Jeremy Cliffe was in charge of the Economist‘s Brussels bureau, where he wrote its Charlemagne column, before recently becoming International Editor of the New Statesman.
It is an article of faith of the pro-EU Ascendancy, as we call it here, that nothing in Britain is done as well as it can be abroad.
The logic of Cliffe’s tweet above is that Britain’s health service would be better were it to be exchanged for Germany’s.
So ConservativeHome looks forward to him explaining to voters why they must swap Our NHS, as we all now call it, for Germany’s healthcare system.
We’re confident that they will leap at the chance to exchange a service free at the point of use for one based on compulsory insurance. Why on earth haven’t our useless politicians tried this one before?
If for some reason the British people are unwilling to make the exchange, then we must keep our system, which relies on queues. For these are what you get when an essential service is offered without payment upfront.
And if you have queues then, however much taxpayers’ money you pour into the service, you will inevitably have horror stories like the tale of the treatment of poor Jack Williment-Barr at Leeds General Infirmary.
In order to try to ensure that they don’t happen, you will need not only good management (which helps to explain why such incidents happen in some places but not others), but more public money, too.
Which is why you shouldn’t put a Marxist Government in charge that will starve the NHS after first feeding it – the former being the cuts that would come when Jeremy Corbyn ran out of other people’s money.
(Like Labour’s cuts in hospital capital spending during the late 1970s, which the first-time voters queueing up to vote for Corbyn won’t remember.)
For clarity: we plead guilty to Cliffe’s charge. For on balance, we believe that all European health systems have their strengths and weaknesses, but that Britain should stick with the NHS.
But ConservativeHome would say so, wouldn’t we? After all, it was a Conservative, Henry Willink, who proposed a National Health Service when serving in Churchill’s wartime coalition.
And, if he wins this election, Boris Johnson will carry on doing what Tory Governments always do – i.e: raising spending above inflation, and seeking to reconcile what the NHS can provide with what taxpayers are willing to pay.
To try to stop him, Labour will desperately seek out as many last-ditch healthcare stories as it can, in order to succeed where its ludicrous campaign about an NHS sell-off to Donald Trump has failed.
Our media colleagues want a proper election contest, which Corbyn’s uselessness and extremism have denied them, and will enthusiastically play along. We can scarcely blame them.
Meanwhile, the British people must decide whether or not, come Thursday, to try a bit of “chippy hubris” and “swaggering bullshit” of their own, as Cliffe puts it. Or as we and Johnson prefer to say: Get Brexit Done.