I cannot decide if it is commendable or lamentable for a Secretary of State for Health to show no discernible instinct for self-survival. But that’s certainly the position Andrew Lansley appears to have got himself into.
He has already expended vast amounts of his – and the government’s – political capital on ploughing ahead with a health reform bill which virtually nobody understands.
No doubt seeking to free up the commissioning processes in the NHS and place them in the hands of professionals might just lead to some efficiency gains.
But the reasoning behind the reforms and what they might mean in practice have been so badly explained – and so vociferously opposed by those who believe the NHS is something close to perfection – that