Just back from the NHS debate and we've succeed in voting for EVERYONE! We agreed with Ms Dame Shirl the Girl that the amended bill was now better, and we agreed with Mr Dr Evan that the Lords can still vote to nuke it anyway!
Many good points were made, about the complexity of the new arrangements and that there is more centralisation going on under cover of devolving some other powers. And of course that none of the doctors, nurses, midwives, surgeons or psi-judges who have looked at the bill actually want it.
BUT, Dame Shirl made the MOST telling point.
Hard Labour's 2006y bill – which we default to if we kill this one – laid the foundation for PRIVATISING the Health Service, with their PFIs and sweetheart deals for private clinics and paying for operations that don't even happen.
OUR bill, now we've amended it, STOPS LABOUR'S PRIVATISATION OF THE NHS.
On the whole, I think that the CORE of this bill is a GOOD IDEA that has been VERY BADLY IMPLEMENTED.
Giving the POWERS and the RESPONSIBILITIES for YOUR care to YOUR doctor is a GOOD THING.
But we should have done it VOLUNTARILY and we should have run LOTS OF TRIALS so that people could SEE if it worked.
And if it DID work, people would have been CALLING for the changes not shouting "traitor" at queues of people that they ought to be persuading. (ACTUALLY HAPPENED – good way to persuade people that!)
And if it DIDN'T we could have agreed to drop it based on the evidence.
Instead we have the mess Mr Landslide and Mr Balloon dropped us in.
"No top down reforms of the NHS" – it's almost like Mr Balloon wasn't paying any attention to what his ministers wanted.
At least the Lib Dems are listening!
PS: Got stuck in the lift with Mr Dr Vince this morning and it carried us away to the fifth floor instead of the ground. Still, if you're going to be trapped with the Business Secretary it's better to on your way to the top!