Is Keir Starmer Planning to Further Privatise the NHS If He Gets Into Government?

This deeply concerns me. A few days ago the mellifluous Irish left-wing vlogger, Maximilien Robespierre, posted a video asking if Keir Starmer was planning to push the privatisation of the NHS even further if or when he gets into 10 Downing Street. I didn’t see more than a few seconds of the video, but it seemed to be based on Starmer’s cagey response to how he would solve the country’s current crises. While Starmer has promised to repeal the anti-strike legislation, which would definitely be a great step if he actually does it, he answered that question by stating that Labour would not be spending its way out of these problems. This looks like an attempt to assure Tory voters that Labour is now fiscally responsible and no longer the high-spending party of traditional Tory caricature. But the current problems in the Health Service and other sectors are partly caused by decades of cuts and underinvestment. In the case of the NHS, the funding has also been gobbled up by increased administration expenses created by privatisation. So where is this extra investment, and improved services, supposed to come from? Blair tried to solve this by pushing the NHS’ privatisation further than Tories had dared. Not only were further NHS services outsourced to private healthcare providers, but he also created the Community Care Groups of doctors, who were responsible for commissioning medical services. These CCGs were granted the powers to buy in private medical services, and to raise additional income privately. Starmer is a Blairite, as shown by his vehement persecution of the Labour left and embrace of neoliberalism. One of the great commenters on this blog has suggested that he’s an admirer of the Swiss healthcare system. This is a mixture of state and private medical insurance, the degree depending on wealth. In the case of the very rich, it’s all, or nearly all, funded by private health insurance. In the case of the poor, it’s state-funded according to whether they can afford a level of private insurance. I have a feeling Nick Clegg of the Lib-Dems believed in the same kind of continental system. This obviously violates the fundamental principles on which Nye Bevin founded the NHS: that it should be universal and free at the point of delivery.

No-one wanted Blair to push through his NHS privatisations and there was electorally no need for it. By the time Blair was elected in 1997 the country was so thoroughly fed up of Tory misrule and their policies that Blair could have pursued a traditional Labour policy of renationalising it as well as funding it properly. But Blair was a Thatcherite and intensely concerned to get the Tory press and Tory voters onside, to the point that Rupert Murdoch has been described as an invisible presence at cabinet meetings. Blair’s pursuit of Tory policies left traditional Labour voters and members feeling betrayed and disenfranchised and the party lost both. They only continued winning elections because the Tories were worse.

I joined the Labour party a few years ago, inspired by Corbyn’s commitment to genuine Labour party policies and the protection and renationalisation of the NHS. I really don’t want to see it privatised by Starmer as Blair did.

If Starmer does push through further measures to privatise it, not only will he betray this country’s working people, making them poorer and with less available healthcare, then it will also have disastrous consequences for the direction of politics in this country. The recent surge of identity politics following the Black Lives Matter protests back in 2020 has also resulted in a backlash and the appearance of anti-woke parties further to the right, like Reform, led by Richard Tice, and Laurence Fox’s Reclaim. If working people become alienated from politics because whichever party you choose, economically they’re all the same, it leaves the way open for the far right. That was shown very clearly in Margaret Hodge’s neck of London, where Hodge did so little to tackle the rise of the BNP that the stormtroopers at one point had seven members on Tower Hamlets council. Their fuehrer, Derek Beacon, even sent her a garland after their squalid electoral victories. What has been shown to work against the fascist parties and unite working people of different ethnicities and religions is effective, traditional Labour welfare policies. These are desperately needed in themselves, but without them there’s the possibility that Britain may go the same way as the continent in the rise of extreme right-wing nationalist parties.

Renationalising the NHS and restoring the welfare state will not only massive improve the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the British working people, but will do much to stop the racial division and alienation fuelling the drift towards the parties of racial division, friction and resentment.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to “Is Keir Starmer Planning to Further Privatise the NHS If He Gets Into Government?”

  1. Mark Pattie Says:

    The idea that the Labour Party is high-spending- repeated by SW of all people (despite himself not exactly being a Tory- I’m suspecting he’s more English Democrat)- is bunkum. It is Sunak who has raised our taxes to their highest level in 80 years. I’d trust Rachael Reeves (or Lisa Nandy) far more than I would any “Conservative”.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Definitely, Mark. But I think that’s why Reform are targeting the Tories at the moment. Peter Hitchens is arguing that real Conservatism is dead, which presumably means that the Tories and Labour both stand for high taxation, welfare spending, and ‘wokeness’.

      • Mark Pattie Says:

        I am very sceptical about Reform. I know they’re on 7 percent, but it won’t last- they’ll need a Coalition to get anywhere (that goddamn curse of the FPTP strikes again!). As for the Tories wanting Johnson back- are they delusional?

  2. trev Says:

    Too true. I am presently refusing to attend the Diabetes Prevention course that my GP has asked me to complete because it has been contracted out of the NHS and is being run by a company called Reed, the very same company that are doing the DWP’s dirty work by running the Work and Health Programme that I have been mandated to attend for 15 months, and which consists of pressurising vulnerable people into applying for unsuitable jobs (often insecure low-paid agency work) under threat of Benefit Sanctions. I am loathed to have anything more to do with this company than what I have to. If the Diabetes Prevention programme was being delivered directly by the NHS then I would be happy to attend. As for Starmer’s long term intentions only time will tell.

  3. beastrabban Says:

    I’m sure you’re right – it’ll be UKIP all over again.

  4. Brian Burden Says:

    Back in the days when he was a “tory anarchist” (his words) a young Richard Ingrams said the best way forward was to “put the tories in and then bash ’em!” I think that’s probably our best approach to Starmer’s Labour, assuming of course that Starmer actually wants to see a Labour government elected. Perhaps we can take some comfort from the words allegedly addressed by the poet Seneca to the Emperor Negro as he prepared to obey Nero’s order to commit suicide: “Remember, however many people you kill, you cannot kill your successor.”

  5. Que? Says:

    I don’t trust both the Labour or Conservative parties.

    • trev Says:

      The Lib Dems are untrustworthy too, after climbing in bed with the Tories and abandoning any principles they might have had for a whiff of power, enabling Austerity and then flogging our Royal Mail to the lowest bidder. Never trust a Tory or a Liberal Democrat. Only truly Socialist policies can bring positive changes.

      • Brian Burden Says:

        A case for researching the candidates before voting at the next GE. If the Labour candidate where I am (tory marginal/tory safe seat) has connections with the JLM or the witch-hunt, I shall vote for someone else or abstain. Whichever way, I may be obliged to waste my vote on a no-hoper, but vote I must, seeing how close the govt has come to disenfranchising me and others in my age group.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: