Cut and pasted from an email from 38 Degrees:
David Cameron is trying to ride it out. He knows his plans for the NHS are a disaster. But after more than a year of phoney listening exercises, aggressive spin and backroom deals, he thinks abandoning the plan now would simply be too embarrassing.
But there’s one thing that politicians care about more than saving face: saving their jobs. At the moment, Cameron is gambling that it’s best to force through the changes - then hope that it doesn’t cost him too many votes later on. We can shift this calculation by proving to Cameron that the NHS is already an election issue, and a losing one for his party if they refuse to listen.
Elections for the Mayor of London are fast approaching. Cameron desperately wants the Conservatives to win. Together, we can buy billboards all over the city, on the very streets where Cameron bought billboards promising the NHS would be safe with him. The adverts can warn potential Conservative voters that most doctors and nurses think the changes will make our NHS worse.
We’ve tried everything else. Now we have to bring it back to something we know Cameron will understand – winning over undecided voters. He knows that a big national issue like the NHS could play strongly in a major local election. And that if it does, it will set the tone for a long time to come.
If Cameron sees thousands of us donating to put up adverts, it might make him finally decide the game is up. The adverts carry a simple message certain to grab the attention of the kind of voters Cameron wants to keep on board: doctors and nurses are begging him to drop the dangerous NHS plans.
Cameron knows that losing the trust of voters on the NHS is bad news. Opposition to the plans is already overwhelming among health professionals -- including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of GPs. Last month, 38 Degrees commissioned an independent opinion poll of NHS staff which found that 66 per cent think these plans will make the NHS worse.
So we’ve brought in a top advertising agency to make sure local voters get the message. If we raise enough money, we can target these ads to prospective Conservative voters, and place them in high-profile, prominent locations across the capital. Best of all, our campaign won’t star an actor, but a real-life London GP and 38 Degrees member.
Over 15,000 38 Degrees members have donated over £200,000 so far. As a result, these huge billboards will be going up in 150 locations across London today (Monday morning).
Look out for them!
You can support the billboard campaign by donating money to fund billboards across the UK here: