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4 July 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:53am

How much for an erotic tale?

Paul Evans suggests buying a friend some lager would be a better use of your wonga than coughing up

By Paul Evans

Bevan Above

Walking past Westminster Abbey on Wednesday, I noted large numbers of Police officers and road cordons. It transpired that the church was hosting a service to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of NHS. It seems odd to be celebrate socialised medicine by praying – and much more sensible to mark it by blogging. Likable geek Alan Williamson had words of praise for the NHS, having recently had to take his young son to hospital. He wrote:

“When I read stories regarding how the American health service is, I am just so thankful we have the National Health Service. I really do believe, we do not pay our nurses or staff anywhere near enough money.”

Many other bloggers had stories of fantastic medical professionals, and Adullamite remembered a pre-NHS era when newlyweds regularly had all their teeth knocked out.

Lord Darzi’s major NHS review came as the birthday candles were being lit. Spoiling the party, NHS Blog Doctor found the report to be a hotchpotch of the trite, the vacuous and the pointless – and is flabbergasted by its claims of “frontline” credibility:

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“Look at the list of the eleven names attached to the report. There is only one GP. The rest are academic or administrative hospital doctors and managers. Not a single representative of the Royal College of Nursing. No psychiatrist. No physiotherapist. No one who can advise Darzi about what is really going on. This is not a consensus report. This is unadulterated Darzi.”

And there will be no trifle or goody bag for Midland Tory Pete either, as he called for the plug to be pulled on the NHS, and it to be replaced by:

“…a system of competing but compulsory social insurance schemes that are independent of government, run by employer groups, unions, charities or mutual societies”.

Look at all the young conservatives

“Rebel, rebel join the young conservatives” sneered the Kinks, but there can be little argument that Conservative Future’s predecessors have given us entertainment value over the decades.

Widely regarded as one of the country’s more affable young Tories, John Moorcraft this week launched a blog to introduce his doctoral research into the history of young conservatism in Britain. Its imminent publication has caused a stir, even amongst the stiffs at CCHQ, but John is having none of it, and has declared that:

“…in accordance with the spirit of this research project, I have decided to decline all requests for an advance copy of my thesis. Instead, it is my intention to make vast swathes of my first draft available on line for your perusal for free.”

One past stars of the Federation of Conservative Students, Harry Phibbs, can now now found blogging for Comment is Free. Back before the internet, in 1986, he was writing for the organisation’s New Agenda magazine. He wrote an article accusing Harold Macmillan of being a war criminal and caused a major headache for then chairman, and now would-be Speaker, John Bercow MP.

I very much look forward to reading Harry’s work, but fear that in the public imagination, there will remain only one enduring image of youthful Toryism

Across the Pond

The prospect of Al Gore’s 2000 running-mate, Joe Liebermann, appearing on the presidential ballot alongside John McCain remains a hot topic on the Hill. The super-hawky Connecticut senator is proving a keen advocate of the Republican nominee, but is coy over the possibility of a VP nomination. Sharon Cobb had sharp words for him, accusing him of being “a turncoat who has gone beyond his typical self righteous indignation to fearmongering,” while others pointed to dishheartening recent polling.

Jennifer Rubin was among the few online commentators who warmed to the idea of a bi-partisan ticket.

Video of the Week

This week you can watch the Labour party’s promo vid for its upcoming ‘sports dinner’, at which the auction prizes include becoming a character in Alastair Campbell’s forthcoming novel All In The Mind. It would be more fun to have been a character in Busking with Bagpipes, one of young Campbell’s erotic tales for Penthouse Forum.

You can bid for Campbell’s part here, though personally I’d recommend you do something more useful with the cash – such as giving it to charity, or buying a friend some lager.

Quote of the Week

“I wheeled away with both the things I needed to make using the ventilator during the day practical and comfortable. There were no quibbles, no money handed over, I didn’t even sign anything. They just gave me the equipment for as long I need it. How good is the NHS? That’s how good.”

On Disaboom, Stephen blogs about what the NHS means to him.

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