We have learnt that Coalition Governments get into a rhythm. Every year now, in early March, there is an attempt by the Coalition to change some or other policy just before the spring Liberal Democrat Party Conference so that party members can feel that they are having an impact on the Government. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Conservative party, Election campaign, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 20-03-2012
Last Sunday’s story in the Independent concerning at least 50 doctors standing at the next general election against members of Parliament from the Lib Dem leadership and Conservative marginals was an interesting one. Once again – as much of the campaign against the Bill has shown – it demonstrates the gap that exists between the detailed experienced of party politics and the detailed experience of medicine. Read the rest of this entry »
The Liberal Democrat spring conference saw a spectacular falling out between two powerful women of the left. Shirley Williams launched an attack upon Polly Toynbee because the latter had previously attacked her support for the Bill. The argument became quite heated – accusations of lying were made – and later in the week Polly Toynbee retumed the fray in a Guardian article. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Health and Social Care Bill, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 12-03-2012
I can understand why most doctors and nurses don’t understand the nuts and bolts of politics. Whilst people like me were sitting in at University and generally developing the darker skills of the way in which politics works, those clinical staff-to- be were buckling down to get great ‘A’ levels and then working hard at both the theory and practice of medicine. Then when they qualify it’s a job and a half to apply all that learning to real patients. Most medical staff are in their mid-thirties before they take a breath. Read the rest of this entry »
Answer: When it’s being viewed by the two different Coalition political parties.
Monday saw the Government Health and Social Care Bill lurch further down the path of degeneration into farce.
Sunday saw publicity centred around another set of amendments to the competition aspects of the Bill. Placed by Liberal Democrat peers.
On Monday morning at 11, at the press briefing that takes place twice a day, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said two contradictory things. First he said that the Bill had been amended a lot so far, and that it was now in a fit state to be passed then he said that he was relaxed about these amendments because they were not significant. This is the Prime Minister playing down the amendments and the possibility of defeat. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed Under (Health and Social Care Bill, Health Policy, Liberal Democrat Party, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 09-05-2011
Every now and again you catch people who are not very interested in the detail of an issue that really matters to you, like NHS reform policy, encapsulating how the rest of the world sees that issue.
Last Friday and Saturday, following the pretty historic elections in Scotland and on voting reform (and less game changing elections in England and Wales and Northern Ireland) there was a lot of general political comment on the airwaves. There was an occasional mention of the NHS. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the last weekend the rank and file of the Liberal Democrat Party chose the NHS reforms as the big issue around which to mobilise opposition to their leadership in their Coalition Government. Why they chose NHS reforms is an important issue, after all the Lib Dem membership had a range of policies that might be viewed as ones on which their leaders had ‘let them down’, however the one they chose was support for NHS reform. Read the rest of this entry »
The Times on May 4th picks up on the big issue of post election NHS politics by highlighting the coming significant changes in hospital services. As with my own posts of last week they recognise the significance of the advice from patients’ groups and doctors to bring about improvement and value for money.
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Whilst the opinion polls show that the electorate still see the NHS as the second or third issue of importance to them (Behind the economy and in some polls behind immigration), there is really no trace of the politics of the NHS in this election. Given my comments on the Conservative manifesto this is exactly what the Conservative Party would hope from the campaign. At the start of the campaign the Labour Party was trusted with the NHS more that the Conservatives and it would therefore be to the Conservatives advantage if there was not much discussion of the NHS.
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