Dan Hannan (MEP)
"Of course, that isn’t how these rows work. Almost no one who has phoned me seems to have watched what I said in full. If they had, they would have seen that I conceded that there is majority suport for the NHS in Britain (although I believe this is partly based on the false premise that free treatment for the poor is a unique property of the British model), and that my views did not reflect those of my party leadership."
Deborah Thomas (PPC (Via Twitter) )
"..is furious at the bullshit argument about the NHS. Once again politicians are being forced to agree with a consensus without grown up debate"
"before you attack Hannan, answer one question: if you could design a health care system again from scratch, would it really be the NHS?"
Donal Blaney (Prominent Conservative blogger)
"But if state-run healthcare is such a great idea why are not we advocating the reintroduction of state-run food supplies, a National Food Service along the lines of the 1940s food rationing model?"
Tim Montgomerie (Moderator of ConservativeHome)
"On Wednesday I made it clear that Dan's intervention was a very personal intervention that had z.e.r.o. relevance to Tory health policy. The attack on him by the Labour machine and Adam Boulton is getting ridiculous. A politician is entitled to express an opinion without being accused of arrogance and self-obsession. "
Tory Bear (Prominent Conservative blogger)
"In response to Stephen Fry's dribble that: “Even the most right wing British politician wouldn’t think of dismantling our health service.” Liberal Conspiracy commenter "cjcjc" said:
I wonder when Stephen Fry last saw the inside of an NHS facility?
Is it *just possible* that the rest of the world has not copied the NHS because it is not the best system in the world?
Damian Thompson (Blogs Editor, Daily Telegraph)
"So Daniel Hannan attacks socialised medicine on American television, and immediately Dave slaps him down. Is it because of his criticism of the National Health Service, or because of the way he criticised it - that is, with an eloquence and forensic command of detail that makes most members of the shadow cabinet sound like jargon-spouting middle managers?
If Dan was an MP, the Conservatives would be forced to engage in the very thing that frightens them most: ideological debate."
Hopefully there will be more to come later today. That said I will leave you for now with a comment George Osborne made in The Guardian recently
“Only health and international development have been ring-fenced – though today, when it comes to health spending, [Osborne] says only that ‘we will work hard to protect it’.” *
*Bold italics by me
UPDATE: Tom Miller has mentioned this from the Daily Mirror. Worth a look.
FURTHER UPDATE: Craig Elder, the Conservative Party's Online Communities Editor has supported Charlotte Gore's comment on the NHS ("… like hostage victims love their hostage takers. The world’s most disheartening hash tag on Twitter today: #WeLoveTheNHS, throwing up lots of rather highly strung debates.") as "..first sensible thing on the NHS I've read all day!" ConservativeHome's Graeme Archer feels the Tories are being effectively blackmailed (he isn't the only one). Then there is Paul Waugh's tale of panic at Conservative HQ (complete with a link to yours truly)