The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain was described by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson as the closest thing Britain has to a national religion. This was an exaggeration, but the state of the NHS will probably be the biggest political issue at the next election in Britain, due in May.

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party opposition, is alleged to have said that he wanted to “weaponize” the NHS. This was a clumsy and unfortunate phrase suggesting that he would use the state of the NHS as a major theme in criticizing the government’s record over health issues.

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