- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat(Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
The Guardian’s Politics Live Blog has the latest on Lib-Dem support for destroying the NHS. They’ve voted to neither support nor oppose it.
Yesterday’s Guardian Politics blog was correct in identifying that the Lib-Dem debate on health had been framed well as Shirley Williams vs. Andy Burnham.
This framing was extended by Williams attacking twitter and the media generally on the basis of one article by Parrot Tonee. It is wholly unfair to tarnish all media as inaccurate on the basis of one article.
The vast majority of media articles are factally correct: the overwhelming opposition to the Destroy the NHS / Health and Social Care Bill amoung health workers, Lansley censoring the media and getting chased down hospital corridors on hospital visits, Nick Clegg wanting to destroy the NHS since 2005.
The Neo-Liberal ‘Liberal-Democrat’ party supports the destruction of the NHS despite overwhelming opposition from the medical professions. It is huge arrogance from Williams, Clegg, Cammoron and Lansley to promote such a wrecking bill disregarding so much opposition from medical professionals. They are the people who really understand.
What Britain now has is a blue-orange coalition, with the little-known Orange Book forming the core of current Lib Dem political thinking. To understand how this disreputable arrangement has come about, we need to examine the philosophy laid out in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism, edited by David Laws (now the Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Paul Marshall. Particularly interesting are the contributions of the Lib Dems’ present leadership.
Published in 2004, the Orange Book marked the start of the slow decline of progressive values in the Lib Dems and the gradual abandonment of social market values. It also provided the ideological standpoint around which the party’s right wing was able to coalesce and begin their march to power in the Lib Dems. What is remarkable is the failure of former SDP and Labour elements to sound warning bells about the direction the party was taking. Former Labour ministers such as Shirley Williams and Tom McNally should be ashamed of their inaction.
Clegg and his Lib Dem supporters have much in common with David Cameron and his allies in their philosophical approach and with their social liberal solutions to society’s perceived ills. The Orange Book is predicated on an abiding belief in the free market’s ability to address issues such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government and prisons.
The Lib Dem leadership seems to sit very easily in the Tory-led coalition. This is an arranged marriage between partners of a similar background and belief. Even the Tory-Whig coalition of early 1780s, although its members were from the same class, at least had fundamental political differences. Now we see a Government made up of a single elite that has previously manifested itself as two separate political parties and which is divided more by subtle shades of opinion than any profound ideological difference.