The thirsty God of the NHS

Increases in the NHS budgets over the last 10 years equal a third of out national debt. Not the whole budget. Just the increases. Now, it has been known for centuries that even sacred cows can’t be milked indefinitely. Yet the NHS flies in the face of this  time-proven wisdom.

This Leviathan has used every trick to create a saintly aura around itself. Many brainwashed Englishmen honestly believe that using private medicine, even if it means salvation from misery or death, is tantamount to moral turpitude and treason. If medical care weren’t free, they claim, poor people would be dying in the street like stray dogs.

But the term ‘free medical care’ is mendacious. Nothing is free. If patients don’t pay for medicine direct, the payment comes from the government, which can make money only from taxes or ‘quantitative easing’ (‘queasing’ for short). Thus ‘free medicine’ really means that the transfer of money from patient to hospital is mediated by the state. It also means that an ever-growing proportion of our money goes to support the state bureaucracy administering ‘free’ medical care, something for which we’d pay less if medical care weren’t ‘free’.

Steady growth of nationalised medicine is tantamount to the state extorting ever-larger taxes from the people. In the process, ‘free’ medical care places an increasing proportion of the nation’s finances and labour force under state control, thus increasing the power of the state over the individual. The NHS is already by far the biggest single employer in Britain (and Europe), and it’ll soon become the only one, if the current crisis proceeds apace.

That medical care can be used as an instrument of tyranny has been demonstrated by every unsavoury state of modernity, not least Nazi Germany. Firm believers in state medicine, the Nazis showed how it could be used for crowd control. Like our bureaucrats today, they emphasised prevention, with proper nutrition featuring prominently in their propaganda. Every Nazi German had a duty to look after himself in order to prolong the state-serving part of his life.

Likewise, in today’s state medicine the need to relieve pressures on the public purse can be neatly converted into nannying. Conditioned to accept the dictates of the state, we don’t cringe upon hearing from yet another health official yet another admonishment of our diets. ‘And exactly what makes this your business, Minister?’ is a question seldom asked. But if it were asked, the truthful answer wouldn’t be far removed from the Nazi rationale: the good of nationalised medicine and therefore the state.

The Nazis waged an anti-smoking campaign that would be the envy of today’s Britain. It was they who first established the link between smoking and lung cancer, and as a result lung-cancer statistics in Germany continued to be better than in other Western countries for a couple of post-war decades. Chemical additives and preservatives were demonised by the Nazis, wholemeal bread was depicted as morally superior to breads made from blanched white flour. Like today’s bureaucrats, the Nazis promoted vegetarianism (practised by Hitler, Hess and many others) and attacked medical experiments on animals.

Of course, Nazi doctors were involved not just in preventive medicine but, most of them eagerly, in such less benign pastimes as eugenics and enforced euthanasia. It’s comforting to see how our medicine is inching in the same direction. Euthanasia, in particular, is custom-made for the modern world, what with its adulation of the state. One can’t open the papers these days without reading a thinly veiled lament about the burden placed on the fragile shoulders of state medicine by an aging population. And euthanasia is steadily moving towards the forefront of potential remedies.

At present Swiss clinics offer ‘mercy killing’ as an expensive optional service, but the time can’t be far away when our government will make it compulsory. This is a paradox, for the government’s tireless propaganda of healthier ‘life styles’, coupled with advances in pharmaceuticals, is designed to help people live longer. This creates yet another vicious circle of modernity: the state uses medicine to increase its own power; but as a corollary to this, it hurts itself by creating a multitude of wrinkly freeloaders who do nothing but sap the state’s resources.

The British, who are unhappy about the potentially deadly waiting lists at hospitals caused by a chronic shortage of beds, miss the point. State medicine doesn’t need hospital beds to achieve its principal objective: power over people’s lives. To make this point, NHS hospitals shed frontline medical jobs while swelling their staffs with administrative personnel bearing New Age titles like Director of Diversity, Facilitator of Optimisation and Optimiser of Facilitation.

The numbers are telling: St George’s Hospital in Tooting has sacked 500 doctors and nurses, London’s venerable St Bartholomew’s and St Thomas’s 630 between them – with a corresponding reduction in hospital beds. And a Birmingham hospital recently created a new post of Director of Diversity at a cost of £100,000 a year, while at the same time cutting the number of already scarce beds for lack of funds.

All this fun proceed to the accompaniment of PR bleating that, before the NHS came down from heaven in 1948, ill people had been treated inadequately, if at all. In fact, fewer hospitals were built in Britain during the first half-century of our nationalised medicine than in the 1930s, hardly the most prosperous decade in British history.

Unfortunately, even expert critics of the NHS refuse to acknowledge that it’s so inadequate not because it’s run in a flawed way but because it’s based on a flawed idea: social egalitarianism. Never mind the quality, feel the equality. As a result, Britain remains a first-world country with third-world medicine. But at least those pensioners, dying of MRSA or being starved to death in NHS hospitals can go to their maker in the serene knowledge that our medical care remains ‘free.




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