I started last night’s post ‘Another day in the life of an NHS nurse‘ by saying that while I didn’t know what, nominal-Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s recent posturing was a clear sign that he was planning some new assault on the NHS, some push in his stealthy privatisation of this national treasure. In most circumstances, I’d probably enjoy, just a little bit, saying ‘I told you so’, but not in these circumstances.
In today’s Daily Torygraph, it was announced that Lansley foresees ward closures, reductions in bed numbers, and potentially even whole hospitals being closed down. Without question, this is a ‘softening-up’ exercise to get people used to the idea, in preparation for a planned, intentional program of closures and reductions, which will be followed by the sale or give-away of NHS facilities to private companies, on the premise that the reduced, weakened organisations need to be ‘saved’, ‘rescued’, or some similar word.
For Lansley to state that such closures will ‘lead to better services’ is clearly ludicrous. But the government has a planned ‘route’ to dismantling the NHS in phases, because they know that the British public would never tolerate it happening all at once. It’s the old principle of boiling a frog – raise the water-temperature gradually, and the frog will sit happily in the water until it’s too late.
Our media – and most especially the publicly-funded BBC, which should be able to resist political and commercial pressure – is being criminally negligent in its non-reporting of this issue. The bankers’ crisis receives saturation coverage – but while that is a serious case of fraud, the theft of our NHS is ‘robbery writ large’. And it’s receiving barely a mention.
So we, the British public have to do the following:
1) Wake up and realise what’s happening. Get – and stay – informed.
2) Spread the word: tell your friends, and saturate Twitter, Facebook and other social media that the government can’t mute with the wake-up call, and with information exposing this Tory crime.
3) Get involved:
– join or organise protests & information campaigns
– join your local NHS trust and fight from the inside
– join the Labour or Co-operative parties and find ways to help them fight – or to get them fighting, if they’re not already
– write to your local MP, and to Ed Miliband and his shadow ministers, and demand that they make the NHS a key campaigning issue – and that they commit to a complete repealing of the loathsome ‘Health & Social Care Act’ and a full renationalisation of everything that the Tories have stolen and sold off by the 2015 general election.
This country loves the NHS, and should justly be proud of its status as a national treasure and one of the best health services in the world. This government is stealing it by degrees, using deception and coercion to keep each phase quiet while it prepares the ground for it. We have to end that ‘stealing-by-stealth’. Now.