To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive

Re: His-Tory lesson

Dear Don,

Having recently returned from the party conferences, I thought I had better pass on my reflections, but then a reshuffle happened.

So feel for poor Andrew Lansley. There he was sitting patiently by the phone, waiting for a call from the prime minister. But alas, poor, lonely Andrew felt quite bereft that he had not been offered a place in Gordon Brown's new cabinet. After all, he has slavishly adopted every Labour health policy going.

He has been a dutiful, loyal and true friend of new Labour. Compare the easy time Alan Johnson has at a Unison conference with poor Andrew having to admit to the rabid, frothing, bunch of privatising, hangin' 'n' floggin', service-slashing, foreigner-loathing, true-identity-hiding Tory faithful that the NHS was "safe in his hands". He must have been the loneliest, little Tory in the hall at that moment.

"The NHS is safe in our hands": rather quaint when you think about. How long was the ovation at that moment? Not exactly Tory Land of Hope and Glory, was it? Then lonely Andrew took us on a history tour. He said - and this suggests he will never have an alternative career as a historian - that: "After 1979, we released the energy and enterprise of British business; after the next election, we will release the energy, enthusiasm, innovation and enterprise of those working in the NHS."

Er... what about the bit of NHS history after 1979, Andrew? What happened to the NHS after you released all your energy and enterprise all over it (yuk!)? Your Tory chums annihilated it!

So what's the Tory big idea that's going to save the health service? More drugs? Longer life? Less pain? Ahem, none of that. The Tories are going to halve the number of beds in the NHS by turning wards into individual rooms. And did he really mean all mothers in maternity care will have access to a single room? It had better be a bloody big room, or it's going to get a bit whiffy in there after a while.