A lesson on health spending for Rick Santorum

The US state spends more on healthcare than the UK.

Mehdi has already listed ten things you should know about Republican insurgent Rick Santorum but here's another: he believes that the NHS "devastated" the UK and was partly responsible for the collapse of the British empire.

It's certainly an original explanation, not least because India, the jewel in the imperial crown, won independence in 1947 and the NHS was created in 1948. But is Santorum aware that the US state actually spends more on public healthcare (7.4 per cent of GDP) than the UK (7.2 per cent)?

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.