The NHS: I feel guilty having once in my youth naively voted Liberal Democrat..
As I write the parts of the NHS are been opened up to private companies. The bill would not have passed without Liberal Democrat support. I along with 2-300 other people attended a rally outside the Sage conference centre on 10th March 2012
One Libdem tried to interrupt us with smug comments about how this bill was not privatisation, he was quickly heckled away. After the rally a few of us joined anarchist and political groups. We edged went nearer the sage entrance but we only numbered about 40 and none us had the momentum to go around and up the hill. The police presence was fairly small but they had several vans nearby. We had more of an impact later on by hunting down Lib-Dems. Many were still proudly wearing there yellow landline/tag. A third of them agreed the bill was bad, 1 or 2 said the bill wasn’t about privatising and the rest didn’t really answer.
I had one argument in which he could not see how this bill was privatisation!! I asked how he could not see where I was coming from. He could not. He was one of those people who thinks if you say something confidently and avoid the question that somehow people change their opinion. Did he think he was a Jedi? Private firms are bidding for NHS contracts. Many foundation trusts have a list of services put out to tender example here.
On Saturday 10th March the Liberal Democrat conference voted against a motion to ‘kill the bill’ but then the delegates refused the fully back the motion on Sunday 11th. At the time this seemed like a supreme example of fence sitting but it looks like the NHS bill might have inflicted real damage on the Liberal Democrats. After the 2012 May elections they have the lowest amount of councillors since 1988, one wonders how much was due to the NHS bill? I now feel guilty having once in my youth naively voted Liberal Democrat as only the 3 main parties contested my district. If I was now in an area with only the 3 main parties contesting then I might be forced to picket the local polling station.
How long will the coalition last? Will the Liberals and Social Democrats split? They are heading for oblivion.