Ministers have agreed to a significant rewrite of their controversial NHS proposals after opening the cabinet thesaurus at the word ‘dismantle’.
David Cameron said ministers had listened to fears about increased competition and more powers for GPs, and would now seek a series of new words to say much the same thing.
At a joint press conference with his deputy Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, Mr Cameron said there were a wide range of words that could be used to describe the proposals, such as “abolish, eradicate, and do away with.”
“The fundamentals of our plans are as strong today as they’ve ever been, we just need to find a way to convince you they are not,” the PM said.
“We will be working night and day for the correct phrasing to say we’re smashing something to pieces whilst at the same time keeping it exactly the same. It’s a challenge, and one we’re happy to accept.”
NHS reforms to be rewritten
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said the rewrite is a major success for his party, and their role in the coalition, insisting softer wording for the hideous demolition of public services has always been their main aim.
Clegg told reporters, “Why say ‘destroy’ when you can say ‘gently put to sleep’? This is what we’ve been pushing for all along, and I for one am delighted to finally have our voices heard.”
NHS user Margaret Williams said, “David Cameron is not the only one who can use a thesaurus, and it doesn’t stop him being an ignorant child out of wedlock.”