You have got to give it to the Tories. They have solved the tricky problem of NHS waiting lists that have long been a headache to Governments.
Waiting lists are not an efficient way to measure the quality of the service, but they have a great effect on public perception. Many patients have been driven to unwisely impoverish themselves by going private rather than demanding better NHS treatment for urgent treatment.
In today's debate on the NHS bill, no Tory had the generosity to admit that Labour has cut the waiting lists down to a level that is insignificant. Those present steadfastly refused to say whether this bill will increase waiting times.
But they have a plan. It's confirmed on Page 59 of the Commons Library note on the bill 'The Department of Health no longer publish waiting times date (the final publication was March 2010).
What the eye does not see the heart will not grieve over. It's step one in the Tory-led Government's denial of information initiative.
The Third Way
Why a third All-Party group on drugs?
There are two existing groups and I am one of the vice-chairs of both of them. Nevertheless with enthusiasm I offer to act in the same rule for the new group that convened for the first time tonight.
It is the only group with 'Reform' in its title. It's lead by Labour Baroness Molly Meacher and Lib Dem MP Julien Huppert. The group decided to seek 'evidence-based solutions'. That's a great change after 40 years of evidence-free, prejudice-rich solutions that do not work.
Progress is now possible.
A cunning point was made by David Miliband in a rare backbench speech tonight.
He told bewildered Tories that the Tory LibDem bill would hand power over to Europe. The Tories are not too keen on that. The argument is subtle. The bill will lead to a host of disputes that will be settled by the European Court of Human Rights. The Tories are still fuming over the Court's decision on prisoners' votes.