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It is depressing that Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley has agreed to apologise for his comments about the health consequences of recession.

He simply said on his blog (no longer available) that by reducing consumption on things like booze, fags and sweets a downturn can be good for our health. Not only is it true but it is a rare example of a politician engaging seriously with what the downturn will mean for us.

Governing politicians (here, and particularly insanely in the US) are like drug dealers encouraging us to get hooked to debt again, while the Conservatives try to imply there is another way out of the crisis without ever quite telling us what this is and why no other Government in the world seems to agree with them. In contrast Andrew Lansley said something honest and thought provoking – no wonder he was forced to recant.

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