It is all still to play for in the tug of war over the NHS Bill. Last night Radio4 six o'clock News led with Lansley's friends asserting that things had gone too far to turn back whilst reporting Cameron is keeping his options open.
From the Tory point of view part of the de-toxification process was to hug the NHS close. The Spectator Coffee House Blog has a bit today which clearly suggests- on the back of an article by Andrew Grice-that the Tories are alive to the public perception that we are the good guys in the coalition:
Everyone except for Andrew Lansley seems to appreciate that his reforms are politically unworkable, and there is talk of substantial amendments and intense House of Lords scrutiny. But a u-turn carries danger for Cameron, who has staked a packet of political capital on the NHS as part of his ‘detoxification process’. Giving Clegg the credit for blocking the ‘privitisation of the NHS’ is unconscionable. One Cameron ally tells Grice that the “we can’t let the Lib Dems be the coalition’s conscience”.