Sunday, 3 February 2008

David Cameron in good, progressive policy shock!

Bloody Hell. Less than twenty four hours after I had suggested that Cameron was reverting to Tory leader type and playing up to the nasty bigoted grassroots of the Conservative party, it has been revealed he's plotting some old-fashioned, big state, Plunkett style ideas for benighted Britain:

A Conservative government would aim to provide a dedicated maternity nurse for every new mother in their home for up to six hours a day in the first week after the baby's birth under radical plans to transform UK maternity care.

In a major shift in direction, which will prompt charges that the Tories are embracing the 'nanny state', David Cameron has told his front bench to examine plans that would lead to the appointment of thousands of new maternity nurses. (1)
It isn't official, announced policy yet, but it is still good to see the Tories haven't forgotten their One Nation heritage entirely. It may still foul of the Thatcherite wing of the party, but perhaps after ten years in opposition they'll have realsied the British public don't want them any more, and they'll shut up and (here's hoping) piss off forever.

A further caveat - it would be nice to see some money being spent to allow new mothers to stay in hospital if they wanted to. Otherwise, the suspicion is that this will b a tool to move them out of the wards as quickly as possible. not as bad as offering them grocery vouchers, but still a failure to offer proper care.

It does, however, raise the tantalizing possibility of the Tories and Labour engaging in a bidding war. "The Tories are offering one week's care and support? We'll offer you two!" An improvement on previous races to the bottom with both parties vying to show how unpleasant they can be to immigrants, beneficiaries, prisoners and the like.
1 - Last night I declared 'there is evidence that he [Cameron] has decided the task is impossible, and has also picked up the populist drum.' (http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2008/02/key-revealed-as.html) Doh!
2 - 'Tories plan nurses at home for all new babies,' by Nicholas Watt in the Guardian, 3rd of February, 2008. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/03/health.nhs1)

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