Monday, 17 January 2011

Cameron resurrects the ghost of Blair

It was interesting to read today about an 'intriguing' book name checked by David Cameron in reference to the NHS...Tony Blair's autobiography, nonetheless

Strange that the Prime Minister would look to Blair's original plans for the NHS as aspirational. No doubt Mr Blair lacked the conviction to deliver on the NHS reforms he could have. The ones he did deliver on where a mixture of success (breakthroughs in treatment for cancer patients) and criminal wastes of resources (money spent on dubious IT projects).

The Prime Minister was actually trying to paint the critics of his plans ( such as as the BMA, as Luddites, blocking the road to reform.

The big area of contention is how big a role can the private sector play in NHS reform and what checks and balances on this can be introduced to placate the millions of public sector workers and the rest of the Coalition.

Ultimately, the NHS needs to its serve patients first and foremost and I think it's going to come down to the arguments made by Andrew Lansley and his department over how the money spent is going to improve on Labour's record. If the private sector can facilitate this then will swinging voters actually care where the services come from? I doubt it, but the millions of public sector workers will protect their ground. Meaning we will see more Union clashes for the Coalition.

One thing is for certain - Tony Blair couldn't survive losing the public and neither will Mr Cameron. Which is why I predict we can expect a surprise budget carrot to go with all this stick.

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