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Mark Fulford
Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon
Recent Activity
I view polygamy simply as Marriage+. It's not something I want for myself, one good woman is as much as I can manage, but I can't see what's intrinsically wrong with it where all the parties are willing.
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We now know: - with hindsight he wouldn't have employed Coulson, - if it turns out Coulson is guilty, he'll give an abject apology. I can't really complain.
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I hope he does admit he was wrong but I have no faith he will.
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Tim, I can’t remember reading another article of yours where the irritation and frustration has been so naked. And I’m sorry to agree that Cameron deserves it. From his own party, do you think this is a case of the shunner being shunned; of too much dependence on a low-dimensional clique?
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Your ideas demonstrate heart but they won’t change perceptions until we also learn the media rules of British politics. Rule #1, an emotive subject is out of bounds until the left raise it (the rule that Clark broke yesterday). Currently we’re the American guest on Mornington Crescent, giving sensible answers but not understanding how laughable that is. So it doesn’t matter how sensible your suggestions are, we are the nasty party (rule #2).
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If the sale goes ahead, I hope the woodlands will be sold in small enough lots that individual investors can buy them too. A diversity of investors will help safeguard the future of the land. Also, for the sake of current owners of woodland, the decision should be made without undue delay. I have been looking to purchase a woods myself but am holding off, fearing that prices will collapse when this bulk comes on to the market.
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You've obviously never seen Cameron off the cuff.
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The Reform article "The NHS in 2010" predicted that NHS spending would be 10.5% of GDP and suggests that it should be constrained to 9%. In fact NHS spending for 2010 is estimated to be 8.2%, falling back to 8% in 2011. So "Reform says there are savings" is not a powerful enough argument to persuade me that the data I have presented is substantially wrong, that the NHS is over-funded and we should be finding ways to circumvent the NHS ringfence and thereby reduce healthcare spending. If you want me to believe that potential efficiency savings are so great that the NHS can be delivered for less, please back up your claims with some specific references.
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I said "not directly related". Efficiency is only part of the spending formula. In any healthcare system there will be inefficiency. Comparing how our system compares to others is a simple check we lay people can use. If we're at the bottom of the leagues, obviously there's room for improvement. If we're at the top then it's reasonable to say, without complacency, that we're not missing simple tricks. That's not to say there aren't savings to be made; but don't expect massive ones. Compared internationally, the Commonwealth Fund ranks us first out of seven for efficiency (note that it also shows amounts in US$, adusted for PPP, and yes, in real terms we spend $600/capita less than Germany). The OECD and WHO say we spend less on healthcare than comparable economies. UK population is increasing. On the data avaialbe, I think it's unrealistic and uninformed to think that the NHS is hugely inefficient. Rather than rubbishing sources (again), you need to substantiate your case that the NHS can stand a budget cut. I would welcome any data sources from you, sprayed or selective. I don't recall arguing with you before. Perhaps you were using another name at that time.
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In just the same way that exchange rates don't affect GDP, they don't affect percentage of GDP.
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It turns out I am wrong about the pay but right about the debt. I've double-checked and standard training for a doctor is now: - 5 year degree course (unpaid) - then 2 year Foundation programme (paid) - then run-through training So the entirely unpaid bit is 5 years and that's where the £50K comes from. There's no longer free housing.
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We're going nowhere. Yes, the UK can afford 8.5% of GDP on healthcare. It's less than is spent by most comparable economies. If the UK can't afford this %age, what makes us a special case? That was a question you didn't answer. No, the graph doesn't say whether it's well spent (and I never said it did). The data I pointed you to answers that question. I think that the NHS is not particularly wasteful but yes, there is always room for improvement. However, "CUT WASTE" doesn't add anything useful. What waste are you going to cut? Now, what you call shroud-waving I call a reason to be very glad I live in the UK. Healthcare provision constantly has to adapt to changing population, techology and expectations so yes, there is and has always been a strong argument for reform. French or German systems seem workable -- and I'd happily live in either country -- but this is unlikely to reduce UK healthcare spending (France and Germany spend >2% than we do).
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I wasn't giving any such choice. I was showing what it's like to be a parent in America. If the point is too well known to be worth making then I apologise. NHS spending and efficiency are not directly related. Both must increase in order to sustain the healthcare standards we require. Efficiency savings don't magically match increases in treatment costs.
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You're basically trying to rubbish my sources but without taking the time to put forward any of your own. Evidence-based decision making has to look at the available data. If you're not prepared to do that then debate is pointless. Some background reading for you: - WHO National Health Accounts - OECD Key Health Publications
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Medical students, like others, pay top-up fees and fund themselves with loans. Unlike most others, their courses last for 8 years and by the time they become a junior doctor they can easily have debts of £50k. This has to be factored into any handcuffs.
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On affordability: why would the UK be a special case? On well-spent: here's a handy summary. How would you spend the budget better? Perhaps you would increase the management budget to better-match international levels and thereby get better managers and decision making?
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I struggled with the wording of my parenthood point. Children (and old age) are powerful reasons to want the NHS protected, but not the only reasons. Imagine finding the following advice on a UK children's cancer website (things for parents to cope with in addition to the cancer): Suggested ways to reduce the financial burden of childhood cancer follow below. Fundraising * Family friends, and neighbors can offer support by conducting community fundraisers. Suggestions: bake sales, car washes, raffles, dances, organized efforts involving the media, etc. * Know the regulations for raising funds, so that money received does not affect the child’s Social Security or Medicaid benefits. If money is given directly to the family or the child’s Social Security number is used to open the bank account, the child could risk the loss of Social Security or Medicaid benefits. * Funds may be held directly in a special needs trust, and paid directly to the provider for services. Contact your hospital's social worker or a local bank for more information on how to establish a proper fundraising account to assist with medical and out-of-pocket expenses. * Local non-profit organizations or agencies that provide assistance to children may also be a resource for accepting donations in the child’s name, and paying providers directly for their services. (Complete article)
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As illustrated by this chart, at 8.5% of GDP, UK healthcare is not over-funded by international comparisons. I suspect that opinions on NHS funding change with parenthood.
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Legal aid orphans a large number who have some wealth but not enough to fund a case -- and always with a risk that they might lose.
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No win no fee is the market solution to legal aid. As Conservatives we should love it for giving equal access to justice without burdening taxpayers. It is the size of some judgements that cause the problem. Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme a broken toe is worth £2,500. Were H&S judges to stick to this level of tariff for day to day injury then the lawyers wouldn’t be quite so keen.
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The church should get its party when it gives up its seats in the Lords.
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Thank you for taking the time to make a moderate, reasoned comment. It stands out.
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A month of sunshine ;-)
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2010 on The Coalition's early achievements at thetorydiary
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You would have been happier if he'd been claiming more on a mortgage?
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