The IPPR, that cuddliest of social democrat apologists for big government, is suggesting that public health needs a 'consensus' approach:
The only way public health outcomes can be improved in the long term is to develop a cross-party approach, according to a think-tank report.The report, written by IPPR senior research fellow Phil McCarvill, calls on the main political parties to commit to the development of a “long-term vision and strategic approach to public health”.
This is a classic Fabian approach - by turning decisions on public health from policy choices to strategy implementation we no longer have a political debate about the purpose of public health. Crucially this would mean that, following the transfer of responsibility to local councils the focus wouldn't be on what councillors want but on the administration of the public health programme on the basis of a local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
I want a real debate not a cosy "cross-party approach". A debate that allows us to argue for policies that respect people's lifestyle choices, that work to reduce harm and that stress environmental contributors to ill-health such as poor housing, air pollution and mental health rather than condemning the personal choices of ordinary people.