Is our little NHS really not worth Don’s time?

Trust El Trumpo to stir things up and create a little bit of excitement in this otherwise terrifically drab General Election campaign.

Donald Trump with Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson
Donald Trump with Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson

Here we are, with the self-declared finest of health care systems, the NHS, a gold standard which is the envy of the world.

And what does The Don say? He wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. If you offered it to him for free, he would run a mile.

Or to quote him directly, to avoid being accused of fake news: “If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we’d want nothing to do with it.”

It’s a devastating blow for Boris Johnson as he tries to convince electors he is a safe pair of hands for the NHS.

Whatever the problems of the NHS, you could hardly conceive that the insurance-based, paid-for American alternative could possibly be preferable, even to Americans, although I suppose if you are a billionaire like Donald it does alter your perspective somewhat.

And the screaming DTs will probably change his mind in a few days and deny he ever said it, entirely regardless of what he was filmed saying at this week’s Nato summit in London – an event he left in a huff after world leaders were filmed gossipping about him behind his back.

In other election news Jeremy Corbyn finally said sorry for anti-semitism in Labour.

The effect of the apology was dented by the fact that it had to be extracted from somewhere deep in his larynx in a complicated and extended operation conducted by Philip Schofield facing a struggling and reluctant patient.

As he has said sorry in the past, the reason that Mr Corbyn was so reluctant was probably because he didn’t want to subscribe to a no-win campaign agenda in which he is portrayed as the party leader who has had to apologise for anti-semitism.

If he dodged and ducked, as he did with Andrew Neil, using the slippery formula that he condemns all racism, news bulletins would – and did – carry headlines that he refused to apologise.

If he did say sorry, they had the ready-made damaging headline: Corbyn Apologises for Anti-Semitism.

Agendas

It’s one of those questions for which, if you are a politician, there is no good answer.

It’s like being asked if you hate the Queen.

Even if you are the biggest royalist in history, the reply: “Of course I don’t hate the Queen” could then appear as a story that you have “denied you hate the Queen” if the narrative is pre-programmed against you.

So that’s why before he went on air Jezza’s spin doctors probably gave this advice: “For heaven’s sake, don’t say anything! If in trouble simply drone on quoting from the manifesto.”

My personal advice, by the way, with these no-win questions is to baffle and misdirect interviewers with surrealism, e.g. “Hate the Queen? Of course not – I am the Queen!”

And still the hunt goes on for Boris Johnson. The real Boris Johnson, that is.

Talking about pre-programmed news agendas, TV crews and reporters following him around on the campaign already have the first few lines of a standard Boris news story drafted out: “Boris Johnson committed another gaffe today when... (insert latest gaffe).”

I have predicted that as sure as night follows day, Boris will blow up at some point.

I have to admit that with only a few days to go to polling day, he is leaving it late.

Come on Boris, escape from those shackles. Don’t let your aides tell you what to say and, more importantly, what not to say.

It is possible of course that the real Boris has been locked in the Downing Street cellar and what we are seeing is a lookalike.

If so, Bogus Boris got to play the role of statesman at the Nato summit, the tetchy goings on at which reminded me of that scene in Dr Strangelove where President Merkin Muffley says: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

Finally, I just have to mention Labour’s policy unveiled this week of giving free breakfast to over a million children at primary school, if only because it gives me a chance to give their campaign a catchy label: Get Breakfast Done.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News