You have to wonder what is going on in Nick Clegg’s mind sometimes. Not content with being seemingly oblivious to the major difference within the party at the minute, he seems hell bent on being as random as possible when it comes to major policy.
Take the NHS Bill which he has up until now supported, despite conference voting against it and neither the Conservatives or the LibDems having a mandate to reorganise the NHS (i.e. its not in the coalition agreement). Yet now he has signed a letter with Baroness Shirley Williams calling for changes to a bill that he now says is unhappy with in its current guise. I’m confused. Either Clegg is for the bill or he is against it? There surely isnt any middle ground on the issue.
The NHS has always been an emotive and sometimes toxic subject in politics. Everyone thinks that they can do it better or love it as it is and want it left alone. Politicians seem unable to leave it alone and every time the debate comes to the table, fur starts flying, ridiculous allegations are abound and someone comes off with egg all over their faces.
The sad thing here, is that that is us, the LibDems who are having egg all over us and no one else. The world knows what the Conservatives stand for. They know that the NHS is never ever going to be safe in their hands. The expected more from the LibDems and it doesn’t look to them, the voters, as they are getting what they expected at all. Its a worrying time (again) and Nick Clegg is only further enforcing the public opinion ni some quarters that the party doesnt really know what it wants to do sometimes.
Conference in a few days will send a clear message on the NHS I don’t doubt if the motion put up is debated. Whether or not he, and his fellow parliamentary party members listen is another matter. If they don’t its further evidence of the distance between the parliamentary party and the feelings and gauging’s of the grass roots campaigners who extol LibDem values every single day.