Wednesday 6 April 2011

NHS: Hard-Sell or Rethink?

Nick Clegg is to share a platform today with Daid Cameron and Andrew Lansley on the purpose of and prospects for the "pause" on the NHS legislation. This is an important opportunity for Nick to establish a new and different relationship with his Tory colleagues. In the past we have had supine support of all coalition policies, whether compatible with Liberal Democracy or not. This "cosy" relationship needs to be put behind us and, within the boundaries of polite co-operation, make it clear that there are differences which need to be resolved.

The Liberal Democrat Spring Conference did Nick a favour by setting out clearly the party's bargaining position, for detalis of which click here. Get it right and we could be on a new phase of coalition politics in which the respective contriutions of the two partners becomes clearer.

Ed Miliband has already dismissed the platform appearance as a publicity stunt. This is "old p9olitics." If we want genuine democracy - government by discussion - we must not sneer and shout "U turn" whenever the opportunity for reasoned discussion is given. It is up to Nick to demonsttatee that this is no "hard sell" but a genuine attempt to get things right.

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