Conservative discipline collapses over NHS….
Speaking personally, I can’t wait to see the next but one series of polls to see whether the weeks shenanigans have effected their poll ratings. Gordon Brown must be able to scarcely believe his luck; following Norwich North it looked like the Labour Party was going to spend the next year dragging out it’s slow and painful death but suddenly they are tweeting, doing the media rounds with some vim,vigour and fight. David Cameron is finding his party looking uncomfortably out of step with public opinion on a major issue and his internal party discipline seems to be collapsing.
The Independent reports a second Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer has broken ranks and spoken in support of Daniel Hannan’s comments:
“Roger Helmer, said that Mr Hannan had done the party “a service” by raising the matter of NHS reform.”
In the meantime Hannan is facing the possibility of disciplinary sanction according to Politics Home. A Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in Swansea, Rene Kinzett, said the following on Twitter before trying to convince me that Hannan was a ‘little known MEP’:
Hannan been getting away with spouting the most appalling back-of-a-fag-packet hackneyed philosophy on Fox since April. Action needed soonerabout 1 hour ago from web
Incidentally, Iain Dale tried this line on Radio 5 Live; insisting that the story was only getting attention because it was August and recess. How desperate can you get?
It’s possible this is a blip but then again it does come off the back of polls showing slight (but not spectacular) rises in Labour poll ratings. Worryingly for the Conservatives the traditional Conservative-supporting newspaper; the Daily Mail has broken ranks to publish a story and comments supportive of the NHS. Meanwhile, another true-blue publication; the Daily Telegraph publishes details of ‘senior Tories links to anti-NHS Republicans’:
“George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, and Michael Gove, shadow children’s secretary, are all on the advisory council of Atlantic Bridge, a conservative, transatlantic organisation aimed at promoting the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States.”
The council includes several leading critics of Barack Obama’s healthcare proposals which will damage Cameron’s claim that the NHS critics are ‘eccentrics’. This is a real test of how resiliant the Conservatives poll lead is….