16 May 2011

Are We Still in Coalition?!

The much anticipated speech by Cameron today highlighted he has very little intention of reforming the NHS bill. In addition to this we have significant failures to upkeep the Green Deal with nuclear energy funding and targets under scrutiny and a significant reduction in Lib Dem attention to House of Lords reform. If it weren't for the paternity leave proposals, I would be questioning the Lib Dem role in the coalition at all.

The NHS has never been so good

In spite of Cameron's speech demanding that the NHS is in dire need of reform, patient and public experience has never been higher.

He labours on about the cost, stating the NHS will need £130billion in 2015 to continue this way. What he is, in fact, saying is that Conservatives do not want to pick up the bill for the universal right to the public health service. He is unwilling to fund the NHS which has the best satisfaction records seen in decades.

Of course, Cameron and Lansley argue that current recovery, survival and treatment rates are lower than average in Europe. But Cameron has also stated that Britain funds less than the average EU country.If you pay less, you expect less. Cutting GP Consortia budgets will not exactly assist this.

In addition to creating an opaque layer of bureaucracy in GP Consortia that 94% of NHS Managers believe is irrelevant, Cameron wishes to cut all funding for defecits. "Need your broken leg fixed? Oh we can't this year as we'd be over budget".

And this is without addressing the significant conflicts of interest and private firms monopolising public services.

So, I am seeing very little in put from Lib Dems in spite of Clegg's dramatic attempt gesture in an attempt to retain a sense of leadership, it seems highly unlikely any of the 'pause' will have had the slightest effect. And while peers may fillibuster, their effort may indeed be wasted.

Nuclear Agenda

One of the biggest successes the Lib Dems had in the coalition agreement was to stop government funding of nuclear power, instead paving the way for serious sustainable green energy. Or so we thought.

It now seems that the Tories can circumvent this too, in order to keep their business buddies sweet, and provide loans to part subsidise.

With Green Agenda spokesman Chris Huhne caught up in a rift of marital and speeding proportions, this seems to be allowed to be happening with no Lib Dem objections at all.

Too focused on constitutional reform?

The Evening Standard reports, somewhat delightedly, that Clegg is taking a step back from House of Lords reform, and instead senior Tories, no doubt being mollified by their lack of ministerial responsibility, will take charge.

As just noted, the Tories are very cunning in the nuance of language, and were they to assault proposed reforms in the same way as they have the Green Agenda, we will be lucky to see the 80/20 proposal from Clegg enacted in this parliament.

While I appreciate Clegg could be seen to 'toxify' the debate, I am suspicious enough about Conservative motivation, especially as they have said they are anti the concept of elected Lords.

We cannot call our country a (liberal) democracy all the time we have 'cushtie' peerages for MPs and who ever is popular on TV (Sir Alan). This body represents a third of the country's executive and the 'old boys club' simply has to stop. Now.

On a Positive Note

Proposals on paternity leave being extended to 8 months will be a major step forward in gender equality and in tackling hegemonic matrimony head on. But with the tidal wave of loopholes the Tories are finding, it does feel like a patronising pat on the head from our coalition partners.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


  1. It's interesting that Cameron is now worried about the cost of the NHS when he was promising to match spending, in real terms during the election!

  2. I assume it was a vote winner during the election and now the battle to make cuts dominates his agenda.

    But the proposals are that GPC will receive just 80% of current PCT budgets which is awful considering he wants treatment rates to go up.


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