NHS

The people, the parties and the NHS

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By Lord Ashcroft

The general election debate over the NHS has already become an exchange of insults, doubtful assertions and unreliable statistics of the kind that voters find so edifying. But despite the noise, both parties are avoiding real discussion of the subject.

Labour have put the health service at the centre of their campaign. But they look set to focus on spending the proceeds of their Mansion Tax and, of course, attacking the Tories’ record. There is no sign of the harder thinking on the longer term of the kind that the previous Labour government was prepared to grapple with. They know the choices and unpalatable, not least with their own voters.

The Conservatives are reluctant to talk any more than they have to about the NHS because they feel no such conversation would end well for them (more…)

Anti-NHS Bill candidates could boost the Conservative Party

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By Lord Ashcroft

A group of doctors is threatening to stand candidates at the next general election in revenge for the Health & Social Care Bill. The anti-reform medics plan to target at least fifty senior Liberal Democrats and Conservatives with small majorities, running on what Dr Clive Peedell, co-chair of the NHS Consultants’ Association, describes as “the non-party, independent ticket of defending the NHS”. It would be mere quibbling to point out that 50 candidates standing on a common platform would be a party, not a non-party, nor independent. More salient is that the history of similar movements and independent candidates in general elections offers little encouragement for Dr Peedell and his colleagues.

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