    I think we need to be aware that the BNP have a tactic of posting the sort of comments Mindy`s Housemate is posting in order to discredit the rational/humane case for immigration.

    Alternatively anyone allowed to post using the W-word needs to be viewed with I can`t...on reflection imagine being allowed to do it withou being referred for consideration.

    Is that you Bob?

  • Comment number 25.

    #17: DJ, do you remember your own childhood? You an either bribe children to go to school, force them to go to school, or make school enjoyable enough, with good enough prospects at the end that they want to go.

    or, you don't educate at all, and up with a permanent underclass who are so brutalised they will turn upon the rest of Society when the fascist Govt orders them to "prevent unrest".

    Chinese children know that if they work hard, they have a better future, just as Scandinavians do. So they do work hard, and they try to better themselves. In the UK, as all but the densest optimists realise, it is primarily who you are born to that counts, and under this Govt that is going to become even more obvious.

    The UK could easily improve its education quality to draw our young (and older) into further and higher education (and properly done, as the Danes did, the Free School project could be a part of that), but at the moment, cutting this grant for teenagers to continue their studies, at a time when the Govt is also cutting education and training across the board for those who cannot afford it themselves, is just pure Class warfare. It is preventing poor people from studying, from learning, and for aiming to create a better future for themselves and their future families. A lost Generation? Perhaps, and perhaps a Generation that will learn that political change comes about through their direct actions.

    a future Govt should look at inspiring Britons to continue education - but right now the UK needs all the skills it can get, and it MUST help its, our, poorest with their life-chances. Cutting this benefit, no. Inspiring education later, yes.

    #18: the US end of 19th, early 20th Century. Any country that has expanded over another, such as West Germany. An economy is *ADDED TO* by immigration, and when wages are high enough every person working produces enough to create further employment through demand of services. Every worker creates more employment. This breaks down when wages are not enough to create that chain-reaction, usually because of too much theft from productivity in the form of "profits" given to those who do not work in the company. This is also usually called "recession", or "depression" if its gets severe.

    migration adds (or subtracts) workers to the economy, as does geo-political expansion of a Nation. A Nation with high levels of local companies (who pay tax), high income levels (due to low profiteering/corruption), with a focus upon excellent education, democratic transparency/accountability and a citizen-driven critical and analytical mass media, journalists and News media, will have few problems integrating people even from vastly different backgrounds and cultures. And in fairly high numbers. How do you think Canada is dealing with the inflow of migrants, including Brits who go to a very different culture?

    HOWEVER, yes i do believe that there are "natural limits", although those are based upon the resources the area can call upon. For instance, clearly London and all major cities could not possibly support themselves, but they are fed by the surrounding countrysides. The UK is fed by many countries, along with other resources such as oil, metals and minerals.

    now ask yourself, if there was free movement of people, if there was global human, environmental and worker rights, would not many people leave the UK to live elsewhere? If there was not constant warfare and poverty, often caused by our own Govts and companies, would not Afghans prefer to live in Afghanistan, in a decent and uncorrupt Civil society? If Israel was not slowly ethnically cleansing Palestine, would not many Palestinians prefer to go home and rebuild their country? And would not British young more often choose to go abroad and study, or explore, experiencing other cultures, places and people?

    there is a "natural population capacity" for a region or country, that is modified by trade. Nor is that a reason for diverting attention from economic and political corruption onto any ethnic minority. Remember that there are significant British minorities around the world as well. Our behaviour will be remembered, lets set a good example for others to follow. Plus, we *are* still one of the wealthiest nations, we still have access to resources most of the world can only dream of to get through this crisis.

    so there have been Nations who grew very fast, and very powerful, through immigration, and there are many more examples. Migration is usually limited enough by 'normal' forces that cultures and economies can cope, even with no borders at all. The problems we are facing may coalesce with the problems of migration, but the root cause is the same. Corrupt and inefficient political systems and Corporations. Non-transparent and unaccountable Power.

  • Comment number 26.

    Chinese Mr Hu's biggest problem with America...

  • Comment number 27.

    MH/Bob/Studio 1....or whatever...I challenge you to come with the Newsnight cameras and put your case to a group of British local unemployed people on a sink estate...and we could add in a few unemployed immigrants attracted here by the rumours of a life on benefits for them and their entire family.
    Can`t wait to see you put your case!

  • Comment number 28.


    Mindy's a NN prod team staffer.

  • Comment number 29.

    OUT OF MY DEPTH (#24)

    Blimey Jim - the stuff I don't know. You make a troubling point. Morks claim that we can take 5-10% a year is - now you mention it - wild, bizarre - barmy. But if we take it as a BNP provocation, it's inept in the extreme. Like a WWII prison-camp escapee adopting Hollywood German.
    Is it a double bluff? Is conspiracy the new ingenuous?

    Who's Bob?

  • Comment number 30.

    @ Mindy 15 - The PCTs are a WASTE of money - thank goodness Lansley has put some sense into the NHS and put the power into the hands of the GPs. Receptionists handling the NHS - you have got to be joking......since when are they qualifed enough to discuss budgets?

    Hopefully the receptionists will be gone too - they are a waste of valuable NHS resources. Just have an automated system (as in a lot of practices through out England at least), where the patient types their date of birth and name into the machine and you get an acknowledgement for your appointment. Cost - nothing, and efficient too. The NHS management made by the Labour government was the one of the biggest wastes of public money (among their other public money wasting achievements)........

    If I was in charge of the NHS, I'd get rid of all management and increase nurses wages by 400%. Put the doctors and nurses back into the running of things, as used to be the case, and make sure all the hospitals were disinfected so there wouldn't be Cdiff /MRSA/whatever else.

  • Comment number 31.

    28 Never! Well there`s a turn up for the book.You just can`t get the right class of asylum seeker these days DJ....I`m thinking of claiming asylum n Haiti or Tunisia to get all the advantages that Mindy`s Housemate talks about....sounds fantastic!

  • Comment number 32.

    If you don't get a cap on immigration (be it EU or Non-EU) then the UK will end up being like Mumbai (the most crowded city in the world).......

  • Comment number 33.

    Beware of prophets defending the human rights of alleged immigrants when at the same time they probably support a UK future like this.

  • Comment number 34.

    MAY I BUTT IN HERE? (#25)

    #17: DJ, do you remember your own childhood? You an either bribe children to go to school, force them to go to school, or make school enjoyable enough, with good enough prospects at the end that they want to go.

    Or, before putting one more kid on this cock-eyed planet, you ask:
    1) why is school regarded as a given good?
    2) why is it synonymous with education, when many get none from it?
    3) whom does school PRIMARILY serve?
    4) might school do a lot more damage than we have measured?
    4) like all those damned souls before Christ came, before school, how did we learn anything?

    Certain factors seem to be limiting maturity in HomSap. I assert that the institutionalising ethos of school, may well be one of them.


  • Comment number 35.

    #27: worcestorjim, contrary to you i do not think the British working class and underclass are stupid, i think many of them ARE aware that this mess can only be sorted through growth through investment in new jobs by the Govt. I think they are also aware that their benefits, wages and mortgages have been slashed in order to pay for the mistakes of the Bankers and a corrupt political class, - and btw, i think that many British businessmen are also aware of this, and are unhappy with the destruction of the REAL British economy.

    i think many of them even understand that cutting their incomes prevents them spending, and that that means their local companies will close down, apart from the mega-chains, who can afford advertising. That's their, or their neighbour's companies.

    tell it to the British people? I think they already understand.

    and they also understand that the whole "migrants on benefits" line is simply an attack on the living standards of the UKs poorest, providing cover for a cut in benefits whilst also attempting to increase racism. Most can observe the same desire to work hard in immigrant subcultures as exists in their own. Indeed, most actual migrants they meet will be working. Unemployment has hit ALL youth groups, however.

    what i might have trouble explaining to those families though, is why this Govt is slashing benefits to the poorest, and ending financial help to enable their kids to even dream of going to College or University.

    that i couldn't do. Could you?

  • Comment number 36.


    Hands off the receptionist 76. When I was in business I took delight in telling beverage-dispenser salesmen that it was the British Tea Lady who got us through the war. Receptionists are in the same sterling body.

    I gave my details to one of those check-in machines. It recognised me as Mrs Robbins and directed me to the gynie nurse.

  • Comment number 37.

    #30 Mistress:

    "The PCTs are a WASTE of money - thank goodness Lansley has put some sense into the NHS and put the power into the hands of the GPs. Receptionists handling the NHS - you have got to be joking......since when are they qualifed enough to discuss budgets? "

    but then you write:

    "If I was in charge of the NHS, I'd get rid of all management and increase nurses wages by 400%. Put the doctors and nurses back into the running of things, as used to be the case, and make sure all the hospitals were disinfected so there wouldn't be Cdiff /MRSA/whatever else. "

    inbetween you mention receptionists - receptionists are essential for dealing with small problems that should not require the full attention of the doctor, they can be treated by the local pharmacy or instance. A good receptionist can also boost those *really* in need to where they will be attended. A good receptionist(s) are absolutely vital to the running of a GPs surgery, amongst other waiting rooms around the country. They have enormous responsibility, and are integral to the provision of service to the "customer". It is insanity not to have that experience and knowledge not included in the decision making processes. The same is true of the other staff in a Surgery or elsewhere. Where came this ridiculous notion of an intellectual elite, and the rest of us drone-like fools?

    now, as to your earlier points, may i ask a few questions? Why are medically trained doctors and nurses automatially equipped to do budgets? Would you go to an accountant to have heart surgery? Would you take your best surgeon and make them spend their days doing bookwork? You say receptionists, who at least DO take control over part of the daily budget, should be excluded from decision making?

    do you really think what you want will happen from these proposals, or do you think that instead GPs will "tender out" their management roles to external, private and profit-making "consultancies"?

    and do you think these private, profit-making consultancies, with their enormous fees, will not also seek to rearrange what is left of the NS to funnel more of the monies to themselves and their friends in private health care?

    and if you do *not* think this will happen, may i ask the source of your optimism? I think we could all do with some of it, if these policies go ahead.

  • Comment number 38.

    Have any of the NN team been on a sink estate or will this be their first time MH?

  • Comment number 39.

    25 ..the US end of 19th, early 20th Century...

    is a good model for the uk? given it was based on extermination of the natives to steal their land and so extract wealth? immigration was not a force for good. it was a rape. the native americans call columbus day by a more colourful holocaust day.

  • Comment number 40.

    38 been on a sink estate ....

    i thought we all lived in one now? its called the uk.

  • Comment number 41.

    #34 barrie:

    "schools" are merely the word we use to define places of learning, how we learn, what we learn, the purposes of the education, and how much we enjoy it, are all up to us as a society to decide.

    - "A Teacher has a duty to teach *how* to think, not *what* to think, and the Priest has the exact opposite task". - gnuneo.

    good education is an enabler, bad education closes down the mind. But education is a major influence in future Citizens, in future workforces, and in future parents.

    best not to throw the baby out with the bath-water?

    ...and thats not to say that the UKs current State education is not in a complete mess. Just like most State organs being readied for 'privatisation'. But it can be repaired and improved dramatically, if the policy-makers understand the actual issues, and care about the future of this country rather than their own ideologies and future 'executive directorships'.

  • Comment number 42.

    #38: i do not work for NN, worcesterjim. I would like to though! :)

    and i do not feel any need to tell you my life story and experiences, my apologies.

    Lolz at Jaunty. =/

  • Comment number 43.

    29. At 7:20pm on 19 Jan 2011, barriesingleton wrote:

    "Who's Bob?"




  • Comment number 44.

    On the NHS, we've all been here before with similarly "Year Zero" approaches to giving all power to the grassroots and smashing state bureaucracy.

    Remember Training & Enterprise Councils? Employer-led bodies who were given control of training grants?

    What did they do? There were a number of "revelations" and convictions;


    1. Lined their own pockets at huge expense to the taxpayer.
    2. Delivered sh*t training.
    3. Destroyed decent training provision.
    4. Conspired to criminally manipulate the system and syphon off huge amounts of money.

    Now I'm not saying GPs are criminals - but they they are men & women like the rest of us - and GPs are not just doctors - they run their own businesses.

    And as with all people, some are saints - and some are sinners - I submit Dr Harold Shipman in evidence for those who believe all doctors are inherently trsutworthy.

    And some are cracking good doctors, but lousy managers - some are obsessed with some obscure element of medical practice - others' knowledge is out of date.

    Do we really want to divert a huge amount of their time & energy and spend £4 Bn on the HOPE that they would be better at process management than managers?

    As the case for out and out privatised healthcare has been lost, putting GPs in place of patients as health consumers, buying services from the private sector in a healthcare market is the only option left open to the libertarian ideologues who want to minimise state involvement in society.

    The fact that this model is the bedrock of the US healthcare system which is dramatically less efficient, dramatically wasteful and dramatically fails to provide healthcare to millions of Americans doesn't seem to worry the supporters of these reforms.

    Yes - involve GPs more - yes make the system more responsive to patient needs - but don't destroy the ethos of the NHS and don't make policies based on ideology when we need an evidence-based approach to health reform.

  • Comment number 45.

    the usa was founded on the doctrine of christian discovery

    ...the Court affirmed that United States law was based on a fundamental rule of the "Law of Nations" - that it was permissible to virtually ignore the most basic rights of indigenous "heathens," and to claim that the "unoccupied lands" of America rightfully belonged to discovering Christian European nations. Of course, it's important to understand that, as Benjamin Munn Ziegler pointed out in The International Law of John Marshall, the term "unoccupied lands" referred to "the lands in America which, when discovered, were 'occupied by Indians' but 'unoccupied' by Christians."..

    the papal bull behind this principle of 'christian discovery'

    ...The origins of this Papal doctrine may be traced to the conflicts between Christians and Moslems in the 15th century...Pope Nicholas then directed his attention to the rest of the world, authorizing King Alfonso "to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to slavery."

    so the usa model of 'immigration' cannot be used as a lawful example but is one of [continuing] conquest and occupation on the [now israeli] model of 'god gave us this land'.

  • Comment number 46.

    nhs will now be decided on that which provides the greatest profit.

  • Comment number 47.

    @ Barrie#36 -:p nonsense! You mean you liked the eye candy as opposed to a machine.....

    @ Mindy#37 - no receptionists are a waste of time/space and money. They certainly do not give diagnosis, and neither do they have anything to do with the budget or running of the practice, they are employees, full stop. GPs ARE business partnerships - they are in control of their budget - they are NOT working for the PCTs. Yes the government's propsals ARE a good idea, and doctors do support it.

    @ Richard#44 - it has been law since 2004 that ALL doctors Must DO an annual portfolio where they have to learn about new techniques in medicine/new medications - side effects etc, and new research. They have to complete X amount of lectures and exams via the BMA. Britain has already has NHS patients going to private hospitals when certain treatments/operations are not avaliable in NHS hospitals - this has been in force since Blair took over.......

  • Comment number 48.

    If we hadn`t been migrating OUT the British Isles in our millions for centuries ...and taking over barren lands from the indigenous natives.. there would probably have been wars or genocides or starvation here in Britain to reduce the population.That`s the simple but brutal way it has been happening for millenia.

    Man gets to a certain density then he gets aggressive ....then he finds an excuse to start killing those who he feels are threat to him and his children`future....or he migrates and kills or drives off people where he goes.

    Just before the Rwandan genocide my wife was there and she said there were people everywhere just milling about with next to no food. Before then some of them would have just starved or migrated or killed some people and taken over their land.But now our Christian beliefs and our medicines were leading to them overpopulating their land....result..sudden spontaneous genocide.

    Why do you think the Holocaust happened?Millions of Jews were expelled or left Russia after the revolution.War had humiliated Germany. Everyone disliked the Jews abd Gypsies for longstanding reasons.etc etc

    We can`t mess about playing multicultural ring a roses like a troop of girl guides.We are no longer a rich nation and when we were our own poor were leaving here in their millions because their lives were so awful.

    We have lived in a "liberal" police state for so long that we have lost our common sense understanding of the things that make a society function properly.

    The British Isles are not rich or large and they haven`t the natural resources and climate to carry anything like the population we have NOW far less take on any more.

    The immigrants we get are NOT financially fact they are a huge drain on our fast dimnishing resources.

    Sorry dreamers and do-gooders but that`s the plain truth....and before we all crack under the pressure and start killing each other will someone for *****`s sake WAKE UP!! And that`s YOU BBC...with your lunatic repressive behaviour and denial of free speech!

    YOU well-intentioned know-all liberals with your American ideas are in cloud cuckoo land....and if you didn`t bully us and our politicians common sense would have prevailed long ago!

  • Comment number 49.

    So this is the level of BBC debate we are going to get on the future of the NHS. A cosy little chat with Simon Burns, Conservative Health Minister; a Devon Conservative MP/GP; a London GP (who's little smile towards Simon Burns did not go unnoticed and spoke volumes); a pathetic Labour MP who said he broadly agreed with the Conservative policies and the Chairman of the BMA (the only person who tried to argue against Mr Burns, albeit weakly).
    I have never been more strongly convinced that the NHS is going to be wrecked, dismantled and given away to US based healthcare companies. Perhaps "given away" is too strong, they will probably use our money to "incentivise" them to take it over.
    Oh yes patient "choice" will be so important, the rich with their tax-relieved private health insurance contributions will be able to choose, the rest of us will pay our taxes and suffer, just like we paid to keep the senior bankers and financiers in the lottery-winnning luxury to which they have grown accustomed.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    #49 I have never been more strongly convinced that the NHS is going to be wrecked, dismantled and given away to US based healthcare companies.

    Totally agree Jimfred, the NHS is doomed, death by a thousand mini cuts, and suddenly it's not there anymore. Patient choice my ar$e what choice do you get if only one local hospital does the op/procedure required? Just like the USA we will all be paying, but there always be the junk Medicare for the really poor that still won't cure you.

  • Comment number 52.

    #39 & #45:

    but the read was interesting enough, and i generally agree. But in this period US growth was driven by other things, rather than the ongoing holocaust against the Amerindians. There was a great deal of immigration into the US, yet the economy grew strongly.

    #46: yes. That's not good.

    #48: i'll reply later. Why do you have such a low opinion of people? There are thousands of UK citizens out there tonight protesting, perhaps you should join them if you feel like that. You will discover a hope for a better future, that Mankind is NOT some blind ignorant creature doomed to self-destruction, but can make choices to avoid that.


  • Comment number 53.


    While watching Matt Frei, asking 'what is going on' with the NHS, I asked myself the same question. Here's what I came up with:

    I suggest Little Boy Dave is raging inside - IT'S NOT FAIR !!!!!
    Tony went off to war - all flags flying - Commander in Chief. Dave has a military quagmire - can't stay, can't leave, no glory.

    Tony rode a boom. His three priorities were: spend, spend and spend. Dave has a bust - he can’t afford priorities.

    Tony surfed a landslide to a massive majority. Dave drowned in the shallows and had to be rescued by Nick.

    Tony basked in adulation of Americans and their President; honours and gold medals with all the fries he could eat. Dave is just Dave.

    Tony came close to being President of the EU and is now Emperor of the World. Dave is affiliated to an odd bunch in Europe, and the world ignores him.

    Needy little boys are characterised by envy and spite (Brown Syndrome) and they can do things that look inexplicable at first sight, when getting their 'own back'. Might Dave be laying about Labour's NHS, as an act of vandalism? Looked at in that light it makes a lot more sense.

    If you doubt my characterisation, take another look at 'doctored Dave’ on that election poster, and ask yourself: WOULD A MATURE MAN OF SUBSTANCE AND STATURE, HAVE HIS FACE ALTERED TO GAIN APPROVAL?

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh and there's more!

    So why are we handing over the budgets to GPs and still keeping the managers, incredible, we are mad.

  • Comment number 55.

    NHS safe with the Tories, will it be the same story as unelected former stock market parasite inspired Welfare Reform and social care cuts, decent democratically elected guy IDS sidelined ?

  • Comment number 56.


    GAME: you need two friends. Have 10 pound coins, and the idea is to have them circulate as long as possible.

    here's the deal, one of your friends is the NHS, the other is Private Health. If you give the money to the NHS, it all comes back to you in taxes through the economy. If you give the money to Private Health care, only half comes back in taxes, rounded down.

    The NHS can only charge $2 per turn, neither higher nor lower. But Private Health can charge any amount it wants. If the NHS does not recieve any income for 4 consecutive years/turns, then the NHS fails and Private Health buys it for £1. However Private Health is always solvent due to its vast reserves of finance.

    But there's a catch. After 10 turns, there is a Conservative Govt elected, and you are now required by law to always choose the lowest tender.

    The game continues until the Govt has no money left to buy health care.

  • Comment number 57.


    We are regularly told to judge by outcomes. Oh dear.

    The trouble with feudal party politics, is the opposition-ites say everything is rubbish and the governing-ites say everything is going swimmingly. Not one bugger says what they think, let alone what they know. Just look at the stuff that has come out of Chilcot - and that's without the dirtiest dirt.

    Put not your trust in 'Honour'.

  • Comment number 58.

    #54 lizzy:

    "Trade unions have also claimed that increasing competition in the health service will damage patient care, as providers try to under-cut each other, or see hospitals forced out of business by private firms.

    Mr Lansley insisted at a press briefing that their fears were “absolutely false” as competition will be based on quality of outcome rather than price. "

    was anyone checking to see if his fingers were crossed? But, we all believe *that*, right? This is the introduction of financial competition, which will pit NHS hospitals with savagely slashed budgets, forced to beg from unaccountable GPs funds and patients from the GP controlled budget, with Corporate run hospitals, that can set any prices they want, to originally undercut and then purchase the "failing" NHS hospitals, to turn them into cash cows for the private health industry. The NHS will have gone, just like that.

    indeed, as the Tory Health Minister announced tonight, the Govt reserve the right to forcibly remove any "failing" hospital and sell it to the private sector, no doubt the rate agreed will more reflect their retirement Executive Directorships than the actual value of the NHS assets, both financially and also morally, what these hospitals mean to the normal Public who rely on their services.

  • Comment number 59.

    52 MH I appreciate your conciliatory approach .....but disagree with you fundementally about man as a social animal.

    I hope you will forgive me for pointing out that I have a lot more experience and study behind me...and the courage to face the truth.

    We are capable of great good and great evil ....but our current misfortune is that we are no longer looking at ourselves realistically....... because we believe in cultural and religious myths and fantasies that overstimate our natural kindness and hospitality and generosity....and the absurd idea that gods will intervene and "provide" a solution if things get tricky....when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary....including "the final solution"!

    If you had studied the reasons for wars and genocides carefully you would not be at all complacent about what is unfolding in our society today.It`s completely out of control.

    The sad truth is that we are in denial about world population growth and imagine that if we just close our eyes and minds the problem will go away (if we persecute anyone who refuses to go along with our impractical ideas).

    But the simple practical truth is that however many people we take today there will be more tomorrow ......because of population growth and the worldide belief that Britain has gone crackers and lost its sense of self preservation.

    We are atracting millions od desparate people who believe that we will take anyone who turns up...and we have a billion pound industry of lawyers and activists who make very sure that happens ....for now!

    But for EVERYONE`S sake we HAVE to be far more realistic and stop sleepwalking ....before we end up like Nazi Germany....please!

  • Comment number 60.


    The BBC reports Lady Wasi as saying Islamophobia has passed the 'Dinner Table Test' (become commonplace) - not my dinner table. We have more appetizing things to discuss.

    I would like to explain to the Baroness that 'Muslims in Cristhouses, should not throw assertions'. I don't doubt that Islaam gets discussed widely in these islands, Lady W, but you will have to try a lot harder to get upgraded to 'phobia' - we generally reserve that for spiders and mad dogs.

    Might Lady Warsi's understanding of 'phobia' be akin to Sarah Palin’s take on 'blood sacrifice'?

  • Comment number 61.

    #54 ecolizzy "a thousand mini cuts" - exactly - thats how they do it.

    The GPs don't (or shouldn't) have the time to manage hospitals, the idea is preposterous, even though they got a 30% payrise to NOT have to work weekends and nights and most GPs I know do not now work more than a four and a half day week.
    They will be paid another kings ransom to become directors in healthcare companies who will "manage" our hospitals so as to maximise "shareholder value" or "drive up performance and hence values for our clients" (these last quotations are an example of some of the guff you'll get if you enter "healthcare management solutions" into google).

    I'm really, really sick of these corporate vultures being allowed, indeed encouraged, to gorge on the profitable bits of the NHS.

    Oh, and we are assured by the Health Mnister that they are going to be regulated! As the banks were regulated for the last 25 years?
    They've got our wealth, now they're going for our health.

  • Comment number 62.

    60 Yes Barrie....every minority is claiming to be persecuted a way of deflecting attention from their misdeeds and discouraging any unwanted explorations into their "culturally sensitive affairs".

    But notice how we British plonkers miss out on this? Perhaps we ought to start taking umbridge a lot works for everyone else!

    Why isn`t there an English assembly when the other lot in the UK have one each and milk the English something chronic?

  • Comment number 63.


    Small wonder, then, that none of their regulatory bodies ever regulate anything effectively. Westminster is corrupt beyond belief, but it is so ingrained, the party politicians, whom it suits so well, cannot detect its presence.

    Absolute power, over ones own function, corrupts absolutely, utterly and infinitely.


  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    #61 - jimfred, spot on.

    tonight the Health Minister claimed that GPs must be the controllers of the entire NHS because they are usually the first point of contact with patients. Certainly, organising the NHS *without* GPs input into the decisions would be ridiculous - as ridiculous as leaving it ONLY to GPs. What is so wrong with PCTs being run only by partnerships by the entire staff, working together with consultants, and patients/local communities? It has already been achieved, we saw one such body in a fairly recent Newsnight report, an interdisciplinary, non-profit and soundly managed PCT run by the entire staff for the pure benefit of the patients and care, NOT for the benefit of the "shareholders".

    we know it can be achieved, and we know that these reforms are purely intended to enrich the already wealthy, these Tories have not changed their spots or stripes.

    what will happen under these proposals, is that due to the cuts in health spending by the Govt, NHS hospitals will be forces to cut wages, then services, becasue the private hospitals will deliberately undercharge and undercut NHS services, and the GPs will be forced to take the cheaper Corporate choices, even though they may well be fully aware of the consequences of choosing the private services in the short term, which will lead to the destruction of the NHS, and then *no choice at all* as the Health corporations bite down hard to squeeze every penny of profit from our health system. This is just pure, overt privatisation of the entire NHS, little could reveal the Tories true colours more than this move.

    if we spend the same on Health, but now someone is making 40% profit from it, then that is 40% less money being spend on our actual Health Care. And the Govt has designed the system, rigged the system, that NHS hospitals *must* fail and be converted into privately owned hospitals. Downing Street and related Ministers will expect to be richly rewarded for this Quisling act.

    ...seriously, after tonight's performance, would ANY of you trust that smoooth-tongued Tory Health Minister??? He reeked of "I've been through a rigorous briefing session, and i can smugly answer all of your questions" attitude. "What will happen to the NHS?" "Do not worry, we have its best interests at heart".

    yeah right. And if it all goes belly up, will we be able to imprison you in the Tower? Or will you, at worst, get to draw a cushy wage as an 'Opposition' Minister?

    i think we all already know.

  • Comment number 66.

    on Human Rights, US to China - what exactly can it be that the US can still hold its head up on? Kidnapping and Torture? Illegal wars of Invasion and Occupation? The use of the Death Penalty? Freedom of speech, Protection of Whistle-blowers? Freedom of Religion? Non-Persecution of Minorities? Economic corruption, political corruption?

    i have to wonder what and where the US still has some moral authority left after the Bush years, i suspect that loudly proclaimed "discussion about Human Rights" lasted barely a fraction of a second. Anything else would have been utterly hypocritical on both sides.

    as for the "currency war", it MUST be included in the report/negotiations that nominally US-based corporations are raking multi $Bns from the cheap Chinese currency, no matter how the US economy itself is doing. The plutocracy in charge of the US economy is deliberately bankrupting America, for their own benefit. The Chinese are simply watching this with quiet, patient amusement, for the rulers of America are de-industrialising the US, whilst building up Chinese manufacturing and paying their Chinese employees peanuts, importing the cheap goods back, and selling them at high prices in the US. It drives domestic production to the wall, and then the Corporates and banks purchase or close the bankrupt companies.

    bearing in mind the enormous interpenetration of the Corporate world within US politics, it therefore becomes quite unlikely that many in the US Govt actually want a more competitive currency regarding China, even despite the soundbites, and even despite the need for it within the real US economy.

    and indeed, as we see, the currency differential continues to exist. China may have growing potential power, but it can hardly compare to the sheer muscle power of the "US" Corporations to set policy within Washington and the financial 'markets'.

    and i very much doubt the Chinese people are feeling themselves "in competition" with the US. This is a media-built 'storm in a toilet bowl', nothing to do wih IRL.

    Chris Morris:

    are we really to believe that so many Americans are quite literally frightened silly by hearing that another country is also developing? Are we to assume that Americans were equally alarmed at the past progress of the EU? Many of the ones i have spoken to over the years have been generally supportive of other regions development, not seeing it as some zero-sum competition to extinction.

  • Comment number 67.

    GPs managing the NHS, will they be prejudice? How can they not be? They are too close to their patients. Will the nice african doctor favour his own kind? Will the nice muslim doctor put muslims first? Will the white english doctor favour his posh english patients? Will the fat woman who complains about her heart be ignored? Will the drinker with the dodgy liver get any care?

    Doctors are human, they have their likes and dislikes, it will be rationed care from GPs according to if you are liked or not. The Hypocratic Oath won't work against nature.

  • Comment number 68.

    #60 Give me strength Barrie!!!!

    The comments here say it all, the common man cannot air his view, censoreship is all.

  • Comment number 69.

    One for Mindy

    We've got a way to go to join the Netherlands in overcrowding, but we'll catch up fast.

  • Comment number 70.

    66 MH..I agree with your post....we are in an age where the media manufacture or amplify controversy as a way of imposing their own agenda ...and obscuring agendas like mine.....(which would spoil global capitalist "party games" for ever!).

    We now live in an effectively borderless global feudal system (see George Soros "Open Society" ideas for more details) in which slaves and peasants are forced to migrate thousands of miles just in order to survive....and their victims (our poor and our children)are obliged to compete with them while being told that any protests are not legitemate but an act of fascism and hatred.

    When imigrants arrive in our priveleged parts of the world they are left to fight it out with our own poor (who are getting poorer because they have no honest means to make a living that will keep a growing family).

    If anyone (like me) can see what is going on they are automatically assumed to hate immigrants and hold fascist views ...and ridiculed and bullied into silence by a new political police which we naively call "the media".

    The Media are not there to inform but but lie to us and dragoon us into disliking and competing with each other in a "race to the social bottom" where we work for less and less and work harder and harder to buy things we didn`t ever need in the first place.

    Of course the media are not under democratic control but under the influence of idiotic liberals and rich owners ...and ultimately the global financial markets... which seem to have replaced politicians and governments as the arbiters of what goes on in our society...including who is allowed to migrate and set up home our expense!

    I realise that resistance is futile but dedicate this vain attempt at bringing reason into your minds to Baby Peter Connelly and Victoria Climbie...both victims of Mad Hatter Britain and your crazy "liberal" feudal system.

    There I am off before I am driven completely insane by your pathetic prattling about a health service that never could hope to survive in an era of mass immigration and a collapsing economy!Carry on fiddling while Rome burns....and a plague on you for your cowardly stupidity!

  • Comment number 71.

    #70 Agree with everything you say Jim.

    One of my complaints is how can we take the skilled people from very poor countries, look at this map In some parts of Africa there are 50,000 people to one dr, and yet three of my doctors are from Africa, the shame of it is terrible.

    And yet if I say so I'm racist.

  • Comment number 72.

    Since we are supposed to have freedom of speech here in the UK, and allow all the hate preachers in the world to come in..... it's amazing that Terry Jones (the US preacher who said he'd burn the Koran and didn't) isn't being allowed in....... just normal double standards :p

  • Comment number 73.


    "I've been through a rigorous briefing session, and i can smugly answer all of your questions" .

    Mork's words define the 'skill set' of the consummate party politician.
    But could this man run a seam-up in embroidery?

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 74.



    How like Blair fool/knave Obama is. (I might say: I made the comparison very early in his stage-career.)

    Can't stop - I am off to gratuitously bomb my neighbour on some pretext.

  • Comment number 75.


    You hum it Liz - and we'll all join in.

  • Comment number 76.


    'For every bigotry there is an equal and opposite bigotry'. (1st law of Phobodynamics.)

  • Comment number 77.

    Double standards. I wonder if those two gay chaps who successfully had the owners of a guest house prosecuted for discrimination will try their luck at an Islamic guest house now? I've always been a sexual libertarian, the only proviso is that nobody is bothered. The presence of the homosexuals bothered the owners of the guest house on account they are devout Christians. Imagine the police reaction if the guest house owners were Muslim and had recieved a similar complaint of discrimination by these two complainants Do you think such a prosecution would have been so vigoursly pursued in the courts? yeah you guessed it..not a chance.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.


    the basic belief is the market is the best arranger. So will there be moral hazard in the nhs? ie hospitals going bust? or will it be the same moral hazard the banks have which means there is no 'market' only crypto nationalisation? How much choice is there is a sick person can't choose a small local hospital but must go to the big county one which has closed down all the other hospitals and providers?

    How to Treat Your Banker

    give him lots of public money?


    do chinese students need to be bribed with £30 to study? Migrants risk life and limb to get to the uk because they see opportunities these indigences don't. why are they blind? What beliefs are making them so? It is the basic ignorance of the students that they only 'blame' the government rather than the chinese aggressive economic agenda and a better cultural work ethic.

    the 'students' are being punished for not being studious?

    more matt and stephie. they know enough to ask good question and actually seem interested in it.

  • Comment number 80.

    sorry bunch, but lets cut out the organic fertiliser shall we?

    is it due to immigration that this Govt is destroying the Welfare system? Is it due to the hard working doctors and nurses that are head-hunted by the NHS from abroad that the NHS is being reorganised and privatised? Is it due to Polish and Romanian migrant labour that the Corporate banks screwed us over?

    get some perspective. There are of course problems with migration, and there are problems of bigotry, and over-defensiveness - and most tellingly, here are problems with tabloid press deliberately stirring racial tensions and hatred.

    when times are good, there is economic growth, and plenty of jobs, people don't give 2 rats tails for numbers of migrants, unless they are directly affected, or unless they are racist. And whilst the Mail's article (lol, WHY do people trust a source they KNOW is biassed in a certain direction? Ah well!) says that 300,000 non-EU migrants came here, the vast majority from Britain's ex-Empire, and that does sound a lot, it IS worth bearing in mind that is 0.5% of our population.

    try not to get stampeded by the haters. Whatever problems immigration brings, it is child's play compared to the horrific damage being wrought by this Tory Govt in the Health Service, State Education, the entire Welfare State, whilst as we know there is not even a flicker of concern over the behaviour of the Corporate Banks, or the plundering by the super-wealthy. Keep things in perspective.

    this may come as something of a shock to those of you who read the tabloid press, but there are vast numbers of Britons and immigrants who do not regard *every* question as a matter of race or culture.

    the students on the street were not fooled into attacking 'minority' groups 'taking their' education, they realise the REAL culprit is a Govt that is targeting the education sector for privatisation, and target their worries and anger accordingly. A pity their elders do not have the same insight.

    most of you are better than this.

  • Comment number 81.

    No one is talking about attacking minority groups except you MH...we are sick of your straw man rhetoric.

    The "students" on the streets were a pitiful bunch of inarticulate joy riders along with the crowd for a bit of excitement and horseplay.They are no more like revolutionaries than a rugby club outing.

    Their problem is that they have no social narrative or education to give them an understanding of their predicament.

    Nor do they have anyone credible to stand up for them...or for the immigrants you claim to represent.

    God help them all if you are their Oliver Cromwell MH.



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