Friday, February 29, 2008

Are they mad?

One of the things that the last ten years of the NuLabour administration has surely taught us is that simply flinging massive amounts of money at the public services does not make them better—or, at least, not as good as they should be with such a massive cash injection. After all, Nulabour have increased NHS spending from about £37 billion, in 1997, to £89 billion today: is the service two and a half times better than it was? No, no it's not.

So, the Tories are here; they are a new force, they claim: they will sort t all out. They are different to Labour and they have looked at the problem and they know just how to put it right, oh yes!

What will they do? Will they perhaps grab the bull by the horns, point out that the NHS is not as good as it could be and that we might, just possibly, look at systems that are rather better than ours? Systems, like those in France, Germany or Switzerland; systems that don't needlessly kill 17,000 people per annum? Is there going to be light at the end of the tunnel?

And the Tories' solution is... to throw another £28 billion, at least, at the same fucking system that the Taxpayers' Alliance called "a colossal waste of lives and money".

Fucking hellski.


verity said...

The Tories are finished. No one has any respect for David "Me Too!" Cameron. They're never going to win another election. They allowed themselves to beaten by Blair's thugs, and became submissive, like a puppy. A submissive puppy never emerges from this mode. They constantly allow themselves to be beaten up by NuLabour thugs and brutish individuals. They never put up a real fight. In fact, Dave signals a love-in when Tony moves on to his next role as the much beloved king of the universe by ordering a standing ovation to the most wicked individual who ever occupied the office of British Prime Minister.

In fact, I notice that since Blair slithered in, people have stopped capitalising the words prime minister. Any more than they capitalise street sweeper. The title always used to be capitalised as a mark of its importance.

We have to stop thinking of the Conservatives as the Opposition.

lettersfromatory said...

The lack of innovation and imagination is depressing from the Conservatives.

John East said...

It's little gems like this (£28bn to NHS) that make me proud to be an ex-Tory. Constantly having to swallow the message, "We have to talk bollocks to get re-elected" became too much for me.

My message today to Cameron and his chums is bugger off and make some space for a true conservative party.

niconoclast said...

6 people die in a train crash and the Left cry 'corporate manslaughter'. Hundreds of thousands die from the NHS and the same people are as silent as the night. This is corporeal manslaughter on an industrial scale.

Wasn't it the arch Socialist Stalin who said 'One death is a tragedy one million is a statistic'

Mark Wadsworth said...

What everybody else says.

Even more sickening is the fact that when IDS was in charge, they had a good look at European health systems (taxpayer-funded, privately provided) and said they could learn a lot from them - a huge step forwards. So they are un-learning faster than they are learning.

Similarly they used to be in favour of vouchers-for-schools but that has gone out of hte window as well.

verity said...

I see in today's Telegraph that Lord Mancroft has said that British nurses are dirty slags and promiscuous drunks. He also said that for a few days, he was extremely infectious, yet they didn't isolate him. And they never cleaned the floors. Finally, his wife came and removed him against their wishes. I would be scared to go into a hospital in Britain. They should do away with the NHS or force it to compete with private health companies. People should be able to direct where their NI payments go. They shouldn't have to support an inefficient, dirty, dismissively run government health service. Make having insurance compulsory, but the worker should direct where his premiums go - not the government.

The NHS is a hotbed of socialism and until it is introduced to the bracing fresh air of competition, it will continue its downward spiral into the depths of filthiness, carelessness and laziness. Its sense of entitlement is grotesque. As is the fact that it is the largest employer in the EUSSR.

Anonymous said...

DK , just face facts and accept that you cannot bring common sense to any debate on healthcare in the UK . the whole subject is now so overlain with old dead arguments ,ingrained assumptions and self interested pressure groups it is impossible to make much headway . So don't even try .

To bring about change needs a different approach possibly along the lines of just do it without being public about it ( which is what Labour are doing in NHS England ) . In this context , promising to throw lots more dosh at "the NHS" is tactically the correct thing for the Tories to do . Its what people are programmed to want to hear . So just go along with it at that level .
Lots of the cooment here still operating along assumption of a single British NHS . This was killed off by Blair in 1998 . Verity hasn't noticed . NHS spend per head in England massively lower than Scotland
? part of the reason for lots of things .

Anonymous said...

With first hand experience of the NHS and where the bucket loads of dosh went from Nu Labour I can tell you it did not get anywhere near the'front line services'that politicians love to bleat about how much they respect, instead it went on another layer of useless cunt 'managers' and blairshitting 'consultancy firms' who know fuck all about medicine and doctoring.

We had to attend (taking us away from our duties) several meetings a month on yes, "improving patient care etc etc" hosted by yet another permatanned, manicured Blair clone 'consultant' Finally stopped going and told them to their face that if they wanted to improve 'patient care' get down on the ward and start working instead of spouting New Labour shite about improvement while doing fuck all. But then, that is the complete ethos of this 'government' fill in the forms, smile for the camera for the press release, and everything is fucking alright.

Naturally, they all have access to the best private medical care and will never have to deal with the shite conditions in the NHS.

Anonymous said...

I know a few people who work in the NHS and none of them have ever moaned about a lack of funds. Stupid fucking Government directives, piss-poor 'Managers' and archaic practices are there in droves. But the problem isn't a lack of cash.

My wife was in hospital with meningitis for a week and they didn't clean the isolation room is was in once. And the food they tried to feed her was a disgrace. The nurses didn't take kindly to me bringing fresh soup in for her, but bollocks to them. Getting better is more important than egos.

If the Tories think the NHS needs more money, they're screwed. As are the rest of this. We need to get rid of the shower of shit that's 'in power' and sort out the bloated, useless parasite that is the NHS. The idea behind the NHS is quite noble, but we ain't got the cash for noble, we need effective.

But as someone said above, you can't have a rational debate about the NHS. It's a sacred cow to some people and you're a swivveled-eyed Nazi if you suggest alternatives; I've spoken to people who would rather stay ill than go private. We need someone to get Apocalypse Now on its ass.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Verity, you are confusing provision with funding. Big mistake.

1. There is no doubt that private/competing provision is infinitely preferable to state provision, no dispute there.

2. As to funding, there is no need to have insurance companies interposed between taxpayer and provider. I envisage that your tax money (NI is a tax, let's face it) goes in a pot, and when you are ill, you can choose between going NHS or asking for the NHS-equivalent cost to be paid to a provider of your own choice, to be topped up if you so wish out of your own pocket or your private health insurance.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Clarification: when I say 'your' tax money, I mean everybody's tax money. That's what insurance is, pooling risks, i.e. some people end up paying for other's misfortunes.

anthonynorth said...

Apart from the obvious mis-management, the big problem with hospitals today is they are too big.
Split them up into much smaller, more locally accountable hospitals and efficiency will improve.
It will improve because the patients, and local community, will give them hell if they don't.
You cannot have proper accountability in mega-orgs. They can ignore you.

cassandra said...

Here are some simple steps to a world class health service...

a)disband the NHS and fund hospitals directly.

b)sack all the useless and lazy management that has infested the service for years.

c) Impose a ban on giving free treatment to anyone other than British subjects, making everyone else pay the full price or get insurance.

d)Impose a strict regime of discipline within all frontline staff and start daily inspections by matrons of staff and patients and wards.

e)Only doctors and senior nurses to be able to take managerial roles with no exceptions and on no account should political appointees be given any executive roles within hospitals.

f)Employ only British subjects in LHS(local health services) facilities and make it plain to immigrants that LHS provision will not be granted for the first five years of becoming a british subject.

g) ban any private contractor from cleaning hospitals and the LHS unit must employ an inhouse specialist cleaning unit fully integrated into the hospital workforce.

Its not fucking rocket science is it? Too many chiefs(fat lazy party parasites) and not enough indians.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


You forgot one:

h)In-house cooking.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


Exactly the same applies to schools.

verity said...

And get rid of that matey familiarity that makes me want to land a punch.

And get rid of "nurse consultants". What an absurd pandering to overblown egos. What every hospital needs are caring, well-trained, well-disciplined nurses. For consultations, we have what are known as "doctors".

Finally, there is no excuse for having a nationalised health service. One's health is one's own responsibility, except for children, the elderly and the genuinely disabled.

david said...

I'm afraid we can't look to the Conservatives to provide a radical alternative to the NHS. All "free-market liberals" have had their voices silenced because they are perceived to be ultra right-wing. The only organisation which seems to promote any sensible ideas is the Taxpayers' Alliance and they will have to really shout from the rooftops to be heard. The tragedy is that nobody in Government or opposition will listen to them.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

One's health is one's own responsibilty.

Not always Verity, even the likes of P J O'Rourke can see the obvious connection between political systems and availabilty services (yes, I bought his book, Devil).

Look at the millions of preventable deaths from diarrhoea for example (the 'Plague' chapter in O'Roukes thesis) - should we be telling shitting/vomiting patients that lack of clean water is 'one's own responsibility' ?

Or if you end up in an NHS hospital dying from c-diff is that 'ones own responsibilty' too ?

What about the burgeoning army of salt and sugar addicts (primed from childhood) - whose responsibility is that ?

Devil's Kitchen said...

"(yes, I bought his book, Devil)."

Oh, excellent. Did you enjoy it?

"Look at the millions of preventable deaths from diarrhoea for example (the 'Plague' chapter in O'Roukes thesis) - should we be telling shitting/vomiting patients that lack of clean water is 'one's own responsibility' ?"

Political systems do matter, of course they do. I have expressed my ambivalence about such networks before.

Mind you, as I remember it, O'Rourke was also having a go at how political systems could stop such cheap and simple remedies as Rehydration Packs getting to the ill, was he not? (I don't have the book to hand at present.)

"What about the burgeoning army of salt and sugar addicts (primed from childhood) - whose responsibility is that ?"

Hmmm, do you seriously view salt or sugar as addictive substances, A&E? I must confess that I do not, in any way.

And yes, in these cases, that is entirely their responsibility. They may have become "addicted" as children, but they can make a decision to cut down on these substances as adults.


the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Yes, Devil, O'Rourke bristles with energy, and he's very funny with it.

Some say that cocaine is not the most deadly white powder, sugar is

John Yudkin in his book "Pure, White and Deadly" says 'if only a fraction of what is already known about sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, the material would promptly be banned'
(Yudkin is professor emeritus at Queen Elizabeth College, London).

Devil's Kitchen said...


Yes, O'Rourke's great.

Now, sugar. The link didn't work, but I'll assume you meant this article.

"Sugar may have many names. A list would include: fructose, glucose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, fruit juice, rice juice, maltitol, chocolate syrup, glycemynol, oh and don't forget -- sugar!"

Excuse me whilst I stop laughing. Yes, there are many types of sugar but to lump fructose and glucose (not to mention the others) in together hardly said to me, "this is an authoritative, scientific writer."

So, I looked up John N Moreno and his American Wellness Center. What a fascinating chap...

"if only a fraction of what is already known about sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive, the material would promptly be banned"

Hmmm. Really. I'll have to go and have a look at Professor Yudkin's book.

However, none of this gets around the basic problem that we need sugars to live.

Sugars are not physically addictive.

"Jan Ulbrecht, associate professor in biobehavioral health and medicine in the College of Health and Human Development, thinks not. "Since the human body does not become physically dependent on sugar the way it does on opiates like morphine and heroin, sugar is not addictive," he argues."

Now, in that article, some argue that sugar is additive because one can get cravings for it.

OK, fine. Except... After a night's drinking, I get craving for Vitamin C. Is Vitamin C addictive? No.

But my body does need Vitamin C and thus communicates this to my brain. The same applies to sugars.

Both sugars and salt are required for our bodies to function, but they are not addictive.

IMHO, obviously.


the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Let me leave you with this thought, Devil.

Carbs are converted to glucose, fruits provide fructose, milk lactose, etc, even fats and proteins are partially converted to glucose.

So, physiologically the body does not actually need any additional sources, such as as the white powder we add to coffee, or sugar laden vitamin drinks so popular amongst certain night clubbers (to give a couple of examples).

Look at the prevelance of diabetes in those non-industrial cultures once exposed to the western style sugar rush: rates of disease go through the roof (aboriginals, alaskan natives, etc - it's a fairly consistent finding).

If sugar (in the form of sweets, crisps, chocolate, sugary drinks etc) is not (in some way) addictive why has proved virtually impossible expunge from our everyday diet, especially considering the risks involved (ask any dentist) ?