NEWS FOCUS: So there you are, trotting along as a modern and dependable manager.Thanks to the wonders of deed poll, reform is now your middle name. And suddenly, it turns out that there are alternatives to the one true faith. To offer a soupcon of light r

1.News in from region: your bid for a new maternity unit has got the go-ahead.Time to celebrate - but how?

a) Crack open the Chardonnay!

b) A nice pint of bitter should do the trick - or 14!

c) A wee dram, over a log fire.And perhaps a small amount of bagpiping, if TV cameras are present.

2.What does the phrase 'bring back matron'mean to you?

a) That the party is listening (to focus groups) - and matrons will have 'a new job and new powers for today's NHS'.

b) That is another Tory idea they've nicked: time to send some pretty angry press releases.

c) You despair about the level that politicians will stoop to, just because they have a chance in hell of winning power one day.

3.Sometimes It is hard to be an NHS manager.What makes it difficult for you?

a) Impatience with others slow to keep up with the exciting modernisation agenda.

b) Creeping centralisation - remember the good old days when trusts could really compete?

c) The failures of political leaders to increase investment in things that matter to the NHS - things like nurses and . . .

complementary medicine.

4.Are you a fat-cat bureaucrat?

a) No. To deliver the kinds of farreaching reform the NHS needs, we need the highest calibre of managers to bring about a radical step-change of modernisation.

b) No - see reasons above, except that guff about modernisation.

c) Do you think? Perhaps I am in the wrong job. I do feel a bit guilty, come to think of it. I've never been that comfortable with power.

5.Funding eh? Everyone wants to improve the NHS - but how much money does it need - and where do you plan to get it from?

a) It is not just about money. It is about investing to reform.

Anyway, all of a sudden, PPP is my new fave thing.

b) Well, obviously, it needs more money. But can't people just 'go private'?

c) Loads.You'd increase tax massively.Of course, that might put off the voters, but That is hardly the point.

6.Is the NHS 'creaking under the strain of bureaucracy and government gimmicks'?

a) No. The real problem is addressing years of damage done by the Tories (check with Al if We are still allowed to say that).

b)Yes indeedy. For New Labour, spin is worth more than substance, soundbites more than staff. (Is that catchy enough? ) c) The solution is less control from the centre and a reduced role for Whitehall.

7.Whatever is to be done about primary care?

a) What are those grumbling docs complaining about now?

We have already promised them three-quarters of the NHS budget. All they have to do is work harder - oops, maximise efficiency.

b) Poor old primary care indeed.

Surely better to create a sort of 'internal market' in which GPs can choose which hospitals their patients go to. Clever, huh? What do you mean, It is been done before?

c) More money for . . . . um . . .

dentists, diabetes and anything else no one else worries about.

8.It is a big day for you.Your chosen leader is popping in to your teaching hospital to frighten the babies and get mildly harangued.Hoorah! Off to the dry cleaners, to pick up:

a) Well the grey suit, obviously, but what shade of red for the tie? Fuschia? Cherry? Or perhaps burgundy would be more subtle. And memo to self:

make sure You have got a nonwhite non-exec ready for the photocall.

b) Well, the grey suit.With an old-school tie, and perhaps time for an outing for those 'witty' cufflinks you got from your chair.

c) Enough of the grey suits for me! What's wrong with cords?

Now tot up how many a's, b's and c's you have (find a passing finance director, if necessary) - and unleash your policical convictions on the world!

Mostly a:

Who could be more New Labour than you?

Or you could just be a floating voter with a tendency to pick up self-help guides and modern management theories. Or maybe you were a Tory once, when it was fashionable, but now, along with the shoulder-pads banished to the back of the wardrobe, you have shed some of your less modish allegiances. Or you could be old Labour but hiding it exceptionally well. Rather like an upmarket transvestite - these days, It is really hard to tell.

Mostly b:

You're blue, through and through. In fact, being Tory right now shows signs of real commitment to the cause.

Feel free to vote any which way you want to - but you might want to watch your tongue on the topic of the internal market.

Those of you working in the public sector over the last decade might want to take a closer look at the cyclical nature of fashion.

Basically, the internal market was good at around the same time that Madonna was wearing conical bras and was generally seen as somewhat American. But Madge has moved on - just as she has embraced yoga and cockney living, so you will have to work within a more collaborative framework. Of course, you can still cast your sordid little vote in peace!

Mostly c:

Well, hello! HSJ has always wanted to meet a real one!

Only joking, we know readers in the South West are practically surrounded by all things Lib Dem. And It is not always tactical.

Feel free to vote any which way you want. But should you 'fess up to the rest of the board? And will they respect you in the morning?