The Conservative strategy on the NHS

Louise Bagshawe, a Conservative candidate, argues on ConservativeHome in favour of the current Conservative strategy on the NHS.  Essentially, she argues that the "Stop Brown's NHS Cuts" campaign has been a political success and is highlighting an important issue.

The problem is that, whatever the short-term results of the "Stop Brown’s NHS Cuts" campaign in the long-term it could hurt the Conservative Party’s credibility.  With colossal increases in healthcare budgets over the last decade it will be hard, and very unwise, to claim that the Conservatives will spend more than Brown.  Reform has been set serious limits thanks to the leadership conflating it with institutional instability – where the reality is that this is only true, in the medium term at least, with too many superficial reforms.  Promises to cut waste without structural reform may hold water in the short-term but will not be sufficient during an election campaign when more concrete proposals for improvement will be expected.

This campaign may do the Conservatives good in the short-term by kicking Labour where they are vulnerable but in the long-term if they cannot propose substantial reforms they will be left looking shallow and opportunistic.

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