Jeremy Hunt denies entire Slog article

The Observer partially vindicates The Slog today by claiming that ‘a leaked document reveals how the private health lobby worked with Downing Street behind the scenes to ensure that the new legislation went ahead’. Regular Sloggers will remember that last November 8th, this site revealed the existence of a confidential technocratic steering committee to ensure the smooth transition from maliciously engineered totally unexpected Trust insolvency to private ownership.

I think the point I’ve been making throughout this saga from Day One is that Andrew Lansley set out to make primary care budget increases a Trojan Horse that would allow private business to take over cash-starved hospital Trust infrastructure. Having been told I was a potty conspiracy troll, Trusts then started defaulting all over the place. The privcomm then set up to smooth the way was leaked to me by a senior London-based NHS manager, and then confirmed following publication by another manager in the North. A third contact has since given me details of jiggery-pokery going on in Leicester, the intricacies of which I am still trying to fathom.

But the second point one must make about Camerlot’s devious approach to NHS ‘reform’ is that you can’t believe a single word they say. You couldn’t believe a single word Brown said about the PFI disaster either, or Alan Johnson about his ‘new dawn’ of £15bn which turned out to be old money. My theme is that all Governments, all Ministers and all Departments lie all the time, the truth being self-evidently unacceptable even to the drongos that inhabit our hard-pressed sofas these days.

Andrew Lacklustre was clearly making a cod’s backside of the whole thing, and the private health lobby became impatient. So Dave appointed his chief Cabinet Liar Jeremy Hunt to take over. Within days, Hunt tried to present his Dad as some kind of former hospital trolley porter, whereas in truth he had been the Chairman of the Trust’s forerunner in Hunt’s constituency. And if that coincidence wasn’t enough, Hunt’s predecessor as MP was his second cousin Virginia Bottomley. And if that coincidence isn’t enough, she was at the British Council when Hunt’s company triumphed there. And if even that isn’t coincidence enough, she’s now the leading-light lobbyist on the House of Lords for…the private health sector.

Just as he told the House of Commons over the BSkyB bid “I have done nothing wrong”, regarding the above points dug out by The Slog and its readers over time, I know from one of our Jeremy’s constituents that he denies all of it, and wrote to him as follows: (my red emphasis)

‘The article ‘The Hunt-Bottomley link’ is completely incorrect. There is no truth to any of the facts that the author includes – I do not know where he came across these ‘facts’. However I will not be taking legal action as quite frankly I need to concentrate on my ministerial job and cannot pursue every negative or inaccurate comment made about me on the internet.”

There being so many of them an’ all. Well yes, he has a point.

As to the first two emphases above, I could sue Mr Hunt, as they are in many cases matters of public record – for example, his father’s public service history, and the JHJ Lewis acknowledgements he himself makes in his Commons interest declarations. But bare-faced Jezzer will keep lying his head off, and I too wish to concentrate on catching him out and thus cannot pursue etc etc. In other areas, he remains as always slippery: asked whether Bottomley was at the British Council when his Hotcourses outfit pitched for the business, Hunt replied that she ‘has nothing to do with Hotcourses’. Classic politician’s answer to a question he wasn’t asked.

The fact is that we are obviously dealing here with crony, keep-it-in-the-family capitalism. I too am a capitalist, although I believe in meritocratic capitalism – and tend as I get older towards the mutualised version of it as something that needs to play a greater role in our economy. Hunt, by contrast, is a disingenuous oligarch.

Bit by bit, the whole tawdry tale of how an easily mutualisable community NHS was sold off by unelected cronies and Sir Humphreys will come to light. It will follow in the wake of corrupt dealings with Newscorp, rumours of drug abuse, corrupt dealings with the Metropolitan Police, and a corrupt cover-up of systemic local government and care home sexual abuse of children.

“What do you expect?” the  cynics ask me.

“Something better,” I always reply.