Or at least I think it’s a message from the Government. The headline across the top of the paper certainly says ‘Government responded to
the petition you signed.’ As well they might. It was a very clearly expressed petition. ‘The government has no mandate to privatise the NHS and should cease immediately.’ We couldn’t have put it more succinctly. But I was a little surprised that someone from the Government should actually have answered it.
There were no surprises in what they said. Their answer was a standard piece of government propaganda and obeyed Dr Goebbels rules to the letter. ‘If you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one’ the great Doctor said, and low and behold they started off with a very big one. ‘The Government is not privatising the NHS.’ Well, well, well. So what have all those demonstrations been about, the ones demanding that local A&E’s should be kept open and not closed and the enormous and angry demonstrations by junior doctors with their wonderful, biting placards?
Those of us in the know have been aware of their intentions to demolish our NHS for a very long time. A certain Mark Britnell let the cat out of the bag about their intentions long before they were first elected, speaking at a conference in America run by the 20 billion dollar private equity firm Apax Partners, he promised that ‘In future the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.’ You can’t put it any clearer than that. He then went on to advise
his audience that, if they wanted to make a killing from the breakup and sale of the NHS, the best time to do it would be in the first two years of a new Tory government.
So here we are almost 6 years down the line and the demolition of the NHS is well under way, and even this ‘Government response’ admits it, although in such a way that they plainly hope we are not going to understand what they are saying. ‘The NHS Support Federation claims that £13 billion worth of contracts have been advertised between April 2013 and April 2014,’ they say blandly and go on to point out that ‘This represents a very small proportion of NHS spending of approximately £112 billion.’ or, as they put it in other words ‘ only 6.3% of total NHS spend’ and they don’t explain how much of it has gone to private providers. That 6.3% amounts to £7 billion. And it’s OUR money, that has come from our NIC and our taxes to pay for OUR NHS. Can you see the feathers I’m spitting?
Is it any surprise that our doctors have taken to the streets? There’s a price to pay for this privatisation and it’s being paid in local hospitals and surgeries up and down the country. They are being deliberately deprived of the cash they need, they’ve had to watch as A&E’s and maternity wards were closed and doctors, nurses and support staff were laid off. And as if that weren’t bad enough, they are now being blamed for what is happening. It’s no wonder they’re exhausted and demoralised and are leaving the profession in droves.