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#1: The NHS

 

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Hospital doctors are to have their extra tax bills paid by the NHS under government plans to avoid unfilled shifts plunging hospitals into a winter crisis. This is indeed complete bollocks, but also entirely official.

Just when you thought there were no money trees, we are suddenly made aware that that there is in fact an orchard of the bloody things. Fruit from the Treasury money trees will fall into the hands of right wing politicians too cowardly to question a 74 year-old piece of Socialist dogma insisting that all fruit from the NHS money tree must be free to all scrumpers everywhere.

What a bumper harvest they shall have….the better to get elected on a sea of fiscal accounting lies.

As ever, I bring no ideological baggage to dump on this issue. When Nye Bevan insisted on free access to the NHS for all in 1947, he was making that demand in the face of enormous debts run up by a nation that had – for too long – fought alone against European fascism. In the year before my birth, everyone except a minute percentage of Britons had no clear idea where the next meal was coming from. He was absolutely morally right to want to free the populace from the fear of medical bills.

If you know anything about the great good sense of Aneurin Bevan, then you will grasp immediately that – were he to return to Earth today – he would be horrified by the degree of opportunistic use of the NHS. Would he have allowed those grown fat on the financialisation of capitalism to get free hip replacements? I doubt it.

The more bourgeois insurgency into the Labour Party muddled its original goals, the more audible the cries for “hands off our NHS” became. ‘Free at the Point of Sale’ became the Clause 4 of public health.

But Nye’s guiding principle was “to each according to their ability to pay”.

We need to bring this back.

A bold stroke would be – in return for NI relief – to insist that every taxpayer earning over £75,000 a year make private healthcare and pension arrangements that would see them forced to opt out of State care until such time as they fell back below that level of income.

An equally bold move would be to radically reform the way the NHS is funded, via devolution of its organisation to regional level on a mutualised basis, on similar principles via which ordinary folk used to save with building societies for a mortgage.

In short, I would like to remove the NHS as far as possible from the idiocies of Whitehall and the blackmail of Westminster. I would like to take out the big hair, padded shoulders and fat bonuses of quasi “marketing” overhead, and replace them with provision on the basis of emotional intelligence and compassion.

For entirely demagoguic, puerile reasons, all the Westminster wannabees fighting this election would disagree.

That only goes to confirm my belief that the current General Election has little or no bearing on a better future for the British People.