Living With The NHS

This was a stream of consciousness rant I sent to someone…

Last year I moved to England. The “Tories” (Conservative party) have been cutting the NHS’ budget for more than a decade as part of a strategy to privatize the UK healthcare system. The NHS is now almost completely collapsing. (They’ve been cutting the budgets of everything as part of a strategy to privatize everything. Now everything is collapsing.)

I have stories to tell about how terrible the collapse of the NHS is. You can’t get appointments to see a doctor for weeks and weeks now, and waiting times at the A&E (emergency room) can be up to 20 hours. Or more. The NHS is collapsed. Yesterday I fantasized about flying back to California and rejoining Medicare and Kaiser just so I can get my knees and hips looked at.

It’s not all bad. The NHS is, actually, wonderful except for being defunded. A couple of months ago I had a “strangulated hernia” which can be a life-or-death situation. I knew something was bad and I was fortunate to be able to see a GP the day I called because of a cancellation. Otherwise it would have been hours in the A&E. So the GP sent me to the big hospital, bypassing the A&E straight to surgical evaluation. But that took many hours, they admitted me to the hospital but there were no beds so I spent the night in a chair. They couldn’t get me into surgery for 3 more days but I was able to be home. The surgery was excellent. I’m completely recovered now. Everyone I talked to was caring and nice.

So if you do get a Medicare-for-All system in the US you must find a way to ensure that “conservatives” never, ever get back in government because their mission is to privatize everything and then get paid off by the corporations after they leave “public service.” “Smaller government” etc. Conservatism is not an ideology, it is just corruption. It is pay-for-play to destroy government for gain.

Not Just NHS Collapsing

Along those lines local (city) councils are collapsing, going or near bankrupt, across the UK. Their funding has been cut about 40% now. The privatized rail system is not doing well – owners siphoning the value out. The water systems are dumping raw sewage into rivers. I can go on about these things.

The “Tories” implemented austerity when they got in 14 years ago. You know the formula – cut taxes for the rich & their corporations, cut funding for everything. They are trying to force privatization of the NHS and force local governments to sell and privatize everything. They are succeeding.

Thatcher succeeded in shock-doctrine privatization of so much and now the rail systems are owned by foreign conglomerates. They charge through the roof, invest little, don’t pay their employees enough, resulting in constant strikes, etc. The Tories just killed of a big part of the in-progress high-speed rail line and immediately started selling off the land that had been purchased in order to prevent it from ever being built.

The water systems were privatized and stopped infrastructure maintenance. They borrowed, and all income and capital is distributed upwards. Now the systems have broken down and raw sewage is dumped into rivers.

Everything privatized is or already has been looted and is broken down. EVERYTHING that has been defunded is in collapse.

In the UK the governing party can call elections or wait out the 5 years limit. A system of perverse incentives. The Tories are waiting it out, and saying they are going to do tax cuts combined with bashing immigrants as an election strategy. Also I’m seeing huge amounts of money being poured into less visible information outlets as election time approaches. Right now Labour appears to be way ahead but just like Centrist Democrats they seem determined to blow it. They have fallen for the idea that the public is far more conservative than they really are.

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