NHS risk laid bareWhoever leaked a version of the draft risk register related to the government's Health and Social Care Bill has performed a public duty.
It is scandalous that a coalition government that claimed to be dedicated to openness has deliberately hidden the substantial risks from both people and Parliament, despite an Information Commissioner ruling that it should come clean.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has justified his secretive behaviour by insisting that Labour in office did likewise.
He might not have noticed, but the NHS does not exist merely to provide a forum for parliamentary knockabout between the two front benches.
It is a life-and-death issue for those without the capacity to fall back on private health-care provision.
Working people's support for our publicly funded health service free at the point of need is based on awareness of the deprivation and deaths caused by the private system that held sway before Aneurin Bevan brought in the NHS during the post-war Labour government.
We rely on the NHS totally. We don't make self-serving party political points, as Cameron used to over the NHS treatment given to his late son, who had cerebral palsy.
His efforts to portray himself as a defender of our public health service because of his choice to entrust care of his son to the NHS ignores the reality that private providers have no interest in caring for chronic conditions.
The privateers are concerned solely with profits, which are best generated by elective surgery and simple in-and-out procedures.
And private profits are central to Lansley's Bill despite Establishment media assistance to the government by adopting its propaganda description of the measure as simply giving more power to GPs.
The civil servants who compiled the risk register setting out the likely effect of the Bill have not shirked their responsibilities. They have examined its provisions rigorously and pronounced their verdict.
Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers have assessed the register's stripping bare of the risks inherent in the legislation and refused to publish them.
Given the role of the NHS and the position it occupies within the hearts of most people in Britain, it is difficult to exaggerate the scale of betrayal carried out by this venal coalition.
Cameron walked into Downing Street less than two years ago proclaiming that the last thing needed by the NHS was another top-down reorganisation and then authorised this private-medicine manifesto.
Most of his MPs won't be bothered by his refusal to print the risk register because they and their ilk have always been hostile to what they used to call "socialised medicine" and would like nothing better than to see cheque-book health care reborn from the ashes of our NHS.
The Liberal Democrats gave no indication in their election manifesto of intending a root-and-branch demolition of the NHS, but most of their MPs remain content to follow their dead-man-walking leader into political oblivion.
Labour has said that it will repeal the Bill if and when it is returned to office at the next general election, which could be in 2015.
But we cannot afford three years of supine acceptance of these anti-social measures that nobody but private health-care profiteers wanted or supports.
Everything should be done to frustrate this privatisation too far, including mass public mobilisation and resistance by clinical commissioning groups to this healthcare-for-profits charter.