Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did Gordon's speechwriter not watch the West Wing?

During Brown's speech today he said,
"Over the next decade we can lead the way in beating cancer"
Now, as a reader has noted, does anyone remember an episode of The West Wing called "100,000 AIRPLANES" where Jed Bartlett is talking about what should be in his State of the Union speech? It went like this.

BARTLET: So I ask you, why shouldn't I stand up and say we are going to cure cancer in ten years?

Silence in the room. No one responds.

I'm really asking.

Well, how close are we to really being able to do this?

Nobody knows.



It'll be seen as a political ploy.
Nuff said?


Anonymous said...

Former French President Jacques Chirac tried this too. Faced with a failing presidency and crumbling opinion polls, he resorted to trying to make research into cancer and its treatment a political issue. http://www.elysee.fr/elysee/francais/les_chantiers_prioritaires/lutte_contre_le_cancer/lutte_contre_le_cancer.21376.html

Since I'm comparing France to Britain, the drugs budget for cancer medicine in the UK is approximately half that of the spend in France. NICE has to ration but since its budget is half that across the Channel, it has to ration twice as much.

Makes Brown's lofty ideas look something fished out of the gutter in desperation, non?

Ben Gray said...

Anon, is that a proportionate figure?

Anonymous said...

Unlike the rest of the developed world the UK government is not a big funder of basic medical research - most of the money comes from the Wellcome Trust.

And way back when,on behalf of the US Nixon declared war on cancer. He and they lost.

Anonymous said...

I know that your pure hatred of the man may have led you to believe that's what he said but, once again, you're sadly mistaken.

What he actually said was
"the unprecedented 15 billion pounds we are investing in medical research will be directed to turning the major advances of the last few years into actual treatments and cures for NHS patients."

Isn't that a good thing to want to do?

Anonymous said...

Dizzy is a hero. Absolutely priceless!

Anonymous said...

The fact is that he can make any claim he wants for the future (or should that be "going forward"?) to a conference crowd and get a rousing response.

The few among the populace who pick up on this statement will no doubt think that this is great.

In reality, he could just as easily say: "In twenty years time, we will developed ways to harness the energy produced by political bullshit and we will use the revenue obtained from the global sale of this vital resource to pay off the billions of pound of debt we are going to get the country into to buy my administration's way out the current financial crisis."

dizzy said...

"I know that your pure hatred of the man may have led you to believe that's what he said but, once again, you're sadly mistaken."

I suggest you go and read it because I am not wrong.

dizzy said...

Also available in full text here. Sadly mistaken is not I, he said it, they published it and said that he saidf it. Now bugger off.

Anonymous said...

And the free prescriptions for cancer patients is a tad misleading. As most concer drugs are dispensed directly from hospitals, the prescription charge does not get levied for in/outpatients.

Martin Meenagh said...

Richard Nixon, whom Brown reminds me of physically as well as politically-- I guess it's the Scots-Irish-- declared war on cancer towards the end too. It's a shame that the twentieth century disease par excellence should become something to reach for in straitened circumstances.

Still, I can't shake off the feeling that Brown really wants to be sincere, unlike Nixon who didn't fool himself. Does that make Brown better or worse?

Anonymous said...

'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones I'm aiming for'

Anonymous said...

Your argument seems to be: "Brown mentioned cancer, and - get this - BARTLET mentioned once! TEH LOLZ!" Nevermind the fact that the policies they were talking about were completely unrelated.