Want to save the NHS Lib Dems? Then join the opposition….
Go on, you can be candid here, admit it. You laughed like I did when you saw Nick Clegg’s solemn pledge to ‘protect the National Health Service from the profit motive’. That Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are hated and reviled is pretty much a given but soon they will be subjected to a much worse fate; they will exist only as objects of mockery and merriment. How can we take seriously a Deputy Prime Minister who sincerely opines that he ‘forgot’ it was his ‘turn’ to run the country? This quote is priceless and should be chiseled on the political tombstone that is currently being carved for Mr Clegg and his Party:
Asked if he was in charge of the nation, Mr Clegg told Metro: ‘Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that.’
Clegg is also a proven serial political opportunist and liar. Why on earth would we trust this man again? I am sure the massed ranks of Liberal Democrats want too but that is because realistically they have no choice. They must be thrilled with the motion that they passed on the NHS – shame it doesn’t mean anything in the real world. Resolutions passed at a Liberal Democrat conference serve one purpose and one purpose only and that is to make their activists feel better about themselves, like they have sufficiently salved their social consciences. You want proof? Well, remember Free Schools which got them in an awful tizzy? They even went so-far as to rebel and pass a motion against them. Very noble. An act which the Liberal Democrat MP’s and leadership promptly ignored by sending the good ship Gove and his Free Schools sailing merrily through the Commons with a comfortable majority.
Similarly with this motion, all Clegg has promised to do in response to the motions call to halt the “damaging and unjustified” shake-up of GP services in England is ‘study this call carefully’. In other words, he will mouth platitudes exactly like the ones above and do nothing except deposit the motion in the nearest trash-can or maybe in Larry the Cat’s litter tray. He will do nothing because a) he believes in these changes and b) in any case, nothing is the sum total of what he is capable of doing. All those years spent mocking the impotency of the Labour membership is coming back to haunt the Liberal Democrat membership in spades as they are karmically repaid with banishment from effective control over their own party. Who says the universe has no sense of irony?
Comrades in Labour still mooning over a potential alliance with this spent political force are, to not put too fine a point on it, as politically spineless as the yellow peril themselves. Being used and abused obviously isn’t enough to hammer home reality to these people. In Leeds we know how it is, the charlatan Liberal Democrats attack a Labour council for making cuts while at the same time sitting in a government cutting central government funding to the bone. Danny Alexander tried a similar trick today; criticising Labour councils for not spending their cash reserves to protect vital services:
“You are seeing Labour councils up and down the land making all sorts of decisions where they deny the deficit on a national level but seem to be wanting to make very painful choices at a local level. On both counts, they are doing the wrong thing.
“Their irresponsibility on a national level is matched only by the sorts of cuts they are making on a local level.