So the Tories are ahead in the polls, but even more frightening is their lead on issues such as health, the environment and education. Issues they have no discernable policies on and an awful track record. This is a ridiculous situation. With David Cameron admitting he hasn't decided his policies, how the hell do the voters know what they are?
I suppose it is governments that lose elections, not oppositions that win them and who could argue that it's not open season on Labour at the moment (although this is always the case with our biased media).
Anyway, here are some comments people made on this BBC website last year just before the general election;
It's interesting that the people who actually work in the health service are the most positive about Labour's track record since taking power. Everyone else's opinion is just negative and media-influenced.
I have had a number of relatively minor operations. When in the hands of the NHS I saw a number of things that I thought could have been improved, and could be a target for Tory denigration, but I could say the same thing for other large well-run organisations such as Tesco, B&Q and so on. The treatment was always friendly and effective. Beforehand, in each case, I priced private treatment. Frightening! I am afraid that very many people would have had to do without.
Last year I was referred to a Coronary Care Unit for Cardiac Surgery. From diagnosis to completion took 10 weeks; the total cost, was £28,000.
My elderly mother's prescriptions would cost in excess of £20K per annum. No private health insurance would pay for that.
I have been a nurse for 23 years. Whatever the Tories say, I can tell you the NHS is infinitely better under Labour. I am a cardiac nurse specialist, and I can tell you that in cardiac care things are a lot better. It's not perfect but I will leave you with these examples. Under the Tories you could wait for two years for a coronary artery by-pass operation. In Manchester and throughout most of the UK there is no waiting list now. When you see the surgeon you basically book the date of your operation. Also under the Tories you could wait 18 months for an angiogram. The wait now for non-urgent cases is three months and improving. If the Tories get in God help the NHS.
I run a busy ward in a cardiac centre in London. Undoubtedly, I have many disagreements with Labour health policy, but remember well my first years in the NHS under a Tory government. Admittedly, I would have liked to have seen Blair reversing some of the disastrous Tory policies, but remember, they were Tory policies.
In 1997, when the Conservatives were in power, my father died from complications following an MRSA infection. I was an NHS manager having close dealings with cleaning contracts at that time. Those contracts were taken away from loyal hospital-employed staff and given out to private contractors.
I know there has been cutbacks in some areas of the NHS (even job losses) but do the Tories really deserve to be ahead on an issue they have no policies for and where they have such an awful record?
The Tory led government we are sleepwalking towards won't cut bureaucracy and management consultants.
It was Thatcher who gave us masses of Quangos, politicised the civil service and centralised control in London emasculating local government.
By 1995 the Tory Govt were spending over £100m per year on management consultants and this practise was rapidly expanding as internal markets and PFIs took hold (Francis Wheen - How Mumbo Jumbo conquered the world p56).
The semi-privatised prison service was in chaos as rapists and murderers were escaping (remember Derek Lewis and the mess Michael Howard was in).
Some of the recent press headlines are a scandalous misrepresentation of the facts as some of these scandals date from 1984, 1987 and 1994. The Tories were allowing foreign rapists and murderers to stay in the country and putting private agencies in charge of prisons who were then letting prisoners escape.
Just as privatisation started under Callagham and was expanded under Thatcher/Major, the management culture started under Thatcher, expanded under Major and has unfortunately accelerated under Blair (though as a percentage of total spend it hasn't). I tend to think that competence levels between Labour and Tory are similar. If anything Labour are slightly better.
People might think 'time for a change'. And a change is what they will get under the Tories, but it won't be the change we all want. The Tories will cut frontline services before they touch the management consultants and bureaucracy (if they touch them at all). The Tories past record is poor.
Every government wants to improve competence and efficiency and if it was easy the present government would be doing it.
Just remember it is the spin of Cameron (he is Thatcherite underneath that thin veneer), the control freakery of his A-lists, and just look at the sort of people Cameron chooses. Are the voters expected to trust people like this? Don't do it.