Monday, 22 August 2016

Caroline Lucas: Corbyn's support for NHS Bill was not 'inept'

Caroline Lucas' letter to the Guardian

 I have no wish to intrude on the Labour leadership debates and I have no idea whether former shadow health minister Heidi Alexander is right in her critique of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership style, but for her aides to pick out Corbyn’s support for my NHS reinstatement bill as evidence both of his “ineptitude” and of his shadow chancellor’s “undermining” her strikes me as both desperate and depressing (Shadow cabinet inept and shoddy, says MP, 20 August).

My private members’ bill, drawn up after extensive consultation with health experts and health service users, would have reversed the creeping marketisation of the NHS – under both New Labour and the Conservatives – and stripped away the costly market mechanisms that waste NHS money and lead to inefficiencies and the fragmentation of services.

Perhaps a more interesting question is why the rest of the Labour party didn’t join their SNP, Plaid and Lib Dem colleagues in giving it their backing too. With a few honourable exceptions, they chose to abstain instead. Yet this is precisely the kind of policy a successful Labour party would surely be expected to promote – as well as demonstrating a greater willingness to work alongside colleagues from other parties on those areas where there is common ground between us.

Overcoming party tribalism and finding practical ways of working together will be crucial to any hope of progressive policies finding a majority at the next election.

Caroline Lucas MP
Green, Brighton Pavilion

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe those who support Jeremy Corbyn's sole opponent for Labour Party Leadership post should take a look at what Owen Smith has done for the NHS?

In Green Party elections, there is the option known as 'RON' [ReOpen Nominations]. I have just voted in the Green Party elections for leader and co-leader, and not shied away from voting RON where there were fewer than three candidates for a post.

Alan Wheatley