MEP Daniel Hannan is not the only Tory politician who wants to destroy the NHS. Meet MP Peter Bone.

Daniel Hannan was of course the first chap to get me riled up about this, but now I’ve been looking about, in spite of David Cameron’s protestations, turns out there are a whole lot of Conservatives who have it in for the NHS.

We have a centralised health service that is run by the Government
from Whitehall. A health service that is managed and directed by a few
from their ivory towers in Whitehall. A health service that would not be
out of place in Stalin’s Russia.

How on earth has it got as bad as this? We are one of the most
successful countries in the world. We are meant to be a modern 21st
Century country. Yet we have gone from having one of the best health
services in the western world to arguably the worst.

That’s Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, and strident foe of UK embryonic research, claiming that we have the worst health system in the Western World. However, he has a plan to fix it!

The new system would require you to take out health insurance to
cover your family’s medical expenses. This would be set at a level to
cover all your family’s medical expenses greater than 5% of your
family’s income. The insurance must cover all serious medical
conditions which could require significant costs. In addition you could
take out voluntary insurance which could cover other areas and, if you
like, the medical deductible.

Separately you would be required to set up a medical savings account.
This would be a savings plan that commences when you reach the age
of 18 and would provide for all your health insurance premiums in

That’s right. He wants us to pay into an insurance scheme. One that only covers certain things, and if we want any more, we have to pay extra. Once you’ve bought this insurance, it would not kick in until you had paid out 5% of your income (what insurance folks call a deductible). This healthcare would be provided by private profit-making healthcare companies. Essentially what he wants is to break the NHS up and create a compulsory version of the US system. According to him, this would magically never have waiting times for treatment AND cost us less.

A look at expense claims suggests Mr Bone could certainly afford this. He employs his own wife as Executive Secretary, paying her £40,000 a year. He also claims £4800 a year in food allowance, the maximum allowable under MP expenses rules. He’s quite trim for someone who eats that much.

While I’m sort of a Liberal Green sort of chap, I accept that there is a relatively sane wing of the Conservative party, the “One Nation Conservatives”. I’m actually quite fond of several of them (particularly Kenneth Clarke). They need to stand up against the radical ideologues of the far-right who have been gaining in numbers and influence within the Tory party for far too long. Ideally before the next time the conservatives have the power to actually go through with any of these crazy ideas.

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