When you wake up in the morning to the top political heading in the Guardian being Nick Clegg angers Tories with new delay to NHS reforms you have to think that it is a good sign. Finally the Lib Dems in cabinet and most notably Nick Clegg have realised something – that the public need to publicly see that they are not doormats.
The public have made it clear that they are panicked on any changes to the NHS. Now the NHS needs to evolve so changes will have to be made but if the changes that are made do not include privatisation and selling off the juicy parts of the NHS to private companies then the public will breathe a sigh of relief. The selling off of national interests is not a good thing long term and when it comes to the nation’s health then we all have a tonne of interest.
The NHS might just be the greatest ‘invention’ of the 20th Century for Brits. The core principles that it meet the needs of everyone, that it be free at the point of delivery and that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay are vital. If private companies were able to cherry-pick services then whilst it would still meet those principles it would not be viable as the investment in the non-profitable sectors of the NHS would not be there.
Big decisions don’t happen overnight and they need to be discussed at length and not just by suits in an office – by the people that matter. I did a google search for NHS and saw this story in the Daily Mail entitled Clegg ignites Tory mutiny on health: Don’t let him derail NHS reforms, MPs urged. To save you going to the Daily Mail and infecting your machines with bile I shall copy and paste the best bit:
‘An email circulated to every Tory MP urged them to ‘make our views heard at the top of Government so that the debate is not monopolised by others’.
‘It calls on MPs to tell ministers that the Bill contains a series of ‘red lines’ which cannot be negotiated away to the Lib Dems.’
Now I’m no math major as the American’s would say but I’m pretty sure that the Tories cannot push through any bill without the support of their coalition partners. That is y’know why there is a coalition. If the Tories were able to push through anything they wanted then they would have no need for the Lib Dems. So it seems that certain backbenchers are still not smart enough to work out that 306 into 650 is not more than 50%.
The Lib Dems hold the balance of power and whilst in many ways they have done well behind the scenes – publicly they have been seen as doing naff all to stop the rampaging Tories. Time to get those guns out Nick (I’m talking muscles here) and flex them. We can stop anything becoming law and if things are not right then stop them. The coalition is not about making sure everyone is happy – it is about doing the right thing for the country and if this NHS Bill is not right then it needs to be re-written and submitted again.
We always said we could do more in power than we could in opposition and stopping bad changes is just as important as pushing through good changes. Yes it is all a balance but sometimes you just need to stick your fork into the ground and the NHS is far more important to this country than free university tuition for all so this is the time to say enough’s enough.
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