By Tim Hardy
The Secretary of State for Health cited the ease of digital activism as a reason for ignoring it in today’s Financial Times.
Technology… had made it possible for his critics to email “standard letters” to MPs and peers. “The mobilisation of people is so much easier nowadays,” he said.
And so popular opposition to the Health and Social Care bill is breezily dismissed as spam.
Even a denizen of La-La Lansleyland cannot deny for long the overwhelming evidence that the Royal Colleges do not back the reforms. Instead Lansley uses the interview to dismisses their opposition as a “political operation”. This time the domestic extremists allegedly responsible are not Tory bogeymen the SWP or black-clad anarchists but the known Trots of “the Labour party, trade unions and the British Medical Association.”
Meanwhile, back in the real world a second clinical commissioning group has written to the Prime Minister calling for the withdrawal of the health bill.
The Right Dishonourable Nick Clegg – still clutching a sick-note from his mum – has indicated that he will ignore any motions to kill off the NHS reforms at a policy-making conference next week. Such contempt for the internal democratic processes of his own party will come as no surprise from a man so habituated to betrayal.
If anything this should make Liberal Democrat activists more determined to push ahead for the motion to kill the bill. Their leader may not be for turning but isolating him will give courage to the other MPs whose votes, in the end, carry the same value as that of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Within three weeks, we may have lost the NHS.
We are fast approaching the point where the current practices of digital campaigns are considered meaningless and are filtered out accordingly. The need for more intelligent campaigns than “Click here to email your MP a standard letter” is urgent.
If you can spare a few pounds, I’d recommend chipping in to the 38 Degrees advertising campaign to put up billboards helping take the message to a wider audience than the internet.
But please don’t settle for just doing this. MPs need know that the blood is on their hands if they vote this through. I leave it up to you to think up an original way of letting them know this.