As the Liberal Democrats meet in Gateshead today, I have emailed my Liberal Democrat MP Mr Stephen Williams (MP for Bristol West). I have never met him, but I believe that he is a decent fellow. My message to him was as follows:
I’m writing to let you know that I am not reassured by the reassurances that you and Nick Clegg have offered over the NHS and Social Care Bill. The professional bodies, trade unions and a range of experts are far more convincing (I’m afraid) than politicians whose party interests are supported by mere commercial enterprises rather than by dedicated membership bodies with personal commitments to service.
I am hoping, of course, that you will be one of those Liberal Democrat MPs who vote with the hostile motion at Gateshead. I would be delighted to share my delight with everyone I met that “my MP voted to stop the Bill at conference.”
To put it another way, this weekend could definitely be the end of the credibility the Liberal Democrats have had in previous Parliaments. The chance that any LibDems would remain as Bristol MPs at the next election would have to be close to zero.
I hope you use the remaining time to oppose the Bill. Its “thousands” of changes guarantee that if passed it would still need another major Bill in three or four years time, and all the agony would start all over again. The waste of resources and good will is a shocking prospect. It’s a truly wretched piece of legislation, and I suspect that most Liberal Democrats are of the same mind,
Fingers crossed, eh?