Published on 13 Jun 2011

Lib Dems ‘have their moment’ on NHS

Nick Clegg has told his MPs and peers tonight that his “demands” on the NHS bill have been “very very handsomely met.” He was greeted by warm applause and even the leader of the Spring Conference rebellion on the NHS reforms that routed the leadership is that the changes do address the worries – although he still thinks that the competition section of the Bill needs more changes. 

Earlier, David Cameron told a meeting of Tory MPs that the Tories hadn’t taken a hit over the NHS pause. He said the “fundamental principles” of the Bill were intact.

Behind the scenes, his team is going further telling disgruntled Tory MPs to let the Lib Dems “have their moment” or mini-celebration and not worry as the Tories’ “red lines” have not been crossed. 

On a wider point, MPs at the new intake Tory meeting said it was interesting “rite of passage” or “coming of age” for the newbies.

There were 24 questions to the PM ranging across a whole raft of subjects – crime, banks, tuition fees and much more – and only one of them could be described as patsy. They were “challenging not hostile,” one MP told me, but definitely not a cheerleaders’ convention.

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2 reader comments

  1. StuartM says:

    What I don’t understand is how the Lib Dems voted in favour of the 1st two readings of the bill, then suddenly wanted to “rescue the NHS”. If the reforms were so bad then how come the Lib Dems supported them through 2 readings ? Being generous, one can maybe assume that they never acually read the bill and just voted for it ‘cos their Conservative Masters told them to. That an entire party can vote for such a flawed bill, then suddenly start “claiming victory” for rescuing the NHS at the last minute beggars belief.

    So the Tories cannot pass vast sums of public money to their corporate masters wanting to make their fortunes out of healthcare. So fewer will be getting directorships in a few years time. So do we feel sorry for them ?

    Still, you can see how the student fee 300% increase go passed – probably no Lib Dems bothered to read it and realised too late that their Tory Masters had pulled a fast one (except of course it was Cable who proposed the increase).

    And politicians wonder why the public hold them in such contempt.

  2. Andrew Dundas says:

    There’s no organisation – even the English & Welsh NHS – that doesn’t need organisational changes.
    As our experiences accumulate, we develop new (and usually more efficient) ways of working. It’s called ‘the learning curve’ and it’s a normal part of dynamic economic improvement.
    But most progressive changes don’t involve wholesale replacement. Adopting incremental change usually works best.
    Instead, the coalition signed up to wholesale change to prove that the NHS was bust and that only Lansley, Cameron and Clegg could ‘save’ the NHS. That’s why the Andrew Lansley’s so-called ‘radical’ changes were needed: for party propaganda purposes.

    Modified PCTs were all that were needed. And some efficient way of secure file sharing for patients’ records

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