NHS isn’t the only thing in Starmer’s DNA

He came back as Keir Starmer

Yesterday’s debate between Sunak and Starmer wasn’t the most exhilarating political show I’ve ever seen. Thoughts of drying paint and growing grass kept lazily wafting through my mind.

Mr Sunak said a few good things but, since everyone knows he has exactly one month left of his tenure, the urge to jump up, punch air and shout “Yes!” was rather understated. Sir Keir said no good things, but that didn’t matter either, for the same reason.

But one of Sir Keir’s statements set new standards of mendacious hypocrisy, which is a noteworthy achievement. Until then he had been answering every question with vacuous platitudes, but suddenly he pushed equivocation aside.

Asked if he’d ever use private health, Sir Keir said “No!”, evoking the memory of Martin Luther and his “Here I stand, I can do no other” (Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders, for the Germanophones among you.)

But what if his nearest and dearest were stuck on a long waiting list? Still no. “I don’t use private health,” repeated Sir Keir. “I use the NHS… it runs through my DNA.”

Pull the other one, Sir Keir, it has Big Ben bells on. Let’s see. Your child (wife, mother, father, sibling) has been diagnosed with cancer. The sooner the treatment starts, the better the chances of survival. However, the waiting list for chemotherapy runs to six months or longer (not a random example), which is tantamount to a death sentence. Not even then?

By and large, I have boundless respect for a man prepared to sacrifice everything, even himself and his family, for the sake of a principle – provided it’s a principle so noble that it merits such a sacrifice.

But sacrificing one’s loved ones for a certain method of funding medical care, one of many possibilities, strikes me as falling short of such a lofty ideal. A man claiming he’d make such a choice is either bad or mad or, most likely, a liar.

I once worked with, or rather for, a man who made similar pronouncements. Then he developed gall stones, which is an extremely painful condition (take it from me) that requires an immediate operation.

Yet when my boss made the appropriate inquiries with the NHS, he found out that the waiting list for such procedures was close to a year. That spelled the end of his principled commitment to the NHS. He delivered himself apostatically into the hands of private medicine and thenceforth refused to discuss his principles, at least with me.

Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson once said that “the NHS is the closest thing the English people have to a religion”. I had read that statement while still living in the US, but I took it as a figure of speech. It was only after moving to Britain in 1988 that I realised that Mr Lawson, as he then was, knew what he was talking about.

Since I had private medical insurance, shortly after arrival I used it to get a routine surgical procedure at an excellent hospital. My co-workers wondered how I had managed to get such speedy service. When hearing that I had gone private, they explained that I ought to be ashamed of myself. Legally speaking, I hadn’t committed treason, but in every moral sense I had.

This is beyond idiotic. Even if you think that wholesale nationalisation is the best way to keep the population healthy, raising that belief to the level of religious faith, as practised in less tolerant times, defies anyone’s definition of sanity.

And clinging to that belief in the face of mounting evidence that the NHS is about the worst idea of all available suggests that this isn’t about public health at all. It’s about the feel-good factor of mouthing socialist shibboleths, a statement of bogus virtue made with phony conviction.

Unlike real faith, this ersatz version doesn’t allow exegesis and it’s impervious to doubts. Unwavering affection for the NHS is another example of today’s dominant quasi-spirituality: bypassing the supernatural in a quest for the superpersonal.

It’s also a sine qua non of the woke arsenal, and Starmer’s reply is another way of promising to use those weapons to their full destructive potential. In essence, he didn’t risk much making that statement: no one seriously thinks that he or his relations wouldn’t be able to jump the NHS queue. That’s not how socialism works: penury, squalor and having to wait for surgery are for hoi polloi, not for socialist mandarins and other fruits.

If you still doubt that the incoming government will welcome and reinforce a woke offensive on our civilisation, then you should recall the answer Sir Keir offered to another probing question a year ago. The question was whether a woman can have a penis, and the very fact it was posed is enough to diagnose a psychiatric social disorder afflicting the whole society.

That time Sir Keir evaded a direct answer. He only allowed that 99.9 per cent of British women don’t have penises. That meant that 0.1 per cent did, and I did the necessary calculations to translate percentages into absolute numbers. It turned out that, according to our future PM, 34,000 British women are blessed with the appendage in question.

I wonder if he’d stand by that assertion if the question were worded in such terms. “Sir Keir, do you really believe that 34,000 British women have penises?” If the answer is yes, he is mad. If it’s no, he is a liar. In either case, he isn’t fit to hold any public office, never mind one at 10 Downing Street.

Starmer isn’t just vile. He’s also not bright enough to conceal his moral failings by offering noncommittal statements that have the advantage of not being manifestly moronic.

DNA does work in mysterious ways, and it has done Sir Keir no favours. I wish it were just his problem, or one of his next of kin whom he’d calmly watch die waiting their NHS turn. Alas, in a month’s time it’ll become the country’s problem. Ours, in other words.

4 thoughts on “NHS isn’t the only thing in Starmer’s DNA”

  1. If he were asked, I suspect that Mr Sunak would fail to express even mild disagreement with Mr Starmer on the female penis question. Nobody – not even Mr Farage – dares to oppose this evil insanity in public.

    And the voters, most of whom are normal human beings, not circus freaks, don’t seem to care! It seems that the voters are as insane as the politicians.

    As for the corrupt, unborn-child-murdering juggernaut that is the NHS …. words fail me.

  2. Under Canadian public health care, anyone needing chemotherapy, radiation or any other therapy for a serious disease is prioritized, and treatment starts immediately. It is an abomination only for those needing non life-threatening medical care: 12-15 hour average waiting times for regular undying folk. Which means that people are rushed to the operating table only when their health is in shambles, not in the early and likely crucial stages of an illness. With diligence and patience, however, in excess of what most people are willing to expend–12 hour overnight waits in crowded stuffy hospital rooms, the semi rat race for tolerable family doctors and clinic space, etc.–it is possible to manage within the ‘free’ system even if you aren’t moribund. I cite the Canadian example only because it is difficult to believe it superior to the NHS (Canadian government institutions are in general run by woke morons, on leftist ideological principles for the most part), and because it converge’s with the UK’s for obvious cultural kinship reasons.
    It is a doubly horrid prospect when financial ruination is added to a cancer diagnosis (some fear penury even more than death). Perhaps a public-private cost-sharing scheme could help, user fees for basic visits to discourage hypochondriacs, idlers, and clear up waiting rooms, while the serious and more expensive procedures are covered, etc. Of course anyone who wants to go completely private should be free to do so.

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