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Editor's blog Wednesday 17 November: Liberator's SpAds-Coalition Agreement's no top-down reorganisation vow "a bizarre mistake"

Denial. It's not just a river in Cairo. It runs out, eventually.

I was wondering how long Andrew 'Liberatin' Lansley could carry on pretending that his biggest-ever top-down reorganisation of the NHS was in truth an organic, proctologist-pleasing-bottom-up affair.

As I pointed out yesterday, he had another crack on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme with Sarah Montague at suggesting that abolishing NHS management wholesale was "not a surprise", though launching a new drive 'of course it was in both of our manifestos'! Which gets points for imaginative creativity. If not accuracy.

Now The Liberator has coughed in an interview with the new issue of Prospect magazine: "it's a reorganisation, of course it is".

Thanks for that. We only had to wait eighteen weeks - a figure which will become very topical, pretty soon.

The feature also reports his advisers suggesting that neither they nor the Liberator actually read the Coalition Agreement, with its explicit promise of no NHS top-down reorganisation, describing it to the journalist Sam Knight as "a bizarre addition" which crept in by mistake.

You just can't fault Bill and Jenny for trying, can you?

The Liberator also adds "you have to decide whether you're decentralising or not. You can't have both".

O Dorrell, where art thou?
We have already today covered health select committee chair Stephen Dorrell's extraordinary intervention with his HSJ interview.

Dorrell is also quoted in the Prospect cover feature saying of the commissioning reforms, "this is about what's going to happen in two or three years' time and I don't think people are focusing enough on what's going to happen this winter and next".

The article also reports (unattributed) a consultant working in DH, who says "they have the strange confidence of the 300 at Thermopylae. No-one else thinks they are going to win". (The classical reference is going to narrow the field a bit, leak-seekers!).

It also reports on ongoing Treasury disquiet, again (unsurprisingly) without names.

Seconds out. Dorrell versus Lansley. There can be only one winner.