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Twittering about it during silly season

The NHS has saved my life three times now, in 1972 as a teenager I had a life threatening event which hospitalised me for the best part of nine months, given the last rights by a local priest then scarred for life by Mr. Eli Dayan in Harton Hospital, South Shields (I’d  be happy to be scarred for life again by this wonderful little man any time). In the past two years I have had two major heart attacks and the NHS in the north-east has saved me again, you don’t need me to tell you that I support the NHS. Neither do I need to go on Twitter to join in the so called mass twittering under the hashtag #welovetheNHS.

The NHS has become a massively loved institution that has grown well beyond any imagination that Bevan may have had for it at it’s inception, it is Europe’s biggest employer, yet the left somehow still expect it to be approached as something like a sacred cow – it is not. The fact that it consumes so much of the public budget means it must be open to inspection, scrutiny, change, reform, improvement, or budgetary controls in exactly the same way as any other government department. The current debate, sponsored by the press, and certainly not helped by linking it to the totally separate debate going on in America, is silly and ridiculous to the point of being banal.

It is not a case of either loving it, or being totally against the institution, as Dizzy points out in this post, and as for Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah joining in on the twitterings, if they loved the NHS that much then why did Brown go private to get his teeth fixed when he was Chancellor?

Conservative leader David Cameron and his family have benefited greatly from the services of the NHS as they tirelessly cared for their much beloved son, but it must irk and irritate him immensely to see the dafties on the left continuing to use the NHS as some sort of big stick to hit the Tories with. It is a total nonsense in keeping with the silly season when we are bereft of hard political news, bring on the Conference season!

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Written by curly

August 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

4 Responses

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  1. The debate in the USA is totally separate? Tell that to Sarah Palin or the idiots droning on about bad teeth, Orwell and the evils of socialized health care.
    Other than that, I agree.


    August 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

  2. “The fact that it consumes so much of the public budget means it must be open to inspection, scrutiny, change, reform, improvement, or budgetary controls in exactly the same way as any other government department.”

    I agree, and as the public budget shrinks in the next few years everyone has to accept the NHS will have to be as cost affective as ever (why it wasn’t in the first place i’ll never know). I’m glad though that Cameron has chosen the NHS as the rock of the conservative parties public service provision.

    The problem comes in my view when some people who argue for all the things you have said above (scrutiny, budgetary controls) do so on the basis (like Dan Hannan) that the whole service and even the principle of the service is rotten and overfinanced.

    They may be right and probably are to some extent but words and ideologies mean little at time when what the NHS needs to do is prioritise and work out what provision and staff they need and what they don’t, i.e more pen pushers. Perhaps they need a independant organisation to do that for them but either way this should be the focus of peoples attentions in my opinion.


    August 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  3. To dismiss this as silly season nonsense misses the real concern many people have. There’s a chance that the next government will be Tory, so it’s reasonable that people will feel worried when leading Tory lights like Hannan want the NHS dismantled into a US model, where health care policy is dictated by the medical insurance companies.

    Today’s news that Tory frontbenchers are sympathetic to Hannan’s fundamentalist market reform will worry people further that Cameron’s ‘protect the NHS’ mantra is little more than empty PR.

    Saying that, Labour has treated the NHS just as badly, choosing to continue the neoliberal ‘reform’ agenda started by the Tories, amounting to stealth privatisation through PFI contracts and corrupt ‘competition’ with private health contractors.

    The NHS is not safe in either Tory or Labour hands.


    August 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

  4. Hannan’s Fox News interview was just what the left wanted to hear, it gave them the distraction that they needed to get away from, the malaise that is affecting Britain (Brown’s economic powers).

    If we were to start from scratch and create a modern health service (assuming that we did not have one to start with) would we use exactly the same model now, that we used in the post war years? Somehow, I doubt we would.

    Read Hannan’s final thoughts on the matter here.


    August 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

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