Miliband Bombs On The NHS



No holding back from Marr asking awkward question to Miliband…Did he use the word ‘weaponise’ in relation to the NHS?

Miliband refused to answer, saying somewhat surprisingly in an interview that ‘This isn’t about the words we use…’.  I’m sure the televised debates will be fascinating without the correct words in the right place.




What’s interesting is that the BBC has been holding ‘secret’ meetings with, presumably, all the political parties….which ones we don’t know…well, we know they had one with Miliband….


Ed Miliband said he wanted to ‘weaponise’ NHS in secret meeting with BBC executives

Ed Miliband has come under pressure to admit that he plotted to “weaponise” the NHS as an election issue after it emerged he secretly briefed up to 15 executives at the BBC over his plans, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Labour leader used the phrase during a meeting with some of the corporation’s most senior figures in around November of last year and said he intended to make the NHS the centrepiece of his campaign. He made the comments weeks before the NHS began to experience unprecedented pressure.


You have to assume, as the other parties aren’t kicking up a fuss, they too have had these meetings….might be nice to know what was said.

Why do they have these meetings with the national broadcaster?  You can only think they are laying out their election strategy…but why?  Why does the BBC need to know that in advance?  Surely that is an open invitation to prepare their coverage in a way that is helpful to a particular party….and to prepare arguments against whatever the not so favoured party has revealed.

For a example Labour’s election campaign is centred on the NHS and in the meeting, in November, Miliband said he was going to ‘weaponise’ the NHS to blitz the Tories.

All Winter the BBC has been concentrating on the NHS and hyping every little story from whatever source, even the hated Big Pharma’ drug companies demanding their products be bought by the government ‘or patients will suffer’.  The BBC has even created its own A&E winter crisis tracker which highlights any falloff in performance….the BBC knows that A&E is under enormous pressure so they know that performance of the NHS will inevitably dip and this ‘tracking device’ will only show negative results and create an impression of disaster and crisis.


Too cyncial?  Perhaps…but then history suggests the BBC is not above fixing the debate…..such as when Roger Harrabin held his seminars on climate change and effectively shut out climate sceptics from the debate everafter.





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23 Responses to Miliband Bombs On The NHS

  1. nofanofpoliticians says:

    In a sense, it doesn’t really matter what words were used although it is quite clear that there is a strategy to use the NHS in such a way (there are no other Labour policies after all) and Labour can be assured that they will have BBC/ Guardian support in keeping the NHS to the forefront of our attention whatever is going on.

    The fact is that the NHS in its current form is becoming more and more unaffordable and somebody must take some leadership in terms of setting out a future strategy for health in this country that doesn’t simply involve continuing to plough more and more money into it, unreformed. There is no-one in any party at the moment capable of doing so, much to the detriment of us all.

    The NHS and welfare bill combined will ultimately be the ruination of us all.


  2. PhilW says:

    Yet another example of the Labour Party’s biggest cheerleader exhibiting rigid impartiality.
    If the Tories had solicited a secret meeting with the same gaggle of 15 Executives one wonders just how long it would have taken “a reliable source inside the BBC” to have tipped of Labour and screamed foul in every news bulletin for a week?


    • But Labour says... says:

      And kept a recording of what was actually said, and leaked it to the Guardian/Mirror, and ensured it then makes it to mainstream news bulletins for 2 more days and then a finally report on the following Sunday’s political programmes.


  3. TigerOC says:

    If the Telegraph has evidence of this then it is their responsibility to report this to the Electoral Commission and OFCOM as the BBC is in breach of the Law.


    • Ken says:

      Ha ha ha ha!!!! As if the electoral commission will ever even think about comprehending an idea of perhaps eventually even considering holding labour or the BBC to account for anything the labour party does.


  4. London Calling says:

    I wonder, will the BBC be having secret meetings with UKIP on its strategy ? (so they can sabotage it, of course)

    The biggest drain on NHS resources is the explosive growth of inward migration. Likewise education, a free school place for every child on the planet. And the need for more housing, a roof over the head of everyone on the planet. All policies driven by Labour’s obsession with diversity and need to shore up its voting base.

    Only one party has any agenda on this, and it’s not the Conservatives.


  5. Sinniberg says:

    I’d imagine the secret meetings were to discuss how they stop UKIP.


  6. A Teddy called Moh says:

    Milliband needs weaponising . He needs a rocket up his backside. Vote UKIP


  7. Odo Saunders says:

    Does this mean that the BBC is actively assisting the Labour Party in its election strategy for next May’s election? As a national broadcaster under an obligation to broadcast news items on an impartial basis, is it healthy for democracy in this country if the leader of the Labour Party regularly briefs BBC executives on matters that will have a bearing on the election campaign? The implication from this is that the BBC will plan its forthcoming broadcasting strategy in such a way as to accomodate the Labour Party’s plans.
    It is interesting to note that this morning Radio Five “gets much worse” Live decided to have its daily nine o’clock debate on dieting! I kid you not. One would have thought that it should have concerned yesterday’s events in Paris and the implication for countries such as ours. Is the BBC realising that the events in Paris are a distraction form the Labour Party’s current campaign regarding the NHS, and they are desperate ina any way possible i.e. dieting, to get back to that matter? Pass the sick bag somebody.


  8. john in cheshire says:

    I had occasion to visit A&E at Manchester Royal Infirmary last october and it was like walking into the third world; the vast majority of people there were not indigenous to this country. So,if there is a crisis it’s quite possible it is because of all the sick immigrants that our hospitals are having to treat. And no doubt these foreigners haven’t paid a penny towards the cost of their treatment.


  9. Guest Who says:

    ‘This isn’t about the words we use…’.

    Which he forgets almost as much as a BBC director. Maybe Ed should at such moments have a sticker to slap on his head that says ‘Error – there seems to be a problem’, and stop functioning?
    (still down – clearly they are still trying to choose the right words… which this will not be about)

    Credit to Marr for his Paxo moment, though.

    No aspiring leader should survive such a performance, and that clip should be wall to wall across all media (but won’t).

    Mentioning public sector carparks on the BBC… brave.


  10. The General says:

    I wonder if any one of the 15 BBC executives asked ” But Ed can you tell us what your policies are !!”
    Silly of me, they will, just like Ed, have to wait to read them in the Guardian.


  11. Laska says:

    The BBC are explaining the current crisis in A&E referencing the ageing population with random descriptions of old people queuing for treatment. The ageing population may well be a reality over the long term – that is as a trend gently, or not, over a decade long basis and there are ample predictive studies that allows the NHS to plan. But, by definition, spikes in the short run – less than, say, 5 years – that would explain use of such terms as “crisis” must be explained by other factors and this can only be explained by population size which has a predictable ratio to NHS usage. So why do the BBC not identify the obvious factors changing the number of people likely to require treatment? The answer must include immigration which is the main driver of population growth. Oh, that factor cannot be a driver of NHS demand but the choice to ignore can only be a political choice. That is the BBC being dishonest to try to control our understanding.


    • nofanofpoliticians says:

      There are a number of elephants in the room when it comes to what is going on in the NHS currently. Obviously, immigration is one and GP contracts is another, but possibly the biggest relates to PFI contracts and the cost of maintaining them.

      Most of the problems now seen were either created by Labour policy whilst in power or magnified by their policy, but you won’t hear any reference of that from BBC.


      • Laska says:

        I agree with your comments. The PFI had an effect on costs – that is an undeniable scandal. The GP contracts clearly affected the supply of medical services that thus necessitated people heading off to A & E but that 10 years old and the NHS has reached an – costly – equilibrium on that, so it cannot explain this “bulge” in people turning up at A & E. Weather can explain a spike particularly for the elderly. But that variable will not explain increased demand because this winter has been very mild. So, I’m sure there are other factors but population size, expanding as is, is a causal factor in plain sight. And this is easily tested; count how many people who visit a large hospital in a 24 hour cycle and draw a graph according to what categories you want. The hospitals would have that data but I’m sure that with the BBC resources they could help out on this research. My point is a problem of BBC reporters not backing up their assertions on this issue and many others. Pictures do not tell the story. Taking shots of the elderly and then saying they are the cause of the “crisis” is not evidence and smacks of dishonest journalism because too often the purpose seems overly concerned with the “politics” of the story; I suppose what the BBC calls “responsible journalism”. Responsible to whom?


  12. London Calling says:

    Problem with PFI, like everything to do with healthcare, is that opinions are pre-formed on grounds of ideology.

    When I bought my first house it was with borrowed money, a mortgage, because I couldn’t afford to buy it outright, with cash. Didn’t have it, though theoretically it was cheaper.

    All these know-it-alls that declare PFI “more expensive” to the NHS need to answer the same question – how did you buy your house – cash or mortgage? All Labour did was allow private capital – your and my savings – to fund the rebuilding and refurbishment of clapped out NHS facilities. In return we got a return, and after 25-30 years, the NHS got back a “new” hospital, for free.

    PFI was a win win for patients and business, unless you think the State has an unlimited supply of free money. None of the main parties have the slightest understanding of the cost of public sector infrastructure. Maybe they think doctors and nurses work for free, “because they care” and builders build hospitals for nothing: the brickies have a whip round to build the operating theatre. God forbid anyone made a “profit”.

    Labour is probably right to weaponise the NHS as a voting issue, because there is no one subject the cost of which the public are so utterly fatuously totally pathetically and wilfully ignorant.


  13. johnnythefish says:

    dezzz and Scott seem to be the men in the know when it comes to the BBC.

    Do the BBC hold these secret meetings with all political parties, boys, or just with Labour and ‘climate change’ activists?


  14. Charlatans says:

    London Calling you really need to do some research.

    Of course a standard mortgage is normally the best route in most circumstances.

    However PFI is not a standard mortgage and the Labour Government PFI contracts payed way over the odds.

    Here some quotes from just one an academic paper: Queen Mary, University of London:

    Click to access AP_2013_Pollock_PFILewisham.pdf

    PFI borrowing costs are consistently higher than public borrowing costs.

    PFI costs drive service closures, bed and staff reductions due to the high cost of debt servicing and enormous transfers of resources from patient care to bankers, shareholders and financiers.

    PFI lacks accountability as the contracts are secret and hidden from public view.

    Sovereign debt is always cheaper that finance borrowed privately for individual investments (‘project finance’).

    High financing costs include ‘unfair’ rates of return. PFI rates of profit have been shown to be excessive, that is, higher than conventional profitability for equivalent projects.

    In 2012, the National Audit Office (parliament’s financial watchdog) reported that “the public sector may often be paying more than is necessary for using equity investment”.

    See also:


    • Charlatans says:

      Sorry London Calling – someone just told me my comment is a bit blunt – did not mean it to be. It is my ex-sergeant major that sometimes comes out of me and I tell it how it is! I will be more polite and pragmatic next time!


  15. Ember2014 says:

    Why is it the words don’t matter when the left gets caught saying inappropriate things whereas when anyone on the right says something indescribably evil, such as “Pleb,” then resignations are required?


    • Ken says:

      To the liberal progressive, it is not what is actually said that matters, but what they themselves decide is the intention of what is said, according to their own beliefs and prejudices. Even if that means completely misrepresenting and reversing the intent of those words.

      The actual intention of the person saying the words does not matter at all to them.


  16. George R says:

    The blatant Labour Party-BBC NUJ political compact.


  17. George R says:

    Labour Party to impose BBC licence tax in perpetuity,

    as reward for ongoing political commitment of BBC-NUJ?