The question was this. ”Is the NHS necessary, sustainable and desirable? The almost unanimous answer was that the NHS was necessary, but not sustainable, without some very serious discussions about the difference between want and need. Without serious change in the way resources were obtained, allocated and distributed(clue-not more marketisation), but that the NHS was so desirable that no politician would ever survive visibly dismantling it. Only the process of slow, silent, erosion would do it. The constant tension between the need for universal services, which respond to need, and the need to override professional knowledge and ethical frameworks with market fundamentalism was likely to do it eventually. But the NHS is a difficult right to visibly take away.
I never for one minute dreamed this bill would pass. I knew by last March that the welfare reform bill would pass without murmur, but never thought for one moment this would pass. Ben Goldacre is generally right, and is right about the fight against what is happening highlighting very serious problems with our ‘fight’ for change.
Evan Harris described selling opposition to the party leadership, as impossible. He was right. As impossible as Labour openly stating that Lansley’s plan was their reforms with the subtraction of a top-down re-organisation, which was not the biggest problem here. Evan Harris is right. Impossible is the word. A coalition agreement written on the back of a fag packet, while the markets were saying hurry up, is not sufficient explanation for this, Impossible shouldn’t be a word in a democracy. Just saying.