Friday, May 27, 2011

The NHS, Nick Clegg and a feeling of utter indifference

<< Nick Clegg looking stupid yesterday.

Time for some serious political stuff now - well, serious by the abysmally low standards of The Grim Reaper Writes, anyway.

Your Reaper is despondent to learn that Nick Clegg has been doing that thing which he does rather too often these days. Namely, opening his mouth and contributing to global warming by emitting incredibly hot air from his direction.

The man who would previously do absolutely anything to keep David Cameron on-side has done a complete volte face since the elections earlier this month, and now wastes no opportunity telling Cameron what he's doing wrong.

Yesterday, he was at it again, telling Call Me Dave what he could and couldn't do in regards to the Health Bill currently being fervently debated in political circles, and fervently avoided everywhere else.

A number of reforms have been proposed for the NHS, an institution that appears to spend more time being reformed by politicians than it does looking after the patients within its hospitals. Nick agreed with himself that many of the proposed reforms, designed to increase the independence of the NHS from the Government, were necessary. Nick then went ahead and signed a white paper which proposed these reforms, suggesting to even the most uninformed of commentators that he approved of its contents. Either that, or Nick signed it without actually reading it.

Now, Nick is trying to claim that he doesn't actually agree with many of the reforms proposed. He wants to make changes to the bill, the one he used to agree with, to make it into whatever he agrees with for the next five minutes. Nick is also doing this for the simple reason it annoys the hell out of Tory MPs - which your Reaper doesn't especially mind, to be honest.

It appears that Nick is trying to use the same strategy as he did over the issue of tuition fees. The context is slightly different but his responses are surprisingly similar. Whilst in opposition, he signed a pledge saying he would vote against any increases to tuition fees during the lifetime of this parliament. Whilst in government, he mysteriously changed his mind and kept saying it was necessary, though he emphasised he regretted it was necessary. Presumably regretted that it was necessary for him to make a prat of himself.

Over this issue, he signed a white paper and was probably photographed doing it. He's now claiming the reforms aren't needed, but that something else is needed. He's going back on his word - again. Nick is making something of a habit of this. Quite frankly, he's a political character whom I cherish. You never have to make up anything with Nick, because Nick gives you everything that you couldn't make up in the first place.

How long until he capitulates to the cunning politician that is David Cameron and is on TV explaining why he's changed his mind yet again? It would be the first instance in a long time of Clegg actually keeping to his promises, yet he would have to be outfoxed in order to do it. As Richard Littlejohn often says in his column, you couldn't make it up.

Nick Clegg really is the political equivalent of the gift that keeps on giving.