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Sneer v smile: Alan Milburn has tried to talk down Ed Miliband's plan for the NHS, but the Labour leader is still smiling.

Sneer v smile: Alan Milburn has tried to talk down Ed Miliband’s plan for the NHS, but the Labour leader is still smiling.

The word of the day appears to be ‘entryism’. A commenter used it to describe BNP/EDL infiltration of UKIP, and it seems just as appropriate to describe Alan Milburn’s membership of the Labour Party.

What does this man have to do with left-wing policies? Nothing. Yet he was Health Secretary under Tony Blair – and a vile job he did of it, too. His period in office – and after – was notable for his support of private involvement in the health service, and in public service provision generally.

This writer reckons that’s enough to suggest he was an example of Conservative Party entryism into Labour. Look at the NHS in England now – Milburn played a major part in that process!

Now he has criticised Labour’s focus on the NHS as a “comfort zone campaign” and warned the party was ill-prepared to carry out the necessary reforms to the NHS if elected.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One he also warned that the party risked the same fate as in the 1992 election which Labour lost.

Vox Political does not currently have a recording of the programme, but the above report, from the BBC News website, explains all we need to know.

He’s trying to torpedo Ed Miliband’s campaign for his Tory masters. Labour is running for election with the NHS as its principle campaign issue, planning to restore it to full public ownership and Milburn – the privatisation junkie – is out to hobble his own party.


This happened on the day Ed Miliband set out a “10-year plan” for the health service – signifying an intent to restore it over the course of two future Parliaments.

Speaking in Trafford, close to the very first hospital that became part of the NHS in 1948, he said: “The central idea is this: that we must both invest in the NHS so it has time to care and join up services at every stage from home to hospital, so you can get the care you need, where you need it.

“We will… train and hire more doctors, nurses, care-workers and midwives – so that they all have the one thing that patients need most: an NHS with time to care.

“We will end the scandal of neglecting mental health by prioritising investment in young people and ensuring teachers are trained to spot problems early.

“By saving resources on privatisation and competition, we will end the scandal of patients having to wait days, even weeks, for a GP appointment.

“We will use the resources we raise to hire 5,000 care workers – a new arm of the NHS – to help elderly people stay healthy at home.

“And because we will be putting in place one system of health and social care we will end the scandal of care visits restricted to 15 minutes.

“If we win the general election in May, the next Labour government will:

“Build an NHS with the time to care: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.

“Join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

“It fell to those after the Second World War to build the NHS. It fell to Labour in 1997 to save it from years of neglect. It now falls to us to protect and improve it once again.”

What did David Cameron have to say about the NHS?

Oh yes – nothing.

He doesn’t think it’s a priority.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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