My fundamental point is that this is not evidence-led pragmatism. If we join up the policy dots, we see pure, simple, unalloyed faith in the market system to deliver health in this country. Time after time, in issue after issue, ideology trumps pragmatism and prudence.
The Labour motion is a potpourri of varied sentiments, some of which are true and some of which are confused, and some, given the history, that it is surprising the Opposition have the gall to table at all. However, we should be genuinely grateful to them because they have given us an opportunity—a platform—to name the beast, to define real choice and to cut to the quick.
Chris Mullin, in his excellent “Diaries”, describes a discussion with a fellow Member of this place, a Yorkshire MP, “a mild-mannered fellow”—I do not know who that would include—who in 2005, prophetically, said of the Labour party:
“We’re opening the door…Whatever safeguards we put in place, whatever assurances we give will be absolutely worthless once the Tories are in power…I think we will lose the next election. The Tories will come to some sort of understanding with the Lib Dems—”