https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/119 ... a_HandcartSpoiler alert: It's shit!
Am I the first one to review this pile of shite? Goody! Awful bigoted tripe that a few trees sacrificed their time on earth for. Would give it minus 26 stars if I could, still - it is far better than his crappy columns in the Daily Mail.
NB: I read it for a bet, and I also bought it from a charity shop, so Richard Littlejohn hasn't benefited from this review of his crap writing in any way at all.
Hang on a moment...hasn't Donald Trump got a point about the NHS failings?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... lings.html
The British are convinced the NHS is the best healthcare system known to man. It is the ultimate sacred cow — to be worshipped and revered and, of course, regularly fed with great wads of cash.
So when a few days ago Donald Trump fired off a tweet about the NHS 'going broke and not working' everyone jumped down his throat. He could hardly have provoked greater consternation had he taken a swipe at our own dear Queen.
Downing Street declared that Theresa May was 'proud' of the NHS. The chief executive of NHS England said the American President had 'got the wrong end of the stick'. Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that he was 'wrong'.
Silly old Trump — up a gum tree again, and passing judgment on what he doesn't understand. That was the general tenor of the response from his politer critics.
But hang on a moment. Hasn't it been pretty clear during the past few weeks that the NHS is in a serious crisis? And if not 'broke', isn't it widely accepted — even by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt — that it is short of money?
What the trigger-happy President said was not, in fact, very far from Jeremy Corbyn's frequent assertions that the NHS stands urgently in need of more injections of cash on top of those it has already received.
Trump is mistaken in supposing that the insurance-based, and vastly wasteful, American health system is one which this, and other, countries should emulate. He is surely right, though, to suggest that the NHS is not working as well as it should.
Last week, a deeply shaming report was published by The Lancet medical journal. It analysed the records of 37.5 million patients with 18 of the most common cancers, and compared survival rates in 71 countries. Not all of them have data for every form of cancer, so in practice the pool is smaller.
What this monumental report shockingly revealed is that British survival rates for most cancers lag behind the rest of the developed world, and in some cases behind much poorer countries.
We are 27th out of 61 when it comes to prostate cancer, 47th out of 56 for pancreatic cancer, 45th out of 59 for ovarian cancer, and 33rd out of 63 for colon cancer. Our highest position, if one can put it like that, is 7th out of 54 for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for children.
Ah, some will say, the UK is doing so badly because it spends less on its health service than many other countries. This isn't true. Countries with much smaller health budgets outperform us in many cancer treatments.
For example, Latvia, South Africa and Argentina have better survival rates for pancreatic cancer, though as relatively impoverished countries they spend far less on their health services than the UK.
Equally, Romania, Turkey and Malaysia (all of them far poorer than Britain) have better survival rates for stomach cancer, for which the UK is ranked 46th out of 60 countries.
Possibly — some would say probably — our cancer survival rates would improve across the board if further billions of pounds were ploughed into the NHS, whose annual budget in England alone is nearly £124 billion.
But if the health service of which we are so proud is producing markedly less good outcomes than much less well-funded health services in poorer countries, doesn't that tell us something about the shortcomings of the NHS?
The truth is that, contrary to what the Labour Party claims, and 'experts' on the BBC tell us, Britain spends more on healthcare than the average of the 'EU-15' (the bloc which excludes the poorer accession states) and the OECD (a club of 35 developed countries).
That was the conclusion last year of researchers at the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation when they used a new definition of health spending adopted by the OECD. They found, in 2014, Britain devoted 9.8 per cent of its national output to healthcare, compared with an average for the EU-15 of 9.7 per cent.
I realise I am questioning a deep-seated conviction, held by the great majority of people in this country, that the NHS as a concept is not far short of perfection, and all it needs is more money.
But might it be that this vast State-run behemoth, the largest employer in Europe now that the Soviet Union's Red Army is no more, is intrinsically less efficient than its counterparts in comparable countries?
According to Tim Briggs, a senior surgeon who has been conducting the most comprehensive clinical efficiency audit of the NHS so far undertaken, it does not yet deserve more money because it wastes so much on poor care.
He reckons the health service could save hundreds of millions, even billions, a year if the most efficient practices were applied nationwide.
The other day — I offer this as a tiny example — I read that the NHS had paid a chemist as much as £1,500 for single pots of moisturiser which others have sold for less than £2.
I am, of course, strongly in favour of a universal system of healthcare that doesn't discriminate against the poorer members of society — which is why the American approach is not for us.
But mightn't there be other models which we could study, and conceivably follow? Look across the Channel at France, where compulsory social insurance based on income is overseen by government.
It's true that France spends on health a slightly greater proportion of its national income — some 10.9 per cent in 2013, according to the OECD — than Britain. But its outcomes, and the standard of its healthcare, are far superior.
Most French people would be aghast at the notion that a four-hour wait in Accident and Emergency is viewed in Britain as a kind of gold standard. They would be shocked to learn that patients in this country often wait months for an operation.
Indeed, my colleague Sue Reid travelled to a gleaming new hospital in Calais where, as is generally the case in France, there are no waiting lists.
A British woman, who had been told she would have to wait at least five months for knee replacement surgery at a hospital in Kent, received an immediate appointment in Calais. Under a new scheme, her operation in France will be paid for by the NHS.
Whether one is rich or poor, there is little doubt that medical treatment across the Channel is more efficient and more rapid, and usually has better outcomes, not just for cancer treatment. I know where I'd rather be ill.
Why do we cling so myopically to the creaking NHS, where in recent weeks sick patients have been made to wait for hours on trolleys in corridors — scenes that would be deemed incredible in France or, indeed, Germany?
Needless to say, the NHS has thousands of hard-working and long-suffering doctors and nurses. It is not their commitment I question. It's the system.
There was a time when imaginative Tories were prepared to contemplate alternatives. No longer. Jeremy Hunt (for whom I have some respect) seems genuinely to believe that the NHS offers the best available healthcare.
He often quotes a study by the U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund which last year — unbelievably to my mind — judged that Britain has the best health service in the world.
What Mr Hunt does not mention is that when outcomes were taken into account (the most important consideration, I'd have thought) the same report ranked Britain 10th out of 11 countries.
The NHS is very far from perfect. It could be reformed and improved. And it's not just a question of sloshing in more money. These are truths our politicians dare not discuss, and we blinkered British will not confront.
Trump's right about the NHS
OOH, a war of words between our Government and Donald Trump over the NHS.
Donald says it’s broke and useless.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, responds that it’s absolutely bloody marvellous.
But I could see his nose growing longer with every word he uttered.
Nearly all the Tories know that the NHS is exactly as Trump described it.
As a friend once said to me, it’s the only organisation in the world which always delights in telling you it’s in crisis.
It is outdated and has outgrown its usefulness.
You could raise taxes to 90 per cent and it still wouldn’t be enough.And the Government knows this but dare not admit it.
The BBC's dereliction of duty: The allegations against Corbyn could hardly be more serious, STEPHEN GLOVER asks why the BBC is ignoring them?http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z57YYQqIUC
Marr responded to the paper’s front page piece with the moral distaste of a vicar confronted by a pornographic magazine. He hastened to assure us that it had been ‘comprehensively and absolutely denied by all the politicians concerned, and it does seem reading through it rather thin’.
Probably even more to the point, many news editors and political journalists at the Beeb regard Jeremy Corbyn with more favour than they did, not least, perhaps, because he appears increasingly opposed to the kind of ‘hard’ Brexit they abominate.
Why shouldn't newspapers ask questions about the nature of his relationship with Jan Sarkocy? It's not an outlandish idea that 30 years ago the Czechoslovaks might have targeted a young hard-Left critic of the US who was also a voluble nuclear unilateralist.
After all, the Soviet KGB recruited others, including the Guardian journalist Richard Gott in the 1960s, and very possibly the Left-wing trade union leader Jack Jones.
As I say, I instinctively doubt that Corbyn was one of their number. But given he had three meetings with a Czechoslovak spy, and that more encounters are alleged to have taken place, there are proper questions for the Press to ask which he should be reasonably expected to answer.
What may have happened 30 years ago is almost certainly less terrifying than what we have discovered over the past few days. I'm grateful for the enlightenment and petrified, too. When the mask slips, Jeremy Corbyn neither thinks nor talks like a democratic politician.
As I say, I instinctively doubt that Corbyn was one of their number.
I don't use the word treachery lightly but how else to describe the ecstatic reaction of the CBI, the BBC and mandarins to Corbyn's cynical speech?
But in truth, the much-lauded speech was short on specifics, as well as contradictory. For example, Corbyn insisted Britain should stay in the Customs Union, where, according to him, it would be possible to negotiate new trade deals in our national interest. That isn't remotely feasible.
Not that this was reflected in the BBC's voluminous coverage, which concentrated gleefully on the possibility that Theresa May might be voted down in the Commons in the coming weeks.
Doesn't it say something about our debased political culture — and in particular the desperation of extreme anti-Brexiteers — that a half-baked and dishonest contribution such as Jeremy Corbyn's doesn't merely escape close examination, but is also welcomed in near-ecstatic terms?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... z58PYmTyIA
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