Lansley – another shoot-from-the-hip Tory

First, Grayling now Lansley.

How many Shadow Cabinet members will the Cameron machine have to brief against this week?

The weekend gave us Chris Grayling demonstrating that it’s the same-old-Tories after all and that their commitment to equalities is skin-deep opportunism.  So the briefing machine has to hint that Grayling may not be “up to the job”.

Now Andrew Lansley has started shooting from the hip with numbers (and a policy) that don’t add up, reinforcing the Tory insiders’ view that he too is dispensible as “he has gone native”.

The Shadow Health Secretary’s plan to allow more cancer drugs to be available to NHS patients at first sounds nice and caring – until you look at it more closely.

The problem is – as the respected independent think-tank, the Kings Fund, has pointed out – the numbers don’t add up.  The money just is not there.  It is typical George Osborne-style double-counting: it is to be funded from the “savings” from the National Insurance increase that Osborne wants to “cancel” (rather than getting on with reducing the budget deficit that is allegedly the Tories’ top priority).

In practice therefore Lansley is offering up the rest of the NHS for a double budget hit: first to fund the cancer drugs and second to cut the deficit (made larger by not proceeding with the National Insurance increase).

And that’s not all.

The cancer drugs that he wants to fund are those that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has ruled are either ineffective or far too expensive for the benefits they bring – so they are hardly a good efficient use of resources.

The key need in the treatment of cancer is early diagnosis – something that the Labour Government has prioritised.  By contrast, the Tories have opposed  giving people a guaranteed right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks if the GP suspects cancer.  And presumably it is those primary care and diagnostic services that will now be threatened by Lansley’s double budget hit.  And, of course, if patients are not diagnosed early they have a greater likelihood of needing more expensive drugs and treatment.

Opportunism, the desire for quick headlines and economic illiteracy are not a sound basis for policy formulation.

So which member of the Shadow Cabinet will be next?

6 thoughts on “Lansley – another shoot-from-the-hip Tory”

  1. Ironically Lansley was the only shadow minister Chameleon said was a cert to hold his post if they won.

    These pratfalls are all in emulation of Osborne PR success with the IHT/Non Dom poll tax announcement a couple of years back, which was nonsense bit presented in the Tory media as a tour de force.

    How many of them will they get away with in the next month?

  2. The dire state of the NHS under ZaNuLabour will be echoed by the Tories who are all in BUPA anyway. Liberals haven’t a hope in hell. BNP want to send 99% of nurses “back” to Nigeria, Philippines, Zimbabwe. Britain may become a province of Latvia at this rate!

  3. One can only assume that Broxted has lost his pills again.

    Like most people who grow old with various complaints I find excellent treatment for ailments rather than cause for complaint.

    Best he reads your excellent series of labour Achievements in an attempt to remedy his ignorance.

    I have to suggest that if any resemble the out of touch Zanu Party, in its stalinist ways, and endorsement of civil disorder, Broxted does.

  4. Behold one who comes to preach the word, I am not worthy to kiss his feet. Yea it came to pass that Plod was called a Ras Clart and Bomba Clart and was hanged from the lamp posts.

  5. Deafening WIndies irony and and more violent phantasies . .

    . . . oh woe is me, the argument that my experience, along with tens of millions, is that the NHS is pretty damn good – undone!

  6. Ok Q I was in a puckish mood, it was only at bedtime I cast my mind back to the last 40 yrs. My experience of the NHS was pretty much zero until Nov 2007. In West Middlesex I saw third world conditions. A month later I am in France & their equivalent at Amiens was not just another country but another planet. A year later in Belfast I needed a hand X ray. Lost. Gone. Had another taken. The same. Perhaps you & your pals had a good interface with the NHS, if so, God Bless You. I was a trainee psychiatric nurse for almost 12 months. Got some real horror stories. Jah.

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