We do?

This crisis is not necessary: it is the result of the deliberate attack by neoliberal politics on the NHS. Neoliberal politics and the economics that underpins it assume three things.

Firstly, it says that all human beings are simply rational economic actors, reducing all decisions to an assessment of personal advantage.

That’s not what rational means (we mean consistent only) and we don’t say that anyway.

24 comments on “We do?

  1. all human beings are simply rational economic actors

    It’s something of a given that the fat old tuber is so self-absorbed as to preclude him from having any awareness of his own nature so should one assume he considers himself the exception that proves this rule?

  2. I can never understand how ‘neoliberalism’ is decried for promoting the idea that individuals are selfish and out for what is best for them, yet the very same people will demand that NHS employees are paid more, which apparently will make them work harder and more efficiently.

  3. I assume he made his presentation while sitting down. As is the trend for those who worship the NHS model.

  4. ‘…reducing all decisions to an assessment of personal advantage.’

    Do people seek health care for somebody else’s advantage?

    ‘This crisis is not necessary: it is the result of the deliberate attack by neoliberal politics on the NHS.’

    And the ongoing crises since 1948 are the result of________?

  5. I have to say this one is worth reading more widely so with apologies, here’s a few of the many gems in the piece.

    ‘Thirdly, and consequentially, it argues that the size of the state must be shrunk because it has no role in supplying services that the market might deliver more efficiently in accordance with the spending wishes of consumers, including healthcare.’

    It has often been said that he ought to go into the strawman manufacturing business, because this would have been a ‘2:2’ level argument at best in my undergraduate years. At best he is talking of a tiny minority who are no more representative of mainstream thinking on the political right then some SWP crackpot is of the Left. Almost every commentator would acknowledge the need for some government involvement in healthcare, even as a minimum safety net. It’s just that probably does not extend to something the size of the NHS, the third largest employer in the world.

    ‘Second, they won’t as a result directly vote for neoliberal programmes.’

    So apparently noone voted for every government since 1979, as even the Labour ones between 1997 and 2010 were considered by RM ‘neoliberal’

    ‘Breaking up national services into small, vulnerable, local services is also part of the subterfuge. Vulnerability is key to competition. Who cares about inefficiency, cost and not meeting need? The option to fail must be built in to the system: competition demands it. So we get NHS localisation and fragmentation.’

    This is the authentic voice of the Marxist within. The service should be made National, with no notice taken of local conditions. The goal is enlargment of the bureaucracy and greater agglomeration of powers to it. The idea that making something larger automatically imbues it with greater efficiency and lower cost would be laughable to anyone who had interacted with the real world at any point but sadly the Sage of Ely jumped the shark many moons ago.

    ‘And we pursue economic policies that are based on a true understanding that money is always available for public services if we want them and the resources exist to deliver them, which is true right now in the UK.’

    Taxation is at its highest level since before 1979 and his argument is that we are not being taxed enough? Utterly clueless and heedless of the growing fiscal crunch that is looming ever larger…

    In some ways this piece is comforting. I think gradually reality is biting for him and he is forced to speak to an ever dwindling band of diehards totally detached from reality (which on this topic would include the Royal Society of Medicine)

  6. This is the authentic voice of the Marxist within.

    Or – and more accurately – this is the authentic voice of totalitarianism. Murphy is intellectually incapable of understanding political theory, Marxist or otherwise. With him it is always about bending others – by persuasion or force, if necessary – to his will, which is activated by nothing more than his own deeply held personal prejudices.

    He’d have been just as happy in the Nazi Party as in the Communist Party.

  7. Do the neoliberals have dollar signs in their eyes and wear big top hats and waistcoats while puffing on enormous cigars? I hate to go all Dave, but this is really paranoid trash.

  8. “He’d have been just as happy in the Nazi Party as in the Communist Party.”

    Since they are both socialist it hardly matters.

    More to steal under the remnants of a free market tho’. As witness today’s world.

  9. ‘This crisis is not necessary: it is the result of the deliberate attack by neoliberal politics on the NHS. Neoliberal politics and the economics that underpins it assume three things.’

    So, members of the Royal Society of Medicine look at each other, then whisper, “WTF is a neoliberal???’

  10. Talking of the NHS, national treasure Prof Stephen Hawking says that it’s the best thing in the world, and that the Tories are ruining it with their crazy market-based ideas.

    Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40967309

    Amongst other criticisms, “he believes there has been an increase in private provision of care, including the use of agency staff, that was leading to profit being extracted from the health service”.

    I have no idea how the use of a private-sector staffing agency leads to worse care. I note that the NHS has tried running a public-sector staffing agency, yet still relies on private-sector ones too.

  11. Like the majority of scientists, Hawking should be ignored when he comments outside his specialism. In fact, I wonder whether he is now mostly ignored when he comments upon new developments within his very narrow area of knowledge

  12. “that was leading to profit being extracted from the health service”

    The NHS is non profit. They prove it every day.

  13. “leading to profit being extracted from the health service”

    The staff are extracting profit from the NHS, they don’t work for free.

  14. Re profits being extracted from the NHS, does Hawking imagine that drug and equipment suppliers supply their wares for free? Moron

  15. can’t say i have much time for hawking – i think he treated his first wife very badly. Not allowed to criticise him because he’s a “national treasure” but he seems a bit of an egotist. can’t say that any of his theories have improved my life in anyway shape or form. happy to be proved wrong.

  16. If Hawking hadn’t ended up in a wheelchair sounding like a Speak’n’Spell he’d be as much of a household name as, say, Chris Isham. Who he? Exactly.

  17. He’s a clever bloke but my dad’s cousin was an actual NASA rocket scientist and he couldn’t successfully make a cup of tea. Plus without being mean to Davros, he must by dint of his condition be basing most of his view on stuff he’s read, or theorised, whereas a lot of what’s wrong with the NHS only becomes apparent if you wander around in it for a bit, visiting friends and relatives etc.

  18. The NHS uses a lot of agency nurses because national pay scales don’t match local supply to local demand. We end up with London hospitals entirely staffed by agency nurses who work in the same post for years, and the phenomenon of nurses qualifying in a specialty, quitting the NHS and restarting at the same hospital the next day on 50% higher pay and twice the cost to the hospital.

  19. Hawking and Turing both demonstrate what the left are really interested in. Even when both achieved a great deal in terms of science, they have not been put on a pedestal for their achievements, but their identity.

    People talk up Hawking like he’s the equivalent of Einstein, and he just isn’t. He’s not even one of the biggest players in big bang.

    If I had to pick an intelligent Briton, I’d go with Andrew Wiles for solving Fermat’s Last Theorem after 300 years.

  20. Interested,

    I’ve done consulting for them. I do consulting for other bits of government. They look bad even by government standards.

    The problem is that it’s heretical to criticise it, so it gets away with being fucking awful with money. I did some consulting for visiting nurses service in one area. Is that was a private service doing things like servicing boilers they’d be driven out of business within weeks. Nurses without GPS devices (and we worked out it would take a few months to pay for them), nurses driving across the area, so spending too much time travelling. Highly skilled nurses being scheduled for simple stuff, meaning that patients couldn’t then be seen, and lower skilled nurses being slack.

  21. “If I had to pick an intelligent Briton, I’d go with Andrew Wiles for solving Fermat’s Last Theorem after 300 years.”

    You don’t see that dedication very often these days.

  22. If Hawking had said anything on the other side of the debate the Left would have called him a Nazi and tipped him into the canal. He’s a useful patsy for them.

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