Recent Articles

What will fixed term Parliaments mean for campaigning?

by Richard Blogger     September 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

Get out your diaries for the next 50 years and mark the first Thursday in May in 2015, 2020, 2025… to be the day of the General Election.

Since we know when the election will be, MPs will be able to schedule their canvassing. It is likely that those MPs who have a small majority will want to canvas for the optimum amount of time before the election to ensure they get re-elected.

Since voters have a short memory it means that once an MP is elected s/he can safely ignore the electorate for the majority of the term as long as they are seen everywhere for roughly a year before the election (and hence voters will not remember that they’ve been ignored for four years).
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Where are Labour’s objections to the NHS bill?

by Richard Blogger     September 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

Labour could be re-elected at the next election on a huge majority if it exposed Lansley’s Bill and then campaigned against it. We hear so little from Labour that we do not know if they want the Bill or not. We do not know if Labour wants to be re-elected.

I tried to find a succinct list from Labour giving their opposition to the Bill, but I couldn’t find one.

Read this:
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To save the NHS we have to focus on the House of Lords

by Richard Blogger     September 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

So now the Lib Dems have voted. Four brave souls – who clearly value the NHS more than their chance to become a minister – voted against the Bill: Andrew George, Julian Huppert, Greg Mulholland and Adrian Sanders.

Ten others could not get off their arses to oppose the bill and took the typical Lib Dem sitting-on-the-fence position of abstaining.

The strategy, so I am informed by Dr Evan Harris, is for the Lords to make the Bill better.
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It’s official: Cameron has broken his NHS election promise

by Richard Blogger     July 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

It was inevitable, but now the figures are out: Cameron has cut the NHS.

The Financial Times reported yesterday:

David Cameron has been accused of breaking his most significant pre-election promise, after it emerged spending on the NHS, after inflation, fell last year.

Treasury figures show the NHS spent £102bn from April 2010-April 2011, almost all of which took place when the coalition took power. This marked a £750m real-term fall from the previous year, something Mr Cameron repeatedly promised would not happen.

The coalition agreement promises: “We will guarantee that health spending increases in real terms in each year of the parliament.”

John Healey, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “David Cameron has broken his NHS pledge. He put up posters pledging to cut the deficit, not the NHS, but we see now that the Tory-led government has already cut spending on the NHS in its first year.”

On the other hand the Conservative government is borrowing even more than the previous Labour government:

“A fall in tax receipts got the new fiscal year off to a disappointing start with public sector net borrowing hitting £7.7bn compared with £5.3bn in April last year.”

Remember that poster: I’ll cut the deficit not the NHS.

Well he got it the wrong way round, in practice he cut the NHS and raised the deficit.

What happened to your pledge not to close hospitals Mr Cameron?

by Richard Blogger     June 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

The British love the NHS and in particular, they love hospitals. When I give a talk about the government’s NHS policy I often start by asking people to say what most embodies what they think is “the NHS”. It is not GPs; it is always hospitals.

Politicians know this and they are careful when it comes to suggesting that a hospital has to be downgraded or even closed. In some cases politicians even campaign against their own party’s Secretary of State. While in opposition, David Cameron was adamantly against closing them.
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