With the new version of the government’s health plans due out on Monday or Tuesday, expect tomorrow’s papers to be full of pre-briefing from the different camps – the pro-Lansley Tories, the rest of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
The first of that trio are likely to have by far the toughest, verging on implausible, task given the major changes coming to the original NHS plans. The bigger media battle is between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats (or Cameron and Clegg if you prefer your politics in distilled personalised format) over the relative credit for those changes.
The news from the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Parties during the week was pretty positive, with Parliamentarians from both Houses – including, crucially, Shirley Williams – pleased about the way the NHS plans are changing. But pleasing Shirley is only a means to an end – which is why the spinners are busy today.
So when the Sunday papers come out, remember the conflicting stories being pushed – and that the real test is to compare the changes in the NHS White Paper with those demanded in the Sheffield spring conference NHS motion.