Ashcroft-owned ConservativeHome has an editorial this morning saying that the NHS reform bill should be dropped. ConservativeHome is perceived and represents itself as the “voice of the grassroots”, editor Tim Montgomerie says that on this issue three Tory Cabinet ministers he has spoken to have “rung the alarm bell”:
One was insistent the Bill must be dropped. Another said Andrew Lansley must be replaced. Another likened the NHS reforms to the poll tax. The consensus is that the Prime Minister needs an external shock to wake him to the scale of the problem.
Well Cabinet Ministers are hardly the grassroots, who seem far more enthusiastic for NHS reform. Tim admits in the article that the NHS is not currently a high priority for voters, in fact according to Ashcroft-owned sister-website PoliticsHome’s polling, support is strong from Conservative voters, with a small plurality of support for even more radical policies, YouGov found that by 46% to 45% Tory voters would support privatisation of NHS services. The recognition that some kind of reform is necessary over-whelming and all-party:
The unions have pushed the Labour Party to oppose Coalition reforms which were along the same lines as New Labour in government were implementing. The idea that there is widespread opposition to local commissioning is union sponsored spin and scaremongering. The idea that Tory activists oppose reform is ludicrous. They would go even further than the government…