‘Honoured that you are writing my father’s biography’ the late Tony Benn, ‘...wonderfully written’ Hilary Benn

‘Sparkles with fascinating detail…a remarkable story of Liberal and Labour politics in the first half of the twentieth century.’ Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

‘Casts much light both on the evolution of British radicalism, and on the legacy which he bequeathed to his son, Tony. Professor Vernon Bogdanor, King's College, London

‘Brilliant biography…wonderful reading about the father and...discovering more about the son.’ Steve Richards of The Independent

‘Well-written and carefully researched, this fascinating biography brings to life a major figure in British political history…an excellent job of weaving together the strands of a complex life…as well as filling in the background of the Benn family’ Richard Doherty, military historian

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Doctors against the NHS and Parents against Education! Whatever Next?

First, I must declare my disinterest. I am neither medical practitioner, nor politician. However, as a doctor of political history and I am struck by the latest in a long line of seemingly perverse political positions - namely the plan announced today for doctors opposed Andrew Lansley's NHS reforms to put up candidates against coalition MPs. This would almost certainly result in more of the coalition MPs being re-elected, as the doctors would probably split the Labour (ie anti-legislation vote).

Just a reminder of some past perversities - When the NHS was set up, the main opposition to it came from doctors. When universal education was proposed for children, the main opposition came from parents (they wanted their children to go out and earn money). And perhaps even harder to believe, but much more recent - Britain joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (the forerunner of the euro) under a Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher!

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