i Deputy Editor's Letter: Cracks in the Coalition

 

Rhodri Jones
Monday 12 May 2014 23:41
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With less than a year to go until the General Election, the parties are now on full war footing. While final election manifestos are still a way off yet, the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, Ukip and the Greens are all beginning to mark their territory.

A few more cracks are beginning to appear in the Coalition and, unlike previous years, little attempt is being made to cover up tensions. Michael Gove and David Laws are said to be barely on speaking terms following Lib Dem accusations that the Education Secretary had diverted £400m to help plug an £800m black hole on his flagship free schools programme.

While the Lib Dems target education – an area in need of repair after they reneged on their 2010 pledge to abolish tuition fees – the Tories are likely to stick to the economy. More predictably, Ukip’s rallying call is Europe, and the Greens’ focus is on, well, green issues.

Now, after years of effective silence, Labour has broken cover to broadcast its ideas for the NHS – the one area in which, according to polls, they are trusted by the electorate. By targeting reforms to GPs’ services, Ed Miliband knows he is tapping into an area which has caused much consternation. Whether the electorate believe that his ideas overshadow his party’s perceived faults is another matter.

Most of us know someone who has required NHS services during the past year – we receive many letters in anger, and an equal number praising exceptional care.

But whatever the party, if GPs can concentrate on being GPs, and doctors, surgeons, nurses and midwives, to mention a few, can focus on their fields of expertise, we will be moving in the right direction.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter.com: @jonesrhodri

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