Sunday, 13 March 2011

Is Clegg playing the 'it's because you don't understand' card again?

After the comprehensive rejection of Lansley's NHS reform(/demolition) bill at the Liberal Democrat conference, Nick Clegg's next move is potentially crucial for his own position, for his party and - most importantly by far - for the NHS.

His latest comments don't bode well, looking worryingly close to the regular argument trotted out by numerous leading figures in this government. In most cases, this argument has two components - that anyone that opposes a given policy is either a) not understanding it properly or b) standing in the way of a (highly subjective) march towards modernity.

Apparently, in Clegg-world, "almost all" of the amended motion (which criticised the 'damaging and unjustified market-based approach that is proposed') "went with the grain of government policy" and the various safeguards that the LibDem conference wanted to see included into the reforms are "precisely what is happening".

So, either the huge numbers of critics - including vast numbers of seasoned health professionals - worried about the reforms have all completely failed to spot the numerous protections against the marketisation of health care that Lansely has thoughtfully already built in... or, Clegg is trying to be evasive.

One things for sure though - he'll have a job on his hands if he tries to force this one through.


It looks like Cameron is going to play a similar game. This is shaping up to be a decisive moment for the Lib Dems.

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