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George Osborne and me

Copperfield sees parallels between the row over child benefit and the move towards GP commissioning.

Who'd be George Osborne, eh? It's not often I feel sorry for a politician, but listening to him trying to defend the proposed cuts in child benefit , I couldn't help but feel a tinge of sympathy – the best he could do was hint that, hey, this is just for starters, wait until you see the main course, while trying to whip up some siege mentality with his ‘We're all in this together' line.

All in what, exactly? Oh yes, that brown mucky stuff. More specifically, that Gordon Brown mucky stuff because, as George was keen to point out, he's having to cut spending because of Labour's horrendous legacy.

And it's at this point that my schadenfraude turned to all schaden and no freude. Because I had a little glimpse of the future. Our future. The future under the government's plans for commissioning.

Inherited debts leading to unpopular cuts making the natives restless? Hmmm, starts to sound familiar. That's exactly what primary care commissioning promises to be like. No wonder we can't wait. At least George has experienced advisers and an administrative framework to lean on. Whereas we will lose the PCTs. And that, to use BMA terminology, means a ‘loss of organisational memory'– and, to use mine, means we won't know what the f**k we're doing.

So who'd be George Osborne? We would. And we'll be saddled with dementia as well as debts.

'Sick Notes' by Dr Tony Copperfield is out now, available from Monday Books.

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