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Hypocrisy, your name is… still Iain Duncan Smith, in fact. He doesn’t get off the hook just because Jeremy C… Hunt has put his foot in his mouth.
Hunt does appear to be challenging LieDS for his crown, however.
For those who aren’t aware: Back in 2005, the now-Health Secretary co-authored a miserable little screed calling itself Direct Democracy, in which he made clear some of his opinions about the National Health Service which was – at the time – getting some of the highest satisfaction ratings it had ever enjoyed.
Let’s compare some of the things he had to say today, celebrating the health service’s 65th anniversary, and in the book.
Today, he said: “In 65 years, the NHS has quite simply done more to improve people’s lives that any other institution in our history, and its equity and excellence make us the envy of the world.”
In his book, he wrote: “The NHS was designed over half a century ago, at a time of rationing and deep poverty. It was, and remains, a child of its time” [page 76] … “A 1940s monopolistic structure is no longer relevant in the 21st century” [page 80].
He said: “Today we express our thanks to the millions of hard-working NHS staff who literally save lives round the clock. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
In his book, he wrote that it was “a fundamentally broken machine” [page 80].
Today, he announced changes for the vulnerable and elderly, adding: “this is only the starting point of a much broader transformation in ‘out of hospital’ care – one which will help every single patient and make sure the NHS stays true to the values that underpinned its founding in 1948”.
In his book, he wrote: “We should fund patients, either through the tax system or by way of universal insurance, to purchase health care from the provider of their choice” [page 76] … “our ambition should be … denationalising the provision of health care in Britain” [page 78].
Today he said; “I believe the NHS once again has the opportunity to steal a march on other healthcare systems and turn heads by the scale of its ambition – just as in 1948.”
In his book, he wrote: “They are told that record investment has transformed the NHS; but their hospital seems as grimy as ever” [page 31].
What a load of hypocritical flannel.
I’m fed up of these Tory wet-wipes trying to wash away what they’ve done in the past and thinking we won’t notice. James Naughtie had Hunt pegged when he came up with that profane nickname for him.
The Health Secretary continues to live down to that nickname, every day of his life.