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Editorial Tuesday 14 Feb 2012: Health Policy Intelligence 39 & 40: Is PM Cameron to be Mr Lansley's "as one" or assassin?

PM Cameron: Andrew Lansley and I are “as one”; DPM Clegg: “Andrew Lansley right man for the job”; Baroness Williams: drop Section 3 of Bill
Sub-heading finds itself unable to live up to headlines; exits to join French Foreign Legion

I honestly don’t know how you write down the phonetic sound of uncontrolled, slightly hysterical laughter. It's probably for the best, given recent events.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, out loud, in the real world - OK, in an article in the Sunday Times this past weekend - that while the NHS’s “values are right, the system isn't. It needs to change – and that is why I am at one with Andrew Lansley, the reform programme and the legislation going through Parliament”.

It’s a genuinely impressive statement of faith, which was only slightly undermined by the Number 10 briefing of a Times political correspondent that Mr Lansley should be “taken out and shot” the previous Tuesday.

This last weekend also offered some industrial-grade fun, with the Mail (yes, you read that right) running an FOI story by SpinWatch (who did the Helios work) about some startling corporate hospitality and favour-getting by McKinseys.

Now, there is a danger of expecting any of this to make coherent and logical sense any more. Eighteen months in, we really should be inured, if not inoculated, against that danger.

We have all probably spent rather too long in here – and ‘Health Bill Cabin Fever’ would be an awesome title for a disco record, as frankly, it looks as if Mr Lansley needs a new line of work quite urgently. A disco diva silver fox? Why not? Stranger things have happened … albeit not many.

Our weekly summary-commentary Health Policy Intelligence continues in this vein - and is only available by subscription, which costs £69 for 12 months.

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