Posts Tagged ‘Labout Party’

Mirror: Farage Wants to Wealthy to Abandon NHS

March 18, 2015

Yesterday’s Daily Mirror carried the story UKIP leader Nigel Farage wants wealthy to abandon NHS and advocates two-tier health system reporting that the Fuhrage had urged those who could afford to do so to opt for private healthcare. The Mirror also reported that on Pienaar’s Politics’ on Radio 5 Live, the Purple Duce claimed that private healthcare offered a better service than the NHS. He also supported foreign private healthcare firms entering the country, on the grounds that they brought a lot of money into the economy. The article states that this is just the latest attack on the NHS by Farage, and cited the video of Farage’s speech way back in 2012 in which he stated he’d rather see people pick up private health insurance than have £100 million in tax annually spent on the NHS.

The article also notes that Farage wasn’t the only one to attack the NHS. Bill Etheridge, one of Farage’s Euro MPs, had stated that certain elective operations should not be performed by the NHS. This would cover non-essential and cosmetic surgery and fertility treatment.

He also claimed that only 20 per cent of the country’s top youngster should go to University. These kids would then have their education totally financed by the state.

The Labour MP John Spellar attacked his recommendation, saying that it would mean that higher education was reserved solely for the elite from private schools. It would also wipe out some of the new university towns such as Wolverhampton and Birmingham City.

And he also made the point that if Etheridge and Fuhrage had their way, non-essential but nevertheless important operations like hip replacements would be very difficult to get.

The article began:

Mr Farage said: “If people can afford it, should people go private? Yes… private medicine brings a lot of money into this country and is no bad thing”

Wealthy Nigel Farage today called on people to abandon the NHS and use private health firms instead.

The UKIP leader said anyone who can afford private healthcare should pay for it.

Furious critics said it proved he supports a two-tier health system.

“If people can afford it, should people go private? Yes,” Mr Farage said.

Grahame Morris, a member of the Commons health select committee, said: “Nigel Farage has let the cat out of the bag.

“UKIP are proposing a break with the fundamental principles of the National Health Service.”

The article’s at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/amazon-review-nigel-farage-book-5352039

I blogged earlier in the week about the profound disadvantages of private medical insurance. Rather than being more efficient than the NHS, it is more expensive, more bureaucratic and specifically excludes certain, expensive conditions that are difficult or impossible to treat, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Or at least it did when Robin Cook published his own pamphlet attacking the marketization of the NHS nearly thirty years ago. I really don’t think much has changed since. The people, who really benefit from private medical insurance are the wealthy and the well, the two sections of the population, who really don’t need it.

UKIP Spokesman: UKIP Should Represent Bigots and the NHS Is a Nazi Waste of Money

January 25, 2015

Today’s Huffington Post UK as a story about some of the revealing comments UKIP’s press spokesman, Matthew Richardson, has made about those the party should represent and the NHS. The newspaper reports that according to the Sunday Times that

Richardson told a meeting last month: “I’ve said before, people talk about Ukip being bigots. There are hundreds of thousands of bigots in the United Kingdom and they deserve representation.” He also joked about party leader Nigel Farage, saying: “He’s a Kent man. Well, sounds like Kent, anyway.”

Richardson has tried to put these comments behind him, saying that some of them actually didn’t come from him, but from another Kipper, Eric North. He also remarks that they were just banter in the pub, rather than real policies.

The NHS: A Socialist Reichstag Bunker of Waste

The Labour Party, however, has footage of Richardson telling the Young Americans Foundation conference in Washington in 2010, “When I was younger a trillion was an astronomic number. Now when I look at our national deficits, and your national deficits, actually it is an economic number.

“A number I couldn’t possible imagine when I was younger is now the amount of money that is owed by my country, and soon more than that by your country, to other countries, paying for wasteful socialist programmes. And of course at the heart of this, the Reichstag bunker of socialism is the National Health Service.”

That very same year he told the Conservative Political Action Conference “This socialist government wastes money like you can’t imagine. They have started doing every wasteful scheme under the sun … The biggest waste of money of course in the United Kingdom is the NHS, the National Health Service.”

The article goes on to quote John Trickett, Labour’s Shadow Minister without Portfolio, as saying that these comments indicate what Farage really thinks of the NHS, and that he is still basically a creature of the Tories, with their money and wishing to extend the worst of their policies.

And he’s absolutely right. Richardson cannot claim that his comments should not be taken seriously, because they’re just pub banter. They’re what he really thinks when the public and the media aren’t looking. The Latin adage ‘in vino veritas’, roughly translated ‘truth comes out when people are drunk’ is pretty much a truism.

Tory Views on State Medicine: So Extreme, They Even Accuse Israelis of Nazism

As for the comments about the NHS being the Nazi bunker of Socialism, remember that to the American Right, Socialism is Nazism. Just how grotesque this attitude was shown a few years ago on one of the news channels when they were covering the controversy about Obamacare in the US. It was when the Republicans were claiming that the state provision of healthcare really was a Nazi policy, along with Palin’s hysterical ranting about ‘death panels’ for the disabled. One of those who spoke out in favour of the state provision of medical care was an Israeli. He pointed at the difference between the American health service and his country. He’d broken his leg, and treatment in the US had set him back $7,000. He contrasted it with the Israeli system, where such treatment didn’t cost a bit. This did not stop at least one of the Republican morons, who started making comments about Nazis and giving the Hitler salute, before weeping mock tears when he told about his experience of having his leg attended.

You know these people truly are moronic, apart from colossally offensive, when they start accusing Jews of being Nazis simply because Israel has free health care.

It also shows what the Tories really think about the NHS. It joins a long list of quotes from Jeremy Hunt, Andrew Lansley and others about their plans to privatise it. When they were caught out with one such comment a few years ago, the Tory spin machine went into action and a denial was just spewed out. No, they hadn’t really said they were going to privatise the NHS. In reality, the minister in question said that they were going to cut down on bureaucratic waste.

It’s lies. The quotes from Richardson show you what UKIP and the Tories really think.

The story is ‘Ukip Should Represent Bigots’, Says Ukip PR Man, and it’s at
http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/ukip-should-represent-bigots-says-ukip-pr-man/ar-AA8ypqe?ocid=OIE9HP

Lobster on Neoliberalism’s Trashing of the Land of the Kiwi

March 29, 2014

lange-celebrating

David Lange, the Labour leader, who introduced Neoliberal economics into New Zealand, celebrating 1984 election victory.

Early this week in the post ‘Letter from Australia’ I republished Gathering Swallows comments on the way Abbott, the current premier of Australia, was introducing the same policies Down Under that are being used to destroy the welfare state over here, and attack the poor and working class. The same Neoliberal programme of privatisation and cuts to the health service and the welfare state was also carried out about two decades ago in New Zealand. The parapolitical magazine, Lobster, no. 31, for June 1996, pp. 34-5, carried a review of Economic Fundamentalism: A Laboratory Experiment by Jane Kelsey, a New Zealand law professor (Pluto Press: London 1996). It was an account of how a handful of bureaucrats and their supporters in New Zealand big business took control of the nation’s economic policies and imposed a mixture of Neoliberalism, Thatcherite privatisation of state assets at rock-bottom prices, and the type of restructuring schemes imposed by the IMF on developing nations.

The review describes just how bizarre these policies were, considering their background in American economic imperialism:

The oddity of what they did can’t be exaggerated. IMF restructuring programmes traditionally have been implemented at gun-point, imposed by the US-dominated IMF on developing countries with the ever-present threat of political action – from economic sanctions, through CIA subversion, up to full-blown coup in the background. They have to be imposed by force because they are simply schemes whereby the imperialist powers (until recently usually America) extract wealth from the Third World. Loan-sharking or extortion would describe them. In New Zealand, a bunch of true believers imposed this catastrophic nonsense on their own country.

Like Blair’s administration in Britain, this occurred under a Labour government. The review states that it was allowed to go on, because Labour politicians didn’t know enough about economics and opposition to these policies were divided. As in Britain, the Left was more concerned with opposition to nuclear weapons and feminism, while the unions failed to combat these policies. The policies also succeeded because the media, who really don’t know a thing about economics, absolutely believed everything that the businessmen and their economists told them, and then marginalised the opposition to them.

Lobster states

The result has been entirely predictable: less economic activity and/or depression, unemployment; massive redistribution from poor to rich, from manufacturing to money-lenders; massive rip-offs; destruction of unions, welfare state and health service; export of NZ capital, purchasing of NZ companies and former government assets by foreign capital.

Ramsay suspects there was a strong American influence controlling this somewhere. He notes that at the time there was a major effort by the Americans to counter the anti-nuclear stance of the New Zealand Labour Party and the trade unions at the time. Part of the programme of mass privatisation and destruction of the welfare state involved US-sponsored trips to America for New Zealand personnel. Again, there’s a parallel here in the way the British American Project and similar schemes has operated to influence and train up aspiring British political and industrial leaders, like Tony Blair.

The real responsibility for inflicting these policies on New Zealand lies not secret diplomacy by the US, but the uncritical adoption of Neoliberalism by New Zealand Labour politicians themselves. The review cites Bryan Gould’s description of meeting them in 1987 in his 1995 book, Goodbye to All That:

I recall a stimulating evening over dinner with [Labour Finance Minister] Roger Douglas and a group of “young Turks” from the Treasury. They had all the conviction of religious zealots. They were convinced they had found the Holy Grail and were seemingly unaware that their prescriptions had been tried and largely abandoned elsewhere.

Gould had been a British Labour politician, but was side-lined by New Labour, and as a result left politics to become a vice-chancellor at one of New Zealand’s Unis.

Throughout the world the same Neoliberal economic policies are being ruthlessly pursued, resulting in the destruction of welfare provision, massive unemployment and poverty amongst the lower middle and working classes, and the further, colossal enrichment of an extremely wealthy elite. This has happened not just because of Conservative administrations like Thatcher’s in the UK, but also through nominally left-wing parties, such as New Labour under Blair.

It’s high time this was stopped. It needs people across the world to learn from each other, and formulate a truly global campaign of resistance. For what’s being done elsewhere now, will be done here today.