Skip to main content


There’s nothing Tory about this government

Rishi Sunak solemnly honouring the NHS on its 75th birthday. Jordan Pettitt/Getty

The Prime Minister skipped PMQs this week, says Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph, to “attend a service of prayers for the NHS on its 75th birthday”. Elsewhere, a leading industrialist accused the government of “driving business out of the UK”; Transport for London banned an advert for a play because it featured cake; and a bank blocked a gender-critical parents group from opening a new account. Reading these headlines, would “visiting political analysts from Mars” imagine that Conservative governments had been in charge these past 13 years? Or would they regard it as self-evident that Britain had been taken over by a “radical left-wing party”?

Under five PMs since 2010, the Tories have fundamentally “failed to make Britain more conservative”. Instead, the country has become “more socialist, woke and collectivist”. Conservative ministers have raised taxes, “choked off entrepreneurial growth”, undermined property ownership, increased public spending and debt, “done nothing to reverse family breakdown and the baby-bust”, failed to tackle crime, and shrunk the military. But the government’s total failure to reform the beloved NHS, a “shamefully sub-par health system by international standards”, is the “ultimate symbol” of 13 wasted years. Even Tony Blair was more “right wing” in his efforts to institute market reforms in the service. Margaret Thatcher and John Major handed Blair a nation that had dramatically shifted to the right during their rule. “The Tories today will bequeath Sir Keir Starmer a far more left-wing country.”

👩🏼‍⚕️🤷🏻‍♂️ Even by the standards of Britain’s “odd love affair” with the National Health Service, says Bagehot in The Economist, the 75th anniversary celebrations were weird. At a special service in Westminster Abbey – attended by politicians, royals and “1,500 NHS wallahs” – the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition gave readings. “The home of God is among mortals,” said Keir Starmer, quoting Revelations in homage to an organisation that removes kidney stones. The Dean of Westminster declared that “the NHS sets before us all the better angels of our nature”. A truly “bizarre spectacle”.