Arrogance, effrontery, nerve, chutzpah,audacity, brussenness; it is hard to find a word to describe the Tory mindset in the Murdoch/Competition Commission issue. Perhaps "Shameless" has the best connotations. The sequence of events: the transfer of the decision from the declaredly partial Vince Cable to the equally declaredly partial but in the other direction Jeremy Hunt, the Camerons at a dinner over Christmas with the News International chief executive,the promise that isn't worth tuppence of the editorial independence for Sky News, and now the shameless assurance that all correct procedures have been followed and all is well in the best of all possible worlds.
Clearly neither the BBC nor media plurality are safe in their hands.
This disdain for public opinion and promises augurs badly for the NHS.
Surely now is the time for Liberal Democrats in parliament to show their metal. I can't remember whether it was in a Laurel and Hardy or an Abbot and Costello film that I first heard the immortal phrase: "Even a worm will turn, just as a sausage will if you keep it long enough."
Here we have an explicit election promise of "no top down reorganisation,", an issue that is not in the coalition agreement, a proposal that is opposed by the overwhelming majority of the medical profession.
I earnestly hope that at our Spring Conference next week there will be such outrage that our people in parliament will be steeled to say "Enough is enough."
This is not a call for the end of the coalition. We are suffering for our own broken promise and betrayal of our economic and social principles, as the result of the Barnsley by-election shows. Surely we don't have to go along with a Tory broken promise as well, especially as it reveals rather than betrays their principles, which in the context of the NHS are the opposite of ours.