‘It must be what the Baghdad Green Zone is like, hermetically sealed and full of the commentariat issuing orders devoid of any sense of reality’
To: Don Wise, chief executive
From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive
Re: Rave with Dave
Well that was exciting. This year’s Confed conference certainly succeeded in keeping delegates’ attention by holding it in the most desolate part of London - there was nothing else to do. It must be what the Baghdad Green Zone is like, hermetically sealed and full of the commentariat issuing orders devoid of any sense of reality.
Into this cauldron of activity, furnace of innovation and engine of enterprise bounced David Cameron. Cameron wants us to think he’s one of us, feels our pain, shares our ambition and experiences our lives.
I’m not sure about that. When I stepped out of my£2m home this morning and took smug satisfaction from watching the windmill on the roof happily generating enough electricity to power my toothbrush, before hopping onto the bicycle being held by my chauffeur, I couldn’t imagine what he and I had in common.
Still, everyone’s mate Dave had come along to inspire us with a return to those great policies that we all voted against in 1997. I still can’t work out whether abolishing a waiting-time target a year after it has been achieved is post-modern genius or slimy, meaningless populism.
Likewise his determination to separate purchasing from provision while putting the GP in charge of both, seems to proffer on them a special preserve, similar to that given by God to dogs. It’s in the answer to the question of why dogs lick their testicles: because they can. So why do GPs commission services from themselves?
I did of course warm to Cameron immediately when he started off by saying the NHS was his number one priority. The Police Federation must have felt pretty excited too when they were told that crime was an urgent priority, the climate change lobby was thrilled to be a national priority and the boys in the City were chuffed to be told they are a first priority.
Then he went too far when he said that the NHS is his passion. I really don’t want to know what he gets up to in his private life.