I\’ve Come Over All DK

Apologies, but this is rather a red curtain of blood moment:

In a New Year message to NHS staff, the Prime Minister indicates people may have to fulfil new "responsibilities" in order to establish their entitlement to care.

What is the snot gobbling fist clunker on about now? Responsibilities? Establishing an entitlement to care?

Is being forced at gunpoint to pay for it every working day of ones\’ life no longer enough?

8 comments on “I\’ve Come Over All DK

  1. I completely agree with you that the implications of this announcement are blood-curdling. Where will this end? With only government-approved lifestyles being permitted? Given that there is a link between low income and obesity (albeit with exceptions) it would seem that, having washed its hands of the working class the Labour Party has now adopted a master plan to eradicate the proles and underclass spongers altogether, presumably because they represent such a drain on the Treasury, as they are the groups in society most likely to need “free” NHS treatment at some stage in their lives. These proposals will no doubt appeal to the puritanical middle-classes who love nothing better than to look down their noses on the “defectives” with their spare tyres or hacking coughs (it is always far easier to blame the poor for their own misfortunes, discerning their fate as the outcome of moral failing) and who are so riddled with status anxiety that they queue up at the gym treadmills in this season’s trendy leotard. Never mind, when our innards are being devoured by cancer we might qualify again, as the disease tends to reduce its victims to emaciated shadows. It is both profoundly undemocratic and morally repugnant to impose “responsibilities” in exchange for health care. Smokers and drinkers shell out vast amounts in duties to indulge in their habits – without which the coffers of government would soon become as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. It is time to stick up for their rights, as well as the rights of the overweight. Life is far too complex to be reduced to fit the simple equations of bureaucrats. We are all guilty of harmful behaviours to some extent, yet this should not disqualify us from a fundamental right to medical care when we need it. As you say, that is what we pay our taxes for (and he is far too cowardly to raise them for fear of incurring the wrath of his Party’s new, middle-class constituency). I suspect that Brown just doesn’t have the guts to admit that what he really wants is to abolish the NHS as we know it, replacing it with a more American-style approach to health care provision (with all the iniquities it entails), as this would guarantee electoral defeat. The NHS does have its flaws, but remains a cherished institution, embodying the British virtues of fairness and decent treatment for all, irrespective of salary. Until now, that is.

  2. At least we can be confident that writing bouncing cheques won’t disqualify one from NHS treatment, eh?

  3. I think what he is proposing is actually called larceny isn’t it? Taking money from folk for goods and services you then don’t provide.

    And when the customer is forced to pay for what he doesn’t get, isn’t that extortion?

    There must be a lot of crooks who would die of shame if their daughters married cabinet ministers. I started out under the assumption that Broon was basically moral, probably puritanically so. But he isn’t is he? He is amoral. He’s a bad man, and probably so wrapped up in his own “integrity” that he never even refers to his moral compass. In his own view, what is righteous is always whatever he is currently doing. The guy is very dangerous.

  4. May I put on record that I don’t smoke, hardly ever drink, and, in case it becomes an official NHS no-no, that I NEVER eat my bogies ….

    Alan Douglas

  5. This issue raises a quandary for a single-payer health system like the NHS. In an insurance-based system then lifestyle factors could be a reason for restricted cover and/or higher premiums. I don’t see how this approach is compatible with a single-payer system. The Labour Government has made clear that the NHS is their pride and joy and has rejected a move toward an insurance system – they can’t have thier cake and eat it. The irony is that the social democratic Continental countries which the Guardian eulogises don’t run health as a state monopoly and deliver far better service to the UK on similar levels of funding. However the idea is ingrained in the public psyche in Britain is that the only alternative to the NHS is a system where only the rich get treatment and everyone else lies dying in the street (ie the absurd parody of the American health system peddled by The Guardian). I can’t see major reform coming any time soon.

  6. I guess they are just going to make formal what has been Labour practice for a while. Why bother to go to the trouble to close down all the hospitals in Conservative seats when you can just deny them treatment instead?

    I expect he means the Fat and the Smoking tax payers who are, co-incidentally, called Brown and living at Number 10.

  7. “The Labour Government has made clear that the NHS is their pride and joy and has rejected a move toward an insurance system – they can’t have thier cake and eat it.”

    Indeed – there’ll be no eating cake under the new NHS. Or chips, or pies, etc…

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