Of course David Cameron somersaulted his way into a U-turn, but he should be congratulated for embracing the "core changes" in the government's plans for the NHS, thereby postponing a rift within the Coalition and halting a rebellion amongst his own Conservative MPs who are sick and tired of the Liberal Democrats stance on just about everything.
The original plan was embraced by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, until his own party got cold feet and he was forced into making a stand against some of the proposals, which up to that point were also fully supported by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's masterstroke was to establish a Forum two-months ago to look at the Andrew Lansley's Bill and when the independent panel of experts reported "genuine and deep-seated" concerns, Mr Cameron immediately accepted what they said, hailing the whole episode as a "listening exercise". "We have listened, we have learned and we are improving our plans for the NHS", he said, without a blush.
Mr Clegg is cock-a-hoop, anxious to take most of the credit for the government's change of heart, more or less claiming that it was his party which sought and won the argument for a less radical approach to changes within the NHS. And this may be so, but, the National Health Service is in financial meltdown and sooner or later a major overhaul will be required. The Prime Minister lost his nerve, but won a battle for a cessation of hostilities between his MPs and those Liberal Democrats wanting no real change at all. He also threw a lifeline to Nick Clegg, giving him a reason to be self-important again.