On Tuesday the Coalition won a vote to grant central government sweeping powers to close any hospital they please. Even if a hospital is performing well both clinically and financially the government will be able to shut it down if a neighbouring trust is performing poorly.
This completely destroys the fundamental principle of the NHS being based on care and public service as opposed to profit and it comes from a government that supposedly do not believe in the role of the state. The simple truth is that the Tories and their Liberal lapdogs only dislike the state when it helps ordinary, working people. When they can use it to help themselves and the elite they are perfectly content.
But it gets worse. While you would imagine the Lib Dems would surely vote against such a harmful, and indeed illiberal, policy there were actually LESS Lib Dem rebels than Tory ones. Six Tory MPs rebelled against the government but only one Liberal Democrat. If you ever doubted the Lib Dems had morphed into their Tory counterparts, look no further than this.
Somerset Labour candidates confirm they would vote against
And what of our Somerset MPs? Obviously Ian Liddel-Grainger or Jacob Rees-Mogg were hardly going to rebel but perhaps this one Lib Dem with any principle left was one of ours? No chance. Jeremy Browne, Tessa Munt, David Laws and David Heath all voted for Clause 119.
This power is an affront to patient care and the NHS itself. Andy Burnham has already pledged that Labour will repeal the clause and Taunton PPC Neil Guild and Bridgwater PPC Mick Lerry have both confirmed they would have voted against it. We always knew our NHS is only safe with Labour, but Tuesday confirmed once and for all that the Lib Dems are no more than bankrupt, Tory-lite sell-outs. If you want to save and heal our health service, vote Labour in Somerset in 2014 and 2015.