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by Iain Roberts on 16 July, 2011
Here’s our latest Keeping in Touch leaflet being delivered to Cheadle & Gatley at the moment.
C&G July 2011 a3
Iain if the Lib Dems were so instrumental in ‘altering’ the NHS plans why did Mark Hunter vote for the original white paper proposals in the House of Commons?
It is interesting how working in Coalition can get results, isn’t it? Sometimes, politicians get a better deal by being a little bit cleverer than just opposing everything they don’t agree with 100%.
(Actually, it’s fair to say that all successful politicians from all parties do that).
But it wasn’t Liberal Democrat opposition that forced the consultation – it was public opposition from the unions, 38 Degrees & similar campaigns and the BMA & Royal College of Nursing.
There is absolutely NO definitive evidence to suggest the Lib Dems had anything to do with the softening of NHS reforms during the consultation.
Evidence to suggest that Hunter, Stunell and Clegg et al supported the reforms in their original form?
1) Written into coalition document.
2) Voted for the white paper proposals.
3) Were arguing in public in defence of them until the consultation period.
Pull the other one, Councillor!
That’s some re-writing of history you’ve got going there – NHS reforms in the Coalition agreement and everything! I salute you.
Look again, and you’ll see the Lib Dems working strongly for reform from late last year through 2011 – not least the critical motion passed at our Spring party conference with th support of Nick Clegg.
That’s not just the view of the Lib Dems, but of most neutral observers, though I quite understand that those who want to do the party down and destroy us prefer a different version of events.
Ok so let’s withdraw the point about them being in the Coalition agreement.
We still have a far greater argument to say that your lot supported the proposals. The motion at your conference was a motion from the grassroots party and doesn’t actually tell us anything about the impact of the Lib Dems on the legislative process.
However the only definitive action Mr Hunter et al took on this issue in Parliament was to vote for the original white paper proposals. Unless you can provide us with concrete evidence that they did anything to the contrary in the succeeding period.
I’m afraid it’s just not good enough to make a claim with no evidence at all and then demand others disprove it.
Work by the Lib Dems in Government have greatly improved the NHS reforms, and led to the country stepping back from the process of privatisation started by Labour (who, let’s not forget, set a target of 15% of operations being done in the private sector, with a result that millions of pounds was wasted paying for operations which were never actually carried out).
I do understand why you want to do down the Lib Dems – this is politics after all and we all have our agendas – but this is one where it seems to me that any fair appraisal really needs to accept that the Lib Dems played an important role in improving the reforms.
You’re presenting a narrative where pretty much everyone in the world is responsible for the u-turn except for Lib Dem MPs – the one group in the strongest position to actually modify the proposals and a group which, I happen to know, worked very hard to do so with great success.
But I am supporting my assertion that the Lib Dems were not responsible based on circumstantial evidence – they voted for the white paper proposals originally and made NO arguments against them then.
So where is your evidence to say that they did force the u-turn? If you know for definite that they did?
I think what you’re doing is picking the evidence that supports the view you want to push and ignoring the rest, but I don’t think we’re going to agree.
The evidence to support my position is out there on the Internet for anyone who cares to look for it, but in my case it’s through my own personal discussions with several of those directly involved.
I’m afraid your “circumstantial evidence” isn’t going to persuade me that my firm evidence is wrong – especially as your evidence says nothing at all about what the Lib Dems did in the period that the NHS proposals were being revised which does rather weaken your argument, but do feel free to go and actually look at what happened in the round.
To change the subject… Keith Holloway… WHO ?
Would this be a case of ‘grooming’ a future council candidate ?
There is only one ascertainable fact – the Lib Dems voted for the white paper proposals.
All that’s happened is the Lib Dems have claimed credit for the u-turn, something which was flatly rejected by the Prime Minister and given the staunch opposition from the Royal College of Nursing, the BMA and the unions, the role the Lib Dems played is therefore under serious question.
Happily, I’ve managed to ascertain rather more facts than the one you mention, so I know that your claim is incorrect and the Lib Dems did in fact play a key role in improving the NHS reforms.
Please enlighten us…..
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