Today's a bit epic.
Left Foot Forward have posted this brilliant article on where the Health and Social Care Bill (NHS bill to normal people) is at and today it will face some of the most crucial votes in its history. Nye is spinning so fast in his grave that they're using him as a wind turbine. Beveridge is next on the list and even Churchill is shifting about uncomfortably.
In a world of rhetoric and hyperbole, us geeky types love to stretch adjectives to their very limit, but today, of all days, they are probably justified.
You may have all noticed that I'm a little preoccupied with the Welfare Reform Bill. When I started writing it was to reform the NHS. I mean really reform it and make it fit for this century. Not privatise it and develop a US style healthcare provision in Britain.
Then I saw that no-one cared about sick and disabled people. They had no glossy celebrities, no passionate politicians to advocate a better path, and little hope of being heard. The NHS on the other hand, had the RCN, the BMA, the media, the politicians and most importantly of all, the overwhelming support of the public. I figured it would just have to fight its own battles while I focused on an even greater injustice.
But today, Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Labour Lords alike must decide whether we will allow a "Top-Down Reorganisation" of our NHS that no-one voted for no-one wants and that most experts claim will be destructive to a health service free at the point of use.
As Peers vote today, they must ask themselves whether a little discomfort over not toeing the party line is worth the unremitting fallout that will follow if this bill is passed. They must consider every headline that will lay blame at their door. Every hospital that will close. Every waiting list that will go up, every Nan or Brother or Mum who may not get the treatment they so desperately need.
So I ask the Noble Lords to do just one thing this morning. Find a quiet place and ask yourself what the politicians from the past would do? Ask your heroes, ask Nye and Beveridge and Churchill. Think for a moment not of today, but of next month, and next year and the legacy you want to leave. Do you want to be remembered as the group of representatives that went against a nation to erode the single greatest achievement of our past?
What you do today, will matter for every last person's future. A little conflict in cabinet is the smallest, most insignificant of repercussions. Politicians will come and go, political compasses will shift back and forth but the UK will always value and trust the NHS. Whether they value and trust you is irrelevant. You are there to do a job and today, millions of people will be watching and hoping and praying that you listen to them and act only for a future of health equality for all.
Even at this late hour, if you want to send this to any Lords, please feel free. Details, including email addresses can be found here : http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/lords/