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Sunak’s response to the private GP question made things worse – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited January 15 in General
Sunak’s response to the private GP question made things worse – politicalbetting.com

It was on Sunday that this interview first went out and yet the issue that it raises is still causing problems for Number 10. I wouldn’t be surprised if Starmer chooses to bring it up at PMQs.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • MikeSmithsonMikeSmithson Posts: 7,330
    Test
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    Test

    Good morning.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?
  • Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 3,023

    HYUFD said:

    The Queen passing was as good a reason as any is ever going to exist to properly consider whether we really need or want a monarchy or not.

    I think many folk were quite happy not to think about it too much or ask probing niggly questions about it when the Queen was in charge. Her stability, longevity and general keep-your-head-down-and-get-on-with-it approach singlehandedly lent the whole institution a credibility it doesn't really have any longer. She did a sort of weird Hari Seldon Foundation type thing by being largely invisible except for popping up at the key moments in history to reassure everyone it'd all be ok in a bit, then disappearing again.

    If everyone shut up now and Charles could do a similar strong-n-stable-but-you-don't-need-to-hear-from-me-much maybe they'd get away with it, but it feels like the whole thing now has a bit of a death spiral feel to it.

    No it doesn't.

    The Queen was an exceptional monarch, a once in centuries head if state. However the monarchy has survived terrible monarchs, eg George IVth or Edward VIII and James IInd and Charles so far has been at least average with the popular William to come.

    In any case Republicans had a once in a generation chance to elect a republican PM in 2017 and 2019 with the republican Corbyn. They failed and now both Starmer and Sunak want to keep the monarchy and back the King
    The issue isn't surviving terrible monarchs. It's about surviving terrible all-of-them-at-the-moment after the only one demonstrably not terrible is no longer around to keep it all together. Now it's just sub-par horsey Kardashian shite, I think the phrase was.

    Your reason for keeping them basically boils down to "we've had them for a long time even when they've been shit". It's not exactly a hugely enticing proposition.
    No, the reason for keeping them is it is a better way to run the country than the alternative. No system is perfect but the constitutional monarchy system run in many European countries including the UK is far better than a republic.
    Other than the ceremonial stuff, they're only doing a good job when they're not involved in actually running stuff, like a good referee.

    I'm sure we can find literally anyone else to do the same mostly invisible, supposedly thankless role without fundamentally altering the rest of the structure and instantly removing the need for all the other elements of the Royal family.
    Not so. They embody the nation separated from politics. Any elected head of state is inevitably an overtly political figure and as such is a source of division rather than unity. This is a powerful function both internally and externally. Something the Queen understood well and I hope the King will also understand.
    That's fair enough - you make a reasonable and fair argument.

    I can't help but feel it comes back to the "it's good to have them precisely because they're so studiously blandly neutral" thing, but I can accept the point that an elected head of state is potentially going to have a political element to it. Although I don't feel like that needs to be an absolute given if you set it up the right way.
    Blandly neutral is a function of having no day-to-day political power, not of being a monarch. See also: the many many countries that have presidents who are mainly figureheads.

    Of course, those presidents may not "embody the nation", so it depends on whether having a monarch embodying the nation is a good thing or not. Iceland, for example, has never had a monarchy and gets by OK

    I'm not convinced by the claim that Britain was the "only major European nation that avoided having a Fascist or Communist leader by 1940" by HYUFD. Even for such a small sample size it doesn't seem to check out:

    Italy - monarchy - became first fascist country
    Germany - republic - became fascist country
    Britain - monarchy - no fascist or communist leader
    France - republic - no fascist or communist leader (at least not until defeat by Germany)

    Russia - monarchy became communist dictatorship.

    Italy banned male members of the House of Savoy from even entering the country until 2002 they had such a bad experience with their constitutional monarchy.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    That question is a distraction from the things that really matter.
  • What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0
  • Ugh.

    British troops dispatched to Japan could face death by hanging if they are convicted of capital crimes, under a defence agreement to be signed tomorrow by Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-troops-guilty-of-crimes-in-japan-could-be-hanged-m2m236zwl
  • sbjme19sbjme19 Posts: 31
    I don't think it should be such a big deal, there's the Thatcher point that Kuenssberg made and I remember reading in some contemporary Labour diaries a propos some health issue that the Wilsons were members of BUPA. Some other Labour Minister said they'd had an op privately so they could get back to work more quickly......which is presumably what we want ministers to do....if they're effective ones.
  • Labour will attempt to force a binding vote on ending private schools’ tax breaks and use the £1.7bn a year raised from this to drive new teacher recruitment.

    The motion submitted by Keir Starmer’s party for the opposition day debate on Wednesday is drafted to push the charitable status scheme that many private schools enjoy to be investigated, as the party attempts to shift the political focus on to education.

    It comes as the party released fresh statistics highlighting the state of teaching staff, with Labour analysis of official figures from the Department for Education revealing that there were 36,262 teachers who left the profession in 2020/21, compared with only 34,394 starters on initial teacher training, leaving a shortfall of 1,868.

    Labour’s motion seeks to create a new House of Commons select committee on the fair taxation of schools and education standards to investigate reforming the tax benefits enjoyed by private schools and investing the proceeds on a new national excellence programme.


    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/jan/11/labour-look-to-force-vote-on-ending-private-schools-tax-breaks
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
    Neither do I.

    Nevertheless, I do think @Gallowgate has a point when he says Sunak's problem isn't necessarily his wealth but how he wears it.
  • Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020

    Ugh.

    British troops dispatched to Japan could face death by hanging if they are convicted of capital crimes, under a defence agreement to be signed tomorrow by Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-troops-guilty-of-crimes-in-japan-could-be-hanged-m2m236zwl

    I read that. It's a typical diplomatic compromisen to assuage Japanese concerns on sovereignty: theoretically they could, but in practice they never will be.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    What if he's secretly planning to lay claim to the French throne?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    kamski said:

    HYUFD said:

    The Queen passing was as good a reason as any is ever going to exist to properly consider whether we really need or want a monarchy or not.

    I think many folk were quite happy not to think about it too much or ask probing niggly questions about it when the Queen was in charge. Her stability, longevity and general keep-your-head-down-and-get-on-with-it approach singlehandedly lent the whole institution a credibility it doesn't really have any longer. She did a sort of weird Hari Seldon Foundation type thing by being largely invisible except for popping up at the key moments in history to reassure everyone it'd all be ok in a bit, then disappearing again.

    If everyone shut up now and Charles could do a similar strong-n-stable-but-you-don't-need-to-hear-from-me-much maybe they'd get away with it, but it feels like the whole thing now has a bit of a death spiral feel to it.

    No it doesn't.

    The Queen was an exceptional monarch, a once in centuries head if state. However the monarchy has survived terrible monarchs, eg George IVth or Edward VIII and James IInd and Charles so far has been at least average with the popular William to come.

    In any case Republicans had a once in a generation chance to elect a republican PM in 2017 and 2019 with the republican Corbyn. They failed and now both Starmer and Sunak want to keep the monarchy and back the King
    The issue isn't surviving terrible monarchs. It's about surviving terrible all-of-them-at-the-moment after the only one demonstrably not terrible is no longer around to keep it all together. Now it's just sub-par horsey Kardashian shite, I think the phrase was.

    Your reason for keeping them basically boils down to "we've had them for a long time even when they've been shit". It's not exactly a hugely enticing proposition.
    No, the reason for keeping them is it is a better way to run the country than the alternative. No system is perfect but the constitutional monarchy system run in many European countries including the UK is far better than a republic.
    Other than the ceremonial stuff, they're only doing a good job when they're not involved in actually running stuff, like a good referee.

    I'm sure we can find literally anyone else to do the same mostly invisible, supposedly thankless role without fundamentally altering the rest of the structure and instantly removing the need for all the other elements of the Royal family.
    Not so. They embody the nation separated from politics. Any elected head of state is inevitably an overtly political figure and as such is a source of division rather than unity. This is a powerful function both internally and externally. Something the Queen understood well and I hope the King will also understand.
    That's fair enough - you make a reasonable and fair argument.

    I can't help but feel it comes back to the "it's good to have them precisely because they're so studiously blandly neutral" thing, but I can accept the point that an elected head of state is potentially going to have a political element to it. Although I don't feel like that needs to be an absolute given if you set it up the right way.
    Blandly neutral is a function of having no day-to-day political power, not of being a monarch. See also: the many many countries that have presidents who are mainly figureheads.

    Of course, those presidents may not "embody the nation", so it depends on whether having a monarch embodying the nation is a good thing or not. Iceland, for example, has never had a monarchy and gets by OK

    I'm not convinced by the claim that Britain was the "only major European nation that avoided having a Fascist or Communist leader by 1940" by HYUFD. Even for such a small sample size it doesn't seem to check out:

    Italy - monarchy - became first fascist country
    Germany - republic - became fascist country
    Britain - monarchy - no fascist or communist leader
    France - republic - no fascist or communist leader (at least not until defeat by Germany)

    Russia - monarchy became communist dictatorship.

    Italy banned male members of the House of Savoy from even entering the country until 2002 they had such a bad experience with their constitutional monarchy.
    I think Russia would certainly be better off with a constitutional tsar.

    Like for the orthodox church everyday Russians could project their emotions and loyalties onto him rather than a nefarious president.
  • Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
    Neither do I.

    Nevertheless, I do think @Gallowgate has a point when he says Sunak's problem isn't necessarily his wealth but how he wears it.
    He doesn't good possess good PR instincts.

    It is the green card all over again.

    He should have had the nous on getting ahead of it all with a decency media strategy.

    In Sunak's defence being so wealthy during a recession/cost of living crisis was always going to present challenges.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825

    Ugh.

    British troops dispatched to Japan could face death by hanging if they are convicted of capital crimes, under a defence agreement to be signed tomorrow by Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-troops-guilty-of-crimes-in-japan-could-be-hanged-m2m236zwl

    I read that. It's a typical diplomatic compromisen to assuage Japanese concerns on sovereignty: theoretically they could, but in practice they never will be.
    I think it unlikely too. Japan is quite sensitive to this as there has been a long history of American servicemen commiting crimes, notably in Okinawa.

    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825
    edited January 11
    kamski said:

    HYUFD said:

    The Queen passing was as good a reason as any is ever going to exist to properly consider whether we really need or want a monarchy or not.

    I think many folk were quite happy not to think about it too much or ask probing niggly questions about it when the Queen was in charge. Her stability, longevity and general keep-your-head-down-and-get-on-with-it approach singlehandedly lent the whole institution a credibility it doesn't really have any longer. She did a sort of weird Hari Seldon Foundation type thing by being largely invisible except for popping up at the key moments in history to reassure everyone it'd all be ok in a bit, then disappearing again.

    If everyone shut up now and Charles could do a similar strong-n-stable-but-you-don't-need-to-hear-from-me-much maybe they'd get away with it, but it feels like the whole thing now has a bit of a death spiral feel to it.

    No it doesn't.

    The Queen was an exceptional monarch, a once in centuries head if state. However the monarchy has survived terrible monarchs, eg George IVth or Edward VIII and James IInd and Charles so far has been at least average with the popular William to come.

    In any case Republicans had a once in a generation chance to elect a republican PM in 2017 and 2019 with the republican Corbyn. They failed and now both Starmer and Sunak want to keep the monarchy and back the King
    The issue isn't surviving terrible monarchs. It's about surviving terrible all-of-them-at-the-moment after the only one demonstrably not terrible is no longer around to keep it all together. Now it's just sub-par horsey Kardashian shite, I think the phrase was.

    Your reason for keeping them basically boils down to "we've had them for a long time even when they've been shit". It's not exactly a hugely enticing proposition.
    No, the reason for keeping them is it is a better way to run the country than the alternative. No system is perfect but the constitutional monarchy system run in many European countries including the UK is far better than a republic.
    Other than the ceremonial stuff, they're only doing a good job when they're not involved in actually running stuff, like a good referee.

    I'm sure we can find literally anyone else to do the same mostly invisible, supposedly thankless role without fundamentally altering the rest of the structure and instantly removing the need for all the other elements of the Royal family.
    Not so. They embody the nation separated from politics. Any elected head of state is inevitably an overtly political figure and as such is a source of division rather than unity. This is a powerful function both internally and externally. Something the Queen understood well and I hope the King will also understand.
    That's fair enough - you make a reasonable and fair argument.

    I can't help but feel it comes back to the "it's good to have them precisely because they're so studiously blandly neutral" thing, but I can accept the point that an elected head of state is potentially going to have a political element to it. Although I don't feel like that needs to be an absolute given if you set it up the right way.
    Blandly neutral is a function of having no day-to-day political power, not of being a monarch. See also: the many many countries that have presidents who are mainly figureheads.

    Of course, those presidents may not "embody the nation", so it depends on whether having a monarch embodying the nation is a good thing or not. Iceland, for example, has never had a monarchy and gets by OK

    I'm not convinced by the claim that Britain was the "only major European nation that avoided having a Fascist or Communist leader by 1940" by HYUFD. Even for such a small sample size it doesn't seem to check out:

    Italy - monarchy - became first fascist country
    Germany - republic - became fascist country
    Britain - monarchy - no fascist or communist leader
    France - republic - no fascist or communist leader (at least not until defeat by Germany)

    Russia - monarchy became communist dictatorship.

    Italy banned male members of the House of Savoy from even entering the country until 2002 they had such a bad experience with their constitutional monarchy.
    Having a monarch as head of state didn't protect a number of European countries from fascist dictatorship in the 20th Century. Spain, Greece and Romania spring to mind.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825
    Nigelb said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    That question is a distraction from the things that really matter.
    Yes, which is why Starmer would be wise to avoid it. Better to concentrate on the issues that matter in a Britain that seems to be sinking into chaos.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 11,036
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jan/11/rishi-sunak-conservative-party-problem-13-years-rule

    Rafael Behr's latest piece on Sunak is rather good. Tldr; he's f*cked.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 9,073
    An important new psychology study from UCL:
    In this experiment, we manipulated what men believed about their own penis size, relative to others. We gave them false information, stating that the average penis size was larger than it in fact is, reasoning that, on average, these males will feel that relatively and subjectively their own penis was smaller; compared to those told that the average penis size was smaller than true average. We then asked them to rate how much they would like to own a sports car. These facts and questions were buried amongst other items giving information and asking for product ratings, so that our hypothesis was masked from participants. We found that males, and males over 30 in particular, rated sports cars as more desirable when they were made to feel that they had a small penis.
    https://psyarxiv.com/uy7ph/download
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825
    It is. Sunak must barely remember Maggie as actual PM. He remembers the legend as embellished over the years, not the reality.
  • Foxy said:

    It is. Sunak must barely remember Maggie as actual PM. He remembers the legend as embellished over the years, not the reality.
    Yup, he was born in 1980. So any actual memories he has are from the "declining and losing grip on reality phase" of her Premiership.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,792

    Ugh.

    British troops dispatched to Japan could face death by hanging if they are convicted of capital crimes, under a defence agreement to be signed tomorrow by Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-troops-guilty-of-crimes-in-japan-could-be-hanged-m2m236zwl

    The US have the same obligation under the SOFA agreement (though they do everything possible to impede Japanese law enforcement's access to suspects) so the UK was never going to get something the US didn't. It's a politically touchy issue in Japan as the massive USMC presence on Okinawa has traditionally been a bit rapey.

    In my experience UK forces tend to be more thieves than rapists (US) or outright killers (Australians) so the probability of one getting a trip to the gallows is remote.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,792
    edited January 11
    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,949

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    Incidentally, where do out-of-town MPs register with a GP? In London, or in their constituencies (or, for those who do not live in their constituencies, their home area? Can you register for GP services in two places, or is there a system that can cope with people who spend long periods from their nominal home?
  • carnforthcarnforth Posts: 1,477

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Top BBC managers used to get BUPA (new ones don't):

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/144164/response/354022/attach/html/3/RFI20130013 final response.pdf.html

    Journalists are on the NHS.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    Dura_Ace said:

    Ugh.

    British troops dispatched to Japan could face death by hanging if they are convicted of capital crimes, under a defence agreement to be signed tomorrow by Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-troops-guilty-of-crimes-in-japan-could-be-hanged-m2m236zwl

    The US have the same obligation under the SOFA agreement (though they do everything possible to impede Japanese law enforcement's access to suspects) so the UK was never going to get something the US didn't. It's a politically touchy issue in Japan as the massive USMC presence on Okinawa has traditionally been a bit rapey.

    In my experience UK forces tend to be more thieves than rapists (US) or outright killers (Australians) so the probability of one getting a trip to the gallows is remote.
    If you read the detail of the agreement the UK having the right to impede Japanese law enforcement's access to suspects is built into it.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    sbjme19 said:

    I don't think it should be such a big deal, there's the Thatcher point that Kuenssberg made and I remember reading in some contemporary Labour diaries a propos some health issue that the Wilsons were members of BUPA. Some other Labour Minister said they'd had an op privately so they could get back to work more quickly......which is presumably what we want ministers to do....if they're effective ones.

    In that case, we need them to have ops on the NHS.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 3,023

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    I disagree with all of that. The prime minister's vast wealth is relevant to how people judge his policy decisions. And he's welcome to say to a journalist something childish like "I'll answer that question if you answer it first", but I don't think it will make him look any better, whatever the journalist's answer is.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,949

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Many people will have private health insurance through work, even if most never use it. Probably the number who have a private GP is vanishingly small. You seem anxious to prove this does not matter; if so, you should tell the Prime Minister, who clearly thinks it does.

    For what it is worth, I also doubt this will have much long term impact. Voters expect Prime Ministers, especially Tory ones, to be a bit posh.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
    Neither do I.

    Nevertheless, I do think @Gallowgate has a point when he says Sunak's problem isn't necessarily his wealth but how he wears it.
    He doesn't good possess good PR instincts.

    It is the green card all over again.

    He should have had the nous on getting ahead of it all with a decency media strategy.

    In Sunak's defence being so wealthy during a recession/cost of living crisis was always going to present challenges.
    He should, but David Cameron managed to avoid this - he'd never have stepped onto a private jet to Leeds. Osborne may have done the same. Boris probably would bluster/joke his way of whatever did he.

    I think things like this matter much more than the soup kitchen conversation, which I still think was a lot of fuss about nothing; it makes him look like Davos man.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
    "I was born in Stoke, but learned how to beat the shit out of people in the Royal Navy."
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    edited January 11

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
    Neither do I.

    Nevertheless, I do think @Gallowgate has a point when he says Sunak's problem isn't necessarily his wealth but how he wears it.
    He doesn't good possess good PR instincts.

    It is the green card all over again.

    He should have had the nous on getting ahead of it all with a decency media strategy.

    In Sunak's defence being so wealthy during a recession/cost of living crisis was always going to present challenges.
    He should, but David Cameron managed to avoid this - he'd never have stepped onto a private jet to Leeds. Osborne may have done the same. Boris probably would bluster/joke his way of whatever did he.

    I think things like this matter much more than the soup kitchen conversation, which I still think was a lot of fuss about nothing; it makes him look like Davos man.
    I remember Cameron got loads of criticism for saying he'd bought a bread maker he couldn't work out how to use, while visiting Whitbread's main factory.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,666

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Agree, there is no good answer here.
    It's actually not *that* easy a question to answer... what counts as private healthcare?

    When I chipped my tooth and paid extra to have it fixed and be the same colour... is that going private?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825

    Incidentally, where do out-of-town MPs register with a GP? In London, or in their constituencies (or, for those who do not live in their constituencies, their home area? Can you register for GP services in two places, or is there a system that can cope with people who spend long periods from their nominal home?

    You can register with either address, but can be seen by any GP as a temporary resident.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814

    Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
    "I was born in Stoke, but learned how to beat the shit out of people in the Royal Navy."
    That's a bit unfair on the Royal Navy. People from Stoke learn how to beat the shit out of people in Hanley... ;)
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
    "I was born in Stoke, but learned how to beat the shit out of people in the Royal Navy."
    That's a bit unfair on the Royal Navy. People from Stoke learn how to beat the shit out of people in Hanley... ;)
    Then, having mastered the theory, they go to Trentham to perfect the practice.
  • NerysHughesNerysHughes Posts: 3,006
    carnforth said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Top BBC managers used to get BUPA (new ones don't):

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/144164/response/354022/attach/html/3/RFI20130013 final response.pdf.html

    Journalists are on the NHS.
    Do you think Laura Kuenssberg has private healtcare considering she earns twice as much as the PM ?
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,949
    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Many people will have private health insurance through work, even if most never use it. Probably the number who have a private GP is vanishingly small. You seem anxious to prove this does not matter; if so, you should tell the Prime Minister, who clearly thinks it does.

    For what it is worth, I also doubt this will have much long term impact. Voters expect Prime Ministers, especially Tory ones, to be a bit posh.
    I'm not 'anxious' in the least. In the same manner, you seem very eager to insinuate this is some massive gotcha for the PM. And the person who seems to think it 'matters' was the interviewer.
  • Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
    "I was born in Stoke, but learned how to beat the shit out of people in the Royal Navy."
    That's a bit unfair on the Royal Navy. People from Stoke learn how to beat the shit out of people in Hanley... ;)
    Then, having mastered the theory, they go to Trentham to perfect the practice.
    I was just wondering: has some poor fool intended to go to Henley for the regatta, and ended up watching ducks negotiate the shopping trolleys on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Hanley?
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 11,036

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Many people will have private health insurance through work, even if most never use it. Probably the number who have a private GP is vanishingly small. You seem anxious to prove this does not matter; if so, you should tell the Prime Minister, who clearly thinks it does.

    For what it is worth, I also doubt this will have much long term impact. Voters expect Prime Ministers, especially Tory ones, to be a bit posh.
    If you get offered private health care through work but never use it you should refuse it, as it is a taxable benefit. That's what I do, since I would never use it anyway on principle.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    Aside: Max Hastings new book 'Abyss' on the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant.

    479 pages but learnt lots of new things about 1950s/1960s Cuba, America and Russia in it - including how easy it would have been to miscalculate - and there are some interesting lessons for the present day and Ukraine as well.

    Chief amongst them: Russia craves respect and tends to dial the rhetoric and fear up to 11, but secretly knows it is outclassed, and the US top brass are ridiculously gung-ho.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 11,036

    That the PM and other senior ministers go private isn't news. We need them working 24/7 which means access to immediate healthcare which means paying for it.

    It is only a "scandal" because his government has provoked a strike with nurses and has MPs now blaming the nurses for the strikes. I would suggest though that Sunak has a much wider issue which was highlighted by his idiot flight from London to Dirty Leeds.

    We are in the midst of a winter of discontent where the industrial action is increasing not decreasing in England. Not only is the government refusing to face into the myriad issues in schools, hospitals, trains, border points, courts etc etc, it thinks that it should double down and solve the problem by outlawing the strikes.

    Flying to Leeds - which by the time you get to and from the airport is slower than the train - tells everyone that he knows the service is unusable. On a non-strike day. On an operator that isn't beset with the DfT meddling that has ruined the likes of Avanti. So it isn't "why is the PM evading a question about a private doctor". Its "why are the elite breaking public services for all of us then rubbing our faces in it by avoiding the mess we have to put up with."

    Labour got NHS waiting lists down so that even busy people with hectic jobs could use it. Under the Tories it's becoming a service only fit for the poor, ie not good enough for anyone.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    Sunak is telling the country he doesn't rate the NHS which is why he's gone private.

    He has publicly insulted the NHS, his execution is being scheduled.
    Neither do I.

    Nevertheless, I do think @Gallowgate has a point when he says Sunak's problem isn't necessarily his wealth but how he wears it.
    He doesn't good possess good PR instincts.

    It is the green card all over again.

    He should have had the nous on getting ahead of it all with a decency media strategy.

    In Sunak's defence being so wealthy during a recession/cost of living crisis was always going to present challenges.
    Obviously his advisors are as crap as him. They should have had answers for any and all questions that would arise due to him being super rich and having no grasp of how the public actually live.
    The clown thought saying his father was a Doctor and his mother had a chain of chemists made him one of eth plebs who knew all about the struggles. Seems he has no empathy , tin ears and no heart.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 11,240
    Chris said:

    An important new psychology study from UCL:
    In this experiment, we manipulated what men believed about their own penis size, relative to others. We gave them false information, stating that the average penis size was larger than it in fact is, reasoning that, on average, these males will feel that relatively and subjectively their own penis was smaller; compared to those told that the average penis size was smaller than true average. We then asked them to rate how much they would like to own a sports car. These facts and questions were buried amongst other items giving information and asking for product ratings, so that our hypothesis was masked from participants. We found that males, and males over 30 in particular, rated sports cars as more desirable when they were made to feel that they had a small penis.
    https://psyarxiv.com/uy7ph/download

    I have a hypothesis related to this and condom sizing, but it is too long and broad to fit into a PB.com comment.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,792

    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
    Johnson went to English section of the European School of Brussels (the 'British School' as it was known, my mother taught there but not Johnson) so his French isn't that good. I certainly would not rate him better than CEFR B1. I went to the local réseau de la Communauté française school in Uccle which was 100% French. We didn't even learn Flemish or English!
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072

    That the PM and other senior ministers go private isn't news. We need them working 24/7 which means access to immediate healthcare which means paying for it.

    It is only a "scandal" because his government has provoked a strike with nurses and has MPs now blaming the nurses for the strikes. I would suggest though that Sunak has a much wider issue which was highlighted by his idiot flight from London to Dirty Leeds.

    We are in the midst of a winter of discontent where the industrial action is increasing not decreasing in England. Not only is the government refusing to face into the myriad issues in schools, hospitals, trains, border points, courts etc etc, it thinks that it should double down and solve the problem by outlawing the strikes.

    Flying to Leeds - which by the time you get to and from the airport is slower than the train - tells everyone that he knows the service is unusable. On a non-strike day. On an operator that isn't beset with the DfT meddling that has ruined the likes of Avanti. So it isn't "why is the PM evading a question about a private doctor". Its "why are the elite breaking public services for all of us then rubbing our faces in it by avoiding the mess we have to put up with."

    Them working 24/7 is obviously you having a huge laugh, the buggers are nearly always on holiday or tied up in 2nd jobs. I doubt any of them put in a 40 hour week. When in Westminster the busiest places are the bars and restaurants.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 3,338
    FYI... as a government minister Grant Shapps used to fly around the country to meetings, but he flew his own private plane himself. His staff had to sign indemnities to go with him. At least, that was the case a decade ago. It is probably quite a lot cheaper doing it that way than going on an RAF private jet.

  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    Aside: Max Hastings new book 'Abyss' on the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant.

    479 pages but learnt lots of new things about 1950s/1960s Cuba, America and Russia in it - including how easy it would have been to miscalculate - and there are some interesting lessons for the present day and Ukraine as well.

    Chief amongst them: Russia craves respect and tends to dial the rhetoric and fear up to 11, but secretly knows it is outclassed, and the US top brass are ridiculously gung-ho.

    Did he include the moment where an admiral was asked what he'd do if a ship ran the blockade?

    'We'll hail them and tell them to stop!'

    'Will you hail them in Russian or in English?'

    'How the hell would I know? I guess we'll hail them in English.'

    'What if you hail them in English and they don't speak English?'

    'We'll fire a shot across their bows!'

    'And if that doesn't stop them?'

    'We'll put a shot through their rudder!'*

    'And what would happen to the ship?'

    'Well, its engine might miss a bit, it might catch fire..'

    'Well, I have news for you Admiral. We are not trying to start a war. There will be NO shots fired at ANY Russian ship!'

    *Not an expert, but based on what I know of naval gunnery of the period the idea that a shell could reliably hit the rudder of a moving vessel always struck me as highly optimistic.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    More useless than inexperienced, any Tom , Dick or Harry would have had a better answer. No inkling of real life or just arrogance more likely.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    That the PM and other senior ministers go private isn't news. We need them working 24/7 which means access to immediate healthcare which means paying for it.

    It is only a "scandal" because his government has provoked a strike with nurses and has MPs now blaming the nurses for the strikes. I would suggest though that Sunak has a much wider issue which was highlighted by his idiot flight from London to Dirty Leeds.

    We are in the midst of a winter of discontent where the industrial action is increasing not decreasing in England. Not only is the government refusing to face into the myriad issues in schools, hospitals, trains, border points, courts etc etc, it thinks that it should double down and solve the problem by outlawing the strikes.

    Flying to Leeds - which by the time you get to and from the airport is slower than the train - tells everyone that he knows the service is unusable. On a non-strike day. On an operator that isn't beset with the DfT meddling that has ruined the likes of Avanti. So it isn't "why is the PM evading a question about a private doctor". Its "why are the elite breaking public services for all of us then rubbing our faces in it by avoiding the mess we have to put up with."

    Again, with this government I think that's a very debatable point.

    I mean, would matters have been noticeably worse during the pandemic if say, Gibb and Williamson had been hors de combat waiting for surgery for 18 months?
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072

    carnforth said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Top BBC managers used to get BUPA (new ones don't):

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/144164/response/354022/attach/html/3/RFI20130013 final response.pdf.html

    Journalists are on the NHS.
    Do you think Laura Kuenssberg has private healtcare considering she earns twice as much as the PM ?
    Guaranteed, with that kind of cash why would you wait months to see a Consultant. Would she lie about having it is another question , I doubt it.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 11,240
    darkage said:

    FYI... as a government minister Grant Shapps used to fly around the country to meetings, but he flew his own private plane himself. His staff had to sign indemnities to go with him. At least, that was the case a decade ago. It is probably quite a lot cheaper doing it that way than going on an RAF private jet.

    I met a consultant who often got to fly on the BAe flight from Farnborough up to one of their sites in the NW, I forget where. Not a great story, really. Sigh.
  • Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I'd have been fine with him saying "yes I do use private healthcare, for these reasons". No, it wouldn't have convinced everyone, but that's never going to happen.

    The difference between private and personal is about choosing the right word to give the right impression. If you are trying to avoid discussing your use of a private service, don't use private in your answer. It's basic communications wordcraft, and politicians need to be competent at it.

    And if you can't cope with the brickbats, don't join the circus.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072
    rkrkrk said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Agree, there is no good answer here.
    It's actually not *that* easy a question to answer... what counts as private healthcare?

    When I chipped my tooth and paid extra to have it fixed and be the same colour... is that going private?
    Yes , otherwise you would have got a piece of concrete repair or it yanked out and a gap or plastic one stuck in if at front.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I'd have been fine with him saying "yes I do use private healthcare, for these reasons". No, it wouldn't have convinced everyone, but that's never going to happen.

    The difference between private and personal is about choosing the right word to give the right impression. If you are trying to avoid discussing your use of a private service, don't use private in your answer. It's basic communications wordcraft, and politicians need to be competent at it.

    And if you can't cope with the brickbats, don't join the circus.
    Given his age and state of health, it's entirely possible he doesn't actually use any form of healthcare, apart maybe from an occasional checkup.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 3,023
    rkrkrk said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Agree, there is no good answer here.
    It's actually not *that* easy a question to answer... what counts as private healthcare?

    When I chipped my tooth and paid extra to have it fixed and be the same colour... is that going private?
    "are you registered with a private GP?"
    isn't a difficult question to answer, surely.
  • Dura_Ace said:

    Foxy said:



    If British servicemen commit capital crimes when training in Texas, are they at risk of execution?

    Yes. It's made very clear when you get your draft that you enjoy no immunity or special treatment from local law enforcement in the US. Hence the arrests on the recent HMS QE trip to Florida when the proud traditions of the RN were upheld with a violent punch up with local cops.



    "It takes 4 years to build a ship but 400 years to build a tradition."
    -- Admiral of the Fleet A. B. Cunningham
    It's gratifying to learn that our sailors were involved in something as innocent and old fashioned as a local punch up.

    You'd have to shoot a dozen schoolkids to make the front page in Texas though, so I doubt many people noticed.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,949
    Dura_Ace said:

    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
    Johnson went to English section of the European School of Brussels (the 'British School' as it was known, my mother taught there but not Johnson) so his French isn't that good. I certainly would not rate him better than CEFR B1. I went to the local réseau de la Communauté française school in Uccle which was 100% French. We didn't even learn Flemish or English!
    Both the Purnell and Gimson biographies of Boris have him as fluent in French, if not bilingual (and near-fluent in three other languages). One of Boris's grandmothers spoke French and Russian, and the other claimed links to the French aristocracy.

    But for the benefit of us voters, it was "Donnez-moi un break".
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I'd have been fine with him saying "yes I do use private healthcare, for these reasons". No, it wouldn't have convinced everyone, but that's never going to happen.

    The difference between private and personal is about choosing the right word to give the right impression. If you are trying to avoid discussing your use of a private service, don't use private in your answer. It's basic communications wordcraft, and politicians need to be competent at it.

    And if you can't cope with the brickbats, don't join the circus.
    I think your silly differentiation between 'private' and 'personal' shows that you are just wanting to find reasons to slam Sunak. I really don't think there's much of a distinction there.
  • ydoethur said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I'd have been fine with him saying "yes I do use private healthcare, for these reasons". No, it wouldn't have convinced everyone, but that's never going to happen.

    The difference between private and personal is about choosing the right word to give the right impression. If you are trying to avoid discussing your use of a private service, don't use private in your answer. It's basic communications wordcraft, and politicians need to be competent at it.

    And if you can't cope with the brickbats, don't join the circus.
    Given his age and state of health, it's entirely possible he doesn't actually use any form of healthcare, apart maybe from an occasional checkup.
    I am somewhat overweight and about 5 years older. Haven't seen a GP in about a decade, so I agree that this scenario is likely. He did evade the question though, because he knows the problems that he already has as a very rich person running a government trying to smash public services.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    On another point, that ABL Space maiden rocket launch last night appears to have gone somewhat non-optimally. They've released a picture showing it at least got off the ground, which is something.

    https://twitter.com/ablspacesystems/status/1613037809287462913/photo/1
    Although this may show it did not get much further:
    https://twitter.com/shaggrugg/status/1612957462621212673

    Space is hard. Which makes the feats of ULA and SpaceX all the more impressive.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,792

    Dura_Ace said:

    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
    Johnson went to English section of the European School of Brussels (the 'British School' as it was known, my mother taught there but not Johnson) so his French isn't that good. I certainly would not rate him better than CEFR B1. I went to the local réseau de la Communauté française school in Uccle which was 100% French. We didn't even learn Flemish or English!
    Both the Purnell and Gimson biographies of Boris have him as fluent in French, if not bilingual (and near-fluent in three other languages). One of Boris's grandmothers spoke French and Russian, and the other claimed links to the French aristocracy.

    But for the benefit of us voters, it was "Donnez-moi un break".
    I've seen him speak French on French TV. Never ventured anything more daring than the Présent and Passé composé but maybe he didn't want make an egregious error and kept it simple. He's nowhere near the level of Blinken, Morenghi or von der Leyen in French. Blinken is very good and a did a long phone in on French radio which very challenging because any combination of accent and vernacular could appear on the line.
  • Widening the point a little, does the government have *any* strategy to try and get through these strikes to a period of industrial calm? So far their actions have been deliberately provocative - as if having strikes across large chunks of the country makes the government look good. I think the whizzo idea - likely a few Prime Ministers ago in the summer - was pin the blame on Labour.

    So why isn't it working? In part because the public either don't blame the strikers or are openly supportive. And in part because the Tories look so ham-fisted. Several clips doing the round on social media of Tory MPs saying the most stupid things. The "teachers are Bolsheviks!!!" comment by Jonathan Gullis was so dumb that the MP sat just behind him was visibly incredulous as he foamed on.

    And the latest scheme, to make striking illegal? There will be a concentration and co-ordination of strikes as the railways managed last week to just shut things down. Which is bound to piss people off, but when the government are already seen as cack-handed and support is with the strikers this seems like a perilous path to take. We still talk about Labour's Winter of Discontent nearly 45 years on. The Tories want their own version to be talked about in the 2060s as a reason not to vote for them?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
    Johnson went to English section of the European School of Brussels (the 'British School' as it was known, my mother taught there but not Johnson) so his French isn't that good. I certainly would not rate him better than CEFR B1. I went to the local réseau de la Communauté française school in Uccle which was 100% French. We didn't even learn Flemish or English!
    Both the Purnell and Gimson biographies of Boris have him as fluent in French, if not bilingual (and near-fluent in three other languages). One of Boris's grandmothers spoke French and Russian, and the other claimed links to the French aristocracy.

    But for the benefit of us voters, it was "Donnez-moi un break".
    I've seen him speak French on French TV. Never ventured anything more daring than the Présent and Passé composé but maybe he didn't want make an egregious error and kept it simple. He's nowhere near the level of Blinken, Morenghi or von der Leyen in French. Blinken is very good and a did a long phone in on French radio which very challenging because any combination of accent and vernacular could appear on the line.
    He's still much better than me at French. My French teacher at school said: "Jessop, how the **** can I teach you French? You can't even speak English properly". Somehow I managed to scrape a pass.

    (I have a slight speech defect. There are good teachers. Then there is that one...) :smile:
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 24,682
    ydoethur said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I'd have been fine with him saying "yes I do use private healthcare, for these reasons". No, it wouldn't have convinced everyone, but that's never going to happen.

    The difference between private and personal is about choosing the right word to give the right impression. If you are trying to avoid discussing your use of a private service, don't use private in your answer. It's basic communications wordcraft, and politicians need to be competent at it.

    And if you can't cope with the brickbats, don't join the circus.
    Given his age and state of health, it's entirely possible he doesn't actually use any form of healthcare, apart maybe from an occasional checkup.
    In that case he doesn't need a private GP, which would make it even worse he felt unable to say he doesn't have one.

    My conclusion from this is that yes, of course he has a private GP. He's probably never even given it a thought, it's what people in his position do.

    Why on earth a PM needs a private GP is unfathomable; I remain unconvinced that any PM would struggle to get an excellent NHS GP service. Perhaps by going private he is able to retain that long-lost tradition of having a family doctor who actually knows you?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,356
    Margaret Thatcher was of course open about her use of private healthcare in No 10. It didn't do her much harm.

    Tories support private healthcare so there is no hypocrisy, it would be a bigger problem for Labour PMs as Labour tend to support an NHS monopoly

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/01/08/rishi-sunak-refuses-three-times-say-uses-private-healthcare/
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    ydoethur said:

    Aside: Max Hastings new book 'Abyss' on the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant.

    479 pages but learnt lots of new things about 1950s/1960s Cuba, America and Russia in it - including how easy it would have been to miscalculate - and there are some interesting lessons for the present day and Ukraine as well.

    Chief amongst them: Russia craves respect and tends to dial the rhetoric and fear up to 11, but secretly knows it is outclassed, and the US top brass are ridiculously gung-ho.

    Did he include the moment where an admiral was asked what he'd do if a ship ran the blockade?

    'We'll hail them and tell them to stop!'

    'Will you hail them in Russian or in English?'

    'How the hell would I know? I guess we'll hail them in English.'

    'What if you hail them in English and they don't speak English?'

    'We'll fire a shot across their bows!'

    'And if that doesn't stop them?'

    'We'll put a shot through their rudder!'*

    'And what would happen to the ship?'

    'Well, its engine might miss a bit, it might catch fire..'

    'Well, I have news for you Admiral. We are not trying to start a war. There will be NO shots fired at ANY Russian ship!'

    *Not an expert, but based on what I know of naval gunnery of the period the idea that a shell could reliably hit the rudder of a moving vessel always struck me as highly optimistic.
    Yes, that right - Robert McNamara comes out rather well, which is surprising given how royally he messed up Vietnam thereafter.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 24,682
    HYUFD said:

    Margaret Thatcher was of course open about her use of private healthcare in No 10. It didn't do her much harm.

    Tories support private healthcare so there is no hypocrisy, it would be a bigger problem for Labour PMs as Labour tend to support an NHS monopoly

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/01/08/rishi-sunak-refuses-three-times-say-uses-private-healthcare/

    As Mike points out, the issue is the evasion.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 38,072

    Aside: Max Hastings new book 'Abyss' on the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant.

    479 pages but learnt lots of new things about 1950s/1960s Cuba, America and Russia in it - including how easy it would have been to miscalculate - and there are some interesting lessons for the present day and Ukraine as well.

    Chief amongst them: Russia craves respect and tends to dial the rhetoric and fear up to 11, but secretly knows it is outclassed, and the US top brass are ridiculously gung-ho.

    Cheers , I have purchased.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 32,146

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Ah, ignorance.

    France is directly ruled by the Royal family - see the Treaty of Troyes.

    So it’s a home visit.
  • Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    ydoethur said:

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Charles's dear old mum was forever popping over to France.
    https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1571748606230634497
    And she spoke fluent French.
    A mistake never made by PR-savvy Boris, whose fractured Franglais never quite fitted with his having been to primary school in Belgium.
    Johnson went to English section of the European School of Brussels (the 'British School' as it was known, my mother taught there but not Johnson) so his French isn't that good. I certainly would not rate him better than CEFR B1. I went to the local réseau de la Communauté française school in Uccle which was 100% French. We didn't even learn Flemish or English!
    Both the Purnell and Gimson biographies of Boris have him as fluent in French, if not bilingual (and near-fluent in three other languages). One of Boris's grandmothers spoke French and Russian, and the other claimed links to the French aristocracy.

    But for the benefit of us voters, it was "Donnez-moi un break".
    I've seen him speak French on French TV. Never ventured anything more daring than the Présent and Passé composé but maybe he didn't want make an egregious error and kept it simple. He's nowhere near the level of Blinken, Morenghi or von der Leyen in French. Blinken is very good and a did a long phone in on French radio which very challenging because any combination of accent and vernacular could appear on the line.
    He's still much better than me at French. My French teacher at school said: "Jessop, how the **** can I teach you French? You can't even speak English properly". Somehow I managed to scrape a pass.

    (I have a slight speech defect. There are good teachers. Then there is that one...) :smile:
    Lol!

    Thank you, Jessop. That brought me a smile this morning, and reminded me of my own French teacher who once remarked that my French accent was better than my English....'although that's not saying a lot.'
  • mwadamsmwadams Posts: 2,405

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I think it is just the unfortunate resonance of.private healthcare and private matter. Rather like his subconscious is desperately trying to confess.
  • GhedebravGhedebrav Posts: 861
    HYUFD said:

    Margaret Thatcher was of course open about her use of private healthcare in No 10. It didn't do her much harm.

    Tories support private healthcare so there is no hypocrisy, it would be a bigger problem for Labour PMs as Labour tend to support an NHS monopoly

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/01/08/rishi-sunak-refuses-three-times-say-uses-private-healthcare/

    This is why it's such terrible politics by Sunak. It's not just that he look slippery. His slipperiness on the issue implies that having private healthcare is something to be hidden, and therefore wrong.

    It's not a full Ratner-ing of the NHS, but it's in the same ballpark.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 37,544
    If you think Boris Johnson's French is bad you should hear Jeremy Corbyn's Spanish!
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 32,146
    edited January 11

    ydoethur said:

    Aside: Max Hastings new book 'Abyss' on the Cuban Missile Crisis is brilliant.

    479 pages but learnt lots of new things about 1950s/1960s Cuba, America and Russia in it - including how easy it would have been to miscalculate - and there are some interesting lessons for the present day and Ukraine as well.

    Chief amongst them: Russia craves respect and tends to dial the rhetoric and fear up to 11, but secretly knows it is outclassed, and the US top brass are ridiculously gung-ho.

    Did he include the moment where an admiral was asked what he'd do if a ship ran the blockade?

    'We'll hail them and tell them to stop!'

    'Will you hail them in Russian or in English?'

    'How the hell would I know? I guess we'll hail them in English.'

    'What if you hail them in English and they don't speak English?'

    'We'll fire a shot across their bows!'

    'And if that doesn't stop them?'

    'We'll put a shot through their rudder!'*

    'And what would happen to the ship?'

    'Well, its engine might miss a bit, it might catch fire..'

    'Well, I have news for you Admiral. We are not trying to start a war. There will be NO shots fired at ANY Russian ship!'

    *Not an expert, but based on what I know of naval gunnery of the period the idea that a shell could reliably hit the rudder of a moving vessel always struck me as highly optimistic.
    Yes, that right - Robert McNamara comes out rather well, which is surprising given how royally he messed up Vietnam thereafter.
    McNamara ended up taking the heat for the political running (with direct interference from the positions at a micro level) of a stupid war. The only way he could have achieved any credit, would have been to have resigned.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 37,544
    HYUFD said:

    Margaret Thatcher was of course open about her use of private healthcare in No 10. It didn't do her much harm.

    Tories support private healthcare so there is no hypocrisy, it would be a bigger problem for Labour PMs as Labour tend to support an NHS monopoly

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/01/08/rishi-sunak-refuses-three-times-say-uses-private-healthcare/

    I don't think the issue is the hypocrisy.

  • CD13CD13 Posts: 6,260
    edited January 11
    I've always had an interest in the Cuban missile crisis, and I researched it for an e-book I had published by Wild Wolf. Very impressed by JFK and his handling of the military. A real leader. Especially as he suffered from a form of Addison's disease.

    Kruschev was also a realist and he got what he wanted - the Jupiter missiles removed from Turkey. As for Fidel and Che Guevara - mad as a box of frogs, the pair of them.
  • If you think Boris Johnson's French is bad you should hear Jeremy Corbyn's Spanish!

    Ted Heath's French took the biscuit, but his English was a bit peculiar too.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,356
    edited January 11
    kamski said:

    HYUFD said:

    The Queen passing was as good a reason as any is ever going to exist to properly consider whether we really need or want a monarchy or not.

    I think many folk were quite happy not to think about it too much or ask probing niggly questions about it when the Queen was in charge. Her stability, longevity and general keep-your-head-down-and-get-on-with-it approach singlehandedly lent the whole institution a credibility it doesn't really have any longer. She did a sort of weird Hari Seldon Foundation type thing by being largely invisible except for popping up at the key moments in history to reassure everyone it'd all be ok in a bit, then disappearing again.

    If everyone shut up now and Charles could do a similar strong-n-stable-but-you-don't-need-to-hear-from-me-much maybe they'd get away with it, but it feels like the whole thing now has a bit of a death spiral feel to it.

    No it doesn't.

    The Queen was an exceptional monarch, a once in centuries head if state. However the monarchy has survived terrible monarchs, eg George IVth or Edward VIII and James IInd and Charles so far has been at least average with the popular William to come.

    In any case Republicans had a once in a generation chance to elect a republican PM in 2017 and 2019 with the republican Corbyn. They failed and now both Starmer and Sunak want to keep the monarchy and back the King
    The issue isn't surviving terrible monarchs. It's about surviving terrible all-of-them-at-the-moment after the only one demonstrably not terrible is no longer around to keep it all together. Now it's just sub-par horsey Kardashian shite, I think the phrase was.

    Your reason for keeping them basically boils down to "we've had them for a long time even when they've been shit". It's not exactly a hugely enticing proposition.
    No, the reason for keeping them is it is a better way to run the country than the alternative. No system is perfect but the constitutional monarchy system run in many European countries including the UK is far better than a republic.
    Other than the ceremonial stuff, they're only doing a good job when they're not involved in actually running stuff, like a good referee.

    I'm sure we can find literally anyone else to do the same mostly invisible, supposedly thankless role without fundamentally altering the rest of the structure and instantly removing the need for all the other elements of the Royal family.
    Not so. They embody the nation separated from politics. Any elected head of state is inevitably an overtly political figure and as such is a source of division rather than unity. This is a powerful function both internally and externally. Something the Queen understood well and I hope the King will also understand.
    That's fair enough - you make a reasonable and fair argument.

    I can't help but feel it comes back to the "it's good to have them precisely because they're so studiously blandly neutral" thing, but I can accept the point that an elected head of state is potentially going to have a political element to it. Although I don't feel like that needs to be an absolute given if you set it up the right way.
    Blandly neutral is a function of having no day-to-day political power, not of being a monarch. See also: the many many countries that have presidents who are mainly figureheads.

    Of course, those presidents may not "embody the nation", so it depends on whether having a monarch embodying the nation is a good thing or not. Iceland, for example, has never had a monarchy and gets by OK

    I'm not convinced by the claim that Britain was the "only major European nation that avoided having a Fascist or Communist leader by 1940" by HYUFD. Even for such a small sample size it doesn't seem to check out:

    Italy - monarchy - became first fascist country
    Germany - republic - became fascist country
    Britain - monarchy - no fascist or communist leader
    France - republic - no fascist or communist leader (at least not until defeat by Germany)

    Russia - monarchy became communist dictatorship.

    Italy banned male members of the House of Savoy from even entering the country until 2002 they had such a bad experience with their constitutional monarchy.
    Yes it does. All the above nations had Fascist or Communist leaders by 1940. One republic didn't, Switzerland, of developed nations. Russia was a republic when Stalin took over.

    France admittedly was invaded to force Fascism on it but 42% of French voted for Le Pen last year so France may have a Fascist President by mid 2027 anyway. The US republic too has already had Trump who while not strictly Fascist is in many respects far right.

    The rest were all constitutional monarchies ie the UK and Commonwealth realms and Sweden. So constitutional monarchy beats republics as resisting Fascism or Communism.

    Not to mention of course that most Latin American republics had Fascist leaders by 1940 (with Cuba becoming Communist later).
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 24,682

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Ah, ignorance.

    France is directly ruled by the Royal family - see the Treaty of Troyes.

    So it’s a home visit.
    Still good of him to grant Macron an audience.
  • mwadams said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I think it is just the unfortunate resonance of.private healthcare and private matter. Rather like his subconscious is desperately trying to confess.
    Exactly. None of this makes Rishi a bad person, but it does make him a less effective national leader. Persuasion isn't just about getting elected, it's also about bringing people along with you once in office.

    And for all his other talents, it doesn't look like he's good choosing what to say or how to say it.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 16,322

    mwadams said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    He may well have been criticised. But my point is that the path he has chosen has given him the worst of both worlds - he has convinced nobody that he doesn't use private healthcare and looked shifty/weak at the same time.

    And you don't use the phrase "private matter" when the question is private healthcare. It echoes the accusation you are trying to avoid. Most politicians get that sort of thing out of their system in the doomed run at a hopeless seat that Rishi didn't do.

    He really is very very inexperienced for a front line politician.
    How would he not look 'shifty/weak' in your eyes? If he crossed the floor to Labour? ;)

    I really don't understand your point about 'private matter'. Having a private GP is not illegal, and is a private matter.
    I think it is just the unfortunate resonance of.private healthcare and private matter. Rather like his subconscious is desperately trying to confess.
    Exactly. None of this makes Rishi a bad person, but it does make him a less effective national leader. Persuasion isn't just about getting elected, it's also about bringing people along with you once in office.

    And for all his other talents, it doesn't look like he's good choosing what to say or how to say it.
    This question must have been in the top 25 generic questions you will get asked as a very rich PM and need to practise how to answer.

    He is much better talking about policy specifics and detail to be fair, although his government don't do detail well, so he may be leader of the wrong party at the wrong time.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 8,345

    carnforth said:

    Is there anything wrong with having a private GP? If so, why?

    You would have to ask Rishi that, since he is the one who seems ashamed of it.

    He had three routes with integrity. One was to use the NHS while he was a high profile politician. One was to come up with a solid explanation, as OGH has done above. The third was to not enter politics. Not choosing any of those does make him look like a worse person.

    And if he had to go down this path, he should have said "personal matter" not "private matter".
    That's really naïve. One of the shittest things about politics is that there are so many situations where *any* answer gets undeserved criticism. If he says he does not use them and he does, then he is lying - and it may well come out in the future. If he says 'yes', then his opponents would not look beyond that one word, and the headlines are made. "Sunak hates the NHS".

    I also don't really see a difference between 'personal matter" not "private matter". What is it?

    And as an aside, journalists asking such questions should also state whether they do. ;)
    Top BBC managers used to get BUPA (new ones don't):

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/144164/response/354022/attach/html/3/RFI20130013 final response.pdf.html

    Journalists are on the NHS.
    Do you think Laura Kuenssberg has private healtcare considering she earns twice as much as the PM ?
    How to completely miss the point. I see HYUFD has as well in another post.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,814
    CD13 said:

    I've always had an interest in the Cuban missile crisis, and I researched it for an e-book I had published by Wild Wolf. Very impressed by JFK and his handling of the military. A real leader. Especially as he suffered from a form of Addison's disease.

    Kruschev was also a realist and he got what he wanted - the Jupiter missiles removed from Turkey. As for Fidel and Che Guevara - mad as a box of frogs, the pair of them.

    I'd be interested to know if the book deals with the accusation that JFK was told that the so-called 'missile gap' was unreal by Eisenhower, but that JFK used it in his election anyway. This led Khrushchev to believe that JFK was a dangerous extremist, a feeling made worse by the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,356
    edited January 11

    What a gratuitous insult to the Commonwealth. If King Charles III really does deserve all those medals he wears his first visit should have been to Ukraine.

    The King has chosen France for his first state visit, with his arrival planned for March 27 on a trip expected to help restore ties frayed since Brexit, according to French media.

    President Macron’s aides said he greatly appreciated Charles’s acceptance of his invitation. The late Queen completed five state visits to France, more than any other country.

    “It’s an extremely strong symbol because it will be the first official visit by Charles III,” an adviser to Macron told Le Parisien newspaper. “The event will be happening when the King is not yet crowned, which shows that France is a priority for him.”


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/king-chooses-france-for-first-state-visit-9d00d63t0

    Good move by Charles, given his likely next PM will be an ex Remainer Sir Keir Starmer, to show he is open to a closer relationship with France and the EU again post Brexit.

    He has trips to Australia, Canada and NZ planned anyway and the Prince and Princess of Wales are due in Australia likely next year too and they are more popular there than the King and Queen Consort

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/royals/king-charles-planning-royal-familys-28300476

    https://amp.abc.net.au/article/100909176
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 19,932

    Widening the point a little, does the government have *any* strategy to try and get through these strikes to a period of industrial calm? So far their actions have been deliberately provocative - as if having strikes across large chunks of the country makes the government look good. I think the whizzo idea - likely a few Prime Ministers ago in the summer - was pin the blame on Labour.

    So why isn't it working? In part because the public either don't blame the strikers or are openly supportive. And in part because the Tories look so ham-fisted. Several clips doing the round on social media of Tory MPs saying the most stupid things. The "teachers are Bolsheviks!!!" comment by Jonathan Gullis was so dumb that the MP sat just behind him was visibly incredulous as he foamed on.

    And the latest scheme, to make striking illegal? There will be a concentration and co-ordination of strikes as the railways managed last week to just shut things down. Which is bound to piss people off, but when the government are already seen as cack-handed and support is with the strikers this seems like a perilous path to take. We still talk about Labour's Winter of Discontent nearly 45 years on. The Tories want their own version to be talked about in the 2060s as a reason not to vote for them?

    Sunak is cultivating the strikes. He needs a foe to unite the unhappy Tory tribes. He could solve the strikes in an instant. He doesn’t want to.
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 6,260
    Mr Jessop,

    I gained respect for JFK but he was a good politician too (not always a compliment). He and Kruschev were the adults in the room. Fortunately for us.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 29,264
    Didn't get much attention but BankofEngland's Huw Pill warned on Monday UK inflation wd be higher cos loss of free movement of EU workers + "Brexit weighed on UK trade with continental Europe, also serving to disturb supply chains and weaken competitive pressure on UK producers" https://twitter.com/paulwaugh/status/1613094818116427776/photo/1
This discussion has been closed.