Brexit has led to the UK selling the NHS to America. Is this the world we want, symbolic of a consumer mogul world where our health is a consumer commodity?
Today’s story is about Trump, but to clarify where my politics stand, you could save some time by rereading the Liberal Democrat manifesto. Its policies are balanced left and right. The Left is dead and too far left, the Right is clearly wrong, and they have been in power in this country for far too long. They have raped our national resources for political gain, to reduce taxes and convince the electorate that they are the right choice.
But the economy is buoyant, so they can’t have got it all wrong. Privatising institutions leaves them open to exploitation, but a real benefit of privatisation is that the small business market, as in France, can provide services to government. However, Conservative governments always use privatisation as a way of reducing national budgets, reduce taxes, but forgetting that private enterprise charges more than national services.
Invoice prices may be higher, but there are surely inefficiencies in government departments when the nation runs social services. The image of Ken Loach Britain, with state workers smoking in their offices, is not a pretty one.
The Trump Era
However, what now this visit by Trump and his stupidity admitting that the UK government intends to sell the NHS to American insurance companies? At one point, I was favourable to change the NHS, having lived in France and seeing the mix between state and supplementary insurance in the French Social Security system.
However, in France, it’s not private insurance; it is delegating the role of the state under strict terms. It is the funding of the health service through additional contributions. Not at all the same as the US system, which is effectively 100% private insurance, with hospital bills quickly soaring into the thousands, that the poor cannot afford. Is this what we want for our country, and our NHS? Leave behind the poor who are already in difficulty?
Our National Health Service was founded to provide healthcare for all, irrespective of income, and most of all, for those who have little.
US companies would rape the NHS
Trump was so keen to repeal Obamacare. The US seems to expect people to work, on pain of death. Even if we modified our funding system with separate tax, like the French, that would be better than to sell to the Americans who would siphon off money to shareholders and corporate moguls like Trump through layers of management.
No one who cares about the NHS is confident that money will go to improve services and facilities. Of course, this Conservative government is keen to sell. For sure, it represents a significant budget. However, we have to get back to where we understand that services cost money. In effect, the UK is selling the NHS.
Indeed, quality costs money. China has for too long convinced us that quality is expendable, but if you look closely, the Chinese are the first to recognise that quality has its price. They achieve low prices by shaving off materials and labour. Is this the dream that we wish to perpetuate?
Quality or Quantity?
Do we favour the economics of choice and change consumer economics; low price, low-cost, frequent change, against higher cost, higher quality products which last? The impression is that we want to change continuously because we get bored with products hanging around too long.
Wouldn’t you prefer to buy the thing once, spend a little bit more, and then not have to worry about it failing within three years? We spend our time replacing toasters and ovens and other electrical goods just because they die so often.
What world do we want?
It’s about the type of world that we want. Green politics and green consumerism are on the rise for a good reason; for our planet and our resources. Just look at the amount of plastic in the sea. If the planet were our body, it would be suicide.
Trump denies climate change, and he is opposed to hundreds and thousands of scientists and scientific studies. He is prepared to compromise for poor ethics. Just look at how the ecological market is now becoming an economic powerhouse.
Is the American intelligentsia dead?
The message from the United States is not one of rebellion, distrust or distaste for Trump but support. Either the media empire that is Murdoch and Fox News are highly successful, or the American intelligentsia is dead. Let us hope, let us pray that this is not so and that despite the hustings, Trump will not be returned to office next time. Perhaps then we can get on with saving the planet.
I understand some of Trump’s policies to reduce budgets abroad, but of course, if we divest where there are war and poverty, it will only come back to bite us, just as does too much intervention. Europe’s strategy should be to continue to support Africa so that it builds its infrastructure and welfare, but the African people need to overturn despotic leaders when they see them raping their countries’ assets.
Europe a force for cooperation
The lessons of D-Day constitute a significant example of the need for cooperation. However, war is in the past. The future of Europe, Europe’s peoples and countries is much brighter than any political scenario. The aim and objective of Europe are to bring together people on an individual basis so that they can meet, understand each other, work together and know that, fundamentally, they have the same values.
The family values espoused by the Right are also those of the Left; these are the things that bring people together in the end: we are all parents bringing up our children in a world which we create. Fundamentally our motivations are all the same.