14 Aug 2009

The NHS...Back the Fuck Off

Right. There has been a lot of words banded around by those who are against Obama's new health care proposals.

Fine. If you want to ignore the fact that 45 million people would benefit from the proposed health care reforms then that's your look out. If you think that those who can't afford health insurance should be left to get sick and then worry about money then go for it. It's your country and your politics. I'm in no position to comment.

What I will say is that the NHS isn't perfect. No, really it's not. It's hugely bureaucratic. It spends enormous amounts of money. It occasionally fails. And sometimes people die.

But it helps so many more than it hurts. It is free at the point of delivery. That means that any registered British citizen or those with an adequate visa have access to free health care. From the highest of lords to the lowest of beggars anyone can be helped. Those who cannot look after themselves, who cannot afford to look after themselves, will have some of the best health care in the world. FOR FREE.

Anyway the point is that we're sat over here with a feeling of bemused anger. On the one hand it's very annoying that our health system is coming under sustained attack (it is one of the very few things we can be truly proud of). On the other, the arguments put forward are so utterly nonsensical that we're pissing ourselves laughing:

Death Panels: Hahahaha. You actually think there is a group of people that decide on somebody's ability to contribute to society and if they don't we let them die? What sort of sci-fi-fascist nation do you think we are? Switzerland?

Someone who is 59 or over will not be given heart treatment: So you're suggesting the highly irrational elderly men who are of retirement age and therefore have loads of time on their hands are just meekly accepting this? Have you stood behind and old person at the Post Office when they're complaining? It's over something really trivial (like the stamp has gone up by a penny) but they will not stop shouting. Now imagine trying to take away their medicine. We'd be knee deep in silver haired rioters.

Evil and Orwellian: Er...how? No, really - how? How does a system intended to help millions qualify as evil? And as for Orwellian? Ah, you must be referring to the original opening of 1984 "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith had just been to the doctors because he was feeling a bit peaky...". Just realised, you can't be thinking of that as I made it up. Sorry but you're clearly an idiot.

Next one is a quote: "...I've heard several senators say that Ted Kennedy with a brain tumour, being 77 years old as opposed to being 37 years old, if he were in England, would not be treated for his disease, because end of life – when you get to be 77, your life is considered less valuable under those systems." - Ignoring the fact that this sounds like was said by someone with only a passing acquaintance with the English language, what this suggests is pretty damning. Shame then that it is without doubt one of the nastiest pieces of underhand right-wing propaganda that turns the suffering of a brain tumour patient into a horrific lie just to score political points.

To conclude, feel free to disagree on grounds of political opposition or even on the grounds of being a money-grubbing bastard. But don't make shit up about the NHS or we'll force feed you the food they serve. Then you'll wish for a death panel.


  1. Eurgh, I totally agree and you put it eloquently. When this all first started I was a bit like... what are you even protesting about anyway? And yes, obviously the NHS has it's bad points but Orwellian?
    I kind of stumbled onto your blog, it's interesting seeing teaching (and other stuff) from the other side of the fence!

  2. Well... a few thoughts.

    1. I believe the NHS is an incredibly good idea... and the fact that we are in this day-in-age and don't have one yet shows what money-whores Americans are.

    2. The people making these statements are absolutely fucking stupid!!

    3. No matter how stupid these people are or how much I disagree with their position... doesn't their content have to be based on some truth? Clearly this point about age creating some sort of value in your life being saved is re-occuring. Even in your quiant blog it came up several times. So somewhere in the NHS must be some sort of clause on this age-value. And on that point I would attack, too. But only to strengthen our (USAs) new system, not to use it to manipulate and say it is not needed.

    Nice piece - I obvioulsy need to be paying better attention. Maybe one day I will...