The party of the NHS? We shouldn't be afraid to expose this as the greatest joke in politics. At a time when the NHS needs reform to ensure its survival in the face of unprecedented demographic change, Labour cannot be trusted with the NHS. All they do, all they will ever do, is waste your money, and defend the interests of producers over patients.
In amongst all this exciting, depressing and uninteresting stuff the UK has still been under the thrall of the possible destruction of our national health service. Yes, I'm going to go on about it again.
The NHS Bill struggles on, and we will continue to fight it with every last sinew. But not everything this government will do will be as toxic, with the party or the people.
The politics of health reform are becoming ever more tangled. And the more tangled they become, the worse it will be for the Government. Last week I argued that, if David Cameron genuinely believes that the Health and Social Care Bill really will drive standards up and costs down, he should ignore the doubters and keep going. However, fresh YouGov research underlines the risks that he is running.
David Cameron, as you would expect from an ex-PR man, has a smooth answer on why he wants to be prime minister, but I have the sense that the real answer to why he wants the job is simply "because it is there."
I have watched many of my fellow disabled activists fight against the injustices that are being doled out by the government, the right wing press and now, sadly, the general public.
The opponents in the House of Lords of any reform of the NHS have pursued two tactics - firstly, they have sought to delay the Bill for as long as pos...
But the NHS is large, operationally and technically complex, close to the public's heart and contains ranks of organised stakeholders with diverse views. With public satisfaction levels at an all-time high, creating a mandate for change on the huge scale envisaged by the White paper was always going to be hard. Add in the bomb of explicitly promoting more competition and the backdrop of a very challenging budget settlement for the NHS, a coalition government, and the difficulty multiplies.
If the NHS was a patient, it would be as if it went, feeling a bit queasy, to see its GP more than 20 years ago. Without warning, it was sent straight to hospital, kept in, operated on, helped to recover, operated on again, and again, and then again.
Here's my advice to the prime minister: if you are privately, honestly confident that the Bill will unquestionably be good for the NHS, stick to your guns. But if, away from the public gaze, you harbour doubts and fear that the massed ranks of doctors and nurses might just possibly be right, then pull the Bill.
While I'm no expert in psychological behaviour, I'm left wondering just which one of these Cameron and Lansley are suffering from. Ever since announcing the healthcare reform bill some months ago it has been opposed by over 250,000 medical health professionals, nearly every opposition party, every official medical association, the general public and even, this past week, members of the Conservative Party who would usually jump at such proposals.
Under pressure over his disastrous and unwanted NHS reorganisation at Prime Minister's Questions today - a reorganisation which is diverting billions away from the frontline and which risks 6,000 nurses being laid off - David Cameron repeatedly gave misleading answers about the NHS under the Tories.
As an ex-service user I can appreciate just how much it means to have the same person, who knows you, your case and that you can trust at a time when you are vulnerable. This move to a service which bounces you from team to team dependant on risk in my opinion is nothing short of damaging to the very people the services are designed to protect and take care of.
Last week, we learned that not only are vast swathes of the general public feeling nervous about the Conservative's Healthcare Reform Bill, but so are healthcare professionals. Several healthcare unions have started to sharpen their scalpels.
The British people are rightly proud of their NHS and will campaign to save it from confused, misinformed and ideologically driven changes. By so doing, families will be spared the worry and the misery of having to find the money to treat a sick child like my parents had to do.
I listened with interest to the headlines on Friday about nurses spending time every hour with patients in hospital. Firstly because stories about the...