Normal people are very capable of holding contradictory views in their heads, especially in subjects about which they know little but feel strongly ... paradoxes, which have regularly been witnessed in opinion research ... are of profound importance as Labour thinks about how to frame its NHS offer running into the next election. They are:
- Everyone loves the NHS and yet in focus groups it quickly becomes apparent that absolutely everybody has a personal horror story about waiting lists or botched admin. These stories flow from them like a public policy fever dream.
- Everybody knows that the NHS is in desperate need of reform – and yet in focus groups almost nobody believes such reform will work. Getting people to imagine a high-performing NHS is very, very hard.
- Everybody knows that the NHS is in desperate need of investment – they see it with their own eyes every time they visit a hospital. And yet nobody believes it will make any difference to the service they are experiencing.