Some commentators seem to think that the NHS can survive as a national asset. If the Tories get back at GE17 then the NHS will become a privatised milchcow for the USA Health industry. It’s already nearly there.
11 Genomics Medical Centres are to be created by NHS England as announced this morning., http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30558112 .
On the Radio 4 Today programme the question was raised as to the security of patients private information. The glib answer was that it would be perfectly safe as it would be controlled by the NHS.
What failed to be said was that under this coalition / Tory government it would certainly go to a private company to run which would make it anything but safe I fear.
I have not written my blog since the referendum. I was so appalled by the result, so near and yet so far but more especially about how much of what I feared has since come true. So many No voters were plainly taken in by the propaganda of the Better Together campaign. Much has been written so I am not going to repeat it.
What the Smith Commission has come up with is a poisoned chalice as I suggested in August. Even Gordon Brown agrees with me. As Iain MacWhirter says “The cost of financing Scotland’s ageing population is being repatriated while.. means of growing the economy are reserved.’” This says it all in a nutshell. You just have to read tax expert Richard Murphy here to get the real story.
And I am also still worried about the NHS. The No campaign repeatedly and falsely claimed that it was safe. TTIP will make it completely vulnerable.
We should realise that Osborne’s Austerity is more than just a hopeful plan to re-balance the economy. Milton Friedman is, years after his death, an icon for the far right neolib / neocon economists and politicians. Naomi Kemp in her book “Shock Doctrine” draws attention to their deliberate opportunism in taking advantage of catastrophes to further their idea of minimal state intervention, preferably none at all, in the running of an economy. Osborne and his friends see our present financial situation as an ideal time to drive down the public services. It is a measure of his ineffectualness that more has not been sold off already. But given the chance in May 2015 they will continue to privatise all parts of the public services which can be turned into a source of private profit.
Darling and Cameron have both said that the NHS in Scotland is utterly safe as does Malcolm Chisholm. But they all explain that this is because Health is devolved to the Scottish Government. They naïvely state that under the Barnett formula the amount of money available has gone up in line with increased spending in England.
I agree that this is absolutely correct and we can rest assured. Or can we? It is in fact only the case under the present devolved regime. That regime is in fact entirely subject to the whim of the Westminster Parliament as Devolution is not part of any constitution. The worry therefore remains that the next Westminster government which is likely to be Tory will simply re-arrange the devolution regime and so will be able to privatise the Scottish NHS. The money will be the same but a big junk of it will go to private company profits and not into services.
Only complete Independence will guarantee a future public NHS and equitable other public services.
My Road to #YES is a file of all my blog posts over the last year or so in relation to my thoughts about our forthcoming referendum.
David Torrance in his book “Battle for Britain” argues for a federal UK. If this had been taken forward at the time of the original referendum in 1979 it might have been an ideal solution. Unfortunately we are now in a situation where there is no going back. The choice is stark. Either vote Yes for the ability to determine our own future or vote No for a very uncertain outcome attached to an ever more neocon Westminster Parliament with a good chance of of devolved powers being reduced. Remember Cameron said the NHS was safe in his hands. Yes safely being handed over to privatisation.
This article has a ring of truth about it for me
A NO VOTE IS NOT A VOTE FOR NO CHANGE By Peter Arnott, published in Bella Caledonia
The full text is here … https://bellacaledonia.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/a-no-vote-is-not-a-vote-for-no-change.pdf
Somehow the fine words of the three main Westminster parties do not ring true for me. The idea of any of them especially the Conservatives being magnanimous and welcoming of Scotland back into the fold is not a characteristic I can link with them.
If the NO vote prevails on 18th September then I think we will not see Devo Max but Devo Min, no NHS, no Barnett formula, more and deeper cuts to public services and an emasculated Scottish Parliament. Most public services such as water and all the various aspects of social welfare will be privatised, rich pickings for the neo- cons. This will of course be under the mantle of improved efficiency and all the usual weasel words. It will not happen overnight but will arrive via the back door in exactly the same way as the NHS privatisation in England and Wales has avoided the scrutiny of most of the voting public.