True British Values and the #NHScrisis 123

The total amount thrown at the banks by the taxpayer to enable their casino banking scams and cocaine fuelled lifestyles to continue, was £1.16 trillion, courtesy of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. By one of life’s more meaningful coincidences, that is precisely ten times the annual budget of the NHS for the whole UK. Equally neatly, the latest contingency for quantitative easing announced by Mark Carney – money given directly to financial institutions by the central bank in exchange for junk – is £250 billion, which is precisely ten times the total hamstringing debts of the NHS.

It is good to understand what true British values really mean, as people in England die on trolleys in hospital corridors.

Alistair Darling is today a Director of Morgan Stanley bank. Gordon Brown is today a twassock.

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123 thoughts on “True British Values and the #NHScrisis

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        • lysias

          10 to the 9th power is called “billion” here in the U.S. and “milliard” in the UK. 10 to the 12th power is called “trillion” here in the U.S. and “billion” in the UK.

          Easy for there to be confusion.

          That’s why UK outlets often call 10 to the 9th power “a thousand million” rather than either “a billion” or “a milliard”. Particularly common in UK publications like the FT and the Economist that have a lot of U.S. readers.

  • John Goss

    It has always been the same. Bankers are looked up to by the establishment, free medical care is frowned upon. Everything gets worse for ordinary people and better for the bankers. This is the mentality.

    “As one veteran puts it: “In the old days, the best tactic when getting your number was always to be furious. Whatever it was, you’d say: ‘I don’t call that a bonus, I call that a tip’. You had the power to keep the boss on his toes. But then, for years, it was just ‘thank you for not firing me, sir’. This year, though, perhaps those old days might be coming back again.” ”

  • RobG

    “twassock”? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the vernacular.

    I thought the Twassocks were a range of hills in Scotland?

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      I, too, am unfamiliar with ’twassock’. I think RobG is confusing it with the Quantocks.

      It could be the elision of ‘twa socks’ and, since most of us are bipedal and wear socks, then, it seems tautological to describe Mr Brown as ’twassock’: we are all twassocks!

      Please enlighten us, Mr Murray.

      • David

        If you watch a Gordon Brown speech you will see that he could easily wear out a pair of socks in the process. Over a lifetime he must be at least a mil-twassock man.

    • Shatnersrug

      I believe it’s a conflation of Twat and wazzock popularised (or not) by Stephen Fry

      Stephen Fry
      “I am fully aware that I sound like the worst kind of pseudo-intellectual twazzock”


      Well you all know what that means

      a stupid or annoying person.

      Craig’s spelling is perhaps “colourful”

  • Anon1

    Worry not. Central Manchester NHS Trust is currently offering £46.6K – £57.6K for an “Assistant Director of Equality and Diversity”. That job will be replicated across every NHS trust together with pay rises and juicy pension packages. One shudders to thing what the actual directors are paid. This is to deliver the “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2015-19”.

    All that an outdated behemoth like the NHS is able to do is piss away taxpayers’ money at gargantuan levels. You could throw it another 10, 20, 30 billion and it would keep demanding more like some insatiable monster. You could double its budget and it would be consumed like the sixth or seventh lane on an American highway.

    The model is hopelessly outdated and needs breaking up. As someone said, the NHS is such a fantastic global healthcare model that no one else uses it.

    • bevin

      So what do you propose?
      Something that includes profits for insurance companies?
      Your criticism of the NHS is completely demagogic-the position to which you refer has almost nothing to do with the Service. And is almost certainly duplicated in, for example, the Police and Armed forces.
      The question at issue is whether medicine should be freely available for sick people or allotted on the basis of wealth and connections.
      Incidentally the “outdated behemoth” of the NHS probably brought you into the world and looked after your mother in a way that was reserved, before the Second World war for a relatively blessed few. Aprt from that it has done much good.

      • Anon1

        Yup. Profit, competition, choice.

        Thank goodness for Jeremy as only he can provide a Tory majority great enough to finally slay the beast.

        And children will still be born without the NHS. It might even encourage people to look after themselves a bit better.

        • Richard Smith

          Brilliant. Look at US healthcare. The most deregulated healthcare on the planet and it costs a fortune. Much more than the NHS. No thanks. I’d be happy to fund the NHS to the same extent per head as the more civilized European countries and then we’d see the crisis disappear.

          It’s funny how it only takes a few years of Tory rule for these types of crises to emerge isn’t it? You’d almost think there was a deliberate policy of under funding public services so that they break and then use friendly media propaganda services like the Express and Daily Mail to push for the “efficiencies” that only privatisation can bring.

          • Anon1

            “It’s funny how it only takes a few years of Tory rule for these types of crises to emerge isn’t it? ”

            Yes, anti-Tory agitation by the slothful wastrels who inhabit public services.. See the public transport strikes for further details.

            Didn’t the RMT boss say the other day that the whole point of these manufactured crises was to “bring the Tory government down”?

        • Babushka

          What a hopeless attitude you present here. Babies will always make their appearance-wanted or not; healthy or not.
          People looking after themselves? Better?
          LOL you describe the elites to a T

        • RicardoRed

          Anon 1. I’m trying to decide if you believe your own bullshit or are knowingly dishonest. The NHS is as good as the funding it’s given. Considering it already has one of the lowest per capita investment of the OECD, is dealing with an enforced £22billion efficiencies programme, and is enduring the forced fragmentation of services as well as now having to deal with the direct knock-on effects of social care cuts, I’m amazed it’s only just dawning how utterly screwed over it is. From a bad place the NHS was doing far better by 2010. Not perfect but patient outcomes were improving drastically. Since this government got hold of it it’s been utterly screwed over. That’s the privatisation agenda by the way. Do tell how a fragmented healthcare service, run by private companies for profit, who are primarily concerned with shareholder profit, delivers a better and more efficient health care system? The NHS has previously (a few years back) been rated the most efficient healthcare system – it’s simply being hugely underfunded. A deliberate choice by this government. Oh and of course there’s never waste, incompetence, greed or avarice when it comes to private companies sucking off public finances.

          • michael norton

            If we are supposed to have one doctor in the United Kingdom per 2,500 persons,
            Then the population increases by 500,000 immigrants in a year,
            that would leave us to conclude that each year we need to train a further 200 doctors, just for the new comers – we do not want?
            So who pays for it?

          • michael norton

            It costs about 750,000 to train a doctor in the United Kingdom, generally it takes five years to become an FI.
            but for a G.P. total time is about nine or ten years.

          • michael norton

            “Currently a quarter of our doctors come from overseas. They do a fantastic job and we have been clear that we want EU nationals who are already here to be able to stay post-BREXIT MEANS BREXIT

            “But is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them whilst turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?

            “From September 2018, we will train up to 1,500 more doctors every year, increasing the number of medical school places by up to a quarter.”

          • Nick

            If he believes in what his last statement was he/she is an utter bell-end. By your implication that people are to blame for ill health where do you stand on babies born to poor families that have genetic faults and other disabilities? Are they not to receive medical help?

    • RobG

      During that wonderful recent debate in Parliament about whether to take military action in Syria – you know, the one where Hilary Benn gave a final, flourishing speech – the then prime minister David Cameron pledged £170 billion extra to the military budget.

      Explain, please.

      • Herbie

        There’s taxpayers money for everything the taxpayers don’t need and very little taxpayers money for things taxpayers do need.

        Simple theft.

        • Loony

          It is theft – but it is not simple.

          The US has a debt of around $19 trillion and unfunded liabilities of over $100 trillion. The US has a total tax take of $7 trillion. The taxpayers cannot possibly meet these debts. Therefore it cannot be taxpayers money. As it is not their money then it is nothing to do with them where and how it is spent.

          The people whose money it is seemingly do not want to spend it on taxpayers – and what is wrong with that? Why should I be forced to spend my money on you?

          The foregoing raises a number of questions. As these questions can never be answered it is very important that we start a war with Russia in order to forestall this entire line of inquiry. If the Russians don’t play ball and refuse to kill us then we will all be consigned to asking unanswerable questions and wondering how we could have been so stupid.

          • RobG

            Loony, I would guess that some people won’t get your irony.

            USUK are completely bankrupt – which is a direct result of neo-con policies over the last three decades – and the only option now for these complete psychos is war.

            I could go into one here but will resist…

      • Alcyone

        First sensible comment Robbie. Apparently, money to kill is mere important than money to live a healthy life.

        It is a separate matter that there are lots of people in Cuckooland who want to live a unhealthy life of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, laziness and ignorance.

    • Richard Smith

      Your mind is dead to reason. You’re a blind ideologue. I won’t waste any more time on you.

    • Manda

      NHS has become what it is due to decades of covert moves towards privatisation as far as I can see. All part of the established order taking back what they perceive is their right… ‘rent’ from citizens.

      This documentary gives an enlightening outline.

    • Old Mark

      That job will be replicated across every NHS trust together with pay rises and juicy pension packages.

      Anon 1- A perfectly predicatable consequence of Harriet Harman’s 2010 Equality Act- and which Ms May’s government, despite its supposed ‘right wing’ credentials, hasn’t and will not touch with the proverbial bargepole.

  • Tom

    It’s tempting to lay the blame for this kind of injustice at the feet of people like Alistair Darling or Gordon Brown, but really we should be blaming systems and institutions. This system of ‘socialism for bankers, feudalism for everyone else’ is the result of monetarist policies, which is itself a product of fiat currency. Whilst fraudulent practices like fractional reserve banking and quantitative easing are still allowed, rampant inequality is the only thing that give the Pound any value.

  • Herbie

    Sad thing is this outright fraud and theft is going on right in front of our eyes.

    And no mainstream journalist points it out.

    Certainly not at the BBC.

    Whole point of the BBC being publicly funded was to distance it from commercial interest.

    Strange then that this publicly funded organisation doesn’t support the public interest but instead supports the most naked commercial interest.

    It truly is the most disgusting organisation.

    Filthy beyond belief.

      • Herbie

        And the BBC.

        So why do the public have to pay for it.

        Let the corporates pay for it.

        It’s their PR outfit.

    • RobG

      You’re being robbed blind, and most people just go along with it because they believe the bullshit/propaganda pumped out 24/7 by the MSM.

      • Herbie

        I know. So sad.

        Came across this quote on infoclearinghouse:

        “These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich, as their country is impoverished; they rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh, from their desks, at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, and cipher to cipher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or tempest.” – Samuel Johnson

  • Michael McNulty

    Much NHS debt must stem from PFI which was introduced when Blair was PM (and from which many people believe comes the real bulk of his wealth, for which the conflict of interest means that’s why he keeps it hidden). We can’t be that far away from recently-built hospitals being closed because too much of the money needed to run them goes to pay for their PFI construction.

    • michael norton

      Does anybody know how many homes Tony & his gorgeous wife
      own between them?
      I heard it was about a dozen.

      • michael norton

        From New Labour to nouveau riche? Tony & Cherie Blair’s property empire worth £27m
        Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family own a property empire worth an estimated £27 million, it has emerged.
        The princely portfolio is thought to include at least 10 houses and 27 flats.
        Tony Blair amassed a considerable fortune after leaving politics in 2007, with some estimates putting his total net worth at £60 million, according to a detailed analysis published by the Telegraph last year.

        He should be locked up for what he did to The Former Yugoslavia.

      • Michael McNulty

        One national paper reported the Blair’s had bought a house which backed onto another of their houses so he could walk into either, then go out the back and stay in or leave by the other. That sounds like the escape tactics of a man with cause to worry.

        When commoners like Blair join the elite because of services to them, then retire, their lives must be precarious. Having the dirt on MI5/6, the CIA, Mossad, the British establishment, the British and Saudi royal families, ruling dynasties, ruthless corporations etc, when things go bump in the night it’s not ordinary people he’s worried are coming to get him, it’s his friends.

  • Anon1

    Another career package currently offered by the NHS in these austere times courtesy of South London and Maudsley NHS Trust:

    A Museum director for the “Museum of the Mind”, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham.

    £44.5k – £52.5k pa plus benefits.

    • bevin

      I’m surprised to find you questioning the heritage of Bedlam-it is right up your street.

  • Herbie

    There’s quite a lot of coverage on mainstream media of the crisis in the NHS.

    Almost a daily occurrence now.

    Thing is, they never tell you precisely why the service is in crisis.

    That it’s been loaded with debt, by thieving Bankers.

    That’s how they kill everything.

    Media are doing to the NHS what they did to the Railways all those years ago.

    Continually pointing up its flaws as a result of govt policy, and then there’ll come the time when it’ll have to be privatised to save it/make it better.

    Anyone think the Railways are better now that they’re privatised.

    Don’t be fooled by these thieves again.

    • Anon1

      May can pledge any sum she can think of this year.

      You can guarantee the demand will be double next year.

      • Herbie


        4% per annum.

        “The NHS budget has not kept pace with rising demand for services. Demand for NHS services increases by 4% every year but, in real terms, NHS funding will increase by only 0.2% per year to 2020, whilst social care cuts are piling pressure on NHS services. With recorded hospital deficits hitting £2.45 billion, money to transform services risks being sucked into a financial black hole.”

        • Resident Dissident

          Why should demand for NHS services be increasing by 4% per year – that seems a lot even with immigration and an ageing population. Perhaps we need to switch spending to preventative health care if our rate of unfitness is increasing at such a rate.

          Health spending growth is 2.5%in Germany (which has higher immigration) and 1% for other OECD countries – why are we so much worse?

        • Anon1

          Do the maths on that 4% increase and tell me where it ends up in a generation.

          I hope the government can keep it 0.02% -“in real terms” – and privatise the whole wasteful monstrosity before long.

          In the meantime we need to reduce 350,000 net migration per annum strain on the NHS, as any lefty will tell you. lol

          • Herbie

            You said it would double in a year.

            It doesn’t.

            Anyway. Only a fool or a financial beneficiary of privatisation would advocate such a preposterous option.

            Look at the fuckin Railways!!

            Privatisation is simply a money-making scheme for thieving cunts.

            Simple as.

            These scumbag politicians don’t get paid off by the Bankers for nothing, you know.

      • bevin

        Of course: people will rush out to break their legs, contract dangerous diseases and roll around in the snow so that they can amuse themselves with the resulting pain.
        You really marinate yourself in schadenfreude, don’t you?

  • Resident Dissident

    “money given directly to financial institutions by the central bank in exchange for junk”

    The gilts and corporate bills purchased under QE are not junk – and shorter term government debt is what is provided in return not cash. The real problem with QE is that the banks have not used the improved liquidity of their investment assets to support additional lending to the productive parts of the economy. If you don’t understand what QE is I suspect the chances of improving it or suggesting other alternatives is probably pretty minimal.

    What the country actually needs is greater investment in areas that improve the productivity and efficiency of the economy so that it can grow and allow it to support greater health spending – diverting funds from that sort of spending will actually make the situation with the NHS even worse in the long run. If you are going to increase the government deficit from its present level then it really does have to go into investment rather than consumption spending which is largely (but not entirely) what the NHS entails. If there has to be more spent on the NHS, and there probably does, then expenditure needs to be diverted from consumption elsewhere – but I would also take a very serious look at taking an axe to some of the expenditure within the NHS that actually adds very little to the end user – the management layer is a lot fatter than it used to be and there is still a lot of spend on external consultants, on agency nursing staff ( who cost a lot more than direct employs, on GPs salaries which have inflated dramatically in recent years and vanity IT projects. It isn’t just as simple as throwing money at it, which is effectively what we did when the banks were rescued, when money was rightly put in but little was sought in return.

    • John Goss

      “. . . the management layer is a lot fatter than it used to be. . .” Well, of course it depends on how far back you go. There might be a case for cutting more. But the sector needs investment in trained staff at the pit face: doctors and nurses.

      “It isn’t just as simple as throwing money at it, which is effectively what we did when the banks were rescued, when money was rightly put in but little was sought in return.”

      It was not rightly put in. Any business that is not succeeding needs monitoring very closely. Other businesses go to the wall and they call it bankruptcy because ot used to happen to banks. That is what should have happened to RBS. Then the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street should have rescued it with its own funds. That is the supposed purpose of a national bank of last resort, to protect against bank closures of clearing banks. Everybody knows it is a nonsense and the taxpayer ends up paying for it. Where the fat is is in the great paunch of a banking sector. And that’s where the cuts should be made.

      What kind of a socialist did you say you were?

      • Resident Dissident

        What do you think the lender of last resort means other than lending money to provide liquidity – this is what the Bank actually did at the time of crash.

        So you would just have allowed the banks to collapse and the Bank not to act as lender of last resort. The impact of this would have of course been massive calls on the deposit protection scheme (which would have far outweighed the amounts put into the banks and would have had to be paid by even higher taxes), ordinary people not being able to access their bank accounts, thousand of ordinary bank workers being made unemployed and thousands of other workers being laid off as companies could not collect their revenues or access their bank accounts.

        That is the type of socialist I am – one who cares about the livelihood of ordinary workers and people – you on the other hand would be happy to deliver redundancy notices by taxi confident in your view that it would be furthering the revolution, as that is what you see as being the role of ordinary working people (or the brain washed/sheeple as you regularly refer to them). It is of course just this sort of shit on the ordinary people thinking that drove the nomenklatura in the Soviet Empire and has now been taken up with even greater relish by Putin and his oligarch friends. Oh and I suppose it goes without saying that you think the bankers are dominated by those of a certain religious persuasion.

    • RobG

      Here we go, the usual whoffle/deceit to try and cover-up massive plunder.

      Aye, aye, Capn’, there be angry plebs on the starboard bow.

      Try writing another 1000 paid-for words of complete bullshit, and see if it makes any difference.

      You people are so, so sad.

    • Loony

      In these days of fake news it is perhaps wise to ignore facts – as you so assiduously do.

      You write “The gilts and corporate bills purchased under QE are not junk”. On June 8th 2016 Mario Draghi confirms an ECB purchase of bonds in Telecom Italia whose bonds are rated as junk by both Moody’s and S&P.

      Draghi also bought bonds in VW – a company so mired in the fabrication of emissions data that their bonds are hard to value on any rational basis.

      Banks have not used their increased liquidity to support additional lending because they are insolvent. You cannot cure an insolvency issue with liquidity.

      Clearly investment in productivity is required – but because the banks are insolvent they cannot provide this investment. Instead they have bid up asset prices to insane levels. Oddly enough these will be the same assets that they use as collateral and oddly enough this trick (along with abandoning GAAP) serves to mask their insolvency.

      • Resident Dissident

        “On June 8th 2016 Mario Draghi confirms an ECB purchase of bonds in Telecom Italia whose bonds are rated as junk by both Moody’s and S&P.”

        I think you will find the Bank’s requirements are more rigorous

        “Banks have not used their increased liquidity to support additional lending because they are insolvent. You cannot cure an insolvency issue with liquidity.”

        Your last sentence is true – but I think you will find that the UK banks have managed rather a lot of additional lending in property while at the same time improving their CET1 ratios. Anyone who is knowledgeable will also tell that the regulators and auditors have all tightened up their provisioning since the crisis ( as well they needed to!) – so if anything they have moved back towards GAAP rather than abandoned it.

        • Resident Dissident

          I might also ask if you don’t want banks making lending decisions who do want to make such decisions – committees appointed by John McDonell to which you and Mr Goss might be invited?

        • Resident Dissident

          Perhaps one way of pushing the banks towards productive lending would be to increase the capital requirements for investment banking (casino banking to use the parlance here) and property lending – to do so would immediately push returns on capital/RAROCs to such lending which would probably be rather more effective that John McDonnell’s committees of the right ons and financially illiterate.

        • Loony

          What I think is not relevant. What is relevant are the words and actions of Draghi. Either he has bought bonds in Telecom Italia or he has not. When he says he has bought these bonds then he is either telling the truth or he is lying.

          Of course banks have lent into the property sector. That is a principal transmission mechanism for creating asset price inflation and hence notionally boosting the value of their collateral. No argument exists to support the notion that inflating property prices is a productive investment.

          Announcing ever more provisions (mostly for legal costs) is not connected to any compliance or otherwise with GAAP. Many knowledgeable people (for example professional money managers) are on record as stating that the accounts of banks are not capable of being understood with the human mind.

          As to your other point: Banks are making lending decisions. They are making the decision not to lend. Government policy (everywhere) is intended to offset the consequences of these decisions. That government policy is not working is a consequence of the full spectrum delusion that refuses to acknowledge that the problem faced is a problem of insolvency.

          • Resident Dissident

            The discussion was around the UK – so ECB rules for QE are not relevant.

            I meant provisions for impairment – and quite how accounting provisions are not connected to Generally Accepted Accounting Practice or accounting standards is beyond me – if you cannot make that link then no wonder banks’ accounts are beyond you,

            You clearly do not know much about the subject so I think this debate it is best left as it is.

          • Loony

            I realize that your intellect is probably “beyond salvage” However it is indisputable that Central Banks co-ordinate their activities and that the Fed, BoJ, ECB, BoE and others act in lockstep. How else to to explain the 690 interest rate cuts that have occurred since 2008.

            In 2012 HSBC accepted liability for a range of money laundering offences in Mexico and agreed to pay a fine of $1.9 billion. Do you really think that prosecutors were alerted to the crimes of HSBC by reading the line in their accounts that said “Income derived from criminal activities in Mexico”?

  • Loony

    “The question at issue is whether medicine should be freely available for sick people…”

    That is not much of a question as it begs the definition of “sick” and “people” Are people who consider their noses or their breasts to be too big or too small sick people. What about people who have fallen out of love with their tattoo – are they sick?

    Should all people have access to free medicine or are there any qualifying criteria?

    All people die. Should the NHS be expending resources to extend the lives of the terminally ill by periods so short that it can often be measured in days?

    These are complex questions that involve ethical and moral judgments – but I guess that they don’t make for good political slogans, and so they are ignored.

    • RobG

      Loony, I find the sad part is that you should even have to argue these points in a world gone mad.

      What can you do against the biggest propaganda machine in history? The population are totally brainwashed.

      I know you try your best, as do many others, and all kudos for that.

      Hang in there, stay strong, and never let the bastards grind you down.

  • Sharp Ears

    Let us hope that none of the naysayers on OUR NHS on here need emergency medical help any time soon. That is if they live in the UK.

    Imagine the fear and concern of those who are ill and rely on OUR NHS.

  • Sharp Ears

    We will hear from the horse’s mouth at 10am on Sky News when Sophy Ridge interviews the PM.

    As the interview is probably pre-recorded, there will not be any promises from Treeza to sort out the current NHS crisis or to save it.

    She was, after all, part of the large Tory majority that voted for the Cameron/Lansley Health and Social Care Act 2012 which set in train the privatisation of OUR NHS, leading to its planned current disintegration and ultimate destruction.

    No word from the twerp Hunt I notice.

    Earlier on Marr there is this collection.

    ‘Andrew Marr’s guests are first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP, secretary of state for the education Justine Greening MP and actress Joanna Scanlan. The newspapers are reviewed by Julia Hartley-Brewer, Steve Richards and Sir Craig Oliver, former director of communications for David Cameron.’

    I think Marr should pack it in. Never forgotten or forgiven for this.

    ‘On April 9, 2003, as Baghdad superficially fell to the illegal US-UK invasion, Marr lauded Blair’s great triumph on the main BBC evening news:

    “Frankly, the main mood [in Downing Street] is of unbridled relief. I’ve been watching ministers wander around with smiles like split watermelons.”

    Marr delivered this news with his own watermelon smile. He continued:

    “Well, I think this does one thing – it draws a line under what, before the war, had been a period of… well, a faint air of pointlessness, almost, was hanging over Downing Street. There were all these slightly tawdry arguments and scandals. That is now history. Mr Blair is well aware that all his critics out there in the party and beyond aren’t going to thank him – because they’re only human – for being right when they’ve been wrong. And he knows that there might be trouble ahead, as I said. But I think this is very, very important for him. It gives him a new freedom and a new self-confidence. He confronted many critics.

    “I don’t think anybody after this is going to be able to say of Tony Blair that he’s somebody who is driven by the drift of public opinion, or focus groups, or opinion polls. He took all of those on. He said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result.” (Marr, BBC 1, News At Ten, April 9, 2003)’

  • SA

    The NHS needs to depoliticised to survive. Each successive government wants to stamp its own ideological plans for the nNHS whilst ignoring the medical and nursing experts. Under Tony Blair many features of control and privatisation where either newly introduced or carried on from the major government and the Tories have just continued these trends. Many ex Blair cabinet ministers are now heavily involved in private healthcare provision and the connection between big pharma and Owen Smith were exposed in the last Labour leadership election.

  • Habbabkuk

    Someone or other made the point that the NHS is the only free-at-the-point-of-use health system in Western Europe.

    Other contributors have, in the past, quoted WHO and OECD studies to the effect that the NHS is the best and the most cost-efficient health systems in the world, never mind just Western Europe.

    One cannot help wondering, therefore, why the UK’s continental neighbours have so far declined to adopt the UK model for their own health services. Declined as from the NHS’s inception in 1948, ie, declined for almost seven decades.

    Are those Western European countries stupid or what could be the reason for their strange reluctance to follow the UK model?

    • fwl

      I would not object to a fixed fee at point of use of say £30 with exemptions for homeless and waivers for undocumented drunk, unconscious, homeless etc. I would and do object to inclusion of any private service providers within NHS. Further, where private providers seek to use NHS resources the NHS should massively increase the cost say * 10.

    • Why be ordinary?

      It is the most efficient in the sense that it gets the best results from the least money put in. Most continental countries have insurance based systems in which people voluntarily pay in more to get more than the essentials. Support for the NHS model in which the state decides what care you deserve is limited to the far left.

      • Old Mark

        It is the most efficient in the sense that it gets the best results from the least money put in. Most continental countries have insurance based systems in which people voluntarily pay in more to get more than the essentials.

        This bang for your bucks defence of the NHS against the more costly not free at point of use continental models only goes so far- the NHS compares most unfavourably with the latter when it comes to the timely diagnosis of most cancers, and that has a knock on effect in cancer survival rates 5 and 10 years after diagnosis, where the UK is shamefully near the bottom of the European league table.

    • George

      “Someone or other made the point that the NHS is the only free-at-the-point-of-use health system in Western Europe.”

      Yes, that was you, Hab. Under the entry “Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat”. Thus do you try to give the impression that you are part of a majority opinion. Either that or schizophrenic.

  • fwl

    Trump obviously stands for privatisation in public life. We fear this tendency in the NHS, but does anyone know to what extent US healthcare providers or funders have already started to take preliminary positions in British healthcare infrastructure?

  • Dave

    In 1997 New Labour was elected on a promise to improve public services and join the Euro if endorsed in a referendum. But this created a dilemma, because to improve public services involved ‘high’ public spending, but to join the Euro involved ‘low’ public spending to meet the convergence and sustainability rules.

    To resolve this dilemma Gordon Brown promoted Private Finance Initiative to fund public services. This was more expensive than Public Sector Borrowing, but kept public spending within Euro joining rules. Basically the change meant, instead of the government going to the bank to borrow money (at a low rate) to employ a company to build a hospital, the company itself would go to the bank to borrow the money (at a higher rate) to build the hospital. In other words GB was improving public services with private not public money, although the Audit Office disputed this distinction as all the PFI schemes were underwritten by the taxpayer!

    Thus PFI shows New Labour/Gordon Brown commitment to join the Euro, but the promised referendum, secured by Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party, was never held, not because of his 5 economic tests, but because they doubted it could be won.

    In respect of the banking swindle, its difficult to highlight this matter without being insulted due to the ownership/control of the private US Federal Reserve, but suffice to say that national government, rather than private/globalist control of credit/money creation would transform the situation as would quantitative easing on behalf of the people rather than the banks as per theory of Social Credit.

    PS. Douglas/Social Credit theory is similar to Keynesian theory, but whereas Social Credit involves government/public control of credit creation, Keynesian theory prospered due to agreement allowing private banks to retain that extraordinary power to control the money supply.

    • michael norton

      It was my understanding that Scottish James Gordon Brown and Scottish Alistair Maclean Darling
      were against joining Euroland
      but Scottish Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was always well up for it.

      • Dave

        The New Labour project and manifesto promised a referendum and said they would campaign for a vote to join the Euro. Gordon Brown has been credited for not joining the Euro, but his Private Finance Initiative micky-mouse accounting, instead of Public Sector Borrowing, was his way of keeping UK within the rules to join when it was politically possible to do so. I.e. when a referendum could be won. If he was against joining the Euro he didn’t need PFI.

        To illustrate, when the new Greater London Authority was set up, popular opinion was for the ‘underground’ to remain publically owned, with the GLA going to the bank to raise the (public) money to fund an upgrade. But before GB allowed the GLA to become a legal entity he ensured a PFI was set up, with private companies going to the bank to raise the (private) money to fund the upgrade.

  • Hmmm

    The NHS is already dead. We have foundation trusts – which act as independent providers with certain powers -able to set their own boards pay for example. these compete with other hospitals!!! I’m not making this shit up either!! Craig and a few of you other recent inpatients may have been asked to fill in a survey… The question ” would you recommend this hospital to friends and family?” Is asked… for real!
    Btw, the New emergency number is 0898 999…

    • Sharp Ears

      The NHS is not dead. It is very much alive and those of us who owe their lives, and the lives of their friends and families to it, will fight for it.

      You might not have heard of the Clininical Commissioning Groups who now hold the budgets.

      More and more jobsworths and more layers of bureaucracy.

      Now they are employing private companies to triage GP referrals. This is happening all over the country. An example.

      North Durham GPs’ private contract referral ‘disgraceful’, says MP – BBC

      The country is flabby in spite of all the Lycra and sports gear being sold.

      They will wake up when it begins to hurt.

  • Anon1

    Note to Left:

    If you want to “save the NHS” then it must cease to be a World Health Service.

    You can have a generous welfare system and you can have unlimited immigration, but you can’t have both.

    • fred

      Like she wasn’t bluffing when she said they had legal advice that an independent Scotland would retain EU membership? Like she wasn’t bluffing when she said they would abolish Council Tax? Like she wasn’t bluffing when she said they would use tax raising powers to end austerity?

      If she isn’t bluffing it will be a first.

  • Michael McNulty

    The NHS started to become top-heavy when Thatcher’s Tories created NHS Trusts to employ a lot of white collar workers who had also lost their jobs alongside blue collar workers with the closure of our heavy industries in the ’80s. While the Tories thought it was good for blue collar, mostly Labour-supporting workers to lose their jobs and drive down wages and employment standards, it was against their interests to do the same to so many of their own voters, many living in key marginals, who would probably have become militant too.

    Not all trusts could absorb these middle managers of course, and that’s why they created the quango non-jobs, to take up the rest.

  • bevin

    Tony Greenstein has some interesting comments:
    “…..The forthcoming Al Jazeera documentary, parts of which have already been revealed, are likely to be explosive. We already know that the Israeli Embassy’s political officer, Shai Masot, was discussing ‘taking down’ Deputy Foreign Secretary, Alan Duncan, who has long been a supporter of the Palestinians. There is, I understand, much more to come including the £1m made available for trips to Israel by Labour MPs. I have been saying for a year now, in speeches up and down the country, that it is inconceivable that both the Israeli and American embassies were not involved in the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign. In a speech I gave at the Boycott Israel Network conference on November 5th I said this, in answer to a question:

    “I mean, someone asked about Mark Regev and the Israeli embassy, I don’t think Mark Regev began it but certainly he’s involved in it. If you look at it from this perspective, when Corbyn was elected or seemed likely to be elected to the Labour leadership, I imagine panic set in, not just in the Israeli embassy but the US embassy. Britain is the closest ally of the United States in Europe, the special relationship; the idea that someone who is anti-Nato, anti-Trident and so on, with his record, I would be amazed if the CIA and the Intelligence Agencies weren’t doing something. I mean that’s what they’re paid to do all over the world; why not in Britain? It would be bonkers if they didn’t; they would be failing in their duties, so, yes, of course they have been behind this campaign……

  • Dave

    The way to reform the NHS in a sensible proportionate and non-privatised way is by devolution within the public realm. And we already have it with devolution of the NHS to Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland, but devolution within England is needed too. This way you get the benefits of competition, without competition, but by comparison. That is, if one part of the NHS has a good idea it will be adopted by the others, but a bad idea wont. But of course it all still needs funding!

  • John J.

    British Values ? Is that a paradox. The British divided and conquered the world,but they also did the same to their own people and somehow there was a clawing back of this divided society after the second world war,socialist ideas took hold in politics probably due to fear by the “Real powers” in society,of some kind of communism. They had to give the British people something since they had sacrificed millions in “winning” the war. But of course long term they couldn’t wait to bring back the old hierarchies,the old plutocracies and elites. They had their chance in Margaret Thatcher and convinced the British public they were better off without pesky government control,de-regulate and let the Market do the job more efficiently. So the market and business ,and their efficiency(financial efficiency of course) became more important than people’s lifestyles and quality of life. Without business and corporate control and their ability to create “Jobs”, i.e. People being fed bullshit about maintaining their lifestyles via more efficient job creating business,while of course at the same time having their quality of life decimated in many ways through new “Meritocratic” values, real wage stagnation and crap jobs
    ,while they(the elites) shamelessly rewarded themselves ever increasing wage hikes.
    So now we have a Great Britain that is increasingly looking and behaving like the Great Britain of old. A starkly stratified class-ridden society run loftily by an out of touch and uncaring Corporate elite. A lot of who would happily have the whole Great British public serving their needs on crappy minimum wages and ever decreasing quality of lifestyles,dictated to through a patronising press and media that we have the “Best performing ” economy in the western world,full of opportunity for ….who ,not the Great British public,in the main,but the plutocratic elites running it.
    In summary the values ,real values are what is missing in British society. The elites ,political and corporate don’t have values ,they only have contempt,for those who do the real work for them,their minions in effect. Business ,Money ,Power ,Control of resources are all paramount and far more important than People. People,real people only serve these insatiable beasts,not the other way round.
    So how do you change it. Well my views are maybe too extreme for most. I am a republican and a socialist. I would retire the Monarchy immediately,make them a “Real figurehead” ,not the nominal one we are led to believe they are now. Give them a couple of houses and repatriate the rest. Stop the Civil list immediately. The whole idea of having a Monarchy is so archaic,like the middle ages,it should be resigned to history. People grow up worshipping these hangers-on like some sort of demi-gods. And it breeds a feeling of somehow there are people born better ,deserve better are better than those not fortunate to be born among them. A feudalistic class system with the royals sitting on top of the heap.
    The next thing and probably the most significant would be a written constitution. Enshrine people’s rights in Law. And ask our best philosophical brains to have input into how to write it fairly. To ensure everyone as best as humanly possible has a good life or the opportunity of a good life. A decent home to live in ,nice place to live,quality of life being paramount,decent leisure hours and to be treated fairly, equally and with respect in all areas of life. Everyone could and should have a decent life or the opportunity to have one. And I feel the only way to do this is through the law, a written constitution would go some way to bring back balance and fairness in society. It would take a lot of work and a lot of patience,and may take a couple of generations to implement it,but I think it would be worth it.
    Probably improbable given our country’s propensity to venerate our Leaders and institutions and those who “know better”. And the stark divisions in our country. But if you don’t try to stimulate debate or try to come up with ideas,then what is the point in trying anything? This country truly could be “Great” and its peoples and one things for sure,is that its people IS what makes it Great,not One family or a 0.1 % living in Ivory towers of Glass and steel in the City. It’s us not them.

    • Michael McNulty

      One old boy [not old enough for the war but old enough for National Service] told me years ago that the establishment only gave us the NHS and better social provisions after the war because they were afraid of a socialist uprising. After defeating the Nazis our soldiers were organized; they were in contact with friends across the country, battle-hardened, fit, and well-armed with war souvenirs. Officers reported men awaiting demobilization talking about not going home to the same conditions their fathers went home to after WWI, nor the post-war hunger wars. So we made social gains because the ruling classes were afraid of what the working classes might do.

      Thirty-odd years after the war when veterans had lost touch and had reached an age when they started dying, and war weapons were few and far between, Thatcher’s lot started taking back those gains, as the scum Tories are still doing today. All for the love of money.

      • John J.

        Exactly my point Michael. They (The establishment) never “give ” anything to anyone voluntarily. Their hand has to be forced or out of fear.

        • George

          Or, as Trotsky once wrote:

          “Who does not feel pity for poverty? Read through the history of Britain’s industrial development and of the exploitation of child labour in particular. The pity shown by the rich for poverty has never protected the poor from degradation and misery. In Britain, no less than anywhere else, poverty has only gained anything in cases where it has managed to take wealth by the throat. Does this really have to be proved in a country with an age-long history of class struggle, which was at the same time a history of niggardly concessions and ruthless reprisals?”

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