Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Save the NHS.. For the high jump

Britain today, America tomorrow, and why people hate the NHS:
The middle classes, who tend to live in parts of Britain where public services in general are in quite good nick, have done pretty well from the NHS. The rest of Britain, those who have been notable by their absence on “Save our NHS” protests, has not. For them, the NHS is no longer a glorious postwar invention – it is the institution which lectures them endlessly about their eating, drinking and smoking habits. It’s an institution whose staff are now openly described by government officials as “agents of persuasion” (formerly known as “agents of the state”) who should seek to “reshape” people’s lifestyles. It’s an institution whose contempt for Joe Public is perfectly demonstrated in those ubiquitous posters in hospital waiting rooms warning us not to beat up nurses or doctors. It’s an institution that feverishly looks upon everyday human relationships as dirty and degraded, where midwives are encouraged to interrogate pregnant women over whether they are being domestically abused, and where phrases such as “puppy fat” are frowned upon, and sometimes even banned, lest they give dumb parents the idea that it’s okay for their kids to be chubby.

It’s an institution which no longer treats the patient as an individual with specific problems, but rather as a unit of the population who must be made to stop smoking or drinking more than four units of alcohol per week in order to achieve certain government targets. It’s an institution which sometimes refuses to tell pregnant women the sex of their babies in case the Asian ones find out they’re expecting a girl and abort it pronto. It’s an institution which, at a time when the powers-that-be feel incapable of making a connection with the public, is thrust forward to police us and transform us according to government diktat. And it’s an institution that blows so much money on new managerial techniques and health-propaganda campaigns that it doesn’t have enough left to provide decent medical services to those who actually need them.


eon said...

Smells like eugenics. And we all know where that ended up everywhere it was attempted.



C Palmer said...

But they do have lots of jolly nice machines that go *ping*. So there's that.

Ironmistress said...

Science and politics usually mix very badly together.

As do science and big money.

Wesley said...

Particularly since politicians use big money stolen from people they supposedly represent to bribe "scientists" to "prove" the politicians' pet worldviews are correct.

Ironmistress said...

Wesley, when the Capitalists steal big money from the people, the result is not likely to be any better.

Wesley said...

Oh joy! Ironmistress is riding her unicorn into the false dawn of her failed ideology once more. We knew we could count on you, IM!

(For the sake of the readers who may not follow IM on David's other comment posts: A more reasoned rebuttal fails to produce any discernible nods to logic, so the above is probably the best response in this instance. Check some of the other comments out; they're mildly entertaining.)

Ironmistress, you're probably very fun at a party - It would provide a venue where you would be able to broaden your repertoire.

Wesley said...

I would say that capitalists are unable to earn money from anyone who is unwilling to buy their products, as said products are not mandated - Unlike government "products" (programs), which must be purchased via taxation under penalty of fines, imprisonment, or both.

But why bother? Oh wait, I did.

Not that it'll make a difference to your cloistered hatred of free enterprise and those who practice it, Ironmistress.

Ironmistress said...

I would say that capitalists are unable to earn money from anyone who is unwilling to buy their products, as said products are not mandated - Unlike government "products" (programs), which must be purchased via taxation under penalty of fines, imprisonment, or both.

You seem not to understand the concept of "voluntary coercion".

Voluntary coercion means a virtually free choice of either choosing to act or refuse from action, where refusal will lead into an even worse situation.

You may refuse from buying a car, in which case you are on mercy of trains and buses. You may refuse from buying a computer, which will deny from your access to Internet. You may refuse from following the fashion, which will lead you unattractive in the eyes of the opposite sex. And so on.

Capitalism is full of said voluntary coercions, which ensure you will either buy or cry and buy. If you think you are clever and not dance to the Capitalist's tune, you are singled out.

You may refuse from education. Which will leave you uncompetitive in the job market. You may refuse from health care. Which will result in incapacitation or death. These are things where refusal is a catastrophe. Yet the commodity is quite the same between all the providers and there are no real choices.

What makes you think profit-seeking industry would do better job on natural cartels such as health care or education?

Or will the result be lousy commodities at maximum present where the small guy pays through the nose?

Our difference is that I have first hand experience on how Capitalism works in the real world and I know it is a scam. You don't.

Wesley said...

That's right, Ironmistress.

Roll over, play dead.

Ignorance is in your head.

Wesley said...

Ironmistress, I guess anyone can make up a slogan. It's just most of us aren't quite as long-winded about it.

Ironmistress said...

Wesley, I'd like you to provide less rhetorics and more cold facts. Please prove factually that I am wrong or admit your defeat. Going into ad hominems is a sign of defeat.

Wesley said...

:) Ironmistress, I didn't know this was a competition to vanquish one another! Really, please tell me our little chats haven't put you in such a snit. Please please please?

(You're so cute when you're angry!)