The waiting is the hardest part

by Rick Johansen

How are you feeling today? Well, I hope. For those of you who are not feeling well today, I do hope you are not on an NHS waiting list because you are likely to feel a lot worse if you look at the graph above, supplied by the bosses’ newspaper, the Financial TImes. It illustrates one simple fact: the NHS is not safe with the Conservatives, never has been, never will be. The Tories opposed the very setting up of the NHS and have done everything in their power – and Tories have usually been in power – to wreck it ever since. This is not an accident, nor a coincidence.

You will note that the NHS waiting lists tumbled under the Labour years from 1997 to 2010, then they started rising under the Tory government of 2010, in which the Liberal Democrats took jobs and more recently they have soared to around eight million under Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and particularly recently the short-trousered snake oil salesman Rishi Sunak.

As soon as Tony Blair’s government won in 1997, the NHS started to recover. 18 years of engineered decline had brought it to its knees but smart investment raised it up again. By the time the Great British Public decided the NHS was simply going too well, they decided to vote for the lowlife toerags who almost broke it. After 13 years of Tory destruction, the time has come to make a definitive choice as to what we really want. A properly funded NHS, free at the point of delivery or the American system whereby the care you get is the care you can afford. If you can’t afford healthcare across the pond, go away and die.

I have friends who are on absurdly long waiting lists for significant conditions. Some are concerned that their conditions will deteriorate still further as they wait, possibly irreversibly, and a few of my friends fear they might die before they ever get seen. Speaking personally, I am on an eight year waiting list for an ADHD assessment, a waiting list that was, until the mid 2010s, a matter of a few months. I gave up waiting and went private in the end, something I am not proud of, given my utter contempt for the private health sector which I regard as parasitical and owned by vermin. Private treatment for many conditions, and certainly all serious ones, is beyond the reach of most people. Going private only encourages them.

THe NHS does not fit in with the modern Tory vision. To them, the state – all of it – does not need to be there. The private sector, they argue, can do everything, the free market will provide. It is literally what they believe in. If we did not love the NHS as much as we do, slimy Sunak, who uses private healthcare, including at local GP level, would scrap it tomorrow. That is why he and his ghastly free market government are running it down. They figure that if they make the NHS really shit, they can convince the electorate, who they regard as being thick, to vote for them to scrap it. These people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

In his autumn statement last week, swivel-eyed chancellor Jeremy Hunt (misprint) did literally nothing to support the NHS, just like he did nothing to support the underfunded public sector as a whole. It was all gaslighting, misleading and ultimately lying to us, with Hunt hoping the British people are as stupid as he thinks they are. I think he has made a grave mistake.

Sunak always says he will do “whatever it takes” to ensure whatever needs to be done will be done. Oddly, he never says that about the NHS and that’s because he doesn’t believe in it. The next general election will, I believe, decide whether we will have an NHS, never mind that we have one that is properly resourced. We simply have to get Sunak and his loathsome party out of government and start to rebuild this country.

It is because of the Tories that everything appears to be broken and nothing works in modern Britain and we will have only one chance to put that right before it becomes irreparable. If you think the NHS waiting lists are bad now, just wait until you see what happens if Sunak gets back in. Make sure the Tories feel sick, not you.

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