Mr Blair promises a new NHS with 10,000 new doctors by 2010. It takes a minimum of eight years to train a doctor.

Current annual medical recruitment is barely 25 per cent of the number required even to achieve the 2,000 new doctors promised for 2004. Since retention rates from medical schools are falling, and since fully one third of doctors over 50 (who comprise 40 per cent of GPs nationally) are planning to retire early, perhaps Mr Blair also believes the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, the legend of the Loch Ness monster, and the existence of a Zionist plot to infiltrate green lizards from Sirius into the world's chancelleries - or was that someone else? If not, why not?

Politicians and public alike need a dose of cold water - not inflated, unrealisable expectations.

Dr Michael Martin-Smith Salisbury Street Hull