Friday, February 10, 2012


How Much Worse Can it Get For Lansley

My post yesterday did not quite express the true depths of the unpopularity of Lansley's NHS Bill. Today we read that Conservative Home, the online direct route to grassroots Conservative thinking, has:

'urged Cameron to replace Andrew Lansley and drop large chunks of the health bill

This traditionally loyal publication run by Tim Montgomerie, would not issue such advice if things were not very, very bad for Lansley. But in addition to that we hear that not one, not two, but three Cabinet members urged the blog to issue this warning as they believe Cameron is not listening on an issue which might lose the party the next election. Stephen Dorrell, Conservative chair of the Health Select Committee fels strongly that many of the changes envisaged could have been achieved without the need for legislation and so much controversy.

All this suggests the knives are out for Cameron's appointment; his sacking would represent a mega - humiliation for the prime ministen. He has responded, unsurprisingly by committing himself to the measure even more fulsomely. But inside he must be ruing the day he believed his party harboured, in the person of Andrew Lansley a major political talent who would transform the NHS

Con Home is about as loyal to Dave as you were to Gordon, Bill!
I don't red the site as closely as you do Paul but that would mean it has NO loyalty at ALL to Cameron or the Tory message!
A PR disaster I grant you, but this Bill will go through.

It is a huge reform, and vested interests always oppose reform of this nature (as Tony Blair correctly established in his memoirs). The problem is that many of these vested interests have made clear that they don't want ANY reform. They need to get real.

The Government is committed to the Bill in a lot of ways, and other legislation is dependent on it. I don't see this being politically so bad. The Opposition are utterly unelectable, and the time to be courageous is now. I suspect Lansley is a dead duck, but he will probably hang around to get the Bill through now.
With luck this could turn into a heads we win, tails they lose situation for Labour.

All the inevitable problems that will beset the NHS over the next three years can be presented either as the result of the reforms or of their being abandoned in mid implementation should the Tories be forced into a U-turn.

No wonder young Davie's gearing up for another Falklands skirmish to divert attention. The tactic worked brilliantly for his heroine Maggie thirty years ago...
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