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Bing Crosby's Stunt Double

Is this an issue of the US Government stopping Health Tourism, and other countries getting caught up in it?

Roger Helmer MEP

We really must get away from this concept of "indirect discrimination". The fact is that action against Aids is a legitimate public health measure. If it happens that a disproportionate number of Aids sufferers are homosexuals, that is no responsibility of the regulators, and no reason to dilute public health initiatives.

You might as well argue that our smoking ban in buildings is "indirect discrimination" against men, since more men than women smoke.


I agree with Bing (above) we should prevent health tourism, which is becoming very expensive and denying our own people who have paid into the health service their right to have prompt treatment. The USA are doing what we should be doing. If this disease affect people of a certain sexual orientation, that should make no difference.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Well done, Charles.

Sadly, and once again, Roger Helmer is showing his ignorance, lack of compassion and outright bigotry. He's a disgrace to not just the Conservative Party, but to the human race.

Tim Montgomerie

That's OTT Justin. Roger is entitled to his opinion. He's not a bigot.


I would just like to second the comments made by Tim. I have known Roger for quite a few years and can say that he is certainly not a bigot.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Tim, the hard authoritarian Right of the Conservative Party is capable of doing some serious damage to the Party with their appalling views. Helmer is one example, but so, too, is Redwood with his "there are two types of rape victims".

Charles Tannock is a trained doctor. What the devil does Helmer know about HIV/AIDs and those thousands of European citizens that are discriminated against on the basis of their health? No doubt Helmer still thinks one can catch HIV through sharing a cup or sitting on a public toilet. I'm sorry, but I do find him to be ignorant, uncompassionate, bigoted and a liability to the Party.

Sally Roberts

Well done indeed, Charles! I am very proud that you are my local MEP. You have showed great compassion and it ill behoves any of your colleagues to dismiss what the Americans are doing as a "public health measure"!

Donal Blaney

What a pity you have chosen to insult a fellow conservative in such a public forum, Justin. Maybe when you reflect on what you have written this evening you will realise what a wally you have again shown yourself to be. What a pity.

My bigger concern is that this is another stick with which to beat the most caring nation on earth.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Donal, I am not a fellow 'conservative'; I'm a liberal Conservative. It's arrogant to assume we all share Helmer's views.

"My bigger concern is that this is another stick with which to beat the most caring nation on earth." Perhaps but except if you happen to be gay or in another such minority.

Margaret on the Guillotine

Donal, when I see someone on the right of the Party lamenting the fact that someone on ConHome has used what you perceive to be insulting language towards a fellow conservative (sic), the evident response has to be:

"Mr Pot, have you met Mr Kettle...?"

Graham Checker

Justin - your attitude and your tone stinks.

You've developed a real chip on your shoulder over the last few months. Not just on this thread either. You are rude and aggressive on many other discussions too.

You do your "point of view" no good at all with this astonishing display of lack of maturity.

Grow up.


Good on you Donal and Roger Helmer, and similarly shame on you Justin Hinchcliffe. The US has given so much to the third world in aid over the last ten years, aside from shedding its blood and treasure for the cause of freedom across the globe. Yet Justin thinks not with his brain and launches into a partisan tirade. Read the facts, mate, and you might get a shock as to how good the US is for the world.


Will similar criticisms be levied at the UK's policy of banning the entry of rabbies carriers into the UK?


"[...] the most caring nation on earth [...]"

... err, who claims the USA is the most caring nation and what evidence is this claim based on? Assuming it's the USA that claims this, how many other nations agree?

"The US has given so much to the third world in aid over the last ten years..."

Doesn't the USA also tie its aid to ideas such as "abstinence beats using a condom" ? Also isn't much of the aid in kind (e.g. surplus US food - supporting their economy) rather than in cash?

Donal Blaney

Justin: I don't think anyone said we had to share Roger's views, merely that we should debate them with courtesy in such a widely-read public forum.

I frequently don't share the views of fellow conservatives, be they self-styled liberals, libertarians, authoritarians or social conservatives. I didn't share the view that the poor should eat fruits from trees but that wouldn't make it right to hurl insults back at the fool that said that.

I also stick to the point: the US has done more to end disease, poverty and squalour around the world than any other nation on earth.

Cty Cllr G Dadd

The facts of the matter, disregarding the "debate" on this thtead, is that the USA dioes not prevent people such as cancer victims from entering and I suspect that their policy is outdated and based upon past ignorance.It is about time that their policies to visitors was challenged and quite frankly the TONE of the comments made by Roger Helmer is not befitting of a Conservative. when will soem realise that we live in a world that has changed and the vast majority of the UK population do not hold some of the more extreme views of those on the moral right?


This is all pretty ugly folks. Can we now avoid further comments on each other and address the main topic or not comment at all? Thanks.

Charles Tannock MEP

I am not claiming the US should pay for British HIV-positive patients' treatment as they should be fully insured before travel or show they have the means to pay for their own treatment etc. before admission. I am only claiming that they should be entitled to the same 90-day visa waiver scheme that other UK citizens are entitled to, and the same right to family reunion and to settle, study or work as non-HIV-positive UK individuals.

I have a long-standing position from my days as an NHS consultant opposing abuse of our taxpayer-funded health service by tourists or illegal immigrants, which is what health tourism actually is. Also, America does not have a universal and free public health system, making health tourism to the US much more difficult than in the UK. Therefore my intervention in this matter is not about health tourism or abusing the US taxpayer.

Spreading HIV to others consciously remains a criminal offence in the UK as it is in the USA so there is no implied right by equal visa treatment for an HIV-positive man in London to go to the USA and deliberately spread the virus. The US is entitled to warn them they can be prosecuted for this offence. I don't see why HIV-positive individuals should be restricted from travel on public health grounds as the disease affects only a small number of mainly gay individuals and some haemophiliacs. The great western pandemic and contagion of the wider population has never come about and the prognosis is far better with modern antiretrovirals than the fears we all felt in the 1980s when these rules were introduced.

The USA is alone with some Arab states in these rather draconian measures and the restrictions have been criticised by many US Congressmen including Senator Ted Kennedy. Few people are stronger friends of America than I am.


What US policy is, is no country's business. Just like it is for the frekin EU, who shouldn't impose there communist lazy beliefs on the UK.

Donal Blaney

Charles: quoting Ted Kennedy hardly helps your cause! He has been wrong on pretty much every issue since he entered the Senate in 1963!

Ultimately I don't really see what this has got to do with us. It is up to America to decide who it allows in to its country and why. It would be nice if we could decide the same here in Britain but our membership of the EU increasingly precludes such control of our own borders. Maybe if our MEPs focussed on repatriating powers from Brussels rather than enjoying the fine dining in Brussels and Strasbourg we'd be better off..?


"the US has done more to end disease, poverty and squalour around the world than any other nation on earth..."

This might well be true, but the US has also started more wars in the last 50 years than any other nation on earth...



When we took over Britain's job of being more or less the world policeman, we got that role too. It wasn't the U.S. that started either World War--and World War III was never fought. I know we're not perfect, but I do think you could cut us a little slack:)

Donal Blaney

ToryJim: which wars did the US start in the last 50 years then? Name them...


"America's policy places it alongside countries such as Saudi Arabia." Really?

Oh, you Brits. You are so enlightened, so sanctimonious and so sick-making.

This has all to do with the ever invasive control of the EU and oppressive NULAB. You must be so proud.

It is really impossible to explain politely how much Americans despise the Europeans and now the Brits.

For 'Toryjim' and the rest of his ilk, read the following:

Anti-Americanism: It's About American Power, Not Policy
By Soeren Kern

"In Europe, for example, where self-referential elites are pathologically obsessed with their perceived need to "counter-balance" the United States, anti-Americanism is now the dominant ideology of public life. In fact, it is no coincidence that the spectacular rise in anti-Americanism in Europe has come at precisely the same time that the European Union, which often struggles to speak with one voice, has been trying to make its political weight felt both at home and abroad.

In their quest to transform Europe into a superpower capable of challenging the United States, European elites are using anti-Americanism to forge a new pan-European identity. This artificial post-modern European "citizenship", which demands allegiance to a faceless bureaucratic superstate based in Brussels instead of to the traditional nation-state, is being set up in opposition to the United States. To be "European" means (nothing more and nothing less than) to not be an American.

Because European anti-Americanism has much more to do with European identity politics than with genuine opposition to American foreign policy, European elites do not really want the United States to change. Without the intellectual crutch of anti-Americanism, the new "Europe" would lose its raison d'ĂȘtre.

Anti-Americanism also drives Europe's fixation with its diplomatic and economic "soft power" alternative as the elixir for the world's problems. Europeans despise America's military "hard power" because it magnifies the preponderance of US power and influence on the world stage, thereby exposing the fiction behind Europe's superpower pretensions.

Europeans know they will never achieve hard power parity with America, so they want to change the rules of the international game to make soft power the only acceptable superpower standard. Toward this end, European elites seek to de-legitimize one of the main pillars of American influence by making it prohibitively costly in the realm of international public opinion for the United States to use its military power in the future. By ensconcing a system of international law based around the United Nations, they hope to constrain American exercise of power. For Europeans, multilateralism is about neutering American hard power, not about solving international problems. It is, as the cliché goes, about Lilliputians tying down Gulliver."


Should we change our policy about HIV positive visitors? Perhaps, but frankly it's none of your business. Everything you do is influenced by the flacid, insidious EU.

While you lot whinge and ring your hands about smaller issues, we are left with the heavy work. Americans regard you as pathetic ankle-biters who make few substantive decisions but gladly cling to the periphery of the world stage for the sole purpose of being able to criticise those who must.

From one proud Yank to the Euro-weenies and Brits who consider themselves to be European, Merry Christmas and get stuffed.

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