Labour confirms plans to repeal NHS bill

29th September, 2012 6:17 pm

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There has been much speculation this afternoon about whether or not Ed Miliband u-turned on plans to repeal the NHS and Social Care Bill. If Miliband did say that, it seems to have been a slip of the tongue, as a senior Labour source close to Miliband just told us:

“We will repeal the bill. We will return the NHS to its founding principles of care and cooperation. We will not go through a costly reorganisation.”

As you were…?

Update: This morning we went back and took a look at the transcript of Ed’s Q&A yesterday. Here’s what he said on NHS reform:

“I think what would not be sensible is for us to come along and say, “Well Andrew Lansley – now Jeremy Hunt – they are changing all the arrangements to have these new clinical commissioning groups and so on, and we are just going to reverse it all back and spend another £3 billion on another top-down bureaucratic reorganisation”. So…but I think I can make you this promise that you are looking for: we will put the right principles back at the heart of the NHS.”

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  • Alright, name names then. Who close to Ed Miliband said that?

  • “However Miliband admitted that a Labour government would not “spend
    another” £3bn reversing the coalition’s controversial NHS reforms.” – http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/29/ed-mliband-labour-vision-conference?CMP=twt_gu

  • Whose tongue slipped? Miliband’s The senior Labour source’s? Andy Burnham’s?
    Andy
    Burnham tweeted he’d publish his NHS position “in the autumn”. This is
    the time for the public (at least that part that knows what is going on)
    to make its position in defence of the NHS absolutely clear.

  • rekrab

    If it is, then we’re in the technocratic process of mixing red,blue and yellow and god help us all, politicians seem to spout out modernisation every time things go awry, for the last 40 years or more it’s been cited implemented and failed every time.We had Cameron saying the other day that elections don’t make democracies, we’ve got green conservatism, orange liberalism, and red, blue and black labourism a cocktail of mixtures that I’ll turn a turd purple.Leadership, strength of commitment is truly missing from politics and if Ed doesn’t repeal then those technocrats will lead us to the never again syndrome becoming a very real and disturbing reality.

    • AlanGiles

       We are back to that same old brick wall. They don’t know yet, because Cruddas will tell them in a couple of years time – till then – they didn’t say yes, they didn’t say no.

      This indecisiveness will chip away at the poll lead, and just makes the party look weak, and, frankly irrelevant.

      (I await “correction” from aratacas and Renie) 🙂

      • aracataca

        Forcible break up of the banks, repeal of the Health and Social Care Act and restoration of the 50p rate and it’s only Sunday. Sounds pretty decisive to me.

        • Dave Postles

          That sort of response is fragmentary and just taking the easy pickings – the low-hanging fruit.  In any case, there is no commitment to repeal the HSCA, it seems.  Inserting the ‘right’ principles will, it would seem, still leave commissioning in the hands of GP practices – a fragmentation and effective privatization of the service.  I would love to be corrected on this issue, but I will not hold my breath.  There is no commitment to ‘break up’ the banks.  The promise is to implement Vickers on tight ring-fencing if the banks do not get their act together.  There’s an immense get-out clause there – about interpretation and resistance.  It would have been more concise to proclaim that: whatever the Coalition and the banks do, Labour will implement the full proposals of the Vickers commission. 
          Convince us that there is a big picture (‘vision’) which will moderate the excesses of the recent neo-liberal past and put working people, the unemployed, the underemployed, and the sick and disabled first; that will, without any ambiguity, announce that public services are more ethically delivered pro bono publico not for private profit.

          • AlanGiles

             According to the midday Radio 4 news bullitein, a Labour spokesperson was quoted as saying that GP commissioning would continue but in a spirit of “co-operation not competition”…….

          • aracataca

            Typical, absolutely typical. We issue some policy meat which you repeatedly (ad nauseum) say we’re not doing and then when we do, you instantly distort the policy and criticise it. Why don’t you check out what he really said about the HSCA? Alternatively see my remarks in response to Dave above.  

          • AlanGiles

             Bill, I was merely repeating what had been stated on the Radio 4 news bullitein at midday. I offered no comment on it whatsoever.

            If you want to start arguments I wish you would do it with somebody who gives a damn about what you “think”. Frankly, I don’t.

          • aracataca

            Any danger of you ceasing all the negative distortion Alan? See this from tonight’s Guardian:
            Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”
            Full stop from you too?

          • aracataca

            Any danger of you ceasing all the negative distortion Alan? See this from tonight’s Guardian:
            Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”
            Full stop from you too?

          • aracataca

            Any danger of you ceasing all the negative distortion Alan? See this from tonight’s Guardian:
            Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”
            Full stop from you too?

          • aracataca

            Sorry but EM has promised the forcible break up of the banks if they do not do this themselves which of course they won’t  (at least not before 2015). NB Vickers gave them until 2019 to ring fence so in this sense EM is speeding Vickers up.The problem with the HSCA is that in order to put the NHS all back together it will cost £3 billion- then the question becomes -‘Why spend £3 billion on treating cancer patients or heart attack victims when you can spend it on another top down reorganisation of the NHS?’ I take it you’ve conceded my point on the top rate of tax.

          • Dave Postles

            No, please don’t take it that I have ‘conceded’ your point on the 50% rate – as I say, it’s easy pickings.  It will be a matter of interpretation as to whether the banks have sufficiently reformed themselves – which allows the ‘get out’.   Yes, I’m cynical, but I do not expect Labour to move on this one, but ultimately to use the ‘get out’ that the banks have done enough.  Leaving commissioning in the hands of the GP practices is horrendous.  It is the demise of the NHS.  Lansley’s reorganization might be costed at £3bn, but that doesn’t mean that reintroducing a democratic tier (such as Community Health Councils) would be as expensive. 

            It’s the ‘vision thing’.

          • aracataca

            The preamble to the Act states that GP commissioning must take place within a context of competition. Obviously EM wants to reintroduce co-operation back into the process.Policy in this area is not settled yet but I don’t see an incoming Labour government leaving this Act as it is.

          • aracataca

            The preamble to the Act states that GP commissioning must take place within a context of competition. Obviously EM wants to reintroduce co-operation back into the process.Policy in this area is not settled yet but I don’t see an incoming Labour government leaving this Act as it is.

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • aracataca

            From tonight’s Guardian: Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

          • aracataca

            From tonight’s Guardian: Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

          • Dave Postles

             Yes, well I voted for him in the leadership election before I resigned from the party at the prospect of the reintroduction of Blair.  He obviously doesn’t believe the cost will amount to £3bn.  Then again, Labour should get the narrative straight – conflicting and ambiguous signals.

          • AlanGiles

             The blind faith displayed by “aracataca” is truly touching, but when you have the party leader and the shadow minister most concerned saying slightly different things, it takes you back to the railways. Up until April 30th 1997, Labour were going to rentionalise the railway network. After May 1st, it was deemed “too  expensive” and as one Labour backbencher put it on “Today” (Radio 4) “well, its done now”

            I suspect a similar conclusion here too

          • aracataca

            Ah you’ve resigned that would explain things.

          • aracataca

            From tonight’s Guardian: Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

          • Dave Postles

             It’s left again to people like Bernie Sanders to articulate a way forward.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/lets-fight-for-a-progress_b_1925069.html

  • Amber_Star

    I think Ed was challenged about the potential £3Bn cost of doing another top down reorganisation.
    That said, he needs to avoid any more ‘slips’ around the commitment to repeal the NHS bill. It is of huge importance to the activists which he will need in order to win.

  • aracataca

    Breaking up the zombie banks, restoring the 50p rate and repealing the Health and Social Care Bill (but trying to avoid an unnecessary £3 billion cost). 

    What shift to the right?  

  • aracataca

    Amber rest assured and see this from tonight’s Guardian:
    Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

    • Jeremy_Preece

      So perhaps if AB is clear, and can actaully say what Labour would do, and without the contridictions and foggy answers of EM… maybe we should swap EM for AB!

      Am I missing the point here, or is it that we just need John Cruddas to actaully say what Labour is about?

    • Jeremy_Preece

      So perhaps if AB is clear, and can actaully say what Labour would do, and without the contridictions and foggy answers of EM… maybe we should swap EM for AB!

      Am I missing the point here, or is it that we just need John Cruddas to actaully say what Labour is about?

    • Jeremy_Preece

      So perhaps if AB is clear, and can actaully say what Labour would do, and without the contridictions and foggy answers of EM… maybe we should swap EM for AB!

      Am I missing the point here, or is it that we just need John Cruddas to actaully say what Labour is about?

      • aracataca

        Of course we must wait for the policy review to come out and we elected EM as leader 2 years ago – end of.

      • aracataca

        Of course we must wait for the policy review to come out and we elected EM as leader 2 years ago – end of.

        • Jeremy_Preece

          Can’t wait to deliver that message to the folks on the doorstep as I stand for our local county council elections next May.
          “Vote for us even though we can’t say what we are about or what we are going to do and we have a vision about what we are about … only it is a secret … but we will tell you later..sometime…”
          “And okay you can’t see the leader as a PM but you the electroate are wrong because we say so and we voted for him .. or some of the party did- so there…and we are determined to keep the leader until after we loose next time, by which time the Tories will have wrecked the country totally..”

          This policy review has been going on for over 2 years. A serious party cannot take itself off line for two years and still not be clear as to where it is going. It has already taken far too long. In case no one noticed, the Labour Party needs to win the next election, which means that we have to provide something for the electorate not just prat about for the benefit of some of the party members.

        • Jeremy_Preece

          Can’t wait to deliver that message to the folks on the doorstep as I stand for our local county council elections next May.
          “Vote for us even though we can’t say what we are about or what we are going to do and we have a vision about what we are about … only it is a secret … but we will tell you later..sometime…”
          “And okay you can’t see the leader as a PM but you the electroate are wrong because we say so and we voted for him .. or some of the party did- so there…and we are determined to keep the leader until after we loose next time, by which time the Tories will have wrecked the country totally..”

          This policy review has been going on for over 2 years. A serious party cannot take itself off line for two years and still not be clear as to where it is going. It has already taken far too long. In case no one noticed, the Labour Party needs to win the next election, which means that we have to provide something for the electorate not just prat about for the benefit of some of the party members.

        • Jeremy_Preece

          Can’t wait to deliver that message to the folks on the doorstep as I stand for our local county council elections next May.
          “Vote for us even though we can’t say what we are about or what we are going to do and we have a vision about what we are about … only it is a secret … but we will tell you later..sometime…”
          “And okay you can’t see the leader as a PM but you the electroate are wrong because we say so and we voted for him .. or some of the party did- so there…and we are determined to keep the leader until after we loose next time, by which time the Tories will have wrecked the country totally..”

          This policy review has been going on for over 2 years. A serious party cannot take itself off line for two years and still not be clear as to where it is going. It has already taken far too long. In case no one noticed, the Labour Party needs to win the next election, which means that we have to provide something for the electorate not just prat about for the benefit of some of the party members.

      • aracataca

        Of course we must wait for the policy review to come out and we elected EM as leader 2 years ago – end of.

  • aracataca

    Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

  • aracataca

    Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

  • aracataca

    Andy Burnham, issued a statement on Twitter which read: “I’ll repeal the bill. Full stop.”

  • Alexwilliamz

    Why would it cost 3 billion to reverse it? It might be more or less. Of course we might find that the reform is a car crash and even the coalition will have to make attempts to reverse this backward step.

  • Alexwilliamz

    Why would it cost 3 billion to reverse it? It might be more or less. Of course we might find that the reform is a car crash and even the coalition will have to make attempts to reverse this backward step.

  • Alexwilliamz

    Why would it cost 3 billion to reverse it? It might be more or less. Of course we might find that the reform is a car crash and even the coalition will have to make attempts to reverse this backward step.

  • The ending of universal healthcare in England (not the other three) is probably the worst offence that the coalition government has committed against the British people. Their refusal to publish the risk assessment leaves one to speculate as to whether or not criminal proceedings will take place if a tragedy happens as a result of this ignominious bill. One should support Lord Owen in his attempts to overturn this unconstitutional piece of legislation, and support the NHS Action Party and Labour too. It did not have any democratic mandate from this unelected government and Cameron said it would never happen and yet it has.

  • driver56

    When we are in power, let us learn the lessons of past when it comes to reorganising a national health service. Ask the people at the coal face and work up the tree and prune as you go. Ditch the bedroom tax and do not try to replace it with another tax.Give the country a vote on Europe. Remember we only joined a common market. Then get stuck into the banks and other tax avoiders.

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