It is one thing to make spending cuts in order to reduce the deficit but another to use the current economic conditions to dismantle the welfare state and siphon off taxpayers’ money to fund NHS privatisation.
The coalition's proposed NHS reforms will not save a single penny; instead it will add new layers of management as overworked GPs outsource responsibilities to private management companies with little or no experience of health service delivery. These companies will not have the interests of the taxpaying public or patients in mind, favouring instead their directors and shareholders, and so profits will take priority over patient health.
As a result, the cost of the NHS will actually rise as the private sector takes control of more areas of NHS treatment management and delivery, which has clearly been the objective of the Tories for some time despite their protestations to the contrary. Effectively, bringing about privatisation by stealth.
The coalition and the right-wing press may criticise the NHS, but it is already more cost-effiicient than many health services in Europe and the US, the latter costing double per capita to deliver a partial service compared to our universal service, largely because of their need for private profits.
By following this model the Tories and their LibDem apologists are condemning the NHS to a similar fate. The clear danger of this covert privatisation process is that as private profiteering encourages costs to spiral, so pressure will grow to end universal health delivery, cutting the inflated costs of private health companies by eventually means testing and restricting free treatments, as has happened with dental health.
No LibDem would surely have voted for this; but many are following the Tories blindly towards this calamity, trapped in a toxic marriage of convenience, and too scared to seek an annulment.
As Clegg draws the LibDems deeper into the mire it is time for LibDem MPs and supporters alike to make a choice; to stay loyal regardless of the costs or stay true to their principles and help to fight back against the destruction of the welfare state, which both the Labour and LibDems have sworn to uphold. It is time to stop the bickering and fight - for if we don't, the things we hold dear, but often take for granted, will be no more and the damage may be irreversible.