LDVideo: Nick Clegg – “If I thought this Bill was about privatising the NHS, it would never have seen the light of day”

Nick Clegg took part in an afternoon Q&A at today’s Lib Dem conference, and vigorously defended the changes to the NHS being implemented by the Coalition as amended by the party. Conference representatives earlier voted, by a slim margin of 309 votes to 280, to debate tomorrow morning Shirley Williams’ motion, ‘Saving the NHS’, rather than the ‘Drop the Bill’ motion put forward by Winchester Lib Dems.

(Also available on the BBC website here.)

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Exchange “thought” with “realised”.

  • mike cobley 10th Mar '12 - 8:18pm

    It really is not too difficult to understand: if any public money is being used to pay salaries, bonuses and share dividends of a private sector entity, then privatisation has entered the NHS system. If any frontline health services are being conducted by private, for-profit entities then privatisation has entered the NHS system. If administrative functions are being contracted out to private, for-profit entities, then privatisation has entered the NHS system. And once privatisation has entered the system, the private sector entities will NOT stop until they have it all.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • Grammar Police 10th Mar '12 - 10:25pm

    “And once privatisation has entered the system, the private sector entities will NOT stop until they have it all.”
    I think you’ll find that privatisation has already entered the system. Indeed, it’s been there all along, but even if you don’t buy that (no pun intended) it was definitely put there in 2006.

  • Andrew Suffield 11th Mar '12 - 7:55am

    Yeah, dubious definitions of “privatisation” aside, we’ve already got massive private sector involvement in healthcare and the world hasn’t ended – in fact, the same people who object to the bill can often be found defending the status quo as being an acceptable level of privatisation.

  • If it would never have seen the light of day, why did Nick and our other MPs vote for it at second reading, before any of these amendments had been made and when, according to Nick’s own communications on the subject the bill could have led to US style privatisation.

    Nick has been a tactically inept leader. This weekend he also showed himself to be a cowardly one to boot.

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