The British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, is going to promise nursing at home for all cancer patients who desire this. Such nursing is already provided by the Macmillan charity (hence “Macmillan cancer nurses”), but people will soon forget that. If the plan goes ahead and (a rather wild assumption) the British government manages to stagger on for a few more years without bankruptcy from its endless schemes, people will soon be saying “if it was not for the government people with cancer who wanted to stay at home could not do so – unless they were RICH” (the word “rich” being said with hatred).
This is how the expansion of government happens. The government takes over something (and civil society retreats) and soon people do not even know that it was ever done voluntarily. And, too often, the people who used to undertake the activity welcome the advance of government – “now we will not have to go begging for money” they tell themselves, not understanding that where there is government finance there is also government control.
It may even be that, a few years down the track, some future government decides to abolish home nursing of cancer sufferers (“it would be more efficient to do this in hospital”). Take over and then some time later close (or mutilate) has been a common thing in such things as health… for example the cottage hospitals that local communities had financed for centuries… or education (no more need to go “begging” for funds to finance talented poor children going to the local grammar school, for the government would fund the grammar schools – accept that the government closed them after a couple of decades).
The education “system” (the schools and the universities – with the exception of the University of Buckingham) teaches none of the above – one would not expect it to, after all even the private schools are dominated by such things as they need to pass examinations set by government approved people. However, even the privately owned media is useless – at least in Britain.
For example, today “Classic FM” (one of the largest non-government radio stations in the United Kingdom) just covered the matter in its news broadcasts by saying how Mr Brown was making this nice offer – and had a person on saying how the whole scheme might even pay for itself by helping people back into work and… basically flying pigs nonsense.
As for the Conservative party – there was no opposition in principle (no defence of civil society), just a question of what was going to be cut to pay for the noble scheme.
Lastly where Mr Brown is going to make his promise is worthy of note – he is going to make a speech at the “King’s Fund”. This was once a charity set up to give poor people health care and it was given vast sums of money (by rich people – but also by a lot of people who were not rich at all) which was invested to provide an income. Then the organization changed its function (to offering advice conducting, non medical, “research” and so on) – but it never gave any of the money back… It is controlled by ex BBC people, and other such, these days. Actually the King’s Fund is, therefore, a perfect venue for a speech that will (in reality) announce the death of another piece of civil society – but I doubt that anyone present for the speech will understand this.