‘The Only principled position is for Lib Dems to withdraw their support for the NHS Bill’…my speech to regional Conference!
February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
This past Saturday saw the Liberal Democrats’ East Midlands Spring Conference take place in Wigston, Leicester.
I made the following speech in an afternoon debate on the NHS Bill:
‘I’ve spent a long time-perhaps too long-trying to defend the NHS Bill-saying that Lib Dems have worked hard to try and make it better and, indeed, they have but-I’m afraid-this remains an ill-informed, ill-considered, ill-thought through Bill.
Private competition is fine if you’re a private industry, but the NHS isn’t a private company it is a public service.
A service which should remain free-at-the-point-of-use and ensure that the best treatment is available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
This Bill continues the trend started-and we should never let them forget it-by Labour when they were in office-of increasing private competition.
This Bill allows up to 45% of private use of NHS Beds and theatre time, this is a massive increase on the present limit and, from my point of view, is very worrying indeed.
You can tell the Tory agenda when they wanted the Secretary of State to no longer have ultimate responsibility for the NHS-taking away democratic accountability.
Thankfully Lib Dems, especially Baroness Shirley Williams and Dr Evan Harris, helped to reverse this.
I really think the only principled position is for the Liberal Democrats’ to withdraw their support for the Bill.
Let David Cameron try and get a Parliamentary majority without us.
This is privatisation through the back door and we shouldn’t support it.’