Remember the Health and Social Care Bill listening exercise, anyone? When former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley ran into difficulties with his Dick Dastardly NHS plans, he called a reflective pause, just long enough to do bugger all, whilst the media conveniently forgot what he was up to in privatising our NHS. Jeremy Hunt may have finished the job, but Lansley’s listening exercise masterstroke was enough to buy off the fretting ranks of Lib Dems, and get the job done without too great a rebellion, and without any significant concessions.
Fast forward to 2013 and Lansley is mired once again in a dog’s dinner of a Bill, this time one ostensibly designed to deal with the lobbying sleaze crisis in Parliament, but which seems to actually do very little to upset the interests of the big money corrupting our politics. Business lobbyists have unsurprisingly avoided any significant changes, whilst 38 Degrees and Hope Not Hate are being thumped for daring to think about the government’s failings. And unions have been included too, mainly because it seems they haven’t been punished much of late.