Saturday, August 22, 2009

What have Labour got left to say?

The news that a ComRes poll for tomorrow's Indy shows a strong Conservative lead on the NHS, despite Labour's summer attack on the issue, shows again that the old political narrative is dead. Labour have tried to convince people that the Tories wish to privatise the NHS - let us assume for a moment that people believed this. What does the poll then tell us? This narrative, alive since 1997, has simply said that reduced spending equals less services (or fewere schools'n'hospitals, as Blair would say). Parties who want lower tax and less government spending also want to sack Nurses and Teachers. Now, it is all change.

People no longer wish taxes to continue to rise; most believe they should be lowered.

People no longer believe cutting costs means sacking frontline workers; in fact teachers, policeman and nurses would be the last thing to be cut out of the education, police and health system (believe me, there is plenty of bureaucracy to choose from first).

So if people do believe the Labour spin and still trust the Tories more with the NHS what does that say - other than another Labour line is dead. What now do Labour have left to say?

Of course the Tories don't wish to privatise the NHS. David Cameron, who of course has made a pledge to increase NHS spending despite overall cuts in government spending, now has people on side - he ought to take this chance to lay out in clear detail the reform which needs to accompany it.

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