So after posting my last article, I received a comment (not here), which basically suggested that I was painting an overly rosy picture of the NHS in Scotland. It included a personal story of an experience with a local hospital that, let’s just say, left a lot to be desired.
Putting aside for a moment that anecdotes are not evidence, and should be weighted accordingly, I’d like to address the concern.
I’m not claiming that the NHS in Scotland is perfect, far from it. It is suffering from severe underfunding, just as the English NHS is, and particularly badly in certain areas, such as mental health. However, the scale of the catastrophe is far worse south of the border. The only reason it isn’t quite as bad in Scotland is that the Scottish Government have some limited means to put their finger in the dyke. Make no mistake though, they are just a glorified council. All they can do is move money around. The real reason the NHS is in trouble is that the UK Government is deliberately under funding it. They are doing that because they WANT to create a crisis, so that they can say “the only solution is privatisation”.
It’s an age old trick that people are apparently still falling for. As Professor Noam Chomsky said years ago:
“There is a standard technique of privatization, namely defund what you want to privatise. Like when Thatcher wanted to privatise the railroads, first thing to do is defund them, then they don’t work and people get angry and they want a change. You say okay, privatise them and then they get worse. That’s the standard technique of privatisation; defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.”
He was right then, and he’s still right, and if you can’t see that that is exactly what they are doing to the NHS right now, you are giving the Tories way too much credit.
That doesn’t even get into the fact that in the UK today, the politicians making it happen are the very same people who have large amounts of shares and investments in the companies that stand to profit from it.
If you’re not convinced yet, take a look at this. It’s from 2014, and it’s only a tiny piece of the picture, but it should make the point pretty well:
Honestly, it is so obviously staring us in the face, how these people are ripping us off and don’t give a toss about the average citizen. Brexit is only going to make things worse. The people of Scotland have an escape boat. It’s called independence. If we don’t get on it we will only have ourselves to blame.