Friday, August 14, 2009

Will a call to privatise the NHS be Liberal Vision's Conference stunt?

In recent years Liberal Democrat annual conferences have been enlivened by Ben Ramm's poetry magazine The Liberal calling for the party's leader to be sacked.

Last year the media stunt torch passed to Liberal Vision, who predicted that the party would lose lots of seats unless it followed just the policies that the group advocates.

What will Liberal Vision's stunt be this year?

Perhaps there are some clues. In response to the #welovethenhs Twitter campaign, Sara Scarlett, writing on Liberal Vision, invited people to write tweets with the "anti-NHS" hashtag #privatisetheNHS.

Of course, what we should be talking about is #howtheLibDemswillruntheNHSdifferently, but neither side has been very interested in that this week.

The second clue, found via James Graham, is that Progressive Vision has launched a Facebook group to "help end rationed healthcare in Britain". It aims to "make #no2NHS the No.1 tweeting trend".

This is significant because, in the words of Liberal Vision's FAQs, "In strict legal terms, we are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the classical liberal think tank, Progressive Vision." They also say they are "not obliged to support all or any of Progressive Vision’s specific policies", but it does show you which way the wind is blowing.

The idea of privatising the NHS is a fantasy, but calling for it would certainly get Liberal Vision the publicity it craves.


Anonymous said...

I can't say I know for 100% certain but no, calling for NHS privatisation isn't part of their plans.

The No2NHS thing from progressive vision was set up as a direct reaction to welovethenhs - Liberal Visions' planning for conference started long before that.

In addition, LV don't take specific policy positions either which 'privatise the nhs' certainly would be.

Nick said...

It wouldn't be a stunt - it would be a thoroughly reasoned and properly thought out campaign that would leave no stone unturned in an effort to achieve its ultimate objective of getting Mark Littlewood an appearance on Daily Politics

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

Nick - would this campaign involve being pushed into a hedge at some point?

Doubting Richard said...

Gawd, that would be a revelation. The Liberal Democrats doing something liberal. It'll never catch on!

Anonymous said...

I think it's very important that the Liberal Democrats expel any member that does not swear unquestioning loyalty to the following institutions.

- Local Councils
- Post Offices
- the NHS
- the BBC
- the Federal Executive

We are not a liberal party, we are the liberal democrats and we should not concern ourselves with the trivia of free speech when it might look bad on a focus leaflet.

crewegwyn said...

On a serious note, the polarisation between the "Hannan" position - that the NHS is evil; and the kneejerk position of the NHS being perfect, obscures the REAL issue, which I hope the Lib Dem health spokesMP will address :-

how do we protect the virtues of the NHS whilst attacking its weaknesses.

On a lighter note I sympathise with the comment above re blind loyalty to Post Offices. I have long taken the view that:
a) some branches are no longer justified (changes in demographics, behaviour, aspirations etc)
b) if people really want a venue for (some) old people to meet for a chat it doesn't need to have a red sign outside, and it should be funded as a social service.

Lib Dem dogmatist said...

NHS was perfected by the great Liberal statesman William Beveridge 67 years ago, and anybody claiming that it wouldn't still meet the needs of the modern society is a heretical, even if some wiseacres are claiming that some other countries have privately produced health care systems perfectly capable to answer demand.

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

No-one seems to be calling for Liberal Vision members to be expelled. On the contrary, we are looking forward to the entertainment.

Anonymous said...

No, you are merely calling them to be pushed into a hedge...