The last time I posted anything of political import on these pages, there was widespread rioting across the UK.
I cannot understand why there isn’t rioting today, why people in their millions aren’t converging on Whitehall, armed with whatever was to hand, and demanding David Cameron’s resignation – if not his head on a plate. And maybe just cutting out the niceties and hanging Andrew Lansley from the nearest available lamp-post.
On 5 July 1948, England’s National Health Service – the NHS – came into being. Its architect was Labour politician Aneurin Bevan. His vision was healthcare for all, funded by taxes instead of being dependent on health insurance; a classless system – socialist in the purest sense of the word – that would care for Britons, as he put it, “from the cradle to the grave”.
On 20 March 2012, Andrew Lansley’s so-called reforms were passed through the Commons. Privatisation, which has already been escorted in surreptitiously through the back door in Hinchingbrooke, has now received carte blanche. Is it a co-incidence that Lansley’s former PA is currently Head of Communications for a major independent healthcare provider?
Aneurin Bevan did the British public arguably the greatest service that can be claimed by any politician. David Cameron – our unvoted-for Prime Minister – stubbornly backed Lansley in the face of massive public protest, scepticism from professional healthcare bodies, and demands for Lansley’s unpublished “risk register” to be made public.
Once again our government has ignored its people. The NHS now exists purely as a brand. It will be broken up into competing services with patient care subjugated to profit margins. Free market economy hammers another nail into socialism. I hoped I’d never have to say this, but Thatcherism is once again the driving force behind Britain’s socio-political direction. A direction that has dragged Bevan’s great institution into its grave and is dragging the rest of the country in right behind it.
The riots last year, and the political disenfranchisement which created the atmosphere conducive to them, left me feeling that there was nothing to believe in politically in Britain. That goes double tonight.