[personal profile] matgb
Jennie links today to an article on the OpenDemocracy website about the BBC coverage of NHS reforms. I'm afraid I didn't finish reading it. I generally have a little rule, if I'm reading something that claims to be factual and come across something that's egregiously annd blatantly false, I find it hard to take anything else it says seriously, if it gets something wrong that I know to be wrong, how many other things wrong are there that I don't know about?

If the article is headlined two years of censorship and distortion , then I expect it itself to not distort facts. That's fair, right? So, here's the the first substantive point the article makes:
1) Legitimacy – the bill no one voted for

In the run up to the 2010 general election, David Cameron frequently pledged that under a Conservative government there would be “no more top-down re-organisations” of the NHS.
Note, no citation there; he only actually said that once that I'm aware of, in a speech (a long time before the election as well). But how many times have you heard politicians and activists and campaigners opposed to NHS reform parrot that line out?

It's a lie. It's not true. Anyone saying it is either willfully distorting the facts or hasn't bothered to check them.

Y'see, Page 45 through 47 of the Tory 2010 manifestopdf includes such things as
We have a reform plan to make the changes the NH S needs. We will decentralise power, so that patients have a real choice.
...
We need to allow patients to choose the best care available, giving healthcare providers the incentives they need to drive up quality.
So we will give every patient the power to
choose any healthcare provider that meets NH S
standards, within NH S prices. This includes
independent, voluntary and community sector
providers.
...
We will strengthen the power of GPs as
patients’ expert guides through the health
system by:
• giving them the power to hold patients’
budgets and commission care on their behalf;
• linking their pay to the quality of their
results; and,
• putting them in charge of commissioning
local health services.
Centrepeice of the manifesto. Couldn't be clearer. That article starts with a lie, and then builds on it, therefore I gave up.

Saying "I disagree wtih this" is fine, in 2010 I was out there campaigning heavily against them, but saying "no one voted for it" is a blatant lie. 44% of voters in my constituency voted for a candidate backing these reforms. 39% did nationally.

The Big Lie is beginning to spring to mind about this one.

Wouldn't it be nice if the opponents of measures would actually argue their case? Y'see, I don't know what to think about the Govts NHS reforms, but when those opposed spend more time lying about them, distorting facts, scaring people, and similar than they do actually addressing the substantive issues, it doesn't make me think they've actually got valid arguments. If they did, why lie all the time?

How about you?

Date: 2012-10-16 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] niaccurshi.blogspot.com
Who wouldn't agree with it?

"We need to allow patients to choose the best care available, giving healthcare providers the incentives they need to drive up quality."

Hmm, better quality healthcare, and I have a choice to get "the best care"? Brilliant!

"So we will give every patient the power to
choose any healthcare provider that meets NH S
standards, within NH S prices. This includes
independent, voluntary and community sector
providers."

Fantastic, this aligns with my personal beliefs/politics/special needs that a one size fit all approach doesn't!

"We will strengthen the power of GPs as
patients’ expert guides through the health
system by:
• giving them the power to hold patients’
budgets and commission care on their behalf;"

Uh... ok, well GPs are smart people who I trust, so it can't be a bad thing to let them control what money is spent on

"• linking their pay to the quality of their
results; and,"

Sounds fair, no pay for bad GPs!

"• putting them in charge of commissioning
local health services."

*scratches head* sure...doesn't sound bad?

---

So... aside from whether people have actually read the manifesto or not, those who have will barely know what they're actually voting for anyway.

Something as complex as NHS reform simply can't be agreed with or not up front, and there's a definite argument that not enough public scrutiny was put on the NHS changes to either have people confirm their support or opposition.

But whether you dislike the reforms or not, they are what a government of power voted in believe will improve the service for the public.

Perhaps with the same sentiment as Mat, my frustration on NHS reform debates was that there was no coherent opposition to it. Sure, lots of protests against privatisation of the NHS, lots of (wrong) protests about the NHS suddenly ending it's free service...but actual reasoned discussion about the dangers of the bill were few and far between, and almost exclusively held outside the realm of the mass media. If Labour and those against the NHS changes really cared they'd have made a case against the flaws in the bill, as those who were invovled in the consultation stages did, and do the proper job of amending and taking control of the bill. Instead there was much stamping of petulant feet, and an easy passage was made for the bill.

At the end of the day I feel opponents of the bill wanted it to be passed, so that they had a new rod for Tory backs...political opportunism before the needs of the country that *could* have quite easily got an even more improved bill than we got.
ext_51145: (Default)

Date: 2012-10-16 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Exactly. It's heartening to see a few other sensible people like you and Mat saying that pretty much everything said about the bill by its opponents has been wrong. It sometimes feels like I've been living in a different universe from everyone else.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

Date: 2012-10-16 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I found the anti-NHS-reform arguments so repellent I was surprised to find myself, eventually, speaking against it.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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