Friday, 9 April 2021

Tories, the NHS, and meaningless gimmicks

The Conservatives have come up with what they seem to think is a wizard wheeze to convince us that they’re serious about their support for the NHS: in the highly unlikely event of their forming a government in Cardiff after the Senedd elections, they will pass a law guaranteeing that the NHS stays in public ownership. It doesn’t take a genius to identify that there are a few minor little problemettes with this proposal, since implementing them also requires:

·        passing a law preventing any future government from reversing their NHS protection law, and

·        passing a law forbidding the government in London from over-riding their new law (which probably also requires a law removing the power of the Supreme Court to over-rule Welsh legislation).

The first represents a huge change to one of the fundamental principles of constitutional law in the UK, and the second a huge step towards establishing the principle of uniquely Welsh sovereignty over devolved issues. Not bad for a party which is also simultaneously promising no changes to the devolution settlement, no more constitutional tinkering, and no ‘unnecessary’ (a word which they usually seem to interpret as equivalent to ‘any’) divergence from what is happening in England. Indeed, if they’re truly serious about it, it’s as radical a proposal as anything to be found in Plaid’s manifesto.

On the other hand, it could be either that they’re too stupid to understand the implications of their own proposals, or else that they think the electors are too stupid to realise that it’s a meaningless gimmick. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


Gav said...

The Conservatives have form for planning to privatise the "provider" side of the NHS while paying lip service to a publicly funded NHS free (for the most part) at the point of delivery. Even though they had their fingers burned somewhat by the internal market fiasco their latest assurances do little to allay suspicion that they would still like to contract out important chunks to their chums if they ever got the chance.

Jonathan said...

The Tories are losing the one person who could have helped them over this - David Melding. He studied at William and Marty VA and clearly gets Conventions and Constitutions. What the Tories need to understand that calling a Welsh Convention (a) does not necessarily undermine their precious Union yet (b) could produce a result in Wales that many would like namely a Parliament on an accepted footing and which raised (and spent) its own money. This process is neutral between Left and Right, but would encourage discipline and accountability, missing now. Labour might like to think about this too. Plaid, of all people, ought to know this stuff, but apparently don't.

dafis said...

Jonathan, you expect far too much from Plaid in its present condition. This is a party that has wandered away from the nuts and bolts of delivering independence. Indeed apart from the usual rhetoric I doubt whether indy really figures in their aspirations at all. Too much like hard work. Much easier to climb onto those fashionable "ishoo" bandwagons which offer a feast of cliches and soundbites, while enjoying decent rewards(above average wages and conditions for Wales) for serving as a minority opposition or minority partner in coalition. Rank and file must be either daft or despairing at the shallow leadership clique.

As for the Tories their "thought leaders"( oxymoronic or just moronic?) are privately gagging to hack away at the NHS while the electorate don't really care until they can't access their free treatments and by then its too late. Labour on the other hand just want freebies as it's part of their mantra yet have no clue how to deliver the largesse efficiently and cost effectively. Indeed they fear using such words in the context of the NHS.

Yet more reasons for looking away from the usual suspects for our solutions and the process can be kick started within this next month. Put the idlers out of a job and start over fresh.

Jonathan said...

Dafis you are a cynical so-and-so but you are right. What does "start over fresh" look like? Gwlad and Propel are too small. Also, they both have this British ignorance/disregard about the Convention/Constitution process, which is how you fix this. Have they not read the history of the American colonies and Ireland? The people who took on Westminster and won understood the process, Jan Smuts for example. Its a simple process, but hard to do in that it requires backbone which we in Welsh lack.

dafis said...

Gwlad and Propel between them might just take those Constitutional points on board if they gain a measure of recognition at these upcoming polls. At least they do not appear to be talking down to the common herd and spinning bullshit like the older established parties do habitually.