BY BRAD JAMES
The NHS is something we all champion and defend.
The bureaucratic behemoth that we all fervidly protect. Conceived by the Labour government in 1948, by Health Secretary Nye Bevan and ever since – akin to the Cold War chilling about Britain at the same time – it has been a weapon wielded by Capitalist and Socialist alike. The Tories abhorred the NHS when it first appeared and have been grudgingly funding it ever since. Thatcher surreptitiously weighed in with privatization in the 80’s, with the introduction of Primary Care Trusts that have effectively opened up competition and business to dictate over lives first and foremost.
The fact the color of the Labour party is red seems fairly apt. As a wavelength of light, the red end of the spectrum is the longest and has the farthest reach of them all and it is the intention of the Labour Party (from the birth of Kier Hardie’s people party until the ascendancy of ‘Blue’ Tony Blair). Meanwhile, you have the Tories, favoring the privileged over sheltering the weak from the ravaging wolf of capitalism. Of course, blue is towards the smaller wavelength edge of the spectrum, illuminating the lives of fewer and throwing shadows on the rest, the essence of ‘us’ and ‘them.’ UKIPs party colors are purple, the boundary of the visible spectrum and beyond this point, light becomes too close together in waves to detect. Such protectionism of the elite has always been levied at the dubbed “more Tory than the Tories,” but none stokes the ire of anti-UKIP fire greater than the party’s vague intentions for the NHS, we all glower their way like an overprotective father eyeing the boy taking his daughter out.
Ostensibly, our suspicion seems to be well founded as questionable opinions from Nigel Farage have emerged this week. In an interview with the BBC’s Political Editor, Nick Robinson, he suggested that the NHS may have to be replaced by a system of insurance based health care within 10 years, claiming:
“I triggered a debate within UKIP that was outright rejected by my colleagues, so I have to accept that. As time goes on, this is a debate that we’re all going to have to return to.”
Meanwhile, Louise Bouis, the lady in charge of health care, has categorically dismissed any chance of Farage’s most unwelcome vision from ever materializing. She said ” Nigel is entitled to his opinion and others are entitled to theirs. We don’t whip people into all thinking the same thing. As he said before, he has raised the matter for discussion a while ago, the party discussed it and rejected it. UKIP members will reject their party leader’s idea of funding the NHS through an insurance based system run by private companies.
A central issue here is the fact that within a decade many of us will still be needing for health care provision and it is essential to the nature of not only our survival, but that of our democracy too. Free health-care (or free at the point of use) is fundamental to any true liberty that any person can enjoy. It demonstrates to a populace that no one life supersedes another and celebrates unity of citizens in their democratic right to exist in the greatest of health and access and exert the full plethora of opportunities that come from a modern nation. Introducing a method of insurance based health care is anathema to the British public and is linked intrinsically to the dereliction of our democracy. Caught in the fever of his recent popularity, Nigel Farage may be delirious in the realization of new found popularity (being pipped by the Greens, if recent polls are to be believed) he must adapt as an everyman and everyman policies. Otherwise the health and vitality of his political surge may sicken and die if he plans to install a toll booth at every A&E entrance… our taxes are enough (as should be the taxes of the many corporations that avoid paying it).