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With the media brimming over with the Department of Health’s steady stream of anti-NHS propaganda, both subtle and not so, onlookers might be wondering how a Secretary of State who had previously appeared to be good for little more than waving through Rupert Murdoch’s wholesale takeover of the media turns out to have such an firm grip of his department’s message and such steely determination in hammering it home. This is no mystery, though, if you look at the consistency of the single message that he himself has been relentlessly exposed to for many years:

“What a dreadful c—”, “Here comes the c— now”, “I know he seems like a useless c— but he means well. No, only kidding”, “Watch this, the c—’s about to do his earnest face as he reads out my briefing notes and pretends to understand them”, “First up after the news, we're going to be talking to Jeremy C—”, “The fact that he looks like Sebastian Coe recovering after a massive traffic accident isn’t helped by the fact that he wears that dozy concussed grin around the place all the time, even when he’s alone. Also, he’s a c—”, “Mind where you're throwing that bell, you c—”, “Who’s that hapless c— hiding behind a tree?”, “Look at the rictus grin on this ghastly c—.This is your last chance to back out before he slips the ring on and I pronounce you man and wife”, “You’ve had all your Christmas presents, you irksome little c—, stop trying to steal other people’s”, “Congratulations, Mrs Hunt. It’s a c—.”
If this appears to be a case of tackling personalities rather than policies, it’s because what the Conservatives are engaged in now isn’t worthy of being called policy; it’s outright lying, treated as worthy of serious contemplation only by the party’s own wonks, by overworked churn-hacks in sparsely populated newsrooms passing on the bullshit as gospel, and by those who will benefit directly and materially from the Tories’ dishonesty (i.e. not most of us).

Liam Fox was secretly recorded in 2002 laying out the exact plan that his party has since carried out to the letter:

Tory health chief Dr Liam Fox is secretly plotting to kill off the NHS as the tax-funded, free-to-all bedrock of the welfare state. He says in a “secret” speech to Conservative doctors­—a tape of which has been leaked to the Mirror—that private insurance and payment for treatment from savings are the way ahead.

Dr Fox chillingly unveils a four-phase strategy to undermine the health service—“the first is to persuade the public the NHS is not working”… The Tory “softening-up” operation on the British people is planned to pave the way for a dismantling of the NHS…

Spelling out the strategy to undermine the NHS, he told the doctors: “The first is to persuade the public the NHS is not working... presently the press does that for us.”

Then the party had to convince people the service wouldn’t work and couldn’t work.

Thirdly, themes had to be introduced into the debate of how to fund reform and improvements.

The final stage would be details for the manifesto, “ultimately the most difficult phase”.

On the audio-tape, leaked to the Mirror, Dr Fox makes it clear that the “open-minded” health policy review ordered by party leader Iain Duncan Smith is a sham… The Tories fought the election last June pledging to match Labour spending on health pound for pound. Before the poll, Dr Fox assured voters: “We believe in a comprehensive National Health Service, funded from taxation, free at the point of use.” [Daily Mirror link now dead, but captured on this forum post]
A lie deployed specifically to reassure people that the one thing you won't do is the actual atrocity you intend to commit has many precedents, but none of them honourable. No wonder Liam Fox is still considered by many in his party to be a highly promising future leader.

Once again, though, I’m left asking the question that this “administration” raises more than any other: if the right wing have won all the arguments socially and economically, as we’re repeatedly assured by the affluent that they have, why this constant pressing need to keep lying?

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