What is going on with the government’s health reforms is highly unusual. Normally, once a bill has gone through second reading and committee stage in the Commons there are very few changes made to it. But the coalition is considering some fairly significant changes to the Health and Social Care Bill in a bid to make it more politically palatable. It is hardly a model of good government.
This state of affairs provides ample opportunity for Ed Miliband to land some blows on the coalition, as he did in this morning’s speech delivered — symbolically — at the RSA, the new home of Blair’s former policy chief Matthew Taylor. In a sign of where Labour intends to go on the issue, Miliband said that delay would not be enough. ‘Going slower isn’t the answer to a bad policy’, he declared.
Lansley, who is making a statement to the Commons at 4, is running into more and more resistance. This morning, we have seen the Cameroon think tank Policy Exchange argue for delay and Lansley’s old boss Norman Tebbit has come out against the reforms in — of all places — The Daily Mirror.