Yes, yes, that’s right

David Bennett thinks that however great the healthcare needs of the country, and however great our capacity to supply them might be there is some immutable limit that suggests we reach a point where we say enough is enough and we refuse to produce any more health unless we can also produce handbags, holidays and gladrags that are the supposed precondition of paying for the NHS.

A certain Mr. Maslow had things to say on this point. We have a number of needs and desires and we maximise our utility by attempting to gain a balance of them. That correct balance changing as the resources to gain them change.

Meaning that, at any particular level of individual or societal wealth then there is a certain amount of health care that we wish to have. Just as there’s a certain amount of said wealth that we will devote to handbags, holidays and gladrags (and isn’t it bloody typical that Ritchie butchers the lyrics).

31 thoughts on “Yes, yes, that’s right”

  1. I do enjoy seeing Ritchie openly display his tight – arsed disgust at people whose utility might include, whisper it, fun.

    He’s entitled to look down his supercilious nose at us if he wishes; and to announce his disgust at us and our dirty pleasures. However, the Courageous State feels itself entitled to act upon his hang – ups and prevent everyone else from exercising their right to their utility.
    What’s the title I’m searching for? Oh yes: Fascist.

  2. Ah yes. Ritchie talking about that ahem, ultimate response to a certain problem.

    Clearly, if you can’t limit the amount of health, you have to limit the number of people.


    Not fascist. Outright Nazi.

  3. Dr. David Owen was quoted in the New York Tomes on September 16, 1975:

    “The National Health Service is a rationed service. There will never be a government or a country that has enough resources to meet all the demands any nation will make on a national health service.”

    That was wise advice from 40 years ago. Recall Moses required 40 years to lead his people out of the wilderness. Yeah, health is a harder problem. But the fact remains UK nor any other country has ever met a health care Moses.

    At the time, Dr. Owen was head of NHS.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    John Fembup – “That was wise advice from 40 years ago.”

    Except he is wrong. There is no limit to what people will demand other people pay for their health care. If people have to pay for their own damned health care, Dr Owen might well find that it does not need to be rationed at all.

    But I suppose that is one of the appeals of the NHS. It allows the relatives to let the doctors put down their old folk without having the difficult and embarrassing conversation about whether the extra few days are worth it.

  5. Our command-and-control socialist NHS has always been rationed and will always be rationed. Because it’s socialist, and socialism involves rationing. This will not change until we have a more market-orientated and insurance-based health care system which will respond to people’s needs and provide incentives for people to look after their own health.

  6. Richard Murphy says: November 10 2015 at 9:19 am

    There is no confusion

    Governments can create money and do to pay for services

    And they HAVE to tax in reality to prevent inflation


  7. Bloke in Costa Rica: I suppose Murphy thinks opportunity cost is neoliberal sophistry

    No, Opportunity Cost is the pile of pink cards in the game of Corbynopoly – the great new board game for Christmas 2015.

  8. How awful it would be to have Murph as your accountant. You give details of your income as a buy-to-let landlord and he submits it as your profit without any allowances for repairs, maintenance…..


  9. “Overall taxes are rising and are set to do so: a little known feature of George’s plans”

    This would imply that he’s in favour of George’s plans given how much he likes tax

  10. In Noel’s link above, Maugham states
    “you can’t break tax law. Tax law just says if you do x you have liability y.”, and

    “[Tax] evasion is breaking the laws that describe your obligation to report your tax liability. Those procedural laws you can break”

    How true are these statements, and where can I find out more about them? (a little more to increase my lay understanding; I don’t have the time or inclination to wade through law books).

  11. Lol if he thinks adding the word ‘probably’ removes the libel from a statement. He’ll be using ‘allegedly’ next.

  12. Noel

    I would love the bastard to be sued for Libel and forced into penury, but seems unlikely to happen. I think one of the blokes speculated on his output’s resemblance to Alex Jones/ David Icke or people of that ilk – a fringe conspiracy theorist.

    Incidentally resident troll and Murphy backer ‘Arny old shite’ seems to have gone AWOL – no comment about you ‘rummaging through bins’ as yet…..

    Have you received a response to those FOI requests?

  13. @ Meissen Bison: What a great game that is! Of course, the utilities companies have been nationalised, and woe betide you if you land on Fat Chance. “You are assessed on all your houses, property, investments, cash balances and personal chattels, as they have only been lent to you by th Crajous State”

  14. Even if the NHS were replaced by an insurance system there would still be rationing. No insurance company could offer unlimited payouts for unlimited treatment without going bust.

    If we each had to pay ourselves for all the costs, then there would be rationing of a different kind in that once you’d spent all your money there would be no more treatment.

    The effort to get people to understand what a needlessly poor service the NHS is isn’t helped by irrational ranting about rationing.

  15. I do enjoy seeing Ritchie openly display his tight – arsed disgust at people whose utility might include, whisper it, fun.

    Note also the rampant misogyny – “handbags and gladrags”. Can’t have women enjoying themselves in the Quaker Socialist Republic!

  16. He must be old enough to remember that several countries have given the no-handbags economy a good go and found that they ended up not only with no handbags but no healthcare, no drains and no dinner. Of course there has to be a balance between what people want and what the likes of the Murphinator think is good for them, because otherwise we are looking at 1970s Bulgaria.

  17. WTF is Murphy wittering on about here?

    “In a PLC the right of the shareholder exists, but is only to own the share, not the company itself, and they’re very different things”.

  18. dearieme

    Well said. Whilst nobody else has the purely tax based payment and monopolistic provision we do, one would be equally hard pressed to find a system that has NO social provision for health. Insurance based systems usually have a premium for that social provision. And would anybody seriously want it otherwise?

  19. Ironman, try California. A diabetic friend of mine had a low paid job without health insurance, was unable to access the social provision (Medical, I think the scheme is called) and was consequently unable to get insulin.

  20. AndrewC>

    That bit translates as, roughly, ‘you’re being screwed by the jooz with their fantastical “shares”‘.

  21. @VP

    The FoI thing was hilarious. Entirely predictable the Joy of the Courageous Tax State isn’t so forthcoming when touching the man himself.

    I just knew that red faced and typing with his fists, there would be blogs and tweets and campaigning to reform FoI.

    This was even funnier:

    Being a friend of the truth, Ritchie could have replied “he can’t answer here, I’ve set his posts to delete without even being moderated”.

    But he didn’t, he wanted to make Noel Scoper look like he was hiding. Perhaps if he’d taken a closer look at the poster’s name, he’d have noticed a clue that even Scrabble expert Helen didn’t. He’s not just predictable now, you can pull his strings.

  22. Andrewc, Murph is just picking up an article by John Kay and misunderstanding it. You can read the proper article on

  23. diogenes

    Indeed. I may think an insurance based system is better than what we have -much better – but that story shames us that it should happen in the 1st world today.

  24. Noel

    I missed that exchange – hilarious. Murphy is unable to exercise any critical judgment or enquiry when his ego is being stroked.

  25. @Diogenes

    Thanks for that.

    I’m not sure I even agree with Kay, let alone the twist that Murphy puts on it.

    I’m sure if a baboon farted and the sound was vaguely reminiscent of the words ‘capitalism is doomed’ then Murphy would proclaim the fart as ‘proof’ that capitalism was indeed doomed.

  26. I sometimes wonder whether the only medical system in the advanced world that is worse than the NHS is the US’s.

    “one would be equally hard pressed to find a system that has NO social provision for health.” Indeed; and in the unlikely event that there are non-negligible numbers of people who would like a system without “social provision”, you can confidently suggest to them that they will never get their way because they’ll be outvoted by thousands to one.

    So the business in hand is to find a better way of running things than National Health Stalinism. But there will still be rationing: it is in the nature of things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *