National and Local politics from a Liberal Democrat from Gillingham, Kent
Monday, 5 September 2011
NHS reform; Nick draws the battle lines.
As the NHS reform proposals make their way into parliament this week after prolonged a “listening exercise” sparked by the Lib Dem spring conference, concerns reach boiling point.
Dr Evan Harris has said the reforms were “Poor in all aspects.”
Andrew George MP, Lib Dem member of the parliamentary Health committee has already vowed to vote against it as it is “driven more by private profit than by concern about patient care.”
Baroness Shirley Williams has indicated that there will be opposition in the Lords and that the “battle was far from over”
Against these pillars of Liberalism Nick could only muster;
“Let me be clear: There is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing – in any of this Government’s plans which in any way threatens the basic principles of the NHS.”
Andrew Lansley has also promised that the bill seeks to improve and maintain the comprehensive service; “The NHS is not going to be broken, it is not going to be privatised…”
The Evening Standard has predicted a back bench revolt and indeed another grilling for the entrenched Deputy Prime Minister by angered grass roots party members at this Autumn’s Conference- Well those who passed the stringent security checks!
Whatever happens though Nick has vowed :-
“The package will not now be reopened – About that I am clear.”