Having said this, the idea that it could "cripple" the NHS does have some resonance. I'm not bothered by the claim that only the rich will be able to use such a system, but I can see how those wanting elective treatment that they might have to wait for ages for on the NHS could cause NHS budgets to creak as a result - not that they're not creaking at the seams already of course.
However, that's not really the point of this post, the real point is a 'Street of Shame' type thing about the nature of sub-editors. Apparently, the 250 word piece was originally a 1000 word piece about the way the plans - along with many others about loss of justice sovereignty and the like - are to be sneakily reintroduced in the post-Lisbon ratification world. Once we're there the sovereignty will be gone (technically) and there is nothing we could do about it, but I should stress the treaty is not a 'constitution' and is nothing like that document that reads almost identically.
The original copy did not apparently carry any shadow front bench comment either because the story was actually sourced through UKIP, who, support them or not, do at least seem to have their heads screwed on about what is going in the EU. The piece then found it's way into the the cutting room and was excised of most of the really important content. The article quotes William Hague saying,
"This is further proof that on Europe [Brown] thinks he can get away with treating the British people like fools. He wants to keep them in the dark until it's too late. He doesn't want them to know what he's signing us up to"Can't say that I disagree with the general point of Hague to be honest, and one would presume that this will mean the Tory MEPs will have been whipped to vote against such things in the European Parliament when the time comes.
It is quite an interesting thing to watch how the papers work sometimes though, and I just find myself shrugging when I do though. After all, we had the apparent cynicism of the Daily Mail editorial line of seeking out scandalous stories (that is what sells newspapers duh!) and now a hacks expose cut down into something largely meaningless with inserted quotes. I gather the journalist that wrote it is none to pleased either.