Will voters support Labour’s vision for the NHS?

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.

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  1. Jim Round January 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    This goes back to my previous comment, what is someone like Miburn doing in the Labour party if those are his views?
    If I were Ed Miliband, that’s precisely the question I’d be asking him.
    Labour needs a clearout, and be not Old Labour, not New Labour, just Labour.

    • John Gaines January 28, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

      More to the point, what and why is Labour left with only a single issue (NHS) to sell to the Voters.
      Balls is as dumb as ditchwater when talking/not talking about an supposed Economy which the Nazi Tories have built on lies:

      Please note this imbeciles reaction to Gideon Osbornes fairy tale Autumn statement; when Gideon sat down the first bleat from Balls-up was that he had only just gotten the paperwork, the whole House laughed at him, surely any fool would have expected/ concealed the fact that he had been outflanked.by a ruthless fascist idealogue.
      The art of politics is to make the House laugh with you, not at you, as we all do.
      Balls is a pathetic whiner, not even remotely capable of doing his so called speciality….Finance? God save us!

      • Mike Sivier January 29, 2015 at 12:22 am - Reply

        On Wednesday alone, Labour spoke out about the cost of living crisis (including low pay), the tragedy that austerity has inflicted on the UK’s poorest families, the tobacco packaging shambles, defence funding and, yes, the NHS. That’s just yesterday! Labour is not campaigning on a single issue.
        As for Ed Balls, I notice you have nothing to say about the substance of his speech. And what’s wrong with pointing out the incompetence of the Tories in being unable to finalise the – delayed – Autumn Statement and provide it to the Opposition in good time, together with the Tories’ vindictiveness in failing to offer Labour the common courtesy of time to prepare a response?
        By saying what he did, Ed Balls exposed George Osborne for the kind of man he is.

        • John Gaines January 29, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

          As for Ed Balls, I notice you have nothing to say about the substance of his speech;
          Content? it must have gotten lost in the translation: lets face it, this fool has been scamming it for the past 4/5 years, he has allowed ‘Gideon’ to run riot with financial reality, poor pathetic fatso Balls -up, it is all beyond his small minded abilities and Labour will lose power for the next 50 years as a result of his stupidity.

          • Mike Sivier January 29, 2015 at 11:06 am

            So I was right – you have nothing to say about the substance of Mr Balls’ speech.

          • John Gaines January 29, 2015 at 11:26 am

            Now, now, none of that Tory bluster, we get enough of it from them:
            “But the shadow chancellor said voters would only back Labour’s promise of change if it is seen to be credible and costed” —–bLEAT, bLEAT AND MORE bLEAT—-

            What the fool should have said:

            The NHS has made British Drug Corporations into some of the most enlightened employers in the National history (all destroyed by the Tories) all who businesses which have dealth with this, greatest of all UK assets, have prospered ( on-time payment, free access to the best research for product development and/or improvement etc, etc,) to such a degree that they won export business against even low priced China crap.
            Sell the NHS TO BUSINESS, and those who would want their businesses to be a part of it……AND SELL IT AGAIN AND AGAIN…it is true, and it works.

            He does not even believe this himself:
            only back Labour’s promise of change if it is seen to be credible and costed” —–bLEAT, bLEAT AND MORE bLEAT—-

  2. Nigel Harman January 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Alan Millburn is rotting wood that needs cutting out before he turns the whole tree rotten.Doing his masters bidding and his master isn’t Ed.

  3. Pete B January 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Milburn is the Coalition Poverty Tsar.He is about left winged as Maggie T.He is of course being given space to write trash because the majority of the press does not want Labour in power.Perhaps because Miliband wants to implement Leveson.

    Milburn was the worst excess of Nu Labour,much like Frank Field who also works for the Coalition.

    Tory Blair has left the building,can the press ask the present Labour leaders their opinions, not Tory Lite has-beens?

  4. concernedkev January 27, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    As the commenter on entryism in UKIP I fully support everything you say in your blog Mike. If I were party leader I would listen to his comments and if he is speaking contrary to party pledges and endangering Labours election chances by confusing voters then he would be suspended from membership(if he is still a member) until after the election. It is quislings like him and others who have worked to destroy the party in the last 20 years. It would not be surprising if one day he was revealed as an MI5 stooge. Below is a link about him and his antics when Health Secretary

    Alan Milburn

    It is worth noting that the chairman of Care UK, John Nash, gave £21,000 to run Andrew Lansley’s office when he was shadow secretary for health. Furthermore, Alan Milburn, the commissioner of the Virgin report, is the Chairman of the European advisory board for private equity company, Bridgepoint. In 2010, they purchased Care UK for £414m. Alan Milburn has a history, having worked as an advisor to Bridgepoint Capital between March and September 2004, when he was an advisor. Six months after his appointment, a subsidiary of the company won a £16 million NHS contract.

  5. Ian January 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    If I said all I wanted about Alan Milburn it would be moderated out of existence. Even then, I’m not sure there are enough rude words to describe the filthy, degenerate a**ehole. Why is the NHS a ‘comfort zone campaign’? The disingenuous p***k has been in politics long enough to know you go at the opposition’s weak spots, why would Miliband aim specifically at, say, Atos and benefits or the economy when it seems most people quite like the Tories stance on killing disabled people and believe the bulls*** that says Labour ruined the economy? I’m not saying Labour should be acquiescent on these things, they should stand their ground against such lies, they should just pull the Conservatives onto uncomfortable territory and wallop them. The NHS is Labour’s scoring punch, they should use it and b****cks to Milburn. He is very much yesterday’s man. Not surprised the BBC wheel him in to have a go at Miliband, though…

    On a related note, I bet the media keep quite schtum about Miliband’s plans for the NHS as outlined here, it would be way too popular with the masses and might just cement Labour as favourites for the election.

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