Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Monday 17 January 2011

The question that didn't bark on the Today programme

John Humphreys missed a trick when he interviewed David Cameron on the Today programme this morning.
On more than one occasion the PM referred with apparent approval to the fact that the UK now spends close to the European average on health care.
You may remember that this was a promise made off the cuff on television by Tony Blair to the annoyance of Gordon Brown. But the promise was kept.
Presumably the huge amounts of extra money poured into the NHS played a significant part in pushing up public spending.  Yet Cameron is always going on about the "structural deficit" caused by Labour's profligacy.
Humphreys should have asked him if he is happy with the level of spending on health - as he appeared to be - and, if so, why he now considers it to be part of an unsustainable deficit.
May I answer for you, Mr Cameron?
It is true that the Labour Government spent money like it was going out of fashion but much of it went where it should go - on health, education and benefits, to name a few. What it didn't do was control how the money was spent. Such as the massive rises given to doctors and dentists, chief officers at local authorities, the people who run universities, an army of press officers and communications staff (several armies, in fact) and so on.
Cameron and his lot don't get it because deep down they are involved in a dogmatic destruction of much of the welfare state rather than curbing public spending in a sensible, contructive and sypathetic way.

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