Tamed and reshaped – Clegg on the NHS White Paper

Speaking last night at an excellent anniversary dinner to mark 25 years (yes, 25 years) of Liberal Democrat control on Sutton Council, Nick Clegg said the party has been successful in taming and reshaping the NHS reform plans.

The run of political and electoral success achieved by Liberal Democrats in Sutton is, as Clegg pointed out, a standing answer to anyone who doubts that you can achieve and then hold political power whilst continuing campaigning and staying true to your liberal roots. One of the key people in that success was Ruth Shaw, who Nick Clegg personally presented with the 2010 President’s Award that she had been awarded by the (national) party last year. Another of the key people is Graham Tope, who at various times has been an MP, council leader, European regional committee member, London Assembly member and member of the House of Lords (one who has repeatedly voted to abolish himself there). A book of conversations between him and his son Andrew about his political career has just been published by the local party.

As for the NHS, party sources have broken down the party’s Spring conference motion into 13 separate demands and are predicting that the revised government plans will see 11 of them met in full and 2 of them met via different routes than the ones called for in the motion. As I mentioned yesterday, leading critic of the original plans Shirley Williams is pleased with how the revisions are taking shape. They’ll be presented in detail to Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians on Monday night.

The two motion points not directly met will be the demand that half of the members of commissioning consortia boards be local councillors and only to give additional freedoms to Foundation Trusts that successfully engage substantial proportions of their local populations. Instead, the proposals are likely to use local Health and Wellbeing Boards (which can have a councillor majority if the council has so decided) to improve the accountability of commissioning consortia boards and to retain a supervisory role for Monitor over Foundation Trusts.

As today’s newspapers show, the spinners were indeed busy yesterday. Notable that both the Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday run stories that overall are favourable about what the Liberal Democrats have achieved (the Mail on Sunday in part, no doubt, motivated by knowledge of how unpopular the original proposals were with many of its readers): “Clegg: NHS U-turn is big win for Lib Dems” and “Tories furious as Clegg humiliates Andrew Lansley by boasting he ‘won’ fight to water down NHS reforms“. Notable too that the most critical write-up is from the Guardian newspaper group, with today’s Observer article.

Read more by or more about , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

8 Comments

  • Christine Headley 12th Jun '11 - 4:52pm

    NHS White Paper? Is it no longer a Bill?

  • David Allen 12th Jun '11 - 5:10pm

    Yes, you did mention yesterday that Shirley Williams is now pleased with the reforms, and you’ve mentioned it again today. Perhaps you will say it again tomorrow, because “What I tell you three times is true”. But you didn’t provide any evidence for your claim. Can you?

  • “Nick Clegg said the party has been successful in taming and reshaping the NHS reform plans.”

    To take the spin away. The party has been succesful in forcing Lib Dem Ministers working for changes to a Bill which they previously supported and indeed put their names to.

    This is not a victory for Lib Dem MP’s more a timely reminder to some that they represent their Party and it’s voters. And I for one am pleased to see it. Keep this up and I think a great many voters who deserted the party in the recent elections may be tempted to re-think.

  • Don’t get smug about your so called victory over the NHS reforms. The simple fact is, that most voters from the left don’t trust yoou. Why should this bother you? Well I’m ex liberal democrat voter, so are most of my family. It is going to take more than a cosmetic victory over your 13 pledges to win us back. Your party parliamentary party was forced into them by the kicking they received from their own party conference, and the kicking they got from the electorate. We didn’t hear a peep from the lib dem leadership about the Tory’s attempts to breakup the NHS and hand it over to any willing provider. They were perfectly happy to go along with Railtrack on the wards. Now you expect us to believe that the Lib Dem leadership has had a sudden epiphany, and reformed these proposals on a point of principal. Nothing to do with trying to save their own skins.

    My fear and a fear alot of voters share. Is that once you have got this bill through. Once this phoney listening exercise is over, you will continue with the breakup of the NHS by the back door, when you think the public have stopped paying attention. Well here is a warning for you. Do that, betray us over the NHS, the same way you betrayed us on so many other issues, and your party will be wiped out come the next election.

  • I’m inclined to agree with Steve Way – this is a triumph for the Lib Dems, as opposed to Lib Dem ministers.

    That being said, the debate on this reform has rather avoided the very big question. Why not cut the NHS? To be clear, by, ‘cut,’ I do not mean, ‘break up,’ or, ‘privatise.’ I mean why should the NHS be afforded special treatment that implies deeper cuts elsewhere? If the defecit really is that severe a problem, surely the NHS – one of the biggest budgets of them all – should be open to cuts.

  • Quote from the DT story:
    Nick de Bois, the Conservative MP leading the backbench fight to save Mr Lansley’s original proposals, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I think it is important we end up with a Bill that retains its fundamental principles.

    “From what the PM outlined last week I am hopeful we will have that. Andrew Lansley has worked hard to deliver reforms that will secure the long-term future of the NHS and I don’t think the coalition government will jeopardise that goal.”

    Privatisation is still going to happen, then.

  • John Fraser 13th Jun '11 - 9:20pm

    ;;;local Health and Wellbeing Boards (which can have a councillor majority if the council has so decided) to improve the accountability of commissioning consortia boards and to retain a supervisory role for Monitor over Foundation Trusts…..

    mark oer anyone else . Any details to how Health and wellbeing boarsd will inflence the consrtium . Will they have real power or just an advisory role. If no power there is still a huge democratic deficit with the way the NHS will be run .

  • Matthew Huntbach 14th Jun '11 - 12:26pm

    exdem

    Don’t get smug about your so called victory over the NHS reforms. The simple fact is, that most voters from the left don’t trust yoou. Why should this bother you? Well I’m ex liberal democrat voter, so are most of my family. It is going to take more than a cosmetic victory over your 13 pledges to win us back.

    This is a typical Labour response, isn’t it? It’s the same mentality that led most in Labour to campaign for “No” in the AV referendum. They’d rather the Tories have complete power and they be sanctimonious in opposition, than try and do something practical about it. If Labour and people like Exdem and all those who voted “No” to electoral reform, had their way, we would have just two parties, and we would have a full Conservative government now, and they would not have any LibDems to moan about and so the full Tory policy would be going through right now. And they could feel SO good about themselves in opposition, saying how bad it is, while not being able to do a thing about it.

    Even if the LibDem leadership were as supine as “exdem” has it, there are plenty of others in the Liberal Democrats who have been working hard pushing and kicking them to stand up to the worst of Tory policies. Why should we bother when all the thanks we get for it is insults of the like “exdem” issues?

    Listen “exdem”, the fact is that most Liberal Democrat MPs represent constituencies which would be Conservative if it were not for Liberal Democrat hard work. If it were not for the electoral system which most Labour supporters who voted in the referendum voted for, there would be fewer Tory MPs and more LibDem MPs, and the LibDem MPs could then be stronger in the coalition. If the Liberal Democrats are “wiped out”, as you say you want, the result will just be more Tory MPs, and so a pure Tory government. If this is what you want, go ahead. Your attitude, however, reminds me why I stick with the Liberal Democrats, despite not thinking much of its current leadership.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoger 22nd Aug - 11:19pm
    David at No !, and our "speaker', David Warren. I very much agree with both of you, apart from a quibble with David, who disagrees...
  • User AvatarTCO 22nd Aug - 11:14pm
    @William Francis "Technically Cable wanted to replace fees with a graduate tax ( a policy supported by the NUS at the time)." The present policy...
  • User AvatarTCO 22nd Aug - 11:12pm
    @Katherine Pindar if it's rude to point out that an anti-Semitic, terrorist apologist with a self-declared Marxist chancellor and a public school Stalinist pulling his...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 22nd Aug - 10:50pm
    Johnny McDermott: We have a Scottish leader, who knows the SNP. Paul Barker: Yes we should stick to our principles. David Evershed 22nd Aug '19...
  • User AvatarPatrick 22nd Aug - 10:17pm
    There is a new interesting possibility. UK’s vote in EU meetings will be delegated by power of attorney to Finland. I'm not quite sure how...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Dron 22nd Aug - 10:14pm
    @Mick Taylor Wrong thread? Would not re-entry mean adopting euro? Anyway, I'm assuming worst case scenario, but if euro it is and there have been...
Sat 24th Aug 2019
Thu 29th Aug 2019
Mon 9th Sep 2019